“We Don’t Have All The Pieces In Place”

May 1st, 2019

Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was peppered with questions from media this morning at One Buc Palace and one of Joe’s questions provoked an interesting response.

Bowles hadn’t been interviewed since the Bucs signed a hearty handful of defensive free agents to one-year contracts.

Joe asked Bowles to talk about a couple of guys from that group of newcomers and talk about how they fit.

“Well, I like all the guys we got. With [Deone] Bucannon and [Shaquil] Barrett, I’m not going to discuss scheme right now because we don’t have all the pieces in place. And they’ll line up and play and compete and if they don’t start, we’ll have some packages where they fit in, certain games and try to do certain things with [them],” Bowles said.

Joe found it interesting when Bowles said “we don’t have all the pieces in place.” Perhaps that means the Bucs offseason is far from over and another key piece or two is being targeted? More likely, Bowles meant that he doesn’t know the strengths of all his players yet and how he’ll define the pieces currently in place.

One big theme of Bowles — and the assistants who talked about him today — is that he works tirelessly to adjust to the talent he has.

37 Responses to ““We Don’t Have All The Pieces In Place””

  1. Mort Says:

    He shouldn’t know for certain yet. They haven’t even really put pads on and started hitting yet.

  2. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Yeah interesting comment for sure watching it. Could just mean he needs to line them up on the field before he figures anything out. Could mean more bodies coming but we all know our cap situation so not sure how that will work or how anyone of significance will be coming outside of this Geraldini drama

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    Sounds like he has just seen the tape and a couple of practices!!!!!!!!!!!! But don’t worry, the sheep will keep saying that this team is so talented and now they have “real” coaching!!!!!! That is until the truth is beyond evident!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Petra...Sec147 Says:

    Translation : look mofo y’all had the worst defense back to back years it’s going to take some time

  5. Lamarcus Says:

    Wow. I actually found a story that’s worse than the Marvel End Game movie

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Fascinating question Joe. For some reason feel that Todd Bowles meant exactly what he said … to run the unpredictable, full-speed-ahead, hybrid defense that he WANTS to run, he still doesn’t have all the defensive ‘pieces’ that he WANTS. But like he & his assistants commented, he’ll work “tirelessly to adjust to the talent he has”.

    It took Tony Dungy & Monte Kiffin several years to accumulate the talent that they WANTED to make their Tampa 2 defense work. Our defense kept getting better & better, but it really didn’t DOMINATE until Simeon Rice got here in 2001 (yes, OUR Bucs defense was #1 in POINTS ALLOWED and #1 in YARDAGE ALLOWED in 2002 … THAT’s DOMINATING).

  7. Mike Johnson Says:

    I’ve always like Bowles aggressive Defense with the Jets. His defenses swarm, hit hard and are relentless. Hope he can transform ours into something close to what it was..back in the day. I also look for us to pick up a couple guys off the wires in pre-season cutdowns. Improve the D and we win a few more games.

  8. BucEmUp Says:

    They haven’t even started practicing as a team yet and you find it interesting that they don’t have all the pieces in place yet?

    Where do you buy your puzzles from Joe? I’d love to just be able to order them already assembled out of the box and just be able to tell everyone who sees them hanging up that I worked tirelessly to complete them!

    Now had you been talking about Mike Smith and the type of response he may have given to that some question, it probably would have went something more like…

    ” We’ve got all the guys we need to be competitive, now it’s just up to them to go out there and compete. Even though we as coaches have no idea how to make an in game adjustment, or watch a clock throughout 60 minutes of play, we’ve got the players already in place to perform well enough to overcome weekly deficits, horrible coaching and help us pull out a win!!!”

    Mike Smith was compressed full of horse crap. Koetter followed his lead and quickly went from the honest, straight forward anything to win type to the my best friend can’t coach defense so I’m just going to shut my mouth and go down with the ship type!!!!!

    This staff has to start from scratch with this team and put everyone where they belong in a scheme that doesn’t tell the qb where to throw the ball before the snap every play. ITS COACHING!!!!!

  9. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    DR said

    , hybrid defense that he WANTS to run, he still doesn’t have all the defensive ‘pieces’ that he WANTS. But like he & his assistants commented, he’ll work “tirelessly
    me thinks Bowles wants a speed DT on VV’s shoulder and McCoy is not that guy…VV is taking McCoy’s role in Bowles front…hence the hemming and hawing moving McCoy….me thinks they have a player in mind for VV’s shoulder

  10. TBUC North Carolina Says:

    Bowles will rebuild this D!!! In time anyways!

  11. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    There’s always a Carl Nassib out there on the waiver wire, hungry for an opportunity. Hopefully the Bucs can strike gold again.

  12. TexBuc Says:

    I believe Todd meant until the pads are on with full contact he cannot evaluate the players strengths and weakness. Love his approach so far.

  13. Bucnjim Says:

    This is like a close chess game between good players. Protect the pawn (McCoy) because he could get you the piece you need to win the game! The pawn isn’t enough but his value for the future could be great!

  14. Not there yet Says:

    Nothing interesting about it on May 1st the roster will evolve until September but kinda says there are still moves to make which should be obvious

  15. Jean Lafitte Says:

    I’ll tell you what I have gathered from coach Bowles interviews up to this point. His defense will be a continually morphing defense where schemes are drastically changed between plays. Slipping back and forth between 3-4 to 4-3 packages. I guess the good thing about that would be keeping certain players fresh. Like GMC would get a rest in a 3-4 package or he could learn to work at DE. This makes sense why so many coaches as well. What will be more important is players ability from their neck up. This could be why coach Bowles was not interested in Mo Claiborne.

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Altered Ego … Personally think that Todd Bowles would LOVE to have GMC as one of his DTs, but $13 mil is a big pill to swallow. Imagine a 3-man front with Vea in the middle, JPP on one side & GMC on the other. Then maybe you have LVD & White in the middle behind them, with say Barrett as one OLB & Nassib as the other OLB. That’s a pretty formidable Front-7 with a LOT of flexibility on how/where to attack. Overpower? Blitz? Stunts? Whatever.

    Or maybe you switch quickly into a 4-man front with Vea & GMC as DTs in the middle, JPP & Nassib as the DEs, and LVD, White & Barrett as the LBs. Those types of options are unpredictable as all git-out, especially if it’s the nickel who’s blitzing? Thus the ‘hybrid’ defense moniker? IMO the key is to keep everyone fresh so they can go at 100% on every play. THAT takes DEPTH, and I don’t think Bowles or anyone will know what we’ve got until well into training camp.

  17. Eric y Says:

    All the pieces are not in place … we need to remove one and add another … see ya 93

  18. stpetebucsfan Says:

    How many pieces deserve to be in place this year. Some pieces better grow into “puzzle strength” during the off season.

    On D…JPP is a piece…LVD another…hopefully Nassib has another good year but I’m not certain he IS a piece yet.

    Does anybody here really feel they know the pieces beyond JPP and LVD? Lot’s of hopefuls…Nassib…Spence..VHG and others but who is truly ENTRENCHED at their position. Offense has many more pieces in place beginning with the QB!!! And his top WR! And if healthy his TE’s…and over half of the OL….The D though will obviously need help from the draft.

  19. mark2001 Says:

    Adjusts to the talent he has? So unlike Mike Smith.

  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Don’t have all the pieces……what better way to motivate players……in other words…..your job isn’t certain.

  21. Tony LA Says:

    What is “Buc Realist” talking about?

    He says “Go Bucs” like he’s rooting for them, but then seems to despise them and says we’ll find something out this year? Like what? 5-11 in back to back seasons seems pretty evident to me, no?

    What did I miss?

  22. Dewey Selmon Says:

    The rookies haven’t even practiced with the vets yet, of course he doesn’t have everything in place.

  23. LakeLand Says:

    The other NFC South teams has been together as a unit for sometimes. The Bucs and their new coaching staff has a lot of catching up.

    Atlanta. Dan Quinn -5th season
    Carolina. Ron Rivera- 9th season
    New Orleans. Sean Payton- 13th season

    It’s hard to beat Continuity
    This new staff is aware of this

  24. LakeLand Says:

    Todd Bowles is telling the fans

    Don’t expect an overnight miracle
    I’m glad he’s coming out and saying this
    A lot of fans are deluded ans expecting playoffs this season

  25. Clw JB Says:

    There was no way we were fixing the worst defense in the history of the NFL in one off-season Coach, just get us into the 18-20 range and we can win an extra 4 games

  26. Kobe Faker Says:

    “The whole secondary is filled with rookies and 1 year backups

    this is why legit GMs slowly fill their secondary each year piece by piece and not all 4 at the same time

    we will lead the league in broken coverages by a landslide

    we need veteran leadership is what Bowles is saying

    so our rookies are going to learn leadership and how to play in this league by following MJ Stewert?

    I am willing to bet 4 month of my foodstamp money that we will be the worst defense in the last 20 years”

    Kobe Faker

  27. Big Stinky Says:

    Sounds to me like he is making an excuse ahead of time just in case the Bucs defense doesn’t get any better. Didn’t we have 38 sacks last year with that crappy scheme we were running? Seems to me that should improve with a DC who knows how and when to blitz. I just think he doesn’t have faith that our secondary is going to get any better even with those 3 picks in this years draft and I don’t blame him. Jason has done a terrible job of building this team IMO. I still believe defense wins Championships as we saw in the last 2 Super Bowls. In that Super Bowl between the Pats and Eagles it looked like whoever had the ball last was going to win and the Pats had it last. All they needed was a FG if I remember correctly and that is practically a gimme with Brady. Then, when they needed it most, the Eagles defense got that sack and saved the game. This year the Pats shut down that high scoring offense of the Rams and had no problem winning their 6th title.

    Jason has NO clue how to build a team and it shows. He has ONLY gotten a handful of players in the Draft for our defense and Smitty took the blame for it. Our defense played good enough to make it to the Playoffs the first year that him and Dirk took over. Why do you think he got that big money deal to keep him here after that? The MAIN reason we missed the Playoffs that year was because our QB threw too many INT’s at the beginning of the year and lost at least 1 or 2 games himself. Remember, one more win and we were in. Then, instead of adding playmakers on defense, it was “Weapons for Winston” with Howard and Godwin. We already had a good TE in Brate and brought in DJax to stretch the field. Licht wasted an 11th overall pick in 2016 on a CB that, talent wise, we could have gotten in the 3rd or 4th round. Jason built an offense that was ONLY averaging 20 points per game until last year when we STILL only averaged 24. His problem was that he chose a QB that turns the ball over way too frequently for his production, 76 turnovers and 88 TD’s. All our cap money is paying for an unproductive offense which I doubt Leftwich is going to change. Man I hope JW3 turns it around this year but Jason has to go, I’m sorry. This TEAM should be loaded after his 6 years here picking in the Top 10 five times, but it’s NOT. Now even Bowles’ statement proves it!

  28. LakeLand Says:


    Todd Bowles is telling the fans

    The Bucs has a CFL roster
    It will take 3-4 good drafts to get this roster up to par

  29. El_Buc941 Says:

    I think we should trade gmc to the browns for….myles garret. We can survive with peyton barber. Jameis and co can find a way to score points. Its more important to keep teams from racking up points on us!

  30. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I took it to mean they didn’t get any starters in free agency and we didn’t have enough picks to fix the rest.

  31. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Kobe is thinkin Our Nascar lovin Gump apologists Bucsfans is goin to blame Bowles when our defense becomes historically bad. Bowles kinda looks like Lovie and thats close enough

    2019 we will be the worst franchise in the NFL

    Jameis and Bowles will be the scapegoats and run out of Ybor”

    Kobe Faker

  32. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    3-4 is bull. We better see marked improvement this year and finish it off next year. These coaches won’t get 3-4 years.

    And frankly, nothing I’ve seen so far tells me they deserve two.

    But they can change my opinion by earning it.

  33. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Normally, I prefer stability. I think both Schiano and Koetter should have gotten another year, though with the condition of new staff in key areas.

    But at least there was reason to hope by this point of their off seasons.

    Right now, it’s a struggle for a lot of people.

  34. Piratic Says:

    “…he works tirelessly to adjust to the talent he has.”

    It made my day to read that. Thank you.

  35. tmaxcon Says:


    You prefer choirboy losers and basement titles… you only support losers…

  36. tmaxcon Says:

    Defense Rules

    Dungy the clown won 2 playoff games in 6 years during his FAILED tenure…. they were not dominating they were pretenders…

    Once again low standard bucfan confuses highly ranked defense with success totally disregarding the fact it was was a horrible team with a great defense coached by a 1 dimensional fool with pitiful game day management skills…

    Regular season sucess is meaningless if you cant win in the post season. Dungy was and is a joke just like the crying clown… they both play god card nonstop like a shield to insulate them from their failures and they both failed make no mistake about it the win loss record can not be rewritten

    You people attempt to rewrite history at a torrid pace…

  37. BuccoSR Says:

    hard-hitting stuff here joe! thanks, keep it coming!