Todd Bowles Report Card

October 17th, 2019

You grade.

It is sad that for three years running this Bucs team likely will be done in by a horrid pass defense.

The Bucs, except for a gem of a find in free agency (Shaq Barrett), cannot rush the passer. Then again, this team doesn’t value a pass rush so Joe can’t really crucify Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles here. He’s not picking the players.

(John Lynch values a pass rush. The 49ers, the team he calls the shots for, are undefeated. Coincidence?)

The secondary of the Bucs is so bad the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s office should be investigating the Bucs for wrongdoing. And it is not like the Bucs haven’t tried to address this. Seven draft picks in the first three rounds have been burned in the last four years to try improve this outfit and look what the Bucs have to show for it? Giving up 300+ yards a game.

This is way out of hand.

In a list of disappointing elements on the Bucs at the bye, Greg Auman of The Athletic noted defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is not beyond reproach.

Todd Bowles as defensive coordinator. His unit is young in some key spots, and it takes time for a new scheme to take root, but the Bucs have allowed more than 30 points five times in the first six games, something no Bucs team (and only five other teams in NFL history) has ever done. They’ve lost to a rookie making his first NFL start and two NFC South backups. The path gets easier in the second half of the season, but will there be anything still to play for by the time the defense figures things out?

For Joe, Bowles is a mixed bag. The Bucs have the best run defense in the NFL. It has been no less than terrific in holding some of the best running backs in the NFL to meager results. Major props to Bowles for this. Seriously.

Sadly, the Bucs have shut down the run in a passing league and that is why so many teams are throwing at will against them.

The Bucs can’t sack anyone (take away Barrett’s sacks and the Bucs have a grand total of four in six games) and they can’t cover receivers. Other than that, how was the parade, Mrs. Sadat?

Bowles has nothing to work with in the secondary, it seems. These guys stunk out loud before Bowles got here, and they are atrocious with Bowles here.

If someone wants to throw rocks at Bowles for not developing the rookie defensive backs, that’s fair.

It sure as hell would help if the Bucs didn’t treat pass rushers like forbidden fruit. But… the Bucs just had to have a middle linebacker in the draft, didn’t they?

It is simply sinful how this team doesn’t believe in a pass rush. And a pass rush surely would help the secondary.

Joe has often written you can hide a bad corner with a pass rush but there isn’t a defensive coordinator alive who can hide a bad corner with no pass rush.

This is playing out each week before our very eyes.

Because the run defense has been so damn good, Joe will give Bowles a C+.

36 Responses to “Todd Bowles Report Card”

  1. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Please get this man someone outside of Carlton Davis – that can play pressman.

  2. DooshLaRue Says:

    D needs improvement no doubt, but isn’t that 30 ppg allowed number a bit skewed?

    I think the Soiled Messiah scored some of those points didn’t he?

  3. AwShbucs Says:

    Unless Jamel Dean suddenly becomes the Patrick Peterson lite type corner he has the physical ability to be and Carlton learns how to get his head around and make plays on the ball, Todd Bowles just flat out dont have the horses.

    Vernon Hargreaves is incapable of being a starting outside corner. SMB needs another year to develop, Ryan Smith is a special teams player and and MJ Stewart doesnt belong on an nfl roster.

    We need to trade for a legit starting Corner or we’re toast. Also is Justin Evan’s ever going to play football again?

  4. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Trade for

    CB William Jackson III
    G/C Billy Price

  5. Rayjay1122 Says:

    If we just had to draft a MLB then it’s a shame we did not trade back and select Devin Bush who is leaps and bounds better at this stage than White.

  6. 813bucboi Says:

    The Bucs can’t sack anyone (take away Barrett’s sacks and the Bucs have a grand total of four in six games)

    theres the problem right there!!!!!!

    ramsey would get cooked playing with our dline…..

    GO BUCS!!!!

  7. 941bucsfan Says:

    Where are the mike smith bashers at now? 2 things no one on here can Argue. Offense is worse without koetter. Defense is Worse without Mike smith…. hey guys, the numbers dont lie, and the record dont lie. To joes point. We are in pace to have less sacks than we had last year. We are on pace to give up more points than we did last year. If u dont include jameis first game where he threw a pick 6. The defense has given up 30pts in 4 out of 6 games!! And if u dont think thats bad, they did it to Daniel Jones, teddy bridgewater and kyle allen. Go to starbucks and ask the barista if he or she knows who any one of those names is. Its funny how mike smith was the problem, but now its the players lol. Whats also a fact is todd bowles had more talent on the jets defense than he does on this defense, yet both defenses sucked with him in charge. If this was 2015-2016 we would have a nice defense. But these coaches are stuck in their old NFC west ways. Every team and coach adapted except Bruce Arians, todd bowles and Lovie Smith.

  8. 941bucsfan Says:

    813 you are exactly right. No pass rush and its game over for ramsey. As a matter of fact julio is gonna cook him up this sunday

  9. thisisouryear!! Says:

    I think JPP is going to come back strong. The man’s a beast. If that happens, pressure is going to get better. I think we are one shut down corner away from having a solid defense. Probably need a right tackle. I don’t think Dot is going to hang in there all year, but if Leftwich can figure out how to use our weapons, we could have a great second half.

  10. Coburn Says:

    Had high hopes, but starting to think Bowles isn’t all that great.. I feel like Duffner did a better job tbh, but it was a small sample size. As for nto going for pass rushers and prioritizing/selecting secondary.. you think Bowles had no input on that? Pretty sure he had a lot of say in that draft that was defnse heavy.. also you could make the case if he didn’t have the horses maybe he should adjust his defense a bit.. you might say play to what strengths…? adn that might be the problem… but again I believe he had a big say on who we brought in on D

  11. Joe Says:

    Offense is worse without koetter.

    Yes and no. Koetter’s offense couldn’t score points. And if your defense is coughing up 300+ yards passing every week, you better be able to score points to have a prayer of being in a game.

    Bucs lead NFC in points scored. And that’s hard to believe giving how this offense seems to sputter, but it is true.

  12. Son of Kobe Faker Says:

    “Like my Dad has stated numerous times

    Just the facts

    Numbers and math don’t lie

    5 is greater than 4 or 3

    Our 2018 5-11 team brought in 4-12 jets and 3-13 Cardinals coaching staffs and what we have is this mess

    The Great Golfcart Heist”

    Son of Kobe Faker

  13. Pete I Says:

    thisisouryear!! Says:
    October 17th, 2019 at 9:40 am
    “I think JPP is going to come back strong. The man’s a beast. If that happens, pressure is going to get better. I think we are one shut down corner away from having a solid defense. Probably need a right tackle. I don’t think Dot is going to hang in there all year, but if Leftwich can figure out how to use our weapons, we could have a great second half.”

    The key words you typed say it all: Think, If, think, probably need, if, could have…

    What a solid *maybe* you heaped in an attempt at positive waves. Sounds like reasonable doubt.

  14. Son of Kobe Faker Says:

    “The game points score avg illusion will plummet down with our next 2 games with Tenn and Seattle

    Our QB coach intern is pathetically unqualified and incompetent

    Where is the talk of replacing the offensive Coordinator?

    It maybe puny but my Dad has balls”

    Son of Kobe Faker

  15. Lamarcus Says:

    B+. Ain’t his fault Vh3 MJ Stewart Ryan Smith are all trash

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Was thinking the same thing Joe … “Bowles is a mixed bag”. Bucs desperately needed some veteran LEADERSHIP in our Secondary, and we had plenty of opportunity to add some (same could be said of the OLine of course) months ago. But instead, we did NOTHING. This article could’ve been written back then, because the RESULTS of our NON-ACTION are totally predictable.

    Pass rush has been ineffective, but I expected a LOT more from our blitzing. Our blitzers simply aren’t getting there; hopefully that changes in the next few games if Devin White can become more of a factor. JPP returning SHOULD help … eventually. And I’m really hoping that TB commits to using SMB, Dean & Ryan Smith over VHIII. They simply can’t play any worse than VHIII is playing IMO. SMB & Edwards are the two who need to up their game quickly. Both have talent obviously & need to find a home in our Secondary.

  17. thisisouryear!! Says:

    Pete I- You’re dead on. As a life long bucs fan we spend a lot of time saying we are almost there. We can do it if we do this….

    Honestly, I think the corner and JPP make a big difference on defense. We need help with Dotson and Cappa hurt. I think we should start RG4. It really goes with what Arians is saying weekly to Jameis. We don’t need superman. We need a QB to do the smart, quick thing and I don’t think he is going to change.

  18. NPRSageBoy Says:

    Can’t really blame Bowles. It is rumored he went to BA and Licht shortly after he was hired and told them the secondary was crap. BA and Licht went out and drafted an LB with the number 5 pick and most of the rest on DBs.

    So now Bowles is expected to make chicken salad out of chicken $hit. Go figure

    Can’t blame him for trying

  19. Allbuccedup Says:

    Another blunder by Licht his reward a contracr extension. Please Glazers sell the team to someone who gives a damn.

  20. Mike Johnson Says:

    Bowles is doing an Outstanding job. You can’t expect any human to turn chicken sh** into chicken salad with the ingredients he has.

  21. gracelivin Says:

    Our offensive scheme has always been the problem, Our QB has a slow release and hard time progressing through 4-5 reads while waiting for the receivers to get 12-15+ yds downfield. Our sets are very readable, no movement, to increase the difficulty of covering receivers, no quick slants allowing receivers to run with the ball, very few plays that look like what they aren’t according to set. It is time to move into the 21st century of offensive and use motion, quick hitters, to set up the deep instead of the opposite, stop all the outs, curls and back shoulders and start hitting men on the move. This is harder due to the less than accurate QB.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    Son of Kobe (really?) … I agree with you about BL. The Rams game was a work of art IMO, but the other 5 games have been meh in terms of game-planning & play-calling. All folks have to do is look at the drives in each game & the problems become obvious:

    o Game 1: SF 31 Bucs 17 … Bucs drives (11): PUNT, PUNT, FUMBLE, INT, DOWNS (End of Half), INT, TD, DOWNS, FG, INT, DOWNS (End of game) … 4 TOs, no rhythm.
    o Game 2: Bucs 20 Panthers 14 … Bucs drives (13): PUNT, FG, PUNT, PUNT, PUNT, TD (End of Half), PUNT, TD, Missed FG, SAFETY, PUNT, FG, DOWNS (End of Game). 0 TOs, but still no rhythm.
    o Game 3: Giants 32 Bucs 31 … Bucs drives (13): TD, TD, FG, FG, TD, FG (End of Half), PUNT, PUNT, PUNT, INT, FG, PUNT. Missed FG (End of Game) … 1 TO, 1st half great, 2nd half awful.
    o Game 4: Bucs 55 Rams 40 … Bucs drives (12): TD, PUNT, TD, TD, PUNT, TD (End of Half), FG, TD, TD, INT, FG (End Of Game) … 1 TO, solid offensive performance.
    o Game 5: Saints 31 Bucs 24 … Bucs drives (11): PUNT, PUNT, PUNT, TD, FG, (End of Half), TD, PUNT, PUNT, PUNT, TD (End of Game) … 0 TOs, no rhythm.
    o Game 6: Panthers 37 Bucs 26 … Bucs drives (16): INT, PUNT, PUNT, PUNT, TD, INT, FUMBLE, PUNT (End of Half), PUNT, INT, FG, TD, PUNT, TD, INT, INT (End of Game) … 7 TOs, no rhythm.

    Obviously way too many turnovers which killed drives, and too many times when our offense couldn’t sustain drives (consecutively) & had to punt. IMO that comes down to game-planning and play-calling even more-so than play execution (yes, too many penalties were drive killers). Herky-jerky is what this offense is looking like. Feast or famine. And famine’s winning right now … we’re 2-4.

  23. bucnole Says:

    Tend to think we have upgraded along the line recently. Barrett for sure as well as Sun >GMC and then how well Vea is coming along. I don’t think its all on not being able to rush the passer – the secondary has to take some of the blame as well. If we don’t totally overhaul the scouting department at least we will keep making these dumb draft and FA moves that have mostly been a waste of time money and ball games. SMH

  24. Joe Says:

    Can’t really blame Bowles. It is rumored he went to BA and Licht shortly after he was hired and told them the secondary was crap.

    That’s the only logical reason why the Bucs drafted two corners and a safety early a year after drafting three defensive backs.

  25. SchlomieBarmitzvahCircumScissorStein Says:


  26. Son of Kobe Faker Says:

    “How to see if the OC is any good?

    look at the 3rd down percentage and design

    The organic BL doenst know how to use the run game with playaction

    He doesnt know how to design to get the TEs open

    THIS IS NOT BAs offense. The play caller decides what to run.

    we run the ball 55% on 1st down leading the NFL

    BA hardly ran the ball in his career. this years offense doesnt look anything like Palmer’s cardinals offense. Cardinals under BA was pass happy. He passes the ball 70% of the time

    nationally and this local highschool Tampa bay sports media market is misleading this nonsensical rhetoric that this is BAs offense


    “When will we replace the offensive coordinator?

    It maybe puny but my Dad has balls”

    Son of Kobe raisins Faker

  27. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Dean and Bunting have the tools to decent, if not better than average. They just need time and experience. Most rookie CB suck their first years. VHIII has had 3.5 years to prove himself and needs to be demoted for the young talent to grow. Hopefully this happens after the bye week.

  28. james west Says:

    see if jpp helps with the pass rush, if his neck injury will let him

  29. james west Says:

    i’m already and i hate to say it looking forward to the draft, i hope they land burrows, i have no confidence in bowles, leftwich, and little in arians, it’s tough being a fan of the bucs, but i go into each year with belief it will change, only to have my illusions squelched, by a quick kick to the nuts, funny how that works huh

  30. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Who evaluates talent for this team. A horrid secondary could be the result of not paying attention to that position…NOT the case with the Bucs! What we’ve drafted six DB’s and some of them high in the past two years.

    So if we’ve made the effort then why the failure. Obviously talent evaluation is not a strong suit of the Buc’s front office. I don’t just mean Licht either. Seems like coaches who come here also lose their ability to find talent.

    Six picks over two years…you should literally be able to throw darts at the board and come up with better results. And unlike DE’s who are physical freaks…DB’s come in more normal sizes. We should be able to find a good athlete. Maybe our scouts need to start paying attention in middle school..kinda like Bama.

  31. ITS ABOUT TIME !! Says:

    no pass rush = wide open recievers = many losses

  32. crazyBucs_CL Says:

    Imagine, one of the main reason BA excepted the job was Todd Bowles been available ,,,, wow ….. and OC Lef…. was avalible…. wow…
    I’m been saying this is the worst firing staff that bucs have done….. we never going to see something good happening in this city… as long as Glazers make decisions…..

    BA = LovieS 2.0

  33. kyle Says:

    the coaching staff is the least of our problems. i think they are doing a good job with what they have. it is 6 games into year one, jesus fn christmas everyone.

    Now, the man who buys the groceries rally needs to be looking over his shoulder. Its clear he is a terrible talent evaluator.

  34. Buczilla Says:

    Ronde wasn’t good his first year either, so I am holding out hope for Dean and Bunting. I also think a pass rusher at 5 overall would have been better than Eugene Marve Jr.. What can ya do?

  35. Jeff Says:

    D+ because like Greg Schiano, they can stop the run. Literally anything else is an explosive play on this team of poorly coached losers.

  36. Bobby M. Says:

    I’ll say the same with Bowles and Arians as I did with Koetter and Smith…..They have well accomplished resumes, they didn’t just suddenly forget how to coach or development game plans.

    You know who hadn’t done jack in the NFL and still hasn’t…..our GM Licht. He’s the common denominator. The dude cant build a roster, he’s missed on waaaay too many quality picks. The team is built completely backwards to Winston’s actual ability. We’re a losing franchise thats cap strapped……Its absolutely absurd he has a job. Its not Bowles, Smith, Koetter or Arians…..its the GM.

    Frankly there’s no coaching out there that can overcome a QB that’s done as much damage as Winston and his knack for turnovers. No coach can win when he’s had 7 kickers in 6 yrs. No coach can win when nearly every 2nd rd and 3rd picks are busts. Its not coaching its the reality of the NFL….its truly a game of inches. The margin for error is so small that just a few bad moments here and there, your season is over before it started.