“Lead Us”

December 23rd, 2020

Bucs DC Todd Bowles.

By all accounts, Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is a man of few words. He may be less talkative (around those not in his inner circle) than Father Dungy, who was known for his calm demeanor.

Bowles comes across as so laid back that he’s boring. But it was his words that energized normally self-energized linebacker Devin White on Sunday, a spark that turned White into a monster with three sacks of Matty Ice, all in the fourth quarter.

As White said after the game, Bowles went up to him at halftime, trailing 17-0, and said, “Lead us.”

That’s all the fuel White needed, per Bowles’ comments today in his weekly press conference.

“I don’t say that a lot,” Bowles said of personal pep talks. “I know that [White] brings a lot of energy. You could feel that at halftime he was a little quiet. That’s not him. He was playing well but he was a little quiet.

“He’s the leader of the team. He’s an emotional leader. He’s the guy that carries us and gets us going. For us to come back in the second half I knew that we needed his energy. So I went up to him and we had that discussion.”

To see White blow up like he did, maybe Bowles should talk to him more often?

And with the way the Bucs defense has started games recently, Bowles sure can use all the motivation options he can scrape up.

21 Responses to ““Lead Us””

  1. Dom>Licht Says:

    How about asking him to lead in the first quarter this week!

  2. KnoxvilleBuc Says:

    Loved seeing White come on the blitz. It’s not just his speed and acceleration through the hole. It’s his strong hands and ability to get skinny and low. Most of the time he’s untouchable. I hope to see more of Bowels moving him around and letting him do what he doest best

  3. Rod Munch Says:

    Maybe he’s so soft spoken that no one can hear him call different plays which is why they just sit in a soft zone for 90% of the game.

  4. sincethebeginning Says:

    SMB needs to partake in a little discussion, too. Does anybody on the defensive coaching staff know how to get through to that guy??

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Rod … MAYBE fans’ concerns about ‘soft zones’ aren’t as significant as many seem to think it is. I said MAYBE because I’m not at all sure.

    Bucs’ defense is currently #12 in Points Allowed (321 pts … 22.9 PPG) BUT it’s #6 in the NFL in Total Yardage Allowed (4663 yds … 333 YPG). That difference seems bizarre to me.

    o We’re #1 in Rush Yds Allowed (1089 yds … 77.8 YPG), plus #1 in Rushing Attempts (317 Attempts … 22.6 Rushes/Game) and #2 in Rushing TDs Allowed (9 TDs). To rank #1 in Run Defense for 2 straight years shows consistency.

    o We’re #25 in Passing Yards Allowed (3574 yds … 255 YPG), plus #30 in Passing Attempts (542 Attempts … 38.7 Passes/Game) and #23 in Passing TDs Allowed (27 TDs). Obviously opposing offenses would rather take their chances with our pass defense than with our run defense.

    And yet, despite ranking #25 in Passing Yards Allowed, we still rank #6 in Total Yardage Allowed and #12 in terms of Points Allowed. THAT’S the bizarre part to me. Despite being so seemingly bad at pass defense and giving up a lot of passing yards, we’re still in or close to the Top-10 where it counts … Points Allowed and Total Yardage Allowed.

    I’m guessing that our high number of takeaways and sacks have a lot to do with those 2 numbers because they’re oftentimes drive killers.

  6. bojim Says:

    He should talk to the DB’s too.

  7. unbelievable Says:

    @DR –

    Could it be that our defense plays well in goal-to-go and short yardage distances to the end zone, but is susceptible to giving up big plays?

    I would be interested to see how many of those passing TDs we’ve given up have come on big plays, vs plays that were 15 yards or less.

  8. Miller5252 Says:

    He needs to do something before the opening kick. Good lord this team sleepwalks no matter the time or time zone. Between all this “sports science” Arians talks about and a staff bigger then anything ever put together, you’d think they’d figure something out.

  9. Clw JB Says:

    Bend but don’t break for 3 quarters, get the lead then unleash the hounds – seems like our MO on D

  10. Sport Says:

    White is like a ‘reverse running back’. He uses those instincts and fires through the hole.

    Is this the Joe that believes in leadership or not? Hah!

    Go Bucs!

    In BA I Trust!

  11. stpetebucsfan Says:


    As always enjoy your stats analysis. You find some real gems for us.

    I share you suspicion about takeaways and sacks. The only thing greater than a sack is a takeaway and they’re both devastating to the other team’s offense.

  12. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Bottom line is…

    Why would teams run on us, they don’t have to…

    What ticks me off the most is the lack of fundamentals. Why do we have all these coaches? The Defense and the team as a whole is far from fundamentally sound.

    We’ve got coaches of every color, creed and gender, we should be the most well coached team in the league. Young guys like Mcvay and Shannahan run much tighter ships, or maybe it’s their GM’s.

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    Clw JB … I agree with the ‘bend but don’t break’; that was what the Tampa 2 was all about IMO. And our 4th qtr stats seem to be off the charts. Bucs have only given up 54 total points in the 4th qtr … less than 4 pts per game average. Far cry from previous years when we couldn’t seem to stop anyone in the 4th qtr.

  14. Mike Johnson Says:

    Bucs Defense seems to fall sound asleep at times waking up just in the nick of time. Well, against the good, the great teams that will not get you a win. Both sides of the ball need to play better in the 1st half.

  15. Chris L Says:

    Joe – I think the reason the Bucs keep starting slow on offense (no idea on defense) has to be coaching and Arians/leftwich. Look at what happened last year. How many times did jameis throw a first quarter even first play of the game interception. They started terribly a bunch especially end of the year he would throw the classic first quarter interception. Brady isn’t throwing early turnovers but we aren’t doing anything and that is the common denominator. And then we go gangbusters after. Something to consider.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    One other suggestion I have on solving our slow starts is to have players use the bathroom before the game instead of at halftime.

  17. unbelievable Says:

    jmark – Totally agree about the discipline and situational awareness / fundamentals.

    I suspect Brady is also having a hard time with that.

  18. Rod Munch Says:

    Defense Rules – yeah, but this was in contention for being the best defense in the NFL earlier this season when they were more creative on defense. Remember the Packers game, when we, GASP, used David to rush… Since then J Watson has more sacks than David – that’s just a disgrace, and it’s all on the scheme. As for the top rushing defense – well, where was that when we played the Vikings? Is this the top rushing defense, or is it just so easy to throw that teams don’t bother to run.

    The defense is good enough to beat bad offenses, but against good offenses, outside of that Packers game, they haven’t done anything.

    Just sitting back in a soft zone and letting teams eat you up and get you in a big hole early is not how you win games. This defense was made to blitz and play man-to-man coverage – and sure, you’re going to get burnt doing that, but I’d rather go out in a blaze of glory than just being picked apart. Like at the end of the KC game when we needed the ball back and what did Lovie, I mean Bowles do? He sat back in a soft zone which had a zero percent chance of success — but it was the safe thing to do, keep the guys in front of you and watch the clock run out…

  19. Bucfan81 Says:

    Can he talk to the offense so we don’t play half a game with 62 total yards. Asking for a friend..

  20. Rod Munch Says:

    Also, what bullcrap that the stupid San Diego kicker lost that game @NO.

    But the Bucs still have a chance to get the overall #1 seed…

    We need the Packers to lose out, which is possible (Titans and Bears)
    The Saints to lose out, which is possible (Vikings and Panthers)
    Seattle to lose out, which is possible (Rams and 49ers)
    and Rams to beat Seattle and lose to the Cardinals

    It seems like a lot of stuff that needs to happen, but with so many divisional games left, it doesn’t seem out of the question that it could all happen.

  21. Hodad Says:

    Another words, stop playing coverage, and get to Ryan. I just wish Bowles would let his best dog hunt right from the first snap!!