With yet another loss, this time in a game where the fourth-quarter lead changed hands many times, the Buccaneers’ future looks bleak. So here is a look at contributing factors and what lies ahead.
The season started off with an huge issue to work around. In order to build a Super Bowl contender the Buccaneers kicked the cap situation down the road. This season represents the biggest cost of that action. We are all tracking Tom Brady’s $35 million in dead money but Leonard Fournette, Akiem Hicks, Julio Jones, and a few others are also eating up large sums of money.
This left the Buccaneers with little ability to strengthen their team. Though they did well by signing Baker Mayfield this team needed more. Especially on the offensive line.
Next season we will still be feeling the effects. There are multiple players who will command a large sum of money that need to be brought back. So don’t expect the much to change next season either.
Though Jason Licht has a god reputation as a draft savvy individual, the past three seasons have been less than good. They certainly didn’t continue to bolster the team for Brady’s final years or for the future.
Though Joe Tryon-Shoyinka is starting to come around in is his third season but hasn’t fully blossomed. Behind him draftee Logan Hall is also being slow to develop. Hopefully Calijah Kancey doesn’t follow suit. Couple that with a second round pick of Kyle Trask, whom they don’t trust to run the offense, drafting has become an interesting issue.
Imagine if the Jason Licht has drafted to bolster the offensive line where this team might be now.
I’ve been tough on a defense that has been doing well. That is until Todd Bowles has to call plays on third downs. It’s become clear he does not have a competent view of what is required on third and long. This team continues to allow drives to continue even when forcing team to third and long situations.
This week they did better, that is until the second half when Bowles was out coached again. It was also prominent when it came down to holding a team with only 49 seconds out of the endzone. Bowles weak secondary gaming is atrocious.
Dave Canalas has now had ample time to build something close to what was had in Seattle last season. Statistically this weeks game may of been it’s best yet and the closest he’s been. Until this game he struggled finding a run game, Baker has had issues connecting, and this unit is one of the most penalized offenses in the league. These are all coaching issues.
At this point the Todd Bowles is on the hot seat. His direction, both last season and this, is trending downward. Fans are already calling for him to be fired after this loss. Frankly he should be feeling some pressure. Even though I agree to an extent I will say this; he’s not getting fired in season. He’s also going to be back next season because the front office and ownership knows they sold the future for their Championship and he’ll have some grace.
In my opinion Jason Licht should also be feeling some pressure. I don’t agree with the draft game plan over the past few years, especially in the first round. Also, even with a Super Bowl win, I do not like the amount of money we have pushed through the last yew years.
Ownership knows this season is one where winning or losing is irrelevant. They sold the future for a Super Bowl and are willing to eat a year of cap issues that contribute to a fall from grace. The are willing to lose and rest.
The problem is it’s not just this season. We will be feeling the pain next year too.