Todd Bowles’ Horrid Jets Defenses

March 24th, 2019

Yes, Joe has heard from many smart football people that Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is a defensive wizard, a brilliant defensive coordinator who can adapt.

Well, then what the heck happened to his Jets defenses?

For those unaware, Bowles was Jets head coach the past four seasons. He had one winning season, a year in which he got a miracle wire-to-almost-wire campaign from Ryan Fitzpatrick, the last legendary season from Darrelle Revis, plus monster years from Sheldon Richardson and former longtime Jets linebacker David “Hitman” Harris.

It is was all downhill from there for the Bowles/Jets defense, culminating in the team allowing more than 30 points per game over the last 10 games of 2018.

The Jets had an invisible pass rush in 2017, with their leading sacker at five for the season. Last year they improved in that area, but relentless blitzing (30 percent of snaps) led to too many big plays coughed up.

Most Bowles fans blame the general manager and personnel decisions, while most Jets fans were relieved when Bowles was fired, “Toilet Bowles” was a common wise crack.

Joe talked to Jets Pro Bowl safety Jamaal Adams about Bowles at the Pro Bowl. His words are ringing in Joe’s ears.

“Be ready to play man, man-to-man, zero, you better be ready to cover,” Adams barked about his fired head coach.

“Because he going to make you cover and he wants guys that can cover and that can blitz and do it all. He not the head coach now. So I can’t anything more. But on defense, just expect a guy that’s going to give it his all and a guy that you definitely want to play for.”

Do the Bucs have the guys that can cover, especially when compared to other secondary’s across the NFL? No chance.

Joe sure hopes Bowles displays his versatility this year in Tampa. If he goes all Coach My Scheme, it’s not going to be pretty.

66 Responses to “Todd Bowles’ Horrid Jets Defenses”

  1. AlteredEgo Says:

    Talent always trumps coaching….

  2. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Todd Bowles = Wade Phillips. Outstanding DC, Crappy Head Coach.

  3. Wright Says:

    I’d kill for sacks to stop being a point of emphasis on discussions on a teams performance. Sacks are not correlated well at all with wins. Just look at the two super bowl teams for instance….The Pats were 29th in sacks while the Rams were 20th in sacks. Guess who won the Superbowl?

    Sacks happen so infrequently relative to other parts of DL/DE play that impact the QB that, IMO, its a useless metric.

  4. Fire Goodell Says:

    The Jets defenses spent a lot of time on the field because the offense frequently turned over the ball.

  5. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Honestly the way the new passing rules have handcuffed NFL secondary’s, it’s fact that league wide is suffering more yards allowed. Besides maybe a handful of teams that have a quality backend, every team experienced an increase in yards against. Of course when you end up 31st, that’s a major concern for this season. Bowles may have to play more vanilla until he gets the DB’s he can trust.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We know that many coaches can be effective coordinators and lousy HCs…….it could be argued that Koetter is a good example of that…..I think Bowles is also.

  7. El Buco Realisto Says:

    @Fire Goodell

    Look up team turnovers the last 4 years!!!! its even worst for the Bucs!!!!!!!!!

    Can’t wait until about week 6, when the it will start to dawn on the sheep, that the biscuit is stale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When does that schedule come out??????

    2019 will reveal answers to the sheep, that the “real” fans already know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Kgh4life Says:

    If the Bucs front seven can somehow generate a consistent pass rush the entire defense will benefit tremendously, even if the Bucs have a young secondary.

  9. Lubby Smith Says:

    When someone calls Todd “Toilet” Bowles a defensive wizard they’re being sarcastic.

    He was fired because his defenses were awful.

    He was hired by the Bucs because of cronyism.

  10. Loyaltotheend Says:

    Yet, some fans think he will make a talentless D better…

    Arians downfall will be hiring his friends and not the best coaches available. He failed the fans before even coaching a game

  11. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    PROBLEM #1

    ….the bucs DON’T HAVE cover corners!!!!

    Why you think Mike Smith went to 2l10 yards off cover 2/3/zone!!!

    My goodness…..this isn’t rocket science


    This season will be over before it even begins unless the DTS and LBs can get pressure early while the CBs press and hybrid into zones.

    …….not looking good for the 2019 defense

  12. Buccaneerscotty Says:

    And our CB’s will do better not playing 15yrds off the line of scrimmage! You have no Idea what these players can do under a different scheme!!

  13. Not there yet Says:

    No bucs had stupid coaches which would explain drafting a guy VH3 who was good as a press corner then asking him to do the opposite of what he’s good at. Trying to convert corners to safety and safeties to corners. The coaches were truly pathetic. That also explains why they practiced man throughout ota’s mini camp and training camp only to rarely run it

  14. robertg Says:

    @TheBucsAnthem, Smith ran a Zone defense. CB’s played zone most of the time. Reason our CB’s sucked was because we had cover guys playing in a zone defense.

  15. tmaxcon Says:

    LOVIE SMITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY 2.0….. No one respects glazers or team. All these washed up has beens are not fools they understand the best retirement plan in sports is Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s a minor league, small town franchise that results don’t matter. the fans are ignorant to the point they call 2 playoff wins in six years glory years…. These coaches know they get the retirement paid for without any pressure of winning or success. fan base is so small and uneducated there is no fallout or consequences for sucking. plus if you fail in tampa it does not hurt future prospects because no one in the leagues takes bucs serious. I actually have a tremendous amount of respect for the joes but going to combine and other league events must be very difficult knowig they cover a laughingstock with no hope. i am sure their peers are supportive.

  16. Buc$AllDay Says:

    Give the new dudes a chance. The Bucs have been aweful for years and years and years….A little bit of optimism, anyone? If the wheels fall off by week 6, it’ll just be another…”wait til next year!” season. Go Bucs!

  17. tmaxcon Says:

    robertg Says:
    March 24th, 2019 at 9:55 am

    @TheBucsAnthem, Smith ran a Zone defense. CB’s played zone most of the time. Reason our CB’s sucked was because we had cover guys playing in a zone defense.

    No sir the corners sucked because they suck…. vh3bust is short, slow and stupid that can not be fixed the other two young guys have zero hope of development given the fact they play in Tampa which has never developed players. sapp was generational and carried those backups you call legends.

    bucs have zero talent at CB and maybe 2 players in that room who should even be in the nfl.

  18. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I echo “NotThereYet” and charge premature conclusion.

    I base this on a few facts that anybody can feel free to debate.

    1.) Our DB’s are very young. They are still learning and now they’ll actually have someone to teach them. Wow what a concept

    2.) Playing that far off a WR instead of pressing gives the incredibly talented NFL receivers that much more room to make moves on ANY defender. Either play zone or press but don’t play man to man and give an NFL receiver plenty of space to juke and cut.

    3.) Last and certainly not least NO pass rush! That improved a bit last year with the addition of JPP and the emergence of Nassib. Bowles will have a first round draft pick to work with…either a DE or an LB who is lightning fast and can blitz.
    Point is that there should be pressure on the QB…sacks perhaps but MOST importantly pressure…disrupting timing and moving the QB off his spot. This will certainly improve our defensive backfield as well.

  19. Figures Says:


  20. Tackleblockwin Says:

    In all fairness Bowles has to figure out what he has first in the secondary. The film will help some, but I’m sure he wants these guys in front of him in the meetings and practice field before making rash decisions. Is Vernon Hargreaves capable? How smart are these young CBS we drafted last year? He has a lot on his plate and he will figure it out. Unfortunately the mess on D can’t be overhauled in one offseason. They obviously saw enough missed tackles from Kwon on film to let him walk. It’s possible we draft all defense this year.

  21. phattitudes Says:

    Some can only see what is right in front to their face. The scheme you play makes a huge difference on how effectively a unit performs. The scheme is going to change. More than any other position, the performance of Corners is dependent on the performance of the rest of the defense. You fix the pass rush and you have gone a long way towards fixing perceived weakness in the Corners.

  22. Destinjohnny Says:

    It’s a players leauge boys
    Hard to win without talent
    There is no cap on what u can spend for scouting
    So we have one scout for the entire southeast……

  23. OneBuc55 Says:

    No matter what, this new coaching staff as a whole is leaps and bounds better than the previous staff…

    Bowles said it himself that he was elated to be able to focus on just the defense again…I expect our offense to be very much improved from a balance and consistency standpoint, which in turn should make life alot more easier for our defense…I think Bowles will do just fine here in Tampa…

  24. Owlykat Says:

    We have the right guys for a cover defense like Bowles runs. Just as a defensive Guru doesn’t equate to a Head Coach and vice versa Ex: Koetter and Smith, this article really just explains why BA will prepare someone other than Bowles to replace him when he retires. If Bowles produces a Defense here like he ran at Phoenix he could be here producing top ten defenses for many years as used to be our tradition. With BA in charge of the Offense we are in good hands.

  25. BucNole Says:

    I like coming to your site Joe always good info on my favorite team.
    HOWEVER – can you please do something that makes this site update the current stories in Safari???
    My Mac is stuck on that Fitz story from 3/20 – then I have to scroll thru the stories to get to the latest content – not all that fun

    Not sure what changed but I don’t have similar issues with other blogs and forums

  26. scbucsfan Says:

    BucNole me too. On a bright note I missed 100s of downer posts.

  27. Darin Says:

    Not exactly comparable since he was the HC. I hear ya tho. Last years jets d wasnt great. And only 30 percent? Hmmmm lets get it to 50 here. They all have to cover. Comes down to how long they must cover.

  28. tmaxcon Says:

    OneBuc55 Says:
    March 24th, 2019 at 10:36 am

    No matter what, this new coaching staff as a whole is leaps and bounds better than the previous staff…

    Don’t you get tired of saying that every year and every regime change for nearly two decades. Every off season same delusional BS “the new staff are saviors and they old staff sucked”, yet through 5 regimen changes and countless coordinator changes the bucs have one meaningful win in 16 years.

    Please enlighten me to why this is year given the fact the glazers results and hisotry is not on your side…. Is there some cool aid I can get or maybe you have hybrid strain of killer that you use to offset actual results produced.

  29. tmaxcon Says:

    Figures Says:
    March 24th, 2019 at 10:15 am


    sir that is optimism I can respect…

  30. Kobe Faker Says:

    “KC led the NFL In sacks but was the worst defense last year

    Denver has Von miller and chubb but the defense suck…

    But the Buc sheep screams all we need is pass rushers…lol

    Kobe just came back from day 2 of the Tampa bay Bucaneers cheerleading tryout. I have the ultimate wedgie from hell and i have had enough nonesense from the Bucsheep real fans”

    Kobe Faker

  31. Jamaal Stanley Says:

    What Scotty and St.Pete said. Those stooges took kids who were adept at press man in school (First words out VH3’s)and made them zone corners, what a novel idea. Carlton Davis can play when utilized properly. His combine and measurables look just like Richard Sherman’s. I honestly feel like no attention has went to cb in free agency because he and VH3 will be the day one starters. They ain’t babies in the league,let they’re hands go and let’em run wit some people. They had 1st and 2nd grades coming out for a reason.

  32. BucNole Says:

    Cleared my search history and now its fixed. . . not sure why I didn’t think of that before. DUH

  33. Jamaal Stanley Says:

    Kobe they hear you but the message ain’t taking hold for whatever reason. I’ve said sack fumbles are far more valuable for three years now. They don’t seem to understand why.

  34. TheBucsAnthem Says:


    Everyone who knows anything about football/coaching knows any cover defense is a zone defense

    There’s also hybrid defensive schemes and any 3-4 defense will morph into whatever it needs to execute it’s coverage scheme.

    BUT THE PROBLEM with the 3-4 is that you have to have SMART and FAST LBs to execute along with the DBs

    ALL ARE DBs SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    VHGIII is a cmplete bust and only excels in press/nickle……he’s a situational DB

    MJ Stewart should play saftey and Calton Davis is too slow to play man and he’s just like VHGIII in many aspects and should only be used in the nickle

    WE DON’T HAVE ANY TRUE man corners…………

    Like I said before, if bowles doesn’t have the talent, this defense will not be successful.

  35. Jamaal Stanley Says:

    Also Kobe they croon over josh Allen,you know the one trick pony that lacks physicality in his game. I was asking for link of him against Clemson unaware they didnt play Clemson last season. My bad again bite me y’all know I don’t give a s@$) about looking extra right on here. What I did find was a link of him against Georgia. Pretty much shows what I’ve been saying. If doesn’t win with speed and linemen get they’re hands on him he has no heart for the fight. To his credit he did have two fumble recoveries in that game that were gifted to him because of bad snaps and him coming free untouched how he likes it.

  36. T REX Says:

    It was the coaches? Wow. Late October there will be a line at the skyway. Smh.

  37. Jamaal Stanley Says:

    “All I our DBs suck” so says the resident jbf position coach/scout. That after the fact that it is common knowledge by most sensible minded people on here none were used properly over the last two seasons. But feel free to hold on to that bro, looks like you thought long and hard to come up with that👍🏾.

  38. Jamaal Stanley Says:

    Then he says “WE DONT HAVE MAN CORNERS”.. Interesting,all one has to do is YouTube each of them when they were in school,there you can’t help but see man coverage.

  39. Jamaal Stanley Says:

    Oh and Joe that 30% blitz ratio to me seems kinda low. 3/4 schemes are all about blitzing those LBrs. That’s why BA says this is a “attacking” defense. Translation attack and get after QBs.

  40. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    Don’t mean to hijack the thread, but I just read the Bucs are in the mix to trade for Jets LB Darron Lee. Promising young player who has already been coached up by Bowles. Third rounder seems to be the asking price. Actually, you did mean to hijack the thread. Lee was a bust in New York and he was suspended last season four games for violating the drug policy. It’s more than scheme that has the Jets looking to unload this guy. Dude was benched for being late to practice, etc. Joe doubts the Bucs are serious players for a trade. If he gets cut, maybe. –Joe

  41. Jamaal Stanley Says:

    You recal when BA said “every now and then I’ll hit that lil button on my device and say send’em all Todd”. That’s what he means,all 4 backers. This team won’t resemble anything we’ve ever seen.

  42. Bigbucs1 Says:

    I am curious as to how VH3 will perform under a scheme that benefits his style of play- this is his money maker year.
    As to having Bowles as DC, he was great in AZ, which is why he was considered for multiple HC jobs before taking the Jets vacancy that had all his pieces, but then again only for a year, then ran out of pieces.
    I am optimistic but real in the fact we need better pieces on D, there will always be downers here that call themselves “REAL Fans” thinking they know more than everyone else, and whining because they didn’t get their “prime time” coach or player- my advice, get off madden and watch NFL

  43. BucEmUp 7 Says:

    Same thing that hapoened to koetter. Hes a beyter coordinator than a head coach. His first year was pretty decent and it fell apart from there.

    Also, the Jets spent very little money while bowles was coaching comparred to the bucs spending pretty big.

    Cant wait for the games to start so this can be put to be already!!!!

  44. BucEmUp 7 Says:

    Also what fire goodell said, it was always the problem when josh freeman was here

  45. Jamaal Stanley Says:

    I’m talking bout Georgia easily handled him.

  46. Kobe Faker Says:

    “For those dreaming of a good defense just stop

    There is no talent and playmakers on that side…

    since Gump has no grocery money, BA knows we have to outscore and dictate games with our offense

    BA only needs a RG and a 3 down duel threat RB and he will be the top scoring team in the NFL”

    Kobe Faker

  47. BuccoBoras Says:

    What if Licht is pure genius? I’m saying that with sarcasm, but I’m not a hater like a lot you guys. But what if he drafted press corners in anticipation of Keoters firing and being replaced by his buddy BA. In this scenario, Licht’s genius would’ve had him deducing that Todd Bowles would be fired and come coach with his buddy BA. Obviously I’m joking, but still, that would be pretty cool.😁

  48. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Jets had 30 turnovers with a rookie qb
    Jets ranked 19th in NFL in total defense – I’ll take that improvement over the garbage D last year

  49. #1bucfan Says:

    Tmaxipad we won a super bowl bro end of discussion nothing but trash comes out that toliet bowl you call a mouth.

  50. RODNEY J ALLEN Says:

    Tmax u realize us fans call it the glory years cuz from 1996 thru 2002 we had a winning record went to the playoffs ever year and had at minimum the top 5 defense (if not #1 defense) every one of those years. Our offense sucked when Gruden took over he won the superbowl cuz of his offensive mind n Dungys defense. If he didnt get rid of that defense after winning the superbowl we probably would of had another ring but credit to him for getting us over the hump. Btfw by definition the term glory years means the best years u have had in ur life! Incase you’ve been living under a rock those to date r the best years the bucs have EVER HAD hench tf term glory years and until we can do better they will always be termed the glory years so please stfu.

  51. RODNEY J ALLEN Says:

    97 not 96 well the end of 96 was the beginning

  52. RODNEY J ALLEN Says:

    Tmax u realize us fans call it the glory years cuz from 1997 thru 2002 we had a winning record went to the playoffs ever year and had at minimum the top 5 defense (if not #1 defense) every one of those years. Our offense sucked when Gruden took over he won the superbowl cuz of his offensive mind n Dungys defense. If he didnt get rid of that defense after winning the superbowl we probably would of had another ring but credit to him for getting us over the hump. Btw by definition the term glory years means the best years u have had in ur life! Incase you’ve been living under a rock those to date r the best years the bucs have EVER HAD hench the term glory years and until we can do better they will always be termed the glory years so please stfu.

  53. Jimmy Says:

    Gus Bradley was an awful HC, but look at what he’s done with the Chargers.

  54. MadMax Says:

    Well, if it really is talent that we’re lacking, then we better just trade completely out of the first for more picks. How many 2nd, 3rds, and 4ths could we collect? I bet we could trade back 4 times and lanfd 3 extra 2nds, and 4 extra 3rds and 4ths. If Q, Allen, and White are gone, then why not?

  55. tmaxcon Says:


    choking in the playoffs every year under dungy the clown and pretending versus contending is a pretty low standard sir….

  56. tmaxcon Says:

    let me give you a history lesson the bucs were a HORRIBLE team during your glory years. special teams and offense were almost as embarrassing as dungy’s game day management. they had a top 5 defense so what… rankings are meaningless when is the last time a team had a parade for a top ranking in anything…. winners win low standards losers hold onto a failed past… raise your standards stop calling mediocrity greatness and living in a failed past the future bright not scary… i will say this no one rewrites history and celebrates 2 playoff wins in 6 years like low standard bucfan.

  57. Defense Rules Says:

    BucNole & SCBucsFan … Had a similar thing happen last week (I use Mac’s also). Wouldn’t update for a couple of days (stuck on the same date it appeared). Someone else had the same issue.

    Finally figured out what was happening (I’m not as quick as I probably once was). Solution was to delete the JBF bookmark I had in Safari, go to the JBF site by typing it into the address bar, and then bookmark the site again. It’s worked flawlessly since I did that. Hope it works for you.

  58. GrayBalls Says:

    Some of y’all are funny when talking about the secondary. It’s as if you think press and off coverage are limited to either zone or man. We seemed to play a lot of cover 3 off. Meaning zone, primarily, while playing with a cushion. This was meant to keep plays in front of the corners and safeties. Davis is a Man Coverage corner, VH3 is a press corner, can play man and zone(better in man), better at the line. In fact all of our corners seem to be better suited for press, with MJ being the exception. MJ is strictly a man-coverage player. He is better when engaged in his assignment rather than patrolling a portion of the field and reacting to motion in the area. His lack of quickness and agility make him better suited for the safety position instead of corner. This combination is intriguing to me because most safeties appear to be better zone guys. If we run coverage concepts in a 4-back look that has press-man coverage on the outside and MJ playing an extra 5 steps back, you’ll see the strengths of these guys come through. It was the inept practices of Mike Smith deploying off-man AND off-zone that had everyone in the backend looking lost. These are my assessments and opinions, obviously, I understand I could be WAY off

  59. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Do the Bucs have the guys that can cover, especially when compared to other secondary’s across the NFL? No chance”.

    I’m definitely missing something Joe. Been under the impression that Smitty misused our ‘cover CBs’ by making them play zone 15 yards off (a bit of an exaggeration but we won’t go there). Our CBs are either (1) good at man-to-man coverage; or (2) good at zone coverage; or (3) they stink at both. Somehow I think that many JBFers would pick what’s behind Door # 3.

  60. Defense Rules Says:

    GrayBalls … Interesting analysis. Personally never considered ‘press’ to be a coverage, but I guess it could be (always thought of it as a technique to buy a second or two).

    Davis is definitely ‘man coverage’ IMO, but I still can’t see VHIII as a ‘press corner’ (not fast enough to recover off the line IMO).

  61. RODNEY J ALLEN Says:

    Tmax compared to the last two year we coulda been 8-8 every year and it’s still be glory days compared to the crap weve had recently. The only way to get over the past is to have a better now. Nobody said anything about settling but weve had 1 superbowl n this 5-11 with worst ranked defense sucks better to think about the “mediocre past” then to dwell on the present. Hopefully this year will be better. Personally I like the arains higher but we shall see

  62. D1 Says:


    You’re right on , press is a technique not a coverage.

    The last batch of corners drafted , as its been pointed out often, played in schemes that relied on man coverage. I see fans immediately jump from that observation to they’re not being properly utilized in Pros. It’s sounds good and it’s logical, but it’s missing a whole bunch of things that are directly in the middle of college….to pros. Those never mentioned and most likely not understood parts play a huge roll in how a coach plays those players in his scheme.

    The idea that the only direction this group of corners could go is up….is plain nonsense.
    I guarantee you, if they had that those guys in a man coverage scheme using press technique
    last year , you’d have witnessed an entirely new level of suck. Way below the already awful bar set.. I don’t see any room for debate on the idea but I think there’s plenty of dissenting opinions. Just not good ones.

    If you’re thinking I’m saying improvements won’t happen this year by switching the coverages…..then you’re thinking is incorrect. Last year is not this year ..the same dynamics do not exist.

  63. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    TheBucsAnthem Says:
    “….the bucs DON’T HAVE cover corners!!!!”

    Actually, that’s not true. We have an abundance of cover corners. Smith played Zone because that has been his preferred go-to his entire career. Really, he has always preferred more of an exaggerated zone, giving opponents too much space.

    MJ Stewart, for example, excels in cover…but Smith took him out of his element to make him play zone. VHIII has struggled constantly to fit into a zone scheme, but when giver the chance to play cover, has performed better. Davis, really, is the only on who can play both.

  64. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    So far as 3-4 succeeding in Tampa, I’ll believe it when I see it. There’s a reason Joe had to bring up Selmon. No coach since then has been able to successfully implement a 3-4 in Tampa. And it’s been tried.

    Doesn’t mean it’s impossible…just been so many failed attempts that I won’t believe it until I see it. In the semi-recent pass, it has been planned, but abandoned. Why?

    Because it will take years to fully implement and the Glazers and fans are not patient enough to give it the time needed. If we go to 3-4 this year, there is no way the defense will be good in year one. Better? Not hard. But good? Not likely.

    It’s possible the Glazers might give Arians the time he needs…but just as unlikely. It’s impossible for the fans to be patient enough. They will be well on their way to turning on Bowles by game 4.

  65. D1 Says:


    If it was 2008, you’d have a point. Today no. The 3 4 isn’t the 3 4 your familiar with . Doesn’t operate anything like the old 34 .

    I don’t expect a top ten defense, not because of a new scheme. Its because the players aren’t good enough.

  66. D1 Says:


    We have an abundance of cover corners……that’s not accurate.

    We have a few corners who excelled in man coverage at the college level. Man in college is say level 1. In the NFL, level 10. These corners have a good college resume, but they haven’t proven to be cover corners at this level. And scheme is not in the discussion.

    I see comments that say stewart is too slow..then turn around and claim he’s a press coverage guy…who dreams this moronic load of stuff up ……and believes it…