Jason Licht built a Super Bowl-winning Buccaneers roster, doing so after luring Tom Brady to Tampa and completing an all-in effort that kept the Bucs as an elite team in 2021 as well. The 10th-year GM did not oversee a playoff team until Brady’s arrival, and the team regressed after the all-time great unretired last year. But the Bucs are back atop the NFC South, in another bad year for the division, with Baker Mayfield at the helm. This status aside, the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora notes Licht and second-year HC Todd Bowles may be on the hot seat. Pointing to ownership’s interest in starting over to begin a rebuild, La Canfora indicates each of the Bucs’ top two decision-makers could be in trouble.
In his sixth season as a head coach, Bowles is overseeing a No. 13-ranked defense (DVOA places the unit 17th). The former Jets HC has taken heat for his clock management, and the Bucs have certainly dipped as a whole compared to the two Brady-Bruce Arians years. Bowles one-and-done rumors emerged late last season, and the Bucs dropped from 3-1 to 4-7 this year. With a clear chance to either qualify for the playoffs as the NFC South champ or as a wild card, the Bucs do not profile as a clear-cut candidate to dismantle their setup. But this does look to be a consideration.
Here is the latest from the coaching and front office ranks:
- Weathering a storm of his own making last week, Sean McDermott has the Bills at 7-6. While that is a disappointing record given the team’s plus-104 point differential, Buffalo looms as a dangerous team in the AFC wild-card race. Prior to the report about McDermott using the 9/11 hijackers as an example of teamwork back in 2019, the seventh-year HC was viewed as close to a lock to return in 2024. The Bills HC, however, may not be completely in the clear, ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano writes. The Bills still have matchups against the Cowboys and Dolphins. While McDermott has led a recovery effort that has featured five playoff appearances in six years, not advancing to this year’s bracket — in a conference littered with backup QBs — would be a major disappointment. Would that fate be enough for the Bills to cut bait?
- On the subject of the Bills’ staff, the team hired another assistant following Ken Dorsey‘s firing. Former Buffalo University OC DJ Mangas is now on McDermott’s staff as an offensive assistant, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones tweets. Mangas also was on the 2019 LSU staff alongside current Bills OC Joe Brady. Mangas, 34, spent this season as the MAC program’s OC; he was LSU’s pass-game coordinator in 2021. The Bills added Mangas to their staff during their Week 13 bye, ESPN.com’s Alaina Getzenberg tweets. This is Mangas’ first NFL gig.
- Syracuse firing longtime HC Dino Babers will have ramifications for the Patriots. The ACC program will poach Ross Douglas from New England, per ESPN.com’s Pete Thamel, who notes the three-year Pats assistant will work as the wide receivers coach under new Orange coach Fran Brown. Douglas, 29, climbed to the role of Patriots wideouts coach this year. While the Patriots are expected to move on from their legendary HC after the season, it is not known if Jerod Mayo would replace Bill Belichick and retain a number of assistants. An outside staffer coming in would point to the Pats’ staff being mostly sacked.