Bowles Cancels Lions Interview

January 15th, 2021

Not going to Detroit.

Either the Detroit Lions have already made a decision, or Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has another job lined up, or he prefers to live in Tampa (for the time being).

Per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Bowles has put the brakes on interviewing with the Lions for their next head coach.

Could a possibility be — Joe’s just throwing this out as complete speculation — that maybe Team Glazer told Bowles if he has his defense play something close to respectable and the Bucs make the Super Bowl he will get a healthy raise?

Bowles already interviewed for the Falcons head coaching gig and the Eagles made an official request to interview him, per reports.

Hopefully, now Bowles will have more time to hatch a gameplan for the slimy Saints something a tad better than the embarrassment his defense had facing an XFL backup hack on Saturday. The Bucs defense made Taylor Heinicke look like John Elway.

Or, did Lions types watch that game and say to themselves, “Nah!”

Enjoy today’s Ira Kaufman Podcast, presented by Bill Currie Ford.

62 Responses to “Bowles Cancels Lions Interview”

  1. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Quite possible the Glazers did what they did with Mike Smith…pay the DC money meant for HCs! Of course with Mike Smith, that was disaster, but thank goodness coaching dollars is not on the salary cap. On the down side, maybe the owners worry they need to go another year to get to the SB. NO!!!!!!! NOW!!!!

  2. Chuckstutz Says:

    It’s a bad look for him interviewing right before a playoff game.

    Better be 100% focused on the aints. Time to interview later.

  3. Bird Says:

    Im going with your last sentence

  4. Buc1987 Says:

    The Lions are a non stop dumpster fire.

  5. PSL Bob Says:

    I wish Joe would stop downplaying the play of Taylor Heinicke in our win over the WTF. Granted, he didn’t get much pressure from a Bucs rush, but his passes were right on the money. Doesn’t matter what his background is, it’s his current performance that’s being judged, and he played a hell of a game. Joe did the same with putting down Justin Herbert when the Bucs squeezed a win out over the Lightning Bolts. Didn’t matter that he was a rookie, he played a hell of a game. And toward the end of the season, it was broadly recognized that he’s going to be a very good QB in the NFL. Same may be told of Heinicke once he has more opportunities to display his abilities.

    The bottom line, we need to get more pressure on the QB, regardless of who it is, or our secondary will be picked apart unless Bowles develops better coverage schemes.

  6. SlyPirate Says:

    There’s only one real problem with coaching Detroit … Detroit.

  7. Mitch Says:

    Lions are hiring Dan Campbell to be their coach.

    I am starting to be annoyed that he is interviewing so much since other coaches in the playoffs have paused their interviews until after the season.

  8. Robert Says:

    The D loses this game and he’ll be lucky to get a DC job!

    maybe a linebackers coach……

    seriously, IF he is a serious candidate he would tell the team he has work to do and hold on making a decision. A quality organization would respect that and he would gain respect. He would further strengthen his position by quality coaching in the playoffs and possibly SB.

    I respect he’s caught in a rock and a hard place, but he’s played it wrong IMO

  9. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Great, now Bowles is probably disgruntled now. Wah, wah, nobody wants me as a HC. Great now Bucs stuck with him. The defense stinks and it’s his fault. Identify his players strengths and put them in position to achieve.

  10. 123urout Says:

    I think its more on this one “The Lions watched the game and decided “NAH”!!!” that enough is a bulletin board material for Todd Bowles to prove. :)))

  11. ben Says:

    The head coach can stop the interviews until after the season which almost all coaches do …except the bucs

  12. Darin Says:

    He is going to have to beat the Saints to get serious consideration imo. And not in a shootout. I’m guessing the Rooney rule is part of his multiple stop tour. It’s time to stop the bend but dont break tour bowlsie. It doesn’t work against brees and playmakers. Punch first this time

  13. Will Says:

    The Lions are reportedly interested in Dan Campbell who is the Asst. Head coach of The Saints funny thing about it though they won’t do an in person interview until after the playoffs according to the article I read. Why isn’t Joe reporting the reason that he backed out of the interview. Lions know who they want and it’s not Bowles.

  14. Joe Says:

    I wish Joe would stop downplaying the play of Taylor Heinicke in our win over the WTF

    Joe isn’t. What Joe is doing is downplaying the shameful display of defense by the Bucs. A legitimate defense would have owned that guy. Imagine what the Brooks/Lynch/Sapp Bucs would have done to a minor league backup making his first start.

  15. Jmarkbuc Says:


    According to… “ No in-person interview can be conducted with Campbell until New Orleans’ season has ended, per league rules, so his potential hire is officially on hold until then.

  16. Buc50 Says:

    I’m hoping Campbell can get his in-person interview Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

  17. Logan Says:

    Dan Campbell has been hired reportedly. Also, Arthur Smith the OC for the Titans has been hired by the Falcons. Unless the Eagles want Todd, I don’t see him going anywhere and that’s not because of a raise the Glazers could be offering.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    @Will … “Why isn’t Joe reporting the reason that he backed out of the interview. Lions know who they want and it’s not Bowles.”

    Because Joe is the master at reading into things. Gotta love phrases like “Could a possibility be — Joe’s just throwing this out as complete speculation …”. So Joe’s ‘speculation’ is:

    1 – “the Detroit Lions have already made a decision”.
    2 – “Todd Bowles has another job lined up”.
    3 – “he prefers to live in Tampa (for the time being).”
    4 – “Team Glazer told Bowles if he has his defense play something close to respectable and the Bucs make the Super Bowl he will get a healthy raise”.
    5 – “Lions types watch that game and say to themselves, “Nah!”

    Tough choice there, but MAYBE there’s a 6th ‘speculation’: MAYBE Todd Bowles decided that he didn’t want the Lions’ HC gig after all. The Lions & Jets seem to have had a lot in common over the past several years.

    But wait, just thought of another. MAYBE, just MAYBE, the Glazers are more impressed with what Todd Bowles has done with an average defense from a talent perspective (at best) than most JBFers seem to be. Taking this team from #29 in Points Allowed to a #8 ranking in that category in ONE year with essentially the same personnel is actually a nice accomplishment. And taking it from the #15 in Total Yardage Allowed to #6 in ONE year is also a pretty decent accomplishment.

    By the way, only 6 defenses ranked in the Top-10 in BOTH Points Allowed AND Total Yardage Allowed. Our terrible, terrible Bucs defense was one of them. In pretty good company I’d think with the Rams, Ravens, Steelers, Washington and Saints. Not that shabby for a team that only spent 36.5% of its CAP dollars on defense this year.

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I think Bowles is holding out for the Mayor’s job…..

  20. Allbuccedup Says:

    Who would want the Lions Patricia ruined that defense and that was suppose to be his specialty. Saleh’s hometown team and he had rather go to the Jets that says it all.

  21. mg Says:

    I’m going with, “Nah”!

  22. Jmarkbuc Says:

    You don’t get a HC job when the unit you run now performs like this one. Doing more with less is.

    Stats are for losers. Statistically we may look alright, but anybody who watches football knows we aren’t good in most places.

  23. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Let’s see…..Bowles has coached the dumpster fire that is the Jets. This is gonna be his last opportunity to be a head coach. Given those facts, would Bowles go to Detroit? Hell no! How many successful head coaches has Detroit had. Wayne Fontes? Detroit has NEVER made a Super Bowl. I can’t remember an NFC Championship Game either.

  24. Allbuccedup Says:

    Also the Rooney Rule would give us a 3rd round comp pick if someone hires Bowles.

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    @jmarkbuc … “Stats are for losers. Statistically we may look alright, but anybody who watches football knows we aren’t good in most places.”

    Appreciate the compliment jmark. And foolish me always thought that winning was the based on POINTS SCORED & POINTS ALLOWED. Live & learn I guess.

  26. Hodad Says:

    Can’t even drink the water in Detroit. Who would want to live there over Tampa for a few extra Bucks, and a whole lot of headaches?

  27. Allbuccedup Says:

    Patricia set that franchise back, lousy defense and that was suppose to be his specialty. Not too many people have much success there. There Michgan native didn’t want the job and took the Jets gig, thats a slap in the face.

  28. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Defense rules, can you come up with the stats for the last 5 games? What have you done for me lately? I will agree with you on a previous post or at least I think it was you. Game 2 with Saints, 3 points and I think the Bucs 11 straight 3 & outs before getting a first down. Hard to stay motivated when the defense is playing 50 of a 60 minute game. So if defense doesn’t show up Sunday all you Bucs fans can fill the streets of Tampa and pat yourselves on the backs that you made past the first round of playoffs. I’m from New England, that doesn’t sit right with us. The Bucs have given us New Englanders a team to pull for in the PO’s. We’d love to have a team to pull for in SB. GO BUCS! Save the stats for fantasy.

  29. Jmarkbuc Says:


    I sincerely respect your contributions here, and have always appreciated your appreciation for defense, as I feel the same.

    That being said stats may look like one thing when eyesight tells you something completely different. Quoting stats all day will not make the secondary better. Will not make Devon White able to cover or make Suh and JPP younger.

    This defense isn’t close to Championship caliber, and we all know it. We’re all banking on Brady to work a miracle.. and he just might, but at the moment we have a DC that is either not interested or not capable of getting his unit ready to play week to week. Give me heart , desire and fundamentals… you can have stats.

  30. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Actually, the water in Detroit was judged to be some of the best tasting water in the USA, easily beating some well known bottled water brands in blind taste tests.
    Please don’t confuse Detroit with Flint, who have a severe lead in their water problem.

  31. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Jmarkbuc……One name, Devin White!

  32. ModHairKen Says:

    Todd Bowles should be the next Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach. Period. End of discussion.

  33. Jmarkbuc Says:


    Don’t get me wrong… I hope our D beats the Slimy Saints to a bloody pulp, but I’d be happy if they just acted like they want to play. They look disinterested mostly.

    Go Bucs!

  34. Pewter Power Says:

    Who the hell gets a raise for having their defense play something close to respectable? He’s no monte kiffin and there is no reason to give him a raise for pay he has already agreed to. Ask me he’s just smart enough not to coach in Detroit

  35. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:


    I don’t know if they look disinterested, they may just not be that good.

  36. JimmyJack Says:

    Jmark maybe the defense dont gotta be Championship caliber. Maybe that onus needs to be on the offense. Then your D just has to keep up.

    Yeah, theres lot to debate if you look at all our flaws on defense…..But dont get totally involved in the flaws, remember what this defense is built to do….. Game changing plays. Turnovers. And were pretty good at it. Bunting did it last week. And it put us us 9-0 vs a team that cant play from behind. Kinda won us the game in mine opinion…….Point is no matter what you think of the defense or how bad they might be playing…..They could change the entire Saints game on one play!! And it could be Lavonte David or Barrett, JPP, Gholston, White…..even somebody like Bunting.

    A pick 6 is the only 2 TD play in football!!

    GO BUCS!!!

  37. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I hope for the best for all Bucs players and coaches, so I hope that Donovan Smith has his 2nd good playoff game, and that Todd Bowles comes up with a better game plan to slow down the Saints offense. Off coverage is not the answer, so I HOPE all Bucs fans will see something different.
    As for Detroit, it’s been over 25 years since I’ve been there (went to see the Bucs play in the Silverdome a few times).

  38. Jmarkbuc Says:


    You’re probably right… but I’ve seen players that weren’t all that good at least show some 🔥..

    To me, these guys look bored or.. scared.

  39. ManzielMadness Says:


    I respect your opinion, however I don’t think you can underestimate the impact of Vea going on IR had. I thought are defense was playing very well up until 2 games after Vea got hurt. I’m in agreement with DR that Bowles is working with limited talent. Our starters are solid but we are thin as hel! On defense because we’ve poured most of our resources on offense.

  40. gp Says:

    Perhaps (hopefully)
    He got word that a poor performance against the Aint’s would have him “interviewing” for what ever job he could get. Including entry level hash slinger at the local diner!

  41. Jmarkbuc Says:


    Obviously we are weakest in the secondary even though we’ve spent a multitude of picks there… so is it the talent, the scheme or the coaching?

    FWIW I think DR is very well informed, always have. But stats that say we aren’t all that bad don’t jibe with what we all watch every week. Stats while numerically accurate can be misleading. Look no further than our rating for rush defense the last couple of years.

    Perhaps my problem is I like defense, like when it was actually played. Defense is what gives you identity and garners respect. Offense sells tix, Defense kicks ass, takes names and wins championships…well at least it used to.

  42. FairMinded Says:

    Raheem passed over in Atlanta for the Titans offensive coordinator. I guess Bowles and Raheem and other talented black coaches are tired of being used as window dressing during the coaching search

  43. Defense Rules Says:

    jmarkbuc … I get where you’re coming from, believe me. Stats give you a snapshot of yesterday’s performance, but not necessarily a picture of how the team will do ‘tomorrow’. There’s no question in my mind that DESIRE (heart?) plays a big role in every game, and probably especially in the playoffs. So does ‘luck’ BTW. And oh ya, injuries.

    I probably have a soft spot for the Bucs’ defense because they always have to ‘make do’ with leftovers when it comes to salary CAP especially. Just for an example, Bucs had holes in their defense but were very limited on money when they signed Gronk, yet they didn’t think anything of forking out $10 mil for his services (plus a draft pick) … despite the fact that he’d been out of football for over a year & was pretty beaten up when he ‘retired’.

    Go back & read the JBF comments prior to his signing and you’ll see that some were begging Licht to sign another pass rusher AND a veteran corner (actually I think Joe was one of them). Neither happened. Now what do we hear? ‘Oh, our Secondary sucks. We have no pass rush. Blitz White more so we can pressure Brees’.

    I’ve said before that I see professional football as being very much akin to a good game of chess, and especially on the defensive side of the ball. The strategies & tactics are constantly being modified out of necessity. For instance, when Vea went down, there was a pronounced change in both strategy AND tactics within the Bucs’ defense I believe. Vea was a weapon unlike any other; he didn’t just hold his ground, he collapsed the middle time & time again, and did it fast (especially when he & Suh were in there at the same time). That opened up lots of opportunities for others (including the LBs & Secondary), opportunities that were lost when he went down.

    I personally think that Todd Bowles has done a good job of ‘compromising’ (ya, that’s pretty much what you do when you don’t have the horses). Blitzing as much as he does comes with a huge risk IMO: you’ve just taken 1 or 2 guys out of coverage in the HOPE that you can get the QB to either go down or make a mistake. Despite giving up a higher percentage of completions to opposing QBs this year, we ultimately gave up considerably fewer points (94 to be precise) AND fewer passing yards (377 to be precise) this year than last year. Plus we got essentially the same number of sacks & QB Hits this year as last year in the process … all that despite our main cog, Vita Vea, only playing 5 games this year as opposed to 16 last year. But ya, everyone just continue to bad-mouth Todd Bowles as being a terrible DC. Who knows, maybe Mike Smith will be available next year to take his place.

  44. Jerry Says:

    Unless he’s getting sick of being the Rooney rule guy where every team interviews him to check off that diversity box.

  45. Jmarkbuc Says:


    Well reasoned, as always. If you could just tell Bowles not to play DBs 8 yards off the line on 3rd and 5, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Deion Sanders and Darelle Revis rolled into one can’t defend that. Brees will eat that up all day.

    And some tackling would be nice.

  46. adam from ny Says:

    mr. bowles on the phone with detroit’s owner:

    “hello good sir…so yeah i was in philly this week and i really found the jail cells under the stadium to be quite appealing…almost like a red roof inn”

    detroit owner to bowles:

    “your standards are too high bowles, i’ve seen those cells too and they’re more like staying at a knight’s inn in lumberton north carolina”

    bowles response to owner:

    “after the cell visit i grabbed a couple cheese steaks at pats…those can’t be fugged wit”

    detroit owner:

    “you know what bowles, eat cheesesteaks and run with the hooligans…but just remember, detroit is the illest city now…and in a few years we’ll have stadium cells too…this conversation is over guy”

    bowles: “i brought bruce arians back 2 cheesesteaks, one with whiz and one without”

    detroit owner: “enough dude, you’re fired and i haven’t even hired you yet….click!”

  47. adam from ny Says:

    he goes to philly if he goes anywhere at all…

    only problem is jalen hurts is not the future there…

    hurts will look ok on and off, then flop out as a starter

  48. stpetebucsfan Says:

    With all due respect has anybody looked at this from Bowles perspective?

    The Lions job may be the second worst in the league and Bowles has already had the worst HC job in football…J E T S Jets!

    Bowles is still relatively young. But one more failure and it’s over as HC. He’s had one shot and everybody will give him the benefit of the was the JETS! But if he bombs in his next job it’ll be his last bite at the HC apple.

    OTOH if as D.R. suggests the Glazers like Bowles why would he leave? He’s the heir apparent to BA. Perhaps they’ve intimated that win and Bowles will have the inside track over BL. Let’s face it..Bowles IS the defensive coordinator.

    On offense…it’s BA…Brady..and then BL

    Remember money is not a significant issue. They all are already fixed for life.
    Pride and desire to win are what’s important to a multimillionaire like Bowles. He’s reportedly worth 32 million already!

    Any smart man has to at least listen to offers. Listening is not the same as being serious about leaving. Bowles is in a great position. BA’s health will limit him to a couple more years and then Bowles will be heir apparent to a very talented team…especially if we get the Bama QB to understudy Brady for a couple of seasons.

  49. Will Says:

    Defense as always great takes from Joe and his speculations to Bowles doing more with less. I’ll admit I’m like most here and hate seeing the DBs playing off so dang much and when they do play up they give free releases. Brees is about quick timing routes so bring the DBs up jam at the line every now and then and for the love of God don’t have them line up 8yds off on 3rd and 3. That’s been my biggest gripe with the Defense.

  50. DBS Says:

    Jmarkbuc. The offense did not give up the ball this year like it did last year. Putting the defense in bad position or they would have given up more yards and points. Plus other teams did not get better or stay the same rather got worse.

  51. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The D will be fine against Saints. It’s tough on any D when the offense turns it over. Brady and offense are in sync and tough to stop. Eliminate the turnovers from previous games against Saints, cut out stupid penalties like false starts and DLine jumping offsides , play solid on special teams, make the kicks – Bucs win!

  52. gp Says:

    @ Will
    You and I have the same idea
    Posted this on another thread before reading yours

    ***What I’d really like to see is our DB’s making the receivers fight for the first 5 yards. Not just a bump and definitely not a 5 or more yard cushion.
    The Aint’s thrive on timing routes, mostly short yardage, allowing Brees to unload quick to stymie any pass rush.
    Screw up their timing, give the line time to pressure Brees, stifle their offense.

  53. Defense Rules Says:

    Jmarkbuc … Like you, it drives me nuts when I see receivers running free, with no defender within 8-10 yards (and especially receivers so open over the middle so often). For the life of me I can’t figure out why they play so far off so often, since most of our Secondary are pretty decent man-to-man guys.

    I’m convinced it has something to do with how we deploy guys to play the run AND blitz AND simultaneously protect against the BIG play, but I’m nowhere near smart enough how all that fits together. I honestly believe that Todd Bowles & his staff are though. Losing Vea so early in the year changed a lot of stuff that he wanted to do IMO, but this defense has never had much depth. Losing Vea was the worst scenario I think, but losing JPP or Shaq or White or LVD or Suh would’ve been almost as bad.

    Can be frustrating to watch, BUT … in the end, this defense still only gave up 22 PPG average, and we have an offense that scores considerably more than that each game on average. Maybe that’s the big-picture path they all chose to go down on the way to the playoffs, and hopefully the Super Bowl.

  54. Will Says:

    Great minds. Lol

  55. Jeffbuc Says:

    You guys relax on the interviews. He isn’t take time away from game planning. This isn’t 1998 where he flies to all these places and interviews for 4 hours. It’s a 30 minute zoom call. And I’m sure it’s happening during a scheduled break in his day. He isn’t just ok let me stop my whole defensive game planning and interview with the lions for the next 6 hours of my day. And we all know the real reason why he is being interviewed at all. It’s to cover a stupid rule the nfl put in place. They still believe a billionaire owner who stands to make many millions more if he has a winning team. Would just hire an ok white coach over an excellent minority coach. They are going to hire whoever can get them the most wins. These guys are billionaires this is a hobby to them. So they can brag about how many rings they have not how many white coaches they have. They would hire a coach from North Korea who couldn’t speak English if he was the next Bill bellicheck. The worst teams in football still make a hearty profit. They all just want to go to the playoffs and win the super bowl to feed there ego.

  56. Jmarkbuc Says:

    You work all year to get here , then have a game like the last one?

    “We were thinking it was gonna be Alex Smith”????

    Weak and poorly coached…again. Interviews or no interviews.

    So this week is gonna be better? Lord I hope so.

  57. Colonel Angus Says:

    Playing good defense in the modern pro-offensive era comes down to making key stops and getting turnovers. There are no 2000 Ravens or 2002 Bucs – lock down defense’s anymore. It’s about those end of half stops the defense comes up with, forcing a turnover in a one score game, holding an offense to FG’s instead of TD’s (the Bucs are tied with Buffalo and KC for the most 4th quarter INTs with 7, they also lead the league in 4th quarter sacks with 24, next closest is the Rams with 18, Bucs defense is ranked #2 in 4th quarter points allowed at 4.0, Rams lead with 3.9. Bucs have the 4th best defense in 2nd half of games). Where this defense struggles is starting games, they are #27th in 1st quarter points given up and #21 giving up points in the 1st half. Although they’ve given up only 3pts total in the last 3 first quarters combined, let’s hope that trend continues in New Orleans.

  58. Defense Rules Says:

    Colonel Angus … Excellent perspective backed up by solid data. Kudos. And yes, let’s “hope that trend continues in New Orleans” because we’ve got a Super Bowl to win.

  59. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Defense Rules, you constantly bring up Vea as the missing piece to the D when in fact he played in 5 games two of which were loses and snuck by Chargers plus the 1st Saints game he did nothing except go offsides on a 4th &2 which led to a first down then score. The secret is we have NO shut down corners and no name safeties. The fact is if the offense doesn’t score 30 points or more Bucs lose. Bowles is not a winning coach so how do you coach others to win.

  60. RICHARD weeks Says:

    I hope our defense plays like we did against Green Bay

  61. David Says:


    Why is any of that legal??????

    Eric Bienemy, according to league rules, cannot interview for a head-coaching position until after the playoffs, otherwise it’s considered tampering.

    Why does this not seem to be applying here?

  62. Joe Says:


    Thinking it was the timing of when the interview was scheduled.