Mina Kimes makes a brutally honest prediction for Buccaneers

It'd be unfortunate, but it's also something that absolutely could happen.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Minicamp
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Minicamp / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

It feels like Todd Bowles has spent more time on the hot seat as Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach than someone the national media has given credit to.

He was the architect of a defense that will forever be a blemish on Patrick Mahomes' iconic record and helped orchestrate a second Super Bowl title for the Bucs. Everything since then has been choppy waters, as Bowles took over as head coach under strange circumstances and it's been anything but smooth sailing since.

Bowles' first season as head coach was a disaster and ended up being the worst year of Tom Brady's career. Things turned around in Year 2, with the Buccaneers reaching the NFC Divisional Round against seemingly all odds, but even that was warped by talk of Bowles being fired all along the way.

Once again Bowles is being talked about as a coach who could be on his way out before the season has even started.

Mina Kimes has an unfortunately true prediction for Todd Bowles and the Buccaneers

Kimes didn't say that she thinks the Buccaneers will be bad, which she reiterated a few times. Rather, she predicts that if things go sideways on Tampa Bay this season it might mean the end of the road for Todd Bowles.

“The Bucs basically are running it back,” Kimes said. “If they’re really bad — I don’t think they will be, so I want to be clear — but if that were to happen, he is a guy I could see them saying, ‘You know, this was a mistake.'”

This isn't the first time Bowles has been placed on the hot seat before the season even starts, even if it's the nicest way it's ever been done. Kimes is right in that Bowles will likely be the scapegoat if the Buccaneers fail to live up to increased expectations heading into next year, but the question is what will be the metric for success?

That's a bit of an existential question for Tampa Bay as it's not as simple as returning to the NFC Divisional Round. Ideally the Bucs will go further than that, as a trip to the title game or Super Bowl might even end with an extension for Bowles.

We also know the flipside of that coin.

Tampa Bay missing the playoffs, failing to win the NFC South, or finishing with fewer than eight wins -- all of which would likely be true in the same scenario -- would be grounds for Bowles getting fired. That was the case this year, as the Glazers were looking for an improvement on 2022, something Bowles delivered on.

By those standards, the Bucs would need to reach the NFC Championship Game for Bowles to be safe, which seems a bit lofty. Success could be defined as the team taking a step forward by not falling into a 1-6 midseason slump, something that caused Bowles to be as close to being fired as he's ever been last season.

Either way, the maring for error is slim next season for everyone, not just Bowles. Baker Mayfield has a new $100 million contract that will be scrutinized if he struggles, the run game will need to improve, and Mike Evans is riding a wave of acknowledgement after padding his Hall of Fame resume last season.

The pressure is on everyone to step up, but it seems that only one guy continues to be the name everyone circles as the person to blame if things go haywire.

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