Todd Bowles has one final chance to save job as Buccaneers head coach

Even with a great starting point following the footsteps of Bruce Arians, Bowles is on the hot seat in 2024.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

After several years of mediocrity and losing records, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers enjoyed one of their greatest seasons in team history in 2020. Led by legendary quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay went 11-5 and finished second in the NFC South, and later beat Washington, New Orleans, and Green Bay in the playoffs to advance to Super Bowl LV.

In just their second-ever Super Bowl appearance, the Bucs came away with their second Lombardi Trophy, defeating Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs 31-9 at Raymond James Stadium. Not only did Brady earn his NFL record seventh ring, but the Bucs became the first team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl in their home stadium.

Even so, Brady and Arians would be together in Tampa Bay for just one more season, with Arians retiring that offseason and Brady hanging up his cleats in the 2022 offseason. The departure of Arians paved the way for defensive coordinator Todd Bowles to take the head coaching job, who is now entering his third season as the Bucs' head coach.

Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles is on the hot seat in 2024

While Arians is no longer a head coach in the league, Arians currently works as a senior football consultant in Tampa Bay. Instead of continuing his coaching career, the 72-year-old looked to set up Bowles for success upon his retirement.

"I really began thinking about my personal transition plan earlier this offseason. I wanted to ensure when I walked away that Todd Bowles would have the best opportunity to succeed," Arians said. "So many head coaches come into situations where they are set up for failure, and I didn't want that for Todd."

"Tom [Brady's] decision to come back, along with Jason and his staff doing another great job of keeping the core of this team intact during free agency, confirmed for me that it was the right time to pass the torch to Todd."

Even with an ideal setup from Arians and a solid roster, Bowles hasn't exactly exceeded expectations during his two-year tenure as the Bucs' head coach. Since taking over in 2022, Bowles has posted a 17-17 record at the helm and in arguably the weakest division in the NFL. Yes, Bowles coached the Bucs to the NFC Divisional Round and nearly the NFC Championship, but Tampa Bay was 4-7 in Week 11, a good representation of the highs and lows of his coaching.

With offensive coordinator Dave Canales leaving Tampa Bay to become Carolina's head coach this offseason, it's fair to wonder if Bowles can elevate a "run-it-back" roster from 2023. If the answer is no, then it's likely that his coaching tenure in Tampa Bay may come to an end in 2024.

More Tampa Bay Buccaneers news and rumors