So Now What?

January 25th, 2024

Lions QB coach Mark Brunell.

Let’s face it, this time last year Bucs coach Todd Bowles got lucky.

Since Bowles hired long-time Seattle assistant Dave Canales as his Bucs offensive coordinator, Bowles confessed that Canales wasn’t even on his radar. People in the NFL (and Father Dungy) tipped off Bowles about Canales.

Canales came in, sang sweet music to Bowles (“We must run even though we are built to pass.”) and voila, Canales came to town.

Can Bowles get lucky again? Normally, Joe would say what Bowles has said, guys currently on staff, can step in for Canales. That assumes Canales doesn’t raid the Bucs for his coaching staff.

(As we found out late in the loss to the Lions on Sunday, Bowles’ assumptions are flawed.)

Generally, up-and-coming offensive coordinators are quarterback coaches (as Canales was prior to coming to the Bucs). So why not go after quarterback coaches where quarterbacks succeeded?

Joe is just going to spitball here from outside the Bucs’ organization:

Tee Martin, Crows

His only employer in the NFL as a coach has been Baltimore. He was a quarterback with the Steelers when Bill Cowher coached there. Given how he has also worked with Todd Monken, Martin hopefully learned the joys of passing though he was reared in a run-first organization. That’s the kind of guy Bowles craves: run-first while giving lip service to scoring points and passing.

Jerrod Johnson, Texans

He’s only been an NFL assistant for two seasons. In 2022, he was an assistant quarterbacks coach in Minnesota working primarily with Kirk Cousins but also on a staff that used Dalvin Cook. And yes, Johnson worked for Bobby Slowik and DeMeco Ryans in Houston so hopefully that rubbed off.

Mark Brunell, Lions

Look what Brunell has done with Jared Goff who the Rams gave up on. And we all know Lions coach Dan Campbell is an old-school, physical, run-the-ball guy. Also, Brunell worked for coveted offensive coordinator Ben Johnson.

Those are just a few names. There are likely more. But if the Bucs want a good candidate, today is the time to start interviewing, not when these guys have already left for greener pastures.

Given Bowles’ history as a head coach with offensive coordinators, Joe isn’t overly optimistic the Bucs are going to get a second young stud in a row. Hopeful, but leery.

56 Responses to “So Now What?”

  1. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Maybe Bowles will be HC, DC, and OC.

  2. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Mark Brunell wept on live TV over deflate gate….ill pass

  3. RC Says:

    With so many vacancies, it’s going to be a real fight to get the guy you want. Some could become head coaches, some could be offered more money to go elsewhere. Established relationships matter. Licht and Bucs better have that check book ready.

  4. SlyPirate Says:

    Canales wasn’t a great OC
    Bucs: 20th ranked offense in Points/Gm

    For the first half of the season the Bucs had the 28th ranked offense.
    The Bucs ended the season with the 31st ranked rushing attack.

    Bucs scored 9 points in a must win vs Carolina (worst team in the NFL)

    Canales is a charismatic guy. We didn’t lose an offensive genius. We lost a spokesperson. Not worried.

  5. DungyDance Says:

    Until Mayfield and Evans contracts are settled, it’s going to be hard to sell the o.c. vacancy as an opportunity for someone.

  6. HC Grover Says:

    Sum Ting Wong….Canales could not wait to escape Bowles nor could Brady. Maybe others want to escape him as well?

  7. rickym Says:

    If the Bucs promote Thad Lewis can they reject the Raiders interview request? I noticed this season whenever Baker went to the bench it was Lewis talking to him and not Canales. I also agree that the time to hire a new OC is right now!

  8. Jerseybuc Says:


  9. Richard Dickson Says:

    Thing is the Bucs likely would have improved in a second season in the same offense. Still think it’s too early for Canales but you don’t say no to one of only 32 jobs of its kind.

  10. SB~LV Says:

    TPA is a frequent flyer stop for NFL coaches

  11. Superd950 Says:

    Bowles better change up some plays, Canales knows the old ones.

  12. BakerFan Says:

    SlyPirate Says:
    January 25th, 2024 at 1:10 pm
    Canales wasn’t a great OC
    Bucs: 20th ranked offense in Points/Gm

    I am with you, even up in Detroit I scratched my head on some play calls, His calls all season put the offense in 3 and 8 and the qb / receivers in a pass only option.

  13. BucsFan81 Says:

    Jerrod Johnson looks like he might be interesting. I don’t know but who ever they get hopefully we can go back to passing more cause the run first approach didn’t work all that well. Most of the season we sucked at running the football. I want a more aggressive offense like we had with Arians.

  14. RiggedNFL Says:

    Can’t wait to see the Panthers with a 31st ranked rushing attack.

    Of course, we’ll be behind them at 32nd.

    But at least we’ll have company.

    So there’s that.

  15. Tyler904 Says:

    Fire Bowles and bring in Monken

  16. Jack Clark Says:

    Eric Bieniemy for OC!

  17. Joseph C Simmons Says:

    I think the first thing you try to get is continuity. An OC that uses the same system Canales does. Someone from the Seattle coaching tree, perhaps. A big selling point in keeping Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans would be not having to learn a whole new offense.

  18. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Why not Thad Lewis, keep the terminology.

  19. alaskabuc Says:

    Make Thad Lewis OC today and hope that is enough continuity to retain Baker and ME13. Thad’s a Duke grad and has been around to get the best of BA and Canales’ offenses. Gamble on Thad!

  20. BucU Says:

    Canales will rue the day he took that job. I thought he was smarter than that.

  21. Marine Buc Says:

    Arthur Smith or Frank Reich sound like decent candidates…

  22. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist and Founder of Says:

    Bring back BA as OC or even HC/OC and we’re set.

  23. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Alaska

    Thad Lewis is interviewing with the Raiders for their OC job… Bucs better get with it quick or else we will lose the little game of musical chairs.

  24. Daniel Z Says:

    I don’t think Bienemy moves unless it’s a HC job, which if be okay with.
    Same for Monken.

  25. Bojim Says:

    Not confident Bowles can find the right guy.

  26. Bobby Says:

    Pete Carmichael

  27. PbnJ Says:

    Bowles is a nice guy. Bowles is a loser. Fire Bowles. Let new coach change the franchise’s course.

  28. gotbbucs Says:

    Zac Robinson

  29. Rod Munch Says:

    You just want a guy who runs this same system, assuming you don’t already have that person on the staff.

    It’s really not a big deal – Canales did a good job, but it’s not like he was anything special, he just ran a scheme that worked. There’s plenty of those people out there that have ran this system.

  30. covertwo22 Says:

    Hopefully it’s Lewis, the QB coach. He already has a relationship with Baker, and the offense will stay the same.

    I agree with other comments, it isn’t like this offense was amazing. 6 weeks ago, most people on this site wanted Canales and Bowels fired.

  31. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Don’t hire a white guy we will not get any comp picks if he go to another team.

  32. Dave Pear Says:

    Tyler904 spot on.

  33. Ko Kiefer Says:

    Fire Bowles. Hire one of the top tier offensive coordinators.

  34. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Rustle the branches of the McVay or Shanahan coaching tree

  35. unbelievable Says:

    This sucks

  36. TF Says:

    This moves seals Bowles fate. I agree we can him and hire Monken, Brian Johnson or Bobby Slowik. Better yet sleeper candidate that may not even be available, Matt Campbell from Iowa State.

  37. gp Says:

    A true rarity for an OC under Bowles to move up!
    Usually, they take the blame and get fired.
    Actually, all of them have.

  38. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    Bring in Brian Greise from the 49ers. If he has learned from the Shanahan school of run game. It would give Bowles a running game and highlight Rashad white’s strengths. Nobody gets more out of the running back position than Shanahan, and before him was Kubiac, and before him was old man Shanahan. It’s a proven system.

  39. Reedo Says:

    SlyPirate👍 Tyler904👍
    Most of the year, this team didn’t pass the eyeball test. We’ve been hitting the playoff crack pipe but now it’s over. If the success of this season and the future will be destroyed by Canales’ leaving I’m going to say we weren’t that good anyway. We heard the narrative of Canales saving Baker’s career but how true is that? Bigger question that needs to be asked is whether Bowles is the right coach for the future. Was he tapping the brakes when we looked so lousy? Does his clock management magically improve next year? I’m guessing the Glazers will keep Bowles and see if he regresses next year. If they get close to the top ten picks in the 2025 draft they’ll clean house – with the exception of Licht.

  40. Davenport Says:

    Enough of the patchwork staff and faith in Bowles. He cannot do the job.

    There are some excellent young offensive coaches available that would be a much better answer to this mess.

  41. Marky Mark Says:

    Nobody knows nuthin

  42. Cmccomeau Says:

    I think Canalas was good but he’s replaceable. I’m gonna say the vets and rookies learning the offense led to the late season surge. Bring the guys back and we should be able to find some consistency and be a dark horse again. That’s all we were gonna be next year with canalas anyways, a dark horse with a shot if we stay healthy. Add to the de position and this team will be fine. Jason licht we trust

  43. stpetebucfan Says:


    Wow just like the clock strikes 12 twice a day, I end up agreeing with…perhaps even more than twice a day but certainly not all the time. LOL

    I think you nailed it on this one…

    “It’s really not a big deal – Canales did a good job, but it’s not like he was anything special, he just ran a scheme that worked. There’s plenty of those people out there that have ran this system.”

    Canales did not take one of those VIOLENT hits Baker had the cojones (stupidity for some here and I get that) to give up his body, his ALL for the team.

  44. Wild Bill Says:

    The Bucs did not really open their offense until the last third of the season. Even so they had some ugly loses and struggled to score points. By going to the Panthers Canales may have jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Yes he will escape the stifling situation under Bowles, but he is joining the worst team in the NFL. I wish him well but I believe he made this move partly to escape from Bowles and also because, on paper, it is a huge career move for him. But talk about jumping from the frying into the fire! Taking on a one win team as a rookie head coach???? This job may age him really fast, haha.

  45. Dadgumit Says:

    Fire Todd. Hire Canales as HC. Canales hires new DC. Done.

  46. stpetebucfan Says:

    Canalas has been hired for ONE reason…Tepper needs to justify his moronic interference and his EGO for taking Young. Canalas is supposed to save Young’s career justifying Tepper’s interference.

    IF Canales does that he can write his own check.

  47. Frank Pillow Says:

    Replace Bowles. He’s a year to year coach. A Band Aid. The draw was keeping Canales around and getting more out of year two. That’s gone now. Just make the hard and unpopular move. Too many better HC options out there to stand pat. Capt Keep Time Outs is expendable.

  48. Bucs Guy Says:

    Frank Reich
    Brian Greise
    Ken Dorsey – OC fired by Bills as a scapegoat
    Kellen Moore – Missed out on him again as he was hired back by Dallas today

  49. Bucs Guy Says:

    No way Arthur Smith. Couldn’t develop Ritter, so what makes you believe he could develop another young QB if Baker doesn’t come back?

  50. Bucs Guy Says:

    Bucs should make a new team rule for coaches – won’t let you interview with another team if you haven’t been there at least q years.

  51. Bucs Guy Says:

    Does any team want to interview Special Teams coach Keith Armstrong? Please.

  52. Obvious Says:


    Umm, I think you missed something… Kinda hard to miss but I suppose there’s going to be one in every crowd.
    Pick yourself up a clue on your way out. Maybe a nice, long sleep will help you catch up with everyone else. Well, in your case it couldn’t hurt.

  53. stpetebucfan Says:

    Final thought to p!ss off some of the haters here.

    I get that Todd Bowles is not going win any popularity contests on JBF.

    I do not like “defensive” coaches because I’m an “Air” Coryell” kind of guy.
    But there is more than one way to win. It’s clear it was the D that won the first SB. That team was constructed around the D.

    Again if we’re honest it was the D that won the second SB as well holding Mahomes in check. No disrespect to Brady, he certainly led a better offense than the first Buc SB team but it was the D that cemented the deal.

    Here is what made me accept Bowles defensive mind set…the RECORD. A 3rd straight title…an improved team compared to last year, but with the eyeball test and the record.

    But HERE is what has me off of Bowles back and earned my respect.

    Just look at the first round playoff game. The Eagles had simply QUIT long before that game. When the going got tough the Eagles folded character wise like a team full of AB’s or OBJ’s. They had ZERO heart.

    Contrast the Bucs…despite the mid season slump, with everybody calling for Bowles scalp, this team DID NOT QUIT. THEY HAD HEART!!! Teams tend to mirror the personality of their coach. Bowles has the courage of his convictions and the players obviously continued to sell out for him even during the darkest hours.

    It’s the PLAYERS and the heart they exhibited that brought me around to accepting Bowles as a good HC.

  54. GhostofBrady Says:

    Gonna be a glass half full type of person today.

    1) Who has the best coach in the NFC South right now? I’d rather have Bowles than Morris (we already fired him), Canales (no one can save the panthers) and Allen.

    2) Who has the best QB in the NFC South? Mayfield by a mile – pay the man. I know some of yall think Derek Carr but that dude has not one a single playoff game in a 10 year career. Baker got 2 playoff wins in 6 seasons. And a rookie TD record.

    3) How many passing game coordinators and QB coaches in the league are there that run the McVay offense… about a dozen. Give Thad Lewis or one of those a chance. Baker, Evans and Godwin will make any of them look decent.

    @JoeBuc – love the site. Thank you for setting these forums for Buc fan discussion. But Martin and Brunell are the ones you list as outside organisation candidates? Zero fit in keeping the current offense or even the Air Arian Raid offense. And both either have a fullback or running back for QB. i thought you would have listed a bunch of QB and passing game coordinators under the Shanahan or McVay tree.

  55. Gipper Says:

    Have never seen anyone go from dud to stud faster than Canales. That guy along with Mayfield and Bowles was consistently ripped on these pages by the usual suspects. Will be interesting to hear from the same crew when Mayfield departs. “Golly, Baker was great and Mike Evans really liked him.” Canales “rescued Baker” is the new nonsense. The only rescuing Baker needed was to escape from the 2 most dysfunctional and dishonest franchises in the NFL. To be sentenced to play for Cleveland and Carolina was cruel an unusual punishment.

  56. TBfan Says:

    Belichick was all about trying to sign Mayfield if he got the Atlanta job. Goodbye Bowles