Hot Seat Gauge

December 14th, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

The Bucs are 6-7 with four games to play, including two against very tough teams the next two weeks.

On Sunday, the Bucs will be at the iconic frozen tundra of Lambeau Field in northeastern Wisconsin. There is an expected high of 40 degrees, almost shorts weather for mid-December in Green Bay.

Joe knows from way too much experience that any forecast more than two days out in the Midwest, especially in winter, is a roll of the dice. Joe will start trusting Green Bay forecasts for Sunday come Friday afternoon.

The Packers are fighting for their playoff lives. And, oh yeah, Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur is undefeated at home in December games.

A week later, the Bucs host the Jags, who are fighting for an AFC South division crown. If the Bucs finish the season 3-1, which will be challenging, the Bucs will close the regular season at 9-8.

But what if the Bucs finish with a losing record? ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler checked his sources around the league on Todd Bowles’ job security. If Bowles is fired after the season, Fowler says several around the league think Bowles could be suprised.

The Bucs are harder to read. Some people around the league are earmarking this one as a potential opening, but there’s a very real chance Tampa Bay wins the division now. A strong finish would help Todd Bowles’ case.

Of course, Joe wants the Bucs in the playoffs. You make the playoffs by winning games. The first-place Bucs only need a few wins and they are the NFC South champs for a third straight season.

Joe has no earthly idea if Team Glazer would retain Bowles after a second consecutive losing season — but with two division titles. Joe will repeat the glaring factoid about Team Glazer. Their only head coach to survive two straight losing seasons is Chucky — and he won Team Glazer a Super Bowl.

(Chucky got canned after two straight nine-win seasons in 2007 and 2008.)

How much might Team Glazer value two division titles while their team has two straight losing seasons?

29 Responses to “Hot Seat Gauge”

  1. BucU Says:

    C’mon guys. We know who this team is. They win a game here and there then tank like a rock thrown into the sea. Even the rare win they look like shyt on BOTH sides of the ball. Until proven otherwise this team is below average and based on past experience they’re gonna get smashed up in GB.
    Prove us doubters wrong then Todd.

  2. DS Says:

    Random but I’m hoping tomlin gets fired and the Bucs hire him

  3. Bubby Says:

    Who makes the final coaching decisions (hiring/firing) the Bucs?

  4. Lt. Dan Says:

    Just call it a day already. Who the heck are the Bucs gonna beat in the playoffs. Get the high draft pick, can Bowles and his staff, can Devin White, Carlton Davis and Jameel Dean. Then…go shopping!

  5. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Isn’t Joe always preaching for meaningful December games?
    And then when the Bucs have them, out comes the excuses to fire the coach narrative.

  6. SufferingSince76 Says:

    If Bowles is retained (and I think he will be), it will prove that the Glazers are satisfied with mediocre. The decision should be more of a referendum on them than Bowles. We know he’s a lousy HC. The question is do the Glazers care.

  7. Bucs Lives Matter Says:

    During the lost decade, all of us would have been overjoyed with an NFC South crown and even one playoff appearance. With the NFC south being so putrid, the Bucs do have a chance this year to take the crown and be one and done in the playoffs. I’ll be happy but it will be short term gratification and it will probably also come with the cost of having Bowels another year which will be painful.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If Bucs win the division Bowles will be retained….I’m not quite sure about Mayfield…….if he cooperates by accepting a team friendly deal….maybe…..but we still need to draft a QB.

  9. realistic-optimistic Says:

    It’s not so much about sneaking into the postseason. It’s about progress and optimism. Has Bowles shown positive progress as a HC? Does he inspire optimism for next season? Or even optimism for a successful postseason run this season?

    stpetebuc accused me of not being optimistic enough. Hire a promising offensive HC and bring in a young QB that isn’t a retread. Then I’ll have more optimism. Keep rolling with this tandem and I’ll stick to my realistic takes.

  10. Razor Ramone Says:

    The last time this team went on the road and beat a better team than them was game #1 against the Vikings. That seems like 10 years ago. Always a glass half full guy but….Go Bucs!

  11. Joe Says:

    Who makes the final coaching decisions (hiring/firing) the Bucs?

    Who do you think? 🙂

    (Hint: Did you see anyone else referenced in this story besides Bowles, Team Glazer and Jeremy Fowler? — And it ain’t Fowler.)

  12. orlbucfan Says:

    Bucs Lives Matter Says:
    December 14th, 2023 at 7:24 am
    During the lost decade, all of us would have been overjoyed with an NFC South crown and even one playoff appearance.
    Bak in the 1980s and early 1990s, we Bucs fan would have stroked out from shocked joy if that went down. Truth!

  13. orlbucfan Says:

    Back*fans* Hate typos–need caffeine. 🙂

  14. stpetebucfan Says:


    Yes that was a very realistic take. I respect that totally. I applaud your attempt at optimism. I agree with your reasoning but I differ in one respect.

    It’s all still premature. Imagine taking a final exam. Your 75% finished with time still on the clock and the professor says turn them in for your FINAL grade.

    Again, this team is EXACTLY where they were last year with the GOAT at QB.
    6-7 with a tough opponent, difference this year the game is on the road.

    IF the past is prologue then the Bucs will lose this week. Last year with Brady the Bucs got blown out at RayJay by the talented Bengals. With the season on the brink the Bucs went to AZ and ESCAPED with a less than convincing 19-16 win in OT. They came home and beat the Panthers before being crushed by the Falcons in their Mercedes. IE to match those Brady Bucs they have to go 2-2.

    I’m still optimistic enough to believe they can go 2-2, I’m hoping for 3-1 and will be disappointed with anything less.

    IE Again I respect your realism it’s based on objective facts to THIS POINT.

    But you know me lol…the cockeyed optimist who says “Damn the torpedoes full speed ahead.”

  15. Tucker Says:

    When there is only 9 players on the field for a series this late in the season in a must win divisional game, terrible clock management going on two seasons, can you add timeouts to your 401k Todd?, and as undisciplined as this team has been since he took over with these kinda game plans its time to see something different.

  16. Allen Lofton Says:

    Joe, the Green Bay Packers lost last Sunday which is in the month of December.

    Let’s continues their losing streak in December – Go Bucs

  17. ScottyMack Says:

    I can’t stand stupid stats like the Lefleur “undefeated in December at home” one. New team, different receivers, new QB. As far as I’m concerned, this Packers team is 1-0 in the month of December at home.

  18. Dan the Bucs Fan Says:

    Bowles is not on the hot seat. That is silly to even suggest this was a team predicted to finish dead last in the NFL by most. Vegas had us at 6 wins. Bowles is overachieving which means firing him would be incredibly dumb. Get Brady 30 million off the books, get white contract off the books, cut Godwin get that contract off the books, release Barrett get that contract off the books then use that cap space to improve the team.

    Pay Baker 9 million a year for 4 years he will take it. Then you dont have much money tied up at QB.

    Pay Evans whatever he wants.

    Pay Winfield whatever he wants.

    We already found white replacement. Use whatever cap is left on depth and upgrades in certain spots. Nobody is drafting better these days than Licht this team is not far away tons of good young players.

    Why our fan base wants to blow things up shows how dumb they really are.

  19. Weebs10 Says:

    I’m all in on winning the division again. I don’t like bowels but I want to be in the playoffs. Anything can happen if we make it into the dance, plus a new head coach doesn’t guarantee we start winning next year. I’ll always prefer ugly wins over losing. Pretty wins are of course ideal, but just win baby!

  20. zzbucs Says:

    Every single game is and will be tough for Tampa….

  21. ScottyMack Says:

    Baker will likey fetch a price tag north of $15 million per year. He loves Tampa but not enough to take that kind of 4 year locked in hit.

  22. Couch Fan Says:

    And this is why I dont want the playoffs this year for the Bucs. I want to take no chances that Bowles comes back again. It would just be another wasted season of terrible boring football.

  23. stpetebucfan Says:


    Largely agree with your assessments and future plans.

    The thing I agree with that pains me is that we need to make a choice between ME and CG and while I love CG ME is the man!

    As for who to draft I won’t get my wish. In a perfect world we get Marvin Harrison Jr to pair with ME. His rookie contract will be affordable but his draft capital probably won’t. He’s projected to go at least 5th. Thank heavens for a QB rich draft. IMHO Harrison Jr is a generation talent, the son of another generational talent…the closest thing we can get to a “can’t miss”.

    I also agree with Scotty Mack though. IF Baker can go 2-2 to finish..he’s not going to sign for 9 million. I’m really leery of long term contracts…we’ve spread cap hit too far already I’m growing conservative and would like to pay as we go.
    I’d rather toss in another mill or two in lieu of more years.

  24. Big Red Says:

    Don’t sign Baker for anything more than 1yr/10 million w/ incentives… and that’s only after we resign Mike, Levonte, Winfield, and some others.

    Don’t fire Bowles unless you have a sure fire plan for an upgrade. I’d rather finish 8-9 than 5-12.

  25. BucsBeast Says:

    A defensive guru coach should produce a shut down defense.
    This is not the case with Bolwes.
    His track record shows his game management philosophy does not work.
    It’s time for a change.

  26. Kalind Says:

    It needs to be about the future. What is his plan to win a SB?? If it’s any version of ‘grow and develop’ then you have to can him. This team needs bold decisions, not more of the same. Another lackluster year and he will be canned anyways. So what big changes are coming??

  27. Jmarkbuc Says:


    Agreed, and a plan and a vision is going to require a new GM. Bud “Beer Goggles” Licht’s vision isn’t cutting it.

    He’s had 10 years. A lost decade and the Den of depression.

    Yes he got a Bradybowl trophy. Makes a nice parting gift.

  28. Davenport Says:

    Make the playoffs, the best draft pick we get in EVERY ROUND. Make the playoffs and Bowles most likely is back.

    That is not a recipe for future success.

  29. Tiffany Says:

    I Pray Bowles gets fired. He is not a good fit for our team. They should have fired him last year….