“It’s As Simple As This”

March 7th, 2021

Learning through defeat.

The way the Chiefs curb-stomped the Bucs in the first quarter of their regular season meeting, many, many folks didn’t give the Bucs a chance in the Super Bowl. We all saw that.

Lost in predictions of doom for the Bucs were a number of factors. One was the Bucs only lost to the Chiefs by a field goal. Another was the Bucs had the final bye week of the season (so did the Stinking Panthers). Even Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians noted how the Bucs were dragging tail leading up to that post-Thanksgiving game and they were on fumes. They needed a break.

So recently when Bucs defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh appeared on Shannon Sharpe’s podcast “Club Shay Shay,” Sharpe asked Suh what the Bucs learned from the first meeting with the Chiefs.

It was elementary football.

“It was as simple as this: Don’t spot people 17 points,” Suh said. “If we are in the game, we can stop people. We gave them 17 points.

“Granted, they earned it. They have elite talent. At the same time we had so many mistakes. As a defense, in essence, we didn’t even put up a fight for those 17 points.”

Sometimes, football really is a simple game: Don’t make mistakes and stay in the game and give yourself a chance to win.

But Suh also added something that struck Joe. Suh said if you give Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles two weeks to craft a gameplan, the Bucs defense was confident all they’d have to do is “execute the gameplan” and they would win.

See what good coaches can do?

It’s clear as Suh’s words — and he’s a long-time NFL veteran who has played for damn good defensive coordinators in the past (Jim Schwartz — though a head coach at the time — and Wade Phillips are two). This tells Joe not only do players respect Bowles, they trust him.

Joe doesn’t recall hearing a Bucs player say that about a defensive coordinator during the Lost Decade. Suh saying that not only demonstrates the respect the players have for Bowles, but that Bowles is simply a damn good coach.

All the hollering we heard about Eric Bieniemy, the offensive coordinator of the Chiefs, not getting a head coaching job. To Joe, those people may have focused on the wrong coach.

25 Responses to ““It’s As Simple As This””

  1. Bird Says:

    Players love bowles. Another reason why i think guys will stay and not take an extra couple mil to go to a team that may struggle to win.

  2. Louis Says:

    Pay bowles head coach like money and keep him …

  3. The Daily Coroner Says:

    That was the mentality of the 2002 Bucs.


    I was one that trashed Bowles all season mainly becuase of his lack luster schemes and soft zone as well as seeing his poor tenure at the Jets didn’t give me the warm and fuzzies. Great job throughout PO’s and SB but throughout the season he sure gave us doubts.

  5. Casual Observer Says:

    Bowles got better as the season progressed. Seemed to improve his strategies and quicker adjustments style.

  6. Bobby M. Says:

    Imagine how deflating it was when our previous QB would spot the opponent 1-2 turnovers per half…..several which were taken to the house.

  7. PSL Bob Says:

    Agree Casual Observer. My confidence in our defensive schemes improved as the season wore on. And damn, in the playoffs it was simply phenomenal!

  8. atlBucs Says:

    The Bucs might have started the ruin of Eric Bieniemy’s chances at getting a head coaching position. Now that there’s film out there on how to stop the Chief’s attack, the NFL won’t be such a cakewalk for them going forward. However, not all teams have the personnel to execute that game plan. Not too many team can chase a QB 600 yards in the backfield with just the 4 down linemen

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    I get totally amazed when I think about what Todd Bowles has accomplished in a scant 2 years here. Bucs had finished the 2018 season ranked #31, allowing 464 pts that season, and ranking #26 in pass defense & #24 in run defense. We had no Suh, no Shaq, no White, and Vea, Davis & Whitehead were all rookies. IOW, Bowles didn’t exactly have a ‘Super Bowl team in the making’ to work with.

    That 2018 defense has been very much rebuilt now, in more ways than one. Bowles replaced the 4-3 with his 3-4 hybrid, and added starters named Shaq, Suh, White, SMH, Winfield and a number of other key contributors. He took that #31 defense and turned it into the #8 defense … #21 in pass defense & #1 in run defense for 2 straight yrs. And as we saw in the playoffs, this defense played at even a higher level than that.

    No question in my mind that Todd deserves another shot to be a HC, but I’d prefer it to be here. Also believe though that the worst thing you can do to a HC is to dual-hat him as either the OC or DC (although there are a very select few who can pull it off it seems). One side of the ball almost always suffers when you do that IMO.

  10. MadMax Says:

    Im hearing it in my circles…why isnt Bowles and Leftwich getting job interviews…

    Um, its simple logic.., we’re chasing back to back Superbowls…simple as that (sorry, had to)

    Guys will sign…we’ll lose a few, but the rest will sign….because legacy over fk money 😉 ….chase the money after winning LVI

  11. chris L Says:

    bowles has been a great coach but werent you saying you wouldnt lose sleep if he was hired? i remember specifically after one damn game against washington. backup QBs light up the bucs, it is as simple as that for whatever reason. we put too much stock into single games. like the one game against the saints and the game against washington. then everything else we say bowles is a genius. i think you need to evaluate over a period of time and they passed the test, especially when it mattered most.

  12. Cobraboy Says:

    Missing Poster Alert: where is stpetebucsfan? Is he OK?

  13. TOM Says:

    Leftwitch is NOT hc material.

  14. ModHairKen Says:

    When the focus is solely on a coach’s race, we end up with comments like this:

    “All the hollering we heard about Eric Bieniemy, the offensive coordinator of the Chiefs, not getting a head coaching job. To Joe, those people may have focused on the wrong coach.”

  15. SOEbuc Says:

    Number six with the +8 TO margin. Nice. Bowels was thrown to wolves to the Jets. He’s next up. Even if Byron leaves, he has security with long time relationship GM of the year Jason Licht to back him up.

  16. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Go look at Eric Bienemy’s wikipedia page. The dude is a scumbag.

  17. Buczilla Says:

    Bowles was in a lousy situation with the Jets. He deserves a second chance and should get one as long as we keep winning next year.

  18. Buc4evr Says:

    I think Bowles had a very hard time last season because the D got taken out of their game plan in almost every game by Jameis, the human turnover machine.

  19. Cobraboy Says:

    Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Go look at Eric Bienemy’s wikipedia page. The dude is a scumbag.


    I had no idea.

    No way an owner wants to make that behavior the “face of the franchise” especially in this #MeToo world.

  20. Steven007 Says:

    I think scumbag is a bit strong. He had some problems in college, most of them close to 30 years ago. Here’s a quote from a recent article about him in the New York times:

    Some say Bieniemy has not been hired because of brushes with the law that took place decades ago — including a fight in college after he was called a racial slur and an arrest on a drunken-driving charge in 2001. But this ventures into double standards for a league notorious for overlooking violent misdeeds off field with its players and blemishes with its white coaches.

  21. Cobraboy Says:

    Sounds like “but what about” excuses, Steven007.

    Getting hired as a HC is totally different from getting hired as an OC.

    The “brushes” mentioned did not include the group peeing in front of a gal, and the threat of gangrape.

  22. Buxszntkt Says:

    Great coordinators don’t necessarily translate to great HC’s. Many NYers will say that about Bowles. Perhaps they are just bitter, and granted it was the jets organization. Bowles is clearly a fantastic DC. He’s reportedly soft spoken, perhaps he’s not a great organizational leader. That’s fine, we’ll keep him here !

  23. Greg Says:

    @ defense rules. Nice take and agree totally. Todd deserves another HC shot and maybe here but soooo tough to hold dual titles and do it at the highest level!

  24. Topdoggie Says:

    I like Todd he also has 3 things we haven’t had for most of the lost decade. Defensive ends. Corner backs and safties. We have had few pieces here and there in the past but never all at ounce. Throw in Devin White and Mike Smith minght not have looked like he forgot how to coach.
    Also helps when the defense makes a stop the QB actually does something with the ball other than throw it to the defensive receivers.

  25. HeyItsAdam Says:

    I think you “Jimbo Fisher” TB. Make him “Assistant Head Coach” and the heir apparent to BA when he decides to retire.