Todd Bowles Has Credible Defender Of His Late Blitz Call

January 27th, 2022

Todd Bowles

Joe did it!

Joe found a smart Xs-and-Os guru who defends Todd Bowles blitzing Matt Stafford with seconds ticking off the clock while leaving the NFL’s best receiver in single coverage during Sunday’s gut-punch loss to the Rams.

And it’s one of Joe’s favorite analysts, too, straight-shooting former Bucs tight end Dave Moore, the team’s official radio analyst.

Before the haters start screaming, Moore doesn’t hesitate to question football decisions and what he sees on the field. He won’t share many opinions about contracts and personnel matters, but he will be candid about what’s happening between the white lines.

So what about that painful blitz call by Bowles that led to Cooper Kupp’s 44-yard catch? Moore was good with it — because the Bucs are so poor in zone coverage.

 “A lot of those situations all year long with Todd Bowles doing that stuff has paid off for them,” Moore told WDAE radio. “You know, you could argue it either way. You can say, ‘Hey, how many times have we sat there and watched the Bucs, who don’t play zone very well, sit back soft and watch teams go right down the field on them when they get a lead and they’re just trying to kill some time?

“I feel better about being aggressive because this not a very good soft or zone team. They just don’t play zone well.”

It’s true. The Bucs are a bad zone team. It’s one of the great mysteries of the roster. Bowles was a defensive back in the NFL and he’s got a strong staff, and many players in the Bucs secondary have been on the roster for years. So why are they so poor in zone?

Ironically, if Sean Murphy-Bunting doesn’t fall in zone coverage on the play prior to the crushing failed blitz — and the defensive backs protecting the sideline are more aggressive — then Kupp’s final-dagger play doesn’t happen as we know it.

49 Responses to “Todd Bowles Has Credible Defender Of His Late Blitz Call”

  1. Howard Cosell Says:

    Howard stayed up late just to be 1st!

    We lost because the defense has exploitable weaknesses

  2. Howard Cosell Says:

    To do list for 2022:
    * Become good at zone defense

  3. Howard Cosell Says:

    Rams defense is much better than Bucs defense and the two offenses are nearly equal (with a slight edge to Brady)

    It was a heroic effort by Brady to tie the game at the end but…….^

  4. Howard Cosell Says:

    Rams will win SB this year easily Howard thinks, so it’s not like we lost to a schlep team. Howard would go so far as to say that last Sundays game was the real Superbowl

  5. Bird Says:

    So there is 1 person out there. Good to know

  6. Dew Says:

    Kind of looking forward to new OC & DC next season if Brady comes back. Why can’t Brady call his own plays? He knows better than anyone what might work.

  7. Bird Says:

    Off topic but Just saw this:

    At halftime, Aaron Donald had a 44% pass rush win rate. Donald recorded a 27% PRWR this season, which ranked second among all players behind only Micah Parsons. (ESPN / NFL Next Gen Stats)

    The Bucs’ pass block (so our oline) win rate at halftime was 13%. The worst PBWR by a team in a single game this season was 20%. (ESPN / NFL Next Gen Stats)

    Oline got abused. Yah prolly had something to do with slow start. We had no plan for this either? Just like defense blitzed when it what stafford excelled at ? No wonder brady may retire. Jk. Wirfs hurt big time. Jensen playing hurt. And smith played like dog 💩 – clearly his worst game of year

    And rams oline stoned our d line. Of course we lost

  8. Tye Says:

    That call still cost the Bucs the game and the playoffs…

    What if – Brady is waiting to see if Leftwich leaves..
    Brady retires from playing and takes over OC job, keeps mentoring and developing Trask in the offense they have been in for past two years…… LoL

  9. Tackleblockwin Says:

    One reason we are a bad zone team is because we can’t tackle well.

  10. Adrnagy Says:

    Lets leave it at this …. We make a play either sack or pass coverage and the playcall is genius / homerun. We win.

    We dont make a play we lose. And its a horrible call / coach.

    I do believe its the right play call. Did our player ready for that challenge NO.

  11. Adrnagy Says:

    Brady will be back next year. Gronk , godwin, fournette too. Whats going to take us to the super bowl is our depth in offense. And defense.

  12. captivajim Says:

    SO –if the Bucs have all this talent according to Moore, & yet are not a good zone team with all defensive being vets with Bowles;;; Whose JOB was it / is it to correct that problem ?/

    I suggest 2 choices ; Bowles ,, or Bucco ???

  13. captivajim Says:

    Who is more credible; Moore or Tony Dungy ?

  14. SPARKY Says:

    I wonder if the way our offense came out flat, and the way the defense looked confused the whole game, if it had anything to do with our OC and DC worried about head coaching jobs all week. Brady looked different after that game
    I hope that didn’t piss him off.

  15. Francisco Guzman Says:

    I don’t think the rams are beating the 49ers but we shall see.

  16. Rod Munch Says:

    It’s true. The Bucs are a bad zone team.


    That’s not true though, the defense improved dramatically this year after Bowles went to primary being a zone defense after all the secondary injuries.

    Although I guess you could still say they’re a bad zone team and say they improved at the same time, I suppose.

  17. Go Bucs One More Time Says:

    Very Weak Argument…

    The way Todd Bowel’s defense succeeded in last year’s Super Bowl.
    – Blitz only 5 times.
    – No Zone.
    – 4 Man Rush + Man + Zone

    Moore conveniently didn’t mention any of above.

    Against Rams (26th rush offense), Todd Bowel prioritized defending rush stacking box with 6~7… instead of playing more DBs (who have played all season due to injuries and gained all the experience in the world) and daring Rams to run. Todd Bowel and his defense was too caught up with Rush Defense Pride from previous Eagles game.

    Poor Game Plan PERIOD!!! They should’ve played differently against Rams focusing on Kupper First

  18. Big pirate Says:

    Play wasn’t executed properly. No one was set and ready or knew their assignment

  19. Cleanhouse Says:

    Fair point- they didn’t execute whatever was intended and it looked like an utter train wreck. Great awareness by Stafford, gotta give him props for feeling out what to do and improvising on the fly in that presssure situation.

  20. '79 Defense Says:

    Yes, good to know that.

    You would figure that the guy who was credited by many as a genius for his game plan in the SB just a year ago, must have had some relatively sound reasoning for the call– no matter how many people such as brick layers, stat geeks, or fan site owners pretend that they know better.

  21. BucfaninMi Says:

    31 points and they win. Goes either way

  22. BucfaninMi Says:

    31 points they win. Either way 🤷🏼‍♂️

  23. BucfaninMi Says:

    Why are you Joes? Not letting me comment? I’ve never been inappropriate? I’ve been visiting this site since the beginning. Everyday.

  24. Buczilla Says:

    We had a lot of good fortune last year to go along with a bad@ss team. This year our team wasn’t as good and no amount of luck was going to change that. I don’t blame Bowles anymore for calling a bad play than I do do Brady for missing or just plain not seeing wide open receivers. Total team loss and it’s just weird that a lot of folks keep harping on one play. LOL, we missed out on a lot of plays.

  25. lambchop Says:

    Like I said, being aggressive is our M.O., we don’t have the personnel to let Stafford sit back, relax, and pick apart our secondary.

    The call was right, the execution was pathetic.

  26. Defense Rules Says:

    Any play call has a much better chance of success IF it’s executed properly. Those last 2 plays weren’t, and we’ll never truly know IF they were the best calls in those situations. Todd Bowles gambled, like he’s done all season, and it didn’t work out. We lost. And now, in Bucs’ fans never-ending hunt for a scapegoat, he’s supposed to get thrown off the pirate ship & walk the plank. Oh wow.

    Like Buczilla said … ‘Total team loss’ and ‘We missed on a lot of plays’. Like Lambchop said … ‘Being aggressive is our MO’ and ‘The call was right, the execution was pathetic’.

    NexGen did a probability analysis of the game afterwards based on the actual play calls & executions. When we’d fallen behind 27-3 in the 3rd qtr, there was over a 99% chance that we’d lose. We clawed back in with 42 seconds to go when we tied it 27-27 (to a 50% chance of losing), but as it turned out that last 42 seconds proved to be critical.

    Fans can play the ‘What If’ game forever, but the outcome won’t change. Bucs blew it in the 1st half by doing the one thing that we did in our losses this year: we fell behind early. And in this case we fell behind by a bunch. We clawed our way back in largely because of all the Rams’ fumbles & stumbles. They won it because of our stumbles at the very end. Life’s a bitch.

  27. Bowlesbooboo Says:

    Bucs had a 20.7% pass rush win rate for the game. So yeah, great call.

  28. Sandman Says:

    Isn’t a good soft, zone or man. It’s a team that can’t cover.

  29. Ron Says:

    *** Omg guys….it was a terrible and unsafe play call. THIS WAS TGE DUMBEST explanation I ever heard. ( blitz because they don’t play zone well) uhhhh duhhh…who cares if they catch the ball….THEY HAD NO TIME OUTS!!!!!!

    Bottom line is..our coaching staff HC, DC, and OC….cannot coach…we won the SB on talent last year and had no real injuries…that covered up the fact our coaching staff does a poor job at preparation.

    The 2nd and 3rd team wrs..are just speed guys AND CANT CATCH. The Dbs and safeties..can’t defend. Who brings these guys in…they don’t get better throughout the course of the year…….that falls on coaching.


    Brady STLL WANTS TO PLAY…but he knows this coaching staff is INEPT.

  30. Bucsfanman Says:

    Nailed it, Defense Rules! TEAM loss. Any play over the course of 60 minutes could have changed the outcome.
    The fact that we were even in it at that point was a miracle. Consider that if Akers doesn’t fumble twice in the 2nd half, the Rams cruise to victory in a laugher.

  31. Bobby M. Says:

    Terrible call….even worse execution….both point back to poor coaching. He called a play the players were obviously not prepared for nor expecting.

  32. Leda Says:

    It was the dumbest defense call. See Cooper easily crossing the field was umbeliveble.

  33. PassingThru Says:

    That defense of Bowles’ play call is as weak as Bowles’ play call.

  34. SB~LV Says:

    The best receiver was covered at all !

  35. lambeau Says:

    Ron is right; incredibly dumb defense to say soft zone hurt them all year.
    This was the final play! Of course you give up a short reception! Jesus.

  36. lambchop Says:


    Catching a ball makes a huge difference when you can get a first and spike the ball….you know, like exactly what happened?

    Sack the QB or get a TO, is a better outcome. Letting fast WRs catch the ball is never the smart play unless it’s like, oh, 7 seconds left?

    I’m not crucifying a defensive coordinator when obviously coaching did something right to win a SB and be 13-4. The players didn’t step up. As much as an offense should practice situational last minute offense, a defense needs to do the same. Or at least understand, that you can’t be standing around doing nothing ala Shaq and Lavonte.

    Winfield Jr got caught flat footed and shallow. That’s not on Bowles.

  37. lambchop Says:

    42 seconds with a spike and allowing WRs a free run is an eternity. And oh btw, Matt Gay has a leg. Even though he missed an earlier kick, he still has a leg to launch a 50+ yard kick.

  38. BucsBeBack (Artist formally known as: BringBucsBack) Says:

    Sorry but, NO! It’s back to the; “that’s what we do” explanation. That philosophy is lazy & worn-out! I’m sure you folks remember when Belicheat had WRs playing cornerback in playoff games. Good coaches adjust & do whatever it takes to win. Who, in their right mind wouldn’t have dropped at least 8 defenders into coverage, on that entire drive. Every receiver could have been double-covered from the line of scrimmage! Instead we let this years’ best receiver run untouched through our sh*tty zone coverage!?!? I thought we didn’t play zone well? Yet, that’s exactly what they did on the final catch! Bonkers!! Just Freakin’ Bonkers!!

  39. Listnfrmafar Says:

    It doesn’t matter how bad they are rush 3 and bring in more DB’s, protect the sidelines and make Stafford scramble and throw it deep middle. As long as they keep the receiver in bounds game over. DR states Bowles gambled all season long, well this time he gambled with the season and lost. This still doesn’t answer the question why Vea rushed from outside taking him out of the play. Stupid call. If Bowles was a DB, why are his DB’s so bad?

    I would also like to point out, rumor has it Brady wanted to line up for two to see if he could draw them offside but mostly to have the Rams use their TO. BA overruled.

  40. Cchead Says:

    That’s odd. Was listening to the radio right after the game and Moore was critical of the blitz. Can’t have it both ways Dave.

  41. Hodad Says:

    Moore towing the company line. Maybe his contract is up for renewal.

  42. HC Grover Says:

    I saw the film. Suh came right up the middle untouched. The rest of the D was standing around wondering what to do.

  43. matthew veal Says:

    The prevent defense used by the Buffalo bills didn’t work any better.

  44. Bosch Says:

    Moore’s logic is flawed The situation called for a prevent defense meaning 7 in coverage. I don’t care how poor your zone coverage is, you are less than an NFL defense if you canny successful execute a prevent. And that is even a greater indictment on Bowles. At the end of the day, he spent more time preparing for interviews than preparing for the Rams. Bowels needs to be fired! It is time for a Bowels Movement.

  45. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Captivajim and Bosch, because Dungy has NFL head coach experience and Moore was an NFL player you might give more weight to Dungy’s opinion. However, Moore has the benefit of seeing every play called during the entire season. I give the nod to Moore on this one. The play called was a gamble in this one as well as for similar situations during the season. Moore’s analysis makes a whole lot of sense.

  46. David Guinn Says:

    Don’t forget, good snap on Bucs Field goat attempt and the Rams tie to get to OT.
    One can only wonder. 27 points wins a lot of games.

  47. nick houllis Says:

    the rams turned the ball over 4 times and won. they gave us every break. Our Defense MADE THE PLAYS to strip the ball. Kupp is triple crown winner, were not the only one he made big plays on this year.

    it just sucks we had two MORE opportunities in the red zone that turned to nothing. only to come back and get this. It sucks, but its not end of the world. Either Godwin, or Wirfs, would have made a big difference!

  48. Jordan Says:

    I didn’t have a problem with the call. We aren’t even in that game without our defense playing that aggressively. My issue is our best players, our LBs, didn’t get the memo and blitz. Suh beat his man without David hitting his gap with him. If that happens, we get to Staff, maybe get a pick and turn the game on its head

  49. bucsfanfromNE Says:

    Dumbest play call ever,, we’d be going to the Superbowl if not for that blitz,,wasted BUCS season on that one dumb blitz, don’t leave the best WR singled up on a already weakend secondary,, nauseating,,ugh