When Bruce Arians stepped down as the Buccaneers’ head coach Wednesday, he said he wanted to ensure incoming HC Todd Bowles “would have the best opportunity to succeed.”
With QB Tom Brady back in the fold and much of Tampa Bay’s winning core intact, that’s the immediate reality. But the Bucs, who reportedly signed Bowles to a five-year contract, are clearly also entrusting him with a new QB down the road.
Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Arians was reportedly tied for the seventh-highest-paid coach ($8M) in the league last season, and Bowles proved to be a key part of Tampa’s success for three years.
- With Bowles as defensive coordinator, the Bucs have been at least a top-nine unit every season, per DVOA.
- The defense allowed just nine points to the high-powered Chiefs offense in their Super Bowl LV victory.
- Bowles is now the sixth minority HC in the NFL and the third hired this offseason.
- He’s the fourth Black HC in franchise history, double that of any other team.
One caveat for the defensive mastermind, who was the Jets HC from 2015-18: Although New York went 10-6 in Bowles’ first season with Ryan Fitzpatrick, it ranked 25th or worse in offensive DVOA in each of the next three seasons when he brought in Josh McCown and Sam Darnold.
While Tampa still has well-regarded offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich leading the offense, he could earn a head coaching job himself as soon as next offseason.