Interesting Takes From Jets On Bowles’ Defense

June 17th, 2019

File this into the back of your head as you watch the Bucs defense this season.

One of the more successful Jets players under Todd Bowles last season explained that Bowles wasn’t a very aggressive defensive chieftain.

That’s noteworthy considering how Bowles’ reputation is for lots of blitzes and attack mentality.

Defensive end Henry Anderson was a newcomer to the 2018 Jets and notched seven sacks before landing a fat contract extension. He told that new Jets blitz-happy defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is more attack-minded than Bowles.

“It’s a lot different than what we were doing last year,” Anderson said of Williams’ scheme. “It’s just a lot more aggressive, attacking front. I know as a defensive line, some of the guys who were here last year, we’re kind of having to get rid of some of the habits that we developed in that old scheme. Just getting weight going more forward, attacking, penetrating. It’s definitely a fun defense to play in.”

Keep in mind that came from a guy who had his best season in Bowles’ alleged “more laid back” approach for the Jets D-line. He painted the Bowles way as more read-and-react.

“Footwork is one of the big things,” Anderson said of the new technique habits he must develop in Williams’ defense. “Our stance is a little bit different, because last year we were kind of reading the offense — as opposed to now we’re just kind of going and not really reading as much on what the offensive line is doing.”

Joe read these comments weeks ago and followed up by listening to other Jets interviews that echoed the same sentiment.

Yes, Bowles was the Jets head coach, not the d-coordinator of their near-Bucs-level awful defense last year. But Joe never hears anyone tied to the Jets referring to coordinator Kacy Rodgers, who was fired by the Jets along with Bowles after last season. Rodgers is now the D-line coach under Bowles in Tampa. So Joe would think the exact same D-line approach will be taken.

Bowles’ defenses have a long track record of being attacking, but it might not be the hair-on-fire, let-the-dogs out style some think it is.

37 Responses to “Interesting Takes From Jets On Bowles’ Defense”

  1. doolnutts Says:

    I think people are forgetting that we are still a 3-4. The main assignment for the DL in the 3-4 is to take up blocks to free up the backs. Arians has said many times that is not what his defensive linemen do, not the philosophy. –Joe

    Now I know Bowles and company is out their saying we are an attacking 3-4 and that might be so but the same basic principles I think will apply. We might expect our DL to get after it more than a standard 3-4 but our guys will still need to do the basic principles of holding blocks. This is also why I have been warning people to not just look at Suh’s “production” We might see career average numbers from him because he will be taking on blocks to free up our LB’s as opposed to actually being disruptive.

    Williams is a base 4-3 the DL is expected to be much more productive. If the line can’t get pressure or take the game over it will be a long day for the defense as we have seen in Tampa for about 10 years now. Our DL has been effectively useless as a unit.

    I am looking forward to the changes and I hope Bowles can have more Cardnial like success on his defense as opposed to his Jets experience.

  2. Lord Cornelius Says:


    Definitely one of the biggest concerns of the season IMO.

    BA’s quotes directly contradict this. i.e.
    “we’re gonna get up in your face”
    “this is not a 2 gap system” (i.e. per doolnutts suggestion)
    “this will be a 1 gap – not trying to hold blockers up – but penetrating attacking defense”

    Maybe BA is more involved on defense than we are realizing in terms of scheme/philosophy, but it seems like he’s deferred to Bowles on it.

    If Bowles = the equivalent of Mike Smith & Lovie Smith at this point in his career, then this ship is going to sink very fast and we will be blowing the entire thing up IMO. I’m much more worried about the defense than anything else right now. I’m also a bit excited because we have no idea what we’re going to see on that side

  3. SOEbuc Says:

    99.9% Bowle’s defense gonna be better than Smitty. All I can say right now.

  4. TexBuc Says:

    Pressing CB’s delaying and rerouting WR’s is attacking! Bowles will send a couple of zero coverage blitz’s to convince opposing offenses we are a aggressive blitz man coverage defense, and then just sending 4 or 5 from different angles will give the illusion of blitzer’s coming from everywhere while still providing enough for coverage.

  5. Todd Says:

    Nah, not worried at all. Chicken Little is not assessing the talent and scheming the D.

    Didn’t one of the Cleveland studs say that Williams only allowed him TWO moves? Said it made his play became predictable?

    And Joe, what have you seen in the practices you attended. Did it look like the same ‘ol conservative defense? No or no?

    Comparing a Bowles defense to a Mike Smith defense is apples to oranges. Not what this piece is about. Joe didn’t even reference Smith.–Joe

  6. pick6 Says:

    i think the difference is who attacks. in bowles’ scheme the off the ball players are the ones who wreak havoc. in gregg w’s scheme and many others they probably ask more of the d line. all the excitement about aggression seems to have come from LBs and DBs here

  7. Todd Says:


    Re: Mike Smith reference. You’re right. My bad.

  8. Pickgrin Says:

    Bowles use of “blitzes” will be strategic. He’s not going to mad dog it – “everybody GO!” – a dozen times a game…

    But “pressure” WILL come from all over the field – selectively.

    From OLB – from ILB – off the edges – up the middle – Secondary will be more involved at the line of scrimmage than we’ve seen in years…..

    Bowles will be moving his chess pieces around throughout the games. Noticing that tendency here, Adjusting there…. Bringing blitzers where he thinks he seems weakness…

    Offenses will hopefully feel a bit off balance as a result. Having to worry about where the next blitz might come from – trying to read what they think they see pre-snap instead of focusing soley on their assignment and executing the play…

    Todd Bowles is back in his true element now. He’s back in charge of HIS defense.

    The Bucs are unlikely to have a top 10 Defense this year because a couple/few more key pieces are still needed.

    But we are assured to see a MUCH more “aggressive” defensive philosophy/scheme in 2019 than anything Lovie or Smitty fielded in the last 5 years!

  9. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Looking at the 2018 Jets defensive starters it’s pretty weak which is at least semi encouraging…

    L Williams not a great year and biggest name on DL before Henry Anderson. (Steve McLendon at 32 was a starter and I don’t remember ever seeing that name before. They drafted Nathan Shepard R3 in 2018 and I recognize his name at least).

    D Lee biggest name out of the 4 starting LBs he had. Do not know who Brandon Copeland / Jordan Jenkins are. Avery Williamson I recognize from when he was a role player with the Titans.

    Then at CB he had Claiborne and Trumaine Johnson. Not terrible but the only name I recognie as depth after that is BUster Skrine who was never that great I just remember him for whatever reason lol.

    At S Jamal Adams is solid. Not sure how Marcus Maye (FS 2nd round) has been doing.

    Still – in their front 7 – I recognize decent/solid DL and one decent/solid LB, plus a breakout DL in Henry Anderson.

    In the Bucs front 7, we at least have 2 legit DL between Suh & Vea, and 2 legit ILB in Lavonte David & Devin White, and the equivalent of Henry Anderson at OLB in Carl Nassib.

    Our secondary at the starting positions is a “?”, but we should be much deeper in terms of investment in talent compared to 2018 Jets. They literally had nothing after their top 2 CBs.

    There’s always a way to find hope. Did not realize the JEts defensive roster was so full of no names and non accomplished players.

    Beyond that – I actually knew who Deon Buccanon and SHaq Barret were from having various moments of good play in their careers prior.

  10. JimmyJack Says:

    Joe is case you didn’t know that website you referenced in the article takes you to nowhere when you click it. I could t find the interview with the player. Did find the sports section and saw a presser with Williams so I checked it out. I’m sure the quote is on the site but it’s difficult to find.

    Not worried about your quote cause the Jets new DC sounds like he really kinda sucks to me. Heard very little confidence and got the impression that he is more of a “yesmen” DC then anything.

    It’s quite the opposite with Bowles. While he is kinda quite and somewhat reserved he does demand attention and leaves no question as to who is in charge. From listening I would say that about Williams. I actually thought he sucked and turned it off before he was done.

  11. Todd Says:

    Lord C—

    GREAT post!

  12. JimmyJack Says:


  13. DB55 Says:

    Leslie Frazier 2.0

  14. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Some more positive spin / hope:

    -2018 Jets were 13th in yards given up per drive and 23rd in points per drive given up

    -2018 Bucs were 22nd in yards given up per drive and 30th in points per drive given up

    -Per PFF – “The New York Jets were relatively successful on the defensive side of the ball in 2018, ranking 12th in overall defensive grade (83.5) in the NFL. A large reason for the Jets’ defensive success was their run defense, as they ranked fifth in the NFL with an elite run-defense grade of 90.7”

    Didn’t see that PFF ranking coming. Weird.

  15. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    So much for the coaching making this team better

  16. JimmyJack Says:

    Who was the Jets old DC? That could be important cause that could be where a lot of the message came from.

    One HC can’t do everything and we all know very well that it takes a coaching staff to build a winner. One coach alone aren’t gonna cut it.

  17. JimmyJack Says:

    Lord a lot of people are starting to give up on PFF ranking. They will probably be done with in the future. Personally I was done with them when they had O.J. Howard rated as one of the worst rookies.

    They couldn’t be wronger.

    I have no clue what it mean and I’ll probably butcher it but their is a new rating called DOUVA or something that has been getting a lot of hype. I think it has a few good betting angles too if you do your homework.

  18. JimmyJack Says:

    Loyal…….So are you saying that the Jets got great defense I’ve coaching now? They gonna light the AFC East on fire and it all because Bowels is out and this Williams guy is that much better?

    Just asking since the article is about the Jets DC & he isn’t even replacing Bowles over there.

  19. NOSBOS Says:

    What Doolnut said,I don’t care how many times BA has said our Dline won’t do this you can not get away from the basic principles of a 3/4 scheme. If that wasn’t the case the DC would’ve have said the primary pressure in this scheme come from the olbrs.

  20. gotbbucs Says:

    I dont want a D-Coordinator that feels the need to blitz on every single play. That’s a lazy way of coaching. The better QB’s in the league will pick apart an overly aggressive defense.

  21. Allbuccedup Says:

    Pff rating has DE Damarcus Walker Denver Broncos at 85. Earlier read an article he may getting released. Pff rating not what it used to be.

  22. Lord Cornelius Says:


    Agree there are some fatal flaws with PFF compared to my eye test.

    For example – OJ Howard 2017 vs OJ Howard 2018 didn’t look that different to me. It just looked like we were targeting him more and actually using him better.

    But per PFF he was basically one of the worst rookies in the league and the next year he is basically on Gronk / Travis Kelce level grading. I believe he definitely improved year over year but that’s ridiculous / garbage ratings to me at that point.

    Not sure PFF is going away. If anything analytics have a growing role. There is a big article on PFF in general on MMQB that I still need to read.

    But I have no idea how they come up with the ratings. I’m just looking for hope lol.

    Per PFF they think the Jets D was very much hurt in rankings by the incompetence of their Offense. They say Bowles was basically doing a great job with developing Adams/Maye into premier safety tandem, Darron Lee was coming on, and in general they were solid in both coverage and against the run.

    Per those per-drive breakdowns, the Jets D was much closer to average than they were to bottom barrel, while the Bucs D was still bad per all these individual stats & PFF grades.

    Not really sure what any of it all means for 2019. I just hope the D is better. It HAS to be for us to have success.

    Average scoring defense + average special teams + healthy Winston = 9-10+ wins. We don’t even need the run game to come on fire if our defense/special teams can make that sort of jump.

    GO BUCS!

  23. Race to 10 Says:

    Bowles will play whatever style the head coach tells him to play or did you forget that’s the way it works in the NFL. Different personnel here than what was in New York so it should be a different type defense

  24. Buccfan305 Says:



  25. Stanglassman Says:

    I’ve explained the difference between the 3-4 one gap vs two gap a half dozen times on here. Even pointed out articles that explain it well. Some people will never get it. Keep up the good post Lordcorn and the Pick brothers.

  26. Anonymous Says:

    Bowles had the least talented roster in the NFL. The Jets were tanking. Bowles was not the DC and no one could have done anything with the players he had. Has anyone signed Claiborne? They had Adams, an underperforming William’s, and the aforementioned Henry Anderson. That’s truly the worst roster in the NFL.

  27. Jean Lafitte Says:

    If everyone on the d-line were aggressively attacking and rushing into the backfield a lot, it opens big holes for their run game, and screen game. Kind of on the same premise we accused GMC of. When he would rush the QB they would just run over the spot he vacated. It’s important for DT’s to read and react because they are the first line of defense against the run. Go study Williams defenses. Although he is known for using blitz packages more than normal he also gives up a lot of run yards as well. Bowles tries to give more balance and be less predictable.

  28. geno711 Says:

    @pick6 Says:
    June 17th, 2019 at 1:52 pm
    i think the difference is who attacks. in bowles’ scheme the off the ball players are the ones who wreak havoc. in gregg w’s scheme and many others they probably ask more of the d line. all the excitement about aggression seems to have come from LBs and DBs here

    Seems like a strong point for this article. Thanks.

    @JimmyJack Says:
    June 17th, 2019 at 2:26 pm
    Who was the Jets old DC? That could be important cause that could be where a lot of the message came from.
    One HC can’t do everything and we all know very well that it takes a coaching staff to build a winner. One coach alone aren’t gonna cut it.

    Good point as well.

  29. Bucnjim Says:

    Points given up vs yards given up most likely means the Jets offense went 3 & out early and often leaving the D to defend a very short field. This also would limit how agressive you can be defending only 50 yards.

  30. DBS Says:

    Who cares who explains what. You people act like the 3-4 is new to the NFL. Guess what. It will not keep an OC scared to death of the Bucs. They will game plan and also make changes to counter it just like they do other teams that run it. The only HOPE you have is this crew can finally get these players to do something right at just the right time. Like the db’s without getting burnt.

  31. Defense Rules Says:

    Greg Williams has coached for over 20 years in the NFL as a DC with 7 different teams … and ALWAYS used a 4-3 scheme. MAYBE Henry Anderson’s role is different in Williams’ 4-3 defense than it was in Bowles’ 3-4 defense? Whatever he thought of his role last year, Bowles did find a way to use him (as a 300 lb DL/LB) in such a way as to get 7 sacks out of him. Anderson’s TOTAL for the 3 yrs prior was THREE sacks.

    Gregg Williams has had some very good defenses over the years. He’s also had some very bad ones. For instance, last year in Cleveland his rushing defense was ranked #28 in RUSHING YARDAGE ALLOWED and #25 in PASSING YARDAGE ALLOWED for an overall #30 ranking. That’s ONE ranking better than the 2018 Bucs. Yup, I’m impressed.

  32. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    Bowles is seeming more and more like Mike Smith. Hopefully it’s different than them both because DCs. Looks doubtful with the crap job Licht has done blowing draft picks.

  33. BucEmUp Says:

    Its no different than Koetter being an excellent play caller, and going vanilla and conservative once he became a head coach. It also didnt help that the Jets were among the league leaders in cap space available coming into this season.

  34. BA FAN Says:

    When BA says our defense is a one gap aggressive no read defense then that is exactly what Boles will give us this year. BA will correct any of his Coaches if they are not doing what he says and that will include Bowles too. So no worries. Plus opposing defenses are not going to be able to study our last game to prepare for our defense because Bowles will change his defense for each specific opponent just like BA will do on Offense. This is exactly what the Patriots do game in and game out. You have the closest to the Patriots you will get with BA who also puts a premium on developing young players just as the Patriots do, except BA goes one step further and with more Asst. Coaches gives new and backup players as many snaps in practice as the starters which speeds up development. Oh ye of little faith will soon see the results this Sept.

  35. Allbuccedup Says:

    Keep hearing about our secondary and Suh, how about our edge rushers? Haven’t heard a word what’s up with that just JPP will be back in November.

  36. Jeff Says:

    Blitzing 10% of the time with Smiths “defense.” 50% is going to feel like an attacking defense to Bucs fans.

  37. BucaLou Says:

    Everything will be determined on the field. Everyone loves to speculate this time of year, and some of you make very valid points. But until we get on the field all opinions is just hot air someone is always trying to sound smarter than the next guy who’s praying they get the chance to say “see I told you so”.