“Aggressive On Defense Without Repercussions”

April 12th, 2022

Head coach Todd Bowles opens up.

Bucco Bruce Arians was true to his word with his beloved coaching staff.

He molded many of them. He gave them freedom. And he respected their work with actions and not just words.

Bucs fans will never forget Todd Bowles’ frenzied blitz call at the end of the Rams-Bucs playoff game. The Bucs were burned badly (and possibly senselessly) on their turf and the next snap was the game-winning field goal. Season over. And then Tony Dungy, peaceful and Bucs-loving Father Dungy, blasted Bowles for the call on Twitter. (Joe still can’t believe that happened.)

Bowles was talking on a Buccaneers.com video feature recently called Below The Surface and noted that Arians’ gave him the freedom to go for the throat at all times.

And there was no second guessing.

“You want to play to win all the time and he allowed us to be [very] aggressive on defense without repercussions,” Bowles said, “and understanding how we win games and cause turnovers and create havoc while still playing smart football. And I’ll forever be grateful to him for that.”

The key there is “without repercussions.” A coordinator doesn’t have that freedom and respect in many situations.

Bowles knows it and appreciates it. Hopefully, he’ll treat Byron Leftwich and Tom Brady the same way.

33 Responses to ““Aggressive On Defense Without Repercussions””

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Your bottom line in that ‘Tony Dungy Calls Out Todd Bowles’ piece pretty much lets everyone know where you stand Joe … ‘No matter how you slice it, the loss to the Rams is on Bowles’.

    Bowles call wasn’t ‘coaching malpractice’ as you contended in that article. He took a gamble for a reason (possibly to force another turnover?), and made a play-call that was VERY POORLY EXECUTED by the Bucs’ defenders on the field. The only one I’d give any credit to at all on that play was Ndamukong Suh. He came within inches of getting to Stafford before that ball was launched. BA & others (not Todd Bowles BTW) have said that some of the guys got the play-call; some didn’t. Sounds more like a leadership problem on the field than anything else.

    And I for one applaud Bruce Arians’ being aggressive ‘without repercussions’ approach with his coaches. That’s the only way the folks who work for you learn (some in today’s business world call it ’empowerment’ I’m told). Surround yourself with a bunch of ‘Yes men’ & you’ll never win diddly.

  2. BillyBucco Says:

    I hope he does because he really doesn’t know much about offense.
    I like that mentality in game time decisions of going for it or not etc.

    I think the best mantra for offense is let Brady do/have what he wants.
    If he messes up and has nowhere/nobody to point a finger at, the more likely he is to return if that is even an option.

    If we piss him off by making stupid choices he is gone for sure.

    If he at all is interested in staying you will see a no Holes Barred “Attack” in the draft and future signings.

  3. stpetebucsfan Says:


    “Surround yourself with a bunch of ‘Yes men’ & you’ll never win diddly.”

    Can you say Vladamir Putin? Russia getting humbled by the Ukrainians proud and inspirational as they’ve been is like the Bucs getting extended past the first half into the second by USF.

  4. TDTB2022 Says:


  5. SlyPirate Says:

    Defense Rules … That’s so BS. Why does everyone hop on Bowles for losing the game to the Rams.


    The Bucs defense held the Rams to 3 points in the 4th and 10 points in the second half.

    If the Buc’s offense goes from 3 points to 6 in the first half the game is tied. One touchdown and the Bucs win. The offense lost that game just as much as the defense.

    BA and BL got outcoached in the first half. They also got outcoach by the Saints defense in every game for the last three years. That’s what lost the game.

  6. GOB Says:

    Why is this so hard? Go look at Matthew staffords numbers against the blitz, then look at his numbers throwing against seven. It was a tremendously flawed gameplan!! The only reason the Rams stopped scoring, is because they couldn’t hang onto the football!! It had nothing to do with any adjustment by bowles, or great defensive plays. BA already told you people, he doesn’t coach his staff. Why some of you hang your hats on a home loss in the divisional round is beyond me.
    I know the excuses, it was all about injuries. The Chiefs practice squad O line in the superbowl had nothing to do with the bucs win either.

  7. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Joe might want to listen to a recent podcast with Sean Payton. He had some interesting thing to say about the Bucs and Brady. The guy just knows football. He also had some interesting takes on why they’ve been successful against us. He would be such an awesome coach for us. He was on Chris Longs’s podcast. A must listen!

  8. unbelievable Says:

    That last sentence is key…

  9. Alanbucsfan Says:

    create havoc while still playing smart football. – Bowles
    Any way you slice it, that last play vs Rams was Not smart football.

  10. Steven007 Says:

    Alan, that was my takeaway as well. That said, I have no interest in burying a good coach for one bad play call and execution, albeit at the worst possible time.

  11. gp Says:

    Football is an aggressive sport.
    Just sayin

  12. Eddie Marz Says:

    Sly pirate apparently you haven’t noticed that The Bucs are one of the highest scoring teams these last two years and their record is 29-10. Offense wins games just as much as the defense.

  13. ModHairKen Says:

    It’s over.

  14. JimmyJack Says:

    On that last drive our defense had a lot of momentum and one big play wins the game……..You dont make that play if you play soft defense. Yall cry just as much about soft prevent defenses, its a total b/+ch move to cry about this one 4 months later.

    Its a generic opinion to be a baby about the playcall. All you crying has overshadowed the bigger problem on that play that half the team didnt know what the play was. A few players didnt even move on the snap and a few went the wrong way. As much as I love Todd the Godd he is responsible for the chain of command to communicate a play and have it run properly. Total meltdown by Todd in that game and to make matters worse this happened several times in that game.

    Yall go ahead and obsess about the playcall. I appreciate a RISK IT team that plays to win. We went for a kill shot against GB and we won a SB. We went for the kill against LA and got beat. Call it what you want but your lying to yourself if you dont think Winfield is capabale of making that play……and next time if he doesnt run the wrong way he probably makes the play.

    ***END RANT***

  15. Cleanhouse Says:

    Dumb call
    Were talented enough to win the super bowl.

  16. 2022 The Year of The GOAT Says:

    Water under the bridge…

  17. ben Says:

    Bowles blew the Rams game ,, terrible call !!

  18. Buccos Says:

    It wasn’t the Bucs year. The stars all have to align to win the Super Bowl

  19. JimmyJack Says:

    And to be honest the fact that Todd gets all the heat while Donavon Smith get a pass of critisism is a total crock.

    And yes Todd deserves a fair share but that amateur game from Donovan Smith still bothers me. Shaq Barret completely disappeared and Devin White was a pure liability in that first half.

    Thats like 100 million dollars worth of players that flat out stunk. Youre not beating anybody when you top players stink. You can only hope for luck which almost worked.

    And while the gloves are off Lavonte David didnt do nothing all year. That entire front 7 took a gigantic step backwards and its the biggest reason we werent Championship material in 2021. So yeah, we need some young hungry DL in a few weeks. Shouldnt even be a debate.


  20. Eckwood Says:

    When Stafford has like 16 ints against zone and like only one against Man ( did Bowles even know this) or ( just ignore it) and Kupp has just worn out your Man coverage and and and Kupp is being schemed into safety coverage that is easy very very easy to read ,,, Well that’s not Aggressive ,,, that’s just plain and simply not good coaching and another example of anointed NFL Coaches that are often not better / smarter than many High School Coaches . ……… Please someone go back and pull Staffords numbers against Man vs Zone ,,,,, I believe you will find that the coaches plain and simply were just terrible coaches, scheme wise against Stafford ……. I may be wrong but I may not !!

  21. Eckwood Says:

    U r correct J Jack ,, D Smith was really really bad in that game , like really bad

  22. Bucsfan13 Says:

    @Jimmyyjacks. I totally agree. Don’t forget special teams! It pisses me off that the special teams have totally got a pass that game. Why is Harden and Pinion still on the team?!

  23. gp Says:

    Football is an aggressive sport.
    When players lose their aggressive edge….
    When coaches lose their aggressive play calling…
    No-one is concerned with losing a play-off game because you didn’t make it to the play-offs!

  24. Reddington Neck Shores Says:

    let’s not forget that game was 50m of dog doo on both sides of the ball. Brady wouldn’t have needed 4th quarter heroics if he had played better earlier. defense was roasted all game like bbq pork.

  25. Steven M. Says:

    The Bucs don’t need a safety ? Who stopped
    Cooper Kupp in the Rams game ? Nobody !

  26. Joe in Michigan Says:

    You learn the true content of a persons character through adversity. The people of high character will move past it. The crybabies will cry for days, months, possibly years.

  27. David Says:

    I will keep saying it… I love Winfield but he stood there and watched the receiver fly by him and then turned and tried to play catch-up. If he executes his play, and everyone else executes what they’re supposed to do we would be screaming what a great gutsy call.
    I understand they did not need to blitz in that situation but no one expected it. If they execute who knows what happens

  28. David Says:

    The point of the article to me though is coach needs to let the offense alone, delegate and give them the freedom

  29. Buc and roll Says:

    Bucs go 16 and 1 this year

    20 and 1

    if you want to count the Super Bowl win they’re definitely going to get

  30. Goatfarmer Says:

    Bowles should be forced to watch that clip of half his defense looking bewildered and Cooper Kupp running wide open for the big catch, over and over, with his eyelids glued open, for days. Weeks. Like Malcolm McDowell’s Droog character in “A Clockwork Orange.”

    If there are zero repercussions there is zero learning from mistakes. Time for some accountability on defense.

  31. Dean Giusti Says:

    The defense sucked all year. If the wind blew too hard we’d have players going out w injury after injury.
    It was a miracle they went 13-4.

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    SlyPirate … ‘That’s so BS. Why does everyone hop on Bowles for losing the game to the Rams.’

    Don’t understand the ‘That’s so BS’ part SlyPirate. You & I are saying the same thing. Bowles took a gamble for a reason, but the play-call was very poorly executed. Would it have worked IF it was properly executed? We’ll never know, largely because none of us know what the total play-call was (we only see what was executed, not what was called). What I do know is that Suh came within inches; with ‘help’ from others on the DLine, Stafford MIGHT have been forced to get rid of the ball earlier. We’ll never know because that’s not how the play was executed.

  33. Alanbucsfan Says:

    30 seconds left, no timeouts left, Rams need 20 yards to get in FG range- the strategy is give them a short completion and keep them in bounds. Nothing deep.
    The decision to blitz in that situation is equal to Carroll’s decision to pass in SB vs Patriots instead of giving it to BeastMode.
    Poor execution? Yes, but the play choice was Not Smart.