Even though there’s one game left on the schedule and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can still make the playoffs, some eyes are already on the future.
Specifically, rumors about who will be the Bucs head coach next year have started to heat up as the potential for a meltdow
Earlier this season NFL insider Josina Anderson hinted that at least one team was showing interest in hiring Bill Belichick if things go south in New England. It turns out there’s an added emphasis on south as Anderson noted this week that mulitple teams in the NFC South have potential interest in hiring the future Hall of Famer.
Without even hearing the team names, you know exactly where this is going.
Belichick has been linked to the Buccaneers in the past, if through nothing more than rumors and whispers. There’s been no concrete evidence to suggest the Bucs are one of the teams interested in Belichick but it’s not hard to connect the dots.
Are the Buccaneers one of the mystery teams interested in Bill Belichick?
The easiest dot to connect is Tom Brady’s move to Tampa Bay, but that’s actually the one thing people will bring up that is totally irrelevant. The guy who brought Brady to Tampa Bay is the key, as Jason Licht’s deep connection to Belichick is the thread that everyone has grabbed onto when making the arguement for Tampa Bay being a potential landing spot.
Licht’s connection to Belichick dates back to 2000, when the former was a national scout for the team and the latter was beginning his first season as head coach. They only spent a few seasons working together but Licht’s ascension in the Patriots front office didn’t go unnoticed and the two have both remained in touch and done business together in the years since.
This isn’t a matter of the Bucs going from brady to Belichick, it would be about how Licht managed to land both of them in Tampa Bay.
Belichick’s connection to the Bucs extends beyond Licht. Many believe he influenced the hiring of Greg Schiano as head coach in Tampa Bay and his relationship to the team deepened over that time. The Patriots and Bucs held joint practices together, made trades with one another, and Belichick was going to hire Schiano after he was let go at Ohio State.
Taking the tinfoil hat off for a moment, there are legitimate football reasons the Bucs could lure Belichick in with. Tampa Bay boasts one of the best defenses in the NFL when things are firing on all cylinders, and that side of the ball is Belichick’s specialty. Just like how Brady proved he was bigger than the Patriots, Belichick could come down to Tampa and command a brooding defense in ways that would remind everyone of why he’s the greatest coach of all-time.
It’s a long shot, and really nothing more than speculation right now. Todd Bowles’ seat has been hot all season, though, and anything short of a victory in the Wild Card round likely won’t be enough to bring him back. This Belichick thread seems ridiculous, but so too was the idea of Tom Brady coming to Tampa Bay — until it wasn’t.