Did The Bucs Feel Like They Were Playing For Todd Bowles’ Job? “Maybe,” Says Tristan Wirfs.

December 10th, 2023

Most NFL veterans know how the league works when it comes to chewing up head coaches and spitting them out.

Fans have no patience after Week 2 of a regime. Twenty-five years ago it was “Year 2,” not Week 2. Hell, some fans now lose their freakin’ minds after Day 2 of the annual NFL Draft.

Ownership groups also have less and less patience in recent decades. Win or get out of town is how most fans think of head coaches, and owners aren’t far behind.

As the Bucs were driving for the winning score yesterday and testing fans’ blood pressure, especially the few thousand or so Bucs faithful scattered around the Falcons’ home turf, Joe was feeling the intensity of a season on the brink.

At the 2 minute warning, the Bucs had 4th-and-1 at their 45 yard line and were trailing by three points. Everything was on the line, Joe believes: Todd Bowles’ job, the NFC South title, Baker Mayfield’s future in Tampa, and more.

The Bucs went back to the play that failed them on 3rd-and-1, a handoff to Rachaad White. This time White got two yards and a first down but he fumbled. Thankfully, White recovered his own gaffe. Talk about a heart-stopping second!

There were more to come. The Bucs needed a 3rd-and-10 conversion at the Atlanta 47 yard line. Chris Godwin and Baker Mayfield came to the rescue with a big gain in the face of the raucous dome crowd.

Joe asked left tackle and team captain Tristan Wirfs in the locker room about the massive moments in that game. They were the highest pressure times of the post-Tom-Brady era.

Wirfs said he didn’t feel much from teammates other than complete focus of guys with a job to do in a two-minute drill — “3rd-and-1, 4th-and-1, Chris coming up with that big play on 3rd-and-long,” Wirfs said. “We knew what we had to do in each situation but I don’t think anyone was (pause) it’s hard to say, but I think we were in the moment and the job.”

Were players thinking this week about playing to save Bowles’ job? Wirfs answered Joe with a firm, “Maybe.”

“I think Coach made it clear to us what kind of opportunity was in front of us,” Wirfs said. “We knew what type of game it was. I don’t think anyone made it bigger than it had to be, bigger than it was. But I think guys understood everything at stake.”

19 Responses to “Did The Bucs Feel Like They Were Playing For Todd Bowles’ Job? “Maybe,” Says Tristan Wirfs.”

  1. Not Says:

    Right Wirfs and you may well have condemned yourself and others to play under TN, DC and BM for another couple of years !
    Even worse, forced the fans to live with TB in Tampa !

  2. Not Says:

    Meant TB of course not TN

  3. Not Says:

    Wow just note BM in the TB

  4. JTHV Says:

    Not – just stfu

  5. Buddha Says:

    Not says….a real Buccaneers fan enjoys a win and appreciates a hard fought game. That 4th and one was the most important play of the season. To have wished they failed says something about your character as a fan.

  6. Jack Clark Says:

    JTS sorry as didn’t play for Todd Bowles 😂

  7. Tye Says:

    Packers Jags and Saints will do in Bowels and deservedly so…
    The Bucs have a GOLDEN opportunity to get a top notch HC and dominate the division a few years while the other 3 teams are struggling!

  8. Josh Says:

    How about a little credit for the coaching staff? The team has $79 million in dead cap and another $12 million on the IR. The front office had to scrap together a complete roster where more than a third of salary cap is unavailable. Kudos to Bowles and staff for keeping the team together and fighting week in and week out.

  9. CleanHouse Says:

    Good point on the cap Josh, you must work in the front office.

  10. Mike C Says:

    And you must work for the maid service clean house

  11. Sketch813 Says:

    Well said Josh. We should have a better roster next year with the extra funds.

  12. Dan Naughton Says:

    Defense had nine players on the field when Atlanta scored the walk in touchdown. I repeat 9! Hey guru head coach what gives. Someone on the sideline had to of seen. Maybe call a timeout!!! Poor coaching!!!!!

  13. Bosch Says:

    He didn’t say maybe. He just didn’t answer the question. He didn’t want to embarrass his coach.

  14. Lakeland Steve Says:

    If we win the Division and get a playoff game the heat is not off this coaching staff. What if we get manhandled like the Cowboys did last year? I think the Bucs are going to need to win that playoff game to keep Bowles employed. I just think the Glazers are a lot smarter than everyone gives them credit for. They are about winning Super Bowls. I think if the Bucs have a strong run and can make a playoff push (even just one playoff win) Bowles may be safe. I do not think that is the case if we play like last year.

  15. Beeej Says:

    We really haven’t been blown out by anyone this year–lost two games by 14… Last year we lost 3 or 4 by 3 td’s+

  16. orlbucfan Says:

    Thank you, Josh. At least we still get a few actual fans on here. Hey yahoos, this is Bowles’ first actual season as the Bucs’ HC. He doesn’t have to deal with Arians and wrinkled Brady. Bucs have been strangled by the salary cap. Hence a lot of new, cheap young rookies who are looking pretty good like Izien. Plus a new QB and green OC who were cheap $$ wise. Bucs are in a 3-way tie for first in their Division. Yeah, it’s the NFC South/Suck, but so what?! If the Bucs beat the Pack, they will win the Division. Why can’t they? Wirfs is right, and I’ll listen to him, not a bunch of yoyos on here.

  17. Mike Johnson Says:

    Would’nt it be something if the Bucs win everything left in front of them? Impossible but…a thought.

  18. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Mike Johnson hitting the herb a little early this morning.

  19. Adam Douglas Says:

    Devin White definitely wasn’t playing for Bowls job. Hell that joker didn’t even bother to show up on the sideline to show support.