Is Todd Bowles’ Return Official?

December 31st, 2023

So Tuesday night, Joe recorded an Ira Kaufman Podcast episode at the Big Storm Brewing Co. taproom in Odessa and an impromptu crowd gathered around the table.

Of course, within minutes, Kaufman stopped the podcast to address the fans, and then told them all to head back to the bar and Joe would buy them all beers. Joe was out $30 and the podcast continued.

Afterwards, a reasoned and intelligent Bucs fan passionately told Joe and Kaufman that even if Todd Bowles wins the final two regular season games and wins a playoff game, he would prefer the Bucs move on from Bowles and Baker Mayfield because the team won’t win a Super Bowl with that duo.

Joe and Kaufman disagreed with the premise, but that fan represents a large sect of Bucs faithful. They are just pure non-believers.

Enter Bucs general manager Jason Licht. He’s got an opinion far more important that those of fans or media.

Licht does little direct talking publicly about Bowles, and Licht has not made the world know Bowles will be back for his third season as head coach in 2024. But it sure seems like Licht came close during an interview with the twice-weekly community newspaper known as the Tampa Bay Times.

Their online edition sits behind a paywall.

“I think some people had us winning two games this year,” Licht told columnist John Romano. (Certainly referring to NBC Sports insider Peter King, Joe believes.)

“Even if the season stopped right now, what’s made this so much fun is it required everybody. Yeah, okay, we had a great draft. But the coaching staff and Todd (Bowles) were really put in a kind of bad position, taking over a team last year that still had Brady but knowing we’re going to be in this position, having to pay our debts.

“It’s a tough position, but they’ve done a great job. Really, everybody has done a great job.”

So do Licht’s “great job” comments mean Bowles is a slam dunk to stay as head coach next season?

As Kaufman has said, and Joe agrees, the Bucs must “finish the job” for Bowles to survive.

Despite the preseason doom forecasters, Bowles always had enough talent on his roster to win games and stay in the hunt in a bad division. The Joe typing here said in the summer that Bowles needed a nine-win season to keep his job and predicted eight wins. The other Joe predicted a nine-win season.

And here we are. The Bucs are 8-7 and one win from a division crown.

Finish the job, Todd.

Ira Kaufman Talks Bucs-Saints Predictions, Mayfield-Evans Contract Chess, Locker Room Vibes, Dance Moves, Dave Canales Vs. NFL Owners, And Much More

51 Responses to “Is Todd Bowles’ Return Official?”

  1. adam from ny Says:

    i say coach is coming back…as well as the key guys everyone’s been discussing all year…

    here’s the scenario where i don’t see coach returning:

    we split these final 2 games with a bad home loss to the saints and win the division in a tight one in carolina…

    and…more so…

    let’s say we get the cowboys…again…

    and we’re getting blown out at halftime 35-3 at home…and the game ends 56-3…a complete blowout…

    if things finish out in really bad fashion, i think his status kind of reverts back to almost where he was sitting during the bad 6 out of 7 losing streak…

    do i see this happening?


    there’s been a shift in the team and i think “team flow” continues right into the playoffs – with a potential playoff victory as well…maybe even more than one

  2. garro Says:

    Come on Joe!
    Even the conspiracy theory folks would have a hard time stretching that comment to mean what you suggest. I put my tin foil hat away years ago. And no I am not in favor of canning Bowles.

    Go Bucs!

  3. Hodad Says:

    Finish the job, and continue to do a better job.

  4. bulldog Says:

    JOE SAYS: “A reasoned and intelligent Bucs fan passionately told Joe and Kaufman that even if Todd Bowles wins the final two regular season games and wins a playoff game, he would prefer the Bucs move on from Bowles and Baker Mayfield because the team won’t win a Super Bowl with that duo.”

    100%. Me and countless saying the same thing. Since the off-season. This is why fan comments have oddly dropped since the duo of Bowles and Baker has reached that dreamy .500 record and improved their chances of winning an NFC South Champions t-shirt and ruining yet another season for the Bucs (2024). One thing we can all agree on about the Bucs: there does not appear to be much of a long game here.

  5. bulldog Says:

    JOE SAYS: “A reasoned and intelligent Bucs fan passionately told Joe and Kaufman that even if Todd Bowles wins the final two regular season games and wins a playoff game, he would prefer the Bucs move on from Bowles and Baker Mayfield because the team won’t win a Super Bowl with that duo.”

    100%. Me and countless others here on JBF. Saying the same thing. Since the off-season. This is why JBF’s comment volume has oddly dropped since the duo of Bowles and Baker has reached that dreamy .500 record and improved their chances of winning an NFC South Champions t-shirt and ruining yet another season for the Bucs – 2024. One thing we can all agree on about the Bucs: there does not appear to be much of a long game here.

  6. Mike C Says:

    Bulldog, you know lions fans are celebrating the first division title in 30 years, maybe you should just savior this moment in Bucs history if we win 3 in a row?

  7. SufferingSince76 Says:

    I wish I could get excited about Bowles coming back, but I can’t. He has done nothing to deserve his new-found love. Winning cures a lot of ills, but it doesn’t change the fact that he stinks as a head coach and isn’t doing all that great with his defense. His total body of work as a head coach speaks for itself. They are winning because the players are balling out; not because Bowles suddenly learned how to coach.

  8. Mike C Says:

    With the cap, new oc, new qb, and like 18 rookies, I say coach did a great job, maybe he has learned a thing or two over the years.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Towards the end of our 1-6 losing streak I admittedly gave up on Todd Bowles returning next year. But that was because of our defensive performances, not what our offense was doing. Disregarding our victory over the Toothless Titans, our Bucs’ defense gave up 24 pts to the Bills, 39 pts to the Texans, 27 pts to the 49ers and 27 pts to the Colts in those 4 games. That’s very close to a 30 PPG average, and very uncharacteristic of a Bowles’ defense. We were playing BAAAD DEFENSE, really BAAAD DEFENSE at that time, and I expected that’d be enough to get Todd run off next year. Wearing both the HC hat AND the DC hat clearly wasn’t working well.

    But he’s turned it around in these last 4 games, with 4 straight wins. Both our offense AND our defense have come alive, and we’ve been playing some great complementary football. Our offense has been averaging close to 30 PPG, while our defense has gotten back down to under 20 PPG. Still a tough road ahead, but I think this young Bucs’ team has learned a LOT about itself and its coaching staff, and that bodes well for the team’s future. And for Todd Bowles continuing as our HC next year.

  10. YaYa Winfield Says:

    Bulldog because Bowles didn’t start his dream boy.

  11. Drunk Bucs Fan Says:

    You know, back in the 90’s there was some coach who had a run with an AFC team, just had one winning record out of about 5 years. A crappy .450 record. Of course dude got canned.

    A few years later he was lucky enough to get a second chance. His first year kind of stunk, and then his starting qb gets knocked out for a stretch of games the second week of the season. I think his name was Bob, or Bill something.

    Yes I know. Saying Todd B will be the next Bill B is utterly ridiculous. Just saying it’s about equally ridiculous to saying Bill B will be the next Don Shula if forums were a thing in 1998.

  12. Gipper Says:

    Coach Bowles never pressed panic button. The team has been in most every game this year notwithstanding 13 rookies. He has grown with the job and has the team on the verge of clinching division which should happen today at home. If this team finishes 10-7 and is competitive in a playoff game, think Bowles and entire staff should be back. To change things for next year probably means all big impact players like Evans and Co. will also leave.

  13. Lt. Dan Says:

    “Their online edition sits behind a paywall.” Which as Joe knows, cheap @ss Lt. Dan will not pay for.

  14. #99 the big fella Says:

    Mike C , Excellent point!

  15. Gipper Says:

    Bucs win today at home and clinch. Will be solid all around team win with Mayfield throwing the ball only 28 times for a couple of touchdowns. Don’t want to get in a shoot out. 27 points is all Bucs need for today’s W.

  16. Usedtocould Says:

    I agree that Bowles and baker won’t win a Super Bowl. I will say that four playoff appearances in a row is more than I asked for. Now, the division has been trash, so some of it has just been fortuitous. One thing I am for sure is ride or die with Jason Licht.

  17. HC Grover Says:

    It is a unexpected. I am counting on 10-7. Sink the Stainks.

  18. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Bowles already won a superbowl as defensive coordinator of these Bucs. 31-9. NO TUDDIES for the chiefs. So many people already trying to rewrite history already! Give me a break. These Bucs just had a couple of corners that insisted on emulating lawn chairs. Once that gets sorted out…. The skies the limit!

  19. Mark hardt Says:

    even if Todd Bowles wins the final two regular season games and wins a playoff game, he would prefer the Bucs move on from Bowles and Baker Mayfield because the team won’t win a Super Bowl with that duo…..Wow so this dood has the gift of Claravoyance. Ok Cool. Who will win the college playoffs? Superbowl? Next President? 10 stocks that will have a 500% gain in 2024. ….. Btw Jackson, Herbert, Allen, and Burrows have not won superbowls. Cut their sorry buts.

  20. Razor Ramone Says:

    Finishing strong is gonna be huge. Win the division? Always great. Home playoff game? Yes please. Get the ever loving sh!t stomped out of us on national tv? Reset the chess board. Play well and lose a close one or fool around and win ? They bring TB back.

  21. Daniel Hammond Says:

    I think bowls deserves another year not so sure about Mayfield unless he wants to deal on the cheap Because Mike Evans And Antonio Winfield Jr Has to be signed And if Levante David wants to play another year We have to sign him We can find another quarterback We won’t find another Winfield Evans or Levante David

  22. UKBuccaneer Says:

    I spent too many years watching this team ‘earn’ top 10 picks to ever dream of going back there. It’s no fun thinking about the draft in September.

    So yeah, I’ll take a playoff game every year and be grateful for it. These are (to a bucs fan) precious years.

  23. Since76 Says:

    Uk didn’t know we are in the playoffs already.

  24. Lt. Dan Says:

    I would be in favor of keeping Bowles as the HC provided that he hire a competent DC. Say…the son of Buddy. Rex Ryan anyone?

  25. Pewter power Says:

    If he is retained fine but it better not be official yet. If we get waxed in the playoffs well that’swhere coding matters because it’s where we want to be

  26. Front Four Says:

    Bowles & Co. should be back in 2024. What Licht was confirming for all that would listen is what a difficult position this would be for any coach – dealing with the shell of Brady last season, accompanied by the media hype that he had Tom Brady – where’s your Super Bowl Todd? And all that wasted money on over the hill players that Tom demanded. No money to add players and the cupboard was bare. Now look at all the rookie and second year players starting, getting significant playing time AND contributing.

    Then the ridiculous claims that we have all this talent and for Bowles to keep his job he needs to win 8 or 9 games. Such garbage. They’re all first and second year guys!!! They don’t magically show up after the combine and trot off to the Pro Bowl. And then Baker. Give him props for a gritty performance so far, but he could just as easily have been a train wreck. Throw in a rookie OC that’s finally coming into his own and would run through a brick wall for his HC.

    This doesn’t happen without Bowles. Was given a crap, no-win job last season, a rebuild roster this season and he’s making it work. Give the man his due.

  27. Boss Says:

    No one mentions how cake the schedule is this year. Sheez.

    I can’t think of one tough team even being played…the whole year it’s like….they better not lose to these clowns.

    And you have a supposed HOF #1 wr playing for a contract and QB playing for his life. This roster is stacked imo.

    They did have a great draft and a lot of rookies are playing very well. Light or Bowles on that one.

    The Bucs fan deserve toilet bowl if they can’t handle the truth.

  28. Beeej Says:

    For years and YEARS, we never even sniffed the playoffs, NOW people are b!tching about us but being able to go FAR into the playoffs… We win today and there’s no justification to fire Bowles

  29. BrianBucs Says:

    The thing that has saved Bowles this year is the NFC South being so crappy.
    Every team in the NFL has lots of rookies on it who contribute.
    If another team in this division had run away with it or was leading the Bucs by a couple of games or more then the Glazers and Licht would already have been lining up interviews with other HC candidates.
    Bowles will probably be retained and this time next year most of Bucs Nation will be calling for his firing just like most of this season.I wish the Bucs would become a dominant force in the NFC but with Bowles as HC I just don’t see that happening.
    I hope he proves me wrong.

  30. Bosch Says:

    Yes it has become more likely Bowles will be retained for 2024. But at least bring in a new DC

  31. Dana Says:

    Why not trade away our first and second round picks. We should be able to get the Guard, Corner, and ILB we need to contribute next year.
    We can trade away Dean, Devin White, JTS, and Hall. This will favorable impact our salary cap, bring more speed to the defense, make us younger, hungrier and most of all fix the lockerroom.
    On the offensive side of the ball we need to trade away Edmonds, Vaughn should have been traded two years ago, bring Tucker off the bench and Laird off the practice team. Additionally, Gage and David Moore needs to be traded to bring back the Warner kid with the great routes, football IQ and brilliant hands.
    This current team is one pro bowl edge rusher away from making a Super Bowl run. Only the Rams is better built. I have been a fan since Bucs day 1. I remember how we built the team before by drafting in later rounds. Our current edge rushers in round one was a wasted pick. Hall is a joke. So, trade down and that is where we do our best drafting. Plus how many 3rd, 4rd, 5th, or 6th round picks we could get for our numbers 1 or 2 pick.

  32. teacherman777 Says:

    We are building a dynasty.

    Baker is 30. If Trent Dilfer can win a Super Bowl with the Ravens,

    Baker Mayfield and a legendary and deep roster can win us multiple Super Bowls.

    With Bowles, we have already won a Super Bowl.

    I am so proud of Licht, Bowles, David and Evans.

    We have built a culture in Tampa Bay that I am proud of.

    I look around the NFL, and I see many toxic teams.

    I see many heartless owners and GMs.

    We are building something different and special in Tampa Bay.

    And I am proud to call myself a loyal and positive fan.

    Go Bucs!

  33. SlyPirate Says:

    Bowles is a HORRIBLE game day coach. His end-of-game decisions lost the Bucs 2 games. Bowles defense is OLD and not difficult to game plan around.

    But …

    Bowles won the division with a $75M handicap. He’s earned another year.

  34. JD12 Says:

    I would personally wait and see how the entire season plays out before making a decision on Bowles. The team has been way too inconsistent all year on both sides of the ball. They really don’t have a marquee win (no I am not counting the broken Jags win last week). Would love for them to bring in a Ben Johnson or Bieniemy but doubt they get either and probably bring back this clown at the end of the day.

  35. orlbucfan Says:

    Bowles and Canales will be back. And it sure would be nice to knock off the toilet Bowl jokes.This Bucs team is already better than the one Washington smoked at RJS in the first round of the playoffs years ago. It’s not SB ready….yet.

  36. Alanbucsfan Says:

    What decent NFL coach would want to coach the Bucs knowing that they fired the Head Coach that took them to playoffs 2 years in a row? … some Bucs fans are delusional.

  37. infomeplease Says:

    If TB can finish strong and start making more consistently better game day decisions. I would be happy to have him back.
    He was taunted by the media and fans until he replaced JTS with YD. Why didn’t he see what most everyone else did. Same goes with RN and DW. When a player isn’t playing, he needs to be replaced with one that will! Then there’s his clock management skills or lack there of.

  38. Costa Rica John Says:

    I wasn’t a believer when we had that long losing streak in the middle of the season but the Bucs have really turned it around with a lot of young players.
    I have to give all the Bucs coaches credit for staying the course and getting all the players on the same page.
    I think Todd might just save his job and get another year with the Bucs.
    Let’s win out and see what happens. The Glazers write the checks and will do what’s best for the team. Go Bucs!

  39. Tucker Says:

    I was out on Todd, it was more than they were losing it was how they were losing. The bucs look like a different team since the Greenbay game so I’m good for him and baker to come back I think they can compete a couple pieces away from being really good.

  40. Weebs10 Says:

    Todd deserves a ton of credit for the turnaround. Defense give up lots of yards but they’ve gotten back to not giving up tons of points…which is the most important defensive stat. Baker and Mike have elite chemistry and Dave is coming along. 4 years 100 mill for baker and we can keep building around him. Sounds better to me than gambling on another rookie qb. Build an elite team around a top 15 qb that protects the ball and that’s a good recipe for success. Love that we are peaking at the right time. Let’s win 3 divisions in a row! These are rare in Buc history!!

  41. DungyDance Says:

    I also had given up on him. Sort of still feeling tentative about him, but he’s indicated an ability to improvise and adapt. Those two things are huge for me. Keep doing a better job. Finish this season out the way we all know we can, and then I’ll be sold.

  42. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Orlbucfan I remember that Washington playoff game, Cris Sims almost had a comeback win in that game we just ran out of time. Our defense held Washington to under 200 yards of offense.

  43. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    The coaching staff has done a great job developing the rookies. And it’s impressive how Canales has tweaked the offense to get to this point. I agree with Joe, I think Licht would be fine running it back next year with most of this group

  44. Jack Clark Says:

    Todd Bowles did a good job changing his outdated strategy and allowing our players to do what they do best. He needs to develop a defensive coordinator or hire a dedicated one so Bowles can focus on becoming better at managing our games as a head coach.

  45. Boss Says:

    Bucs looking like the Bucs today…….yeah, lock up tb for 5 more years

  46. Darin Says:

    Bowles can’t finish a sentence c’mon

  47. unbelievable Says:

    No. No. No.


  48. Jeff Says:

    Clueless Todd strikes again! Bringing him back is the same as keeping Lovie Smith. Clown stupid stuff.

  49. Pruritus Ani Says:

    Opinion hasn’t changed since they named him HC….Loves mediocrity…hates winning.

  50. Hopalong Bucco Says:

    Well, case closed all you optimists. The entire coaching staff should be on the 4:00PM train to Yuma. The OL is a disgrace, yet we keep running the same plays for meager gains at best. Baker can’t hit a bull in the ass with a bag of rice. Special teams mediocre. The Guru’s blitzing bums couldn’t stop a clock.
    Today’s lack of anything resembling a professional performance was an absolute disgrace. Enough is enough.

  51. Hopalong Bucco Says:

    Why can’t NPR Buc post his wisdom to Joe on line? Phone calls, written pleas for a forum have gone unanswered. Just like what we watched for 3/4 of today’s debacle.