The Goal For Todd Bowles Is Simple

April 3rd, 2022

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

So Todd Bowles is a damn fine defensive coordinator. It’s why he’s now twice been a head coach.

And some folks, in praising the Bucs handing the keys to the franchise over to Bowles, are largely suggesting Bowles will be a hit as a head coach based on his defensive resumé. In making a case for why Bowles will be successful in Tampa, Bucky Brooks of highlights Bowles’ intellect.

Looking at the biggest challenge that lies ahead for Bowles in his new role, he must figure out how to get his offense to perform better than his units in New York did. Sure, it helps to have Tom Brady directing the show, but the former defensive coordinator must clearly convey his vision for how the team needs to play to ensure Tampa Bay executes the kind of complementary football that is needed to win the biggest games.

You know the best way for Bowles to be successful this time around? Stay out of the offense’s way (this year). Let offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich be his own man. Listen and act upon input from Tom Brady and let the offense be.

The Bucs led the NFL in passing yards per game and were under three yards per game away from leading the league in total yards per game, second only to Dallas. And this was with a receiving corps riddled with injuries and a No. 1 back missing the final three games of the regular season.

So yeah, Bowles is a good defensive coach. We all knew that. If Bowles just focuses on his defense and lets Leftwich and Brady handle the offense, the Bucs should be good to go.

Don’t try to fix something that isn’t broken. And the offense isn’t broken.

31 Responses to “The Goal For Todd Bowles Is Simple”

  1. Mike C Says:

    Exactly how Dungy won his Championship

  2. Joseph C Simmons Says:

    As high as the numbers were on offense, there were a lot of times it was…”off”. a lot of times that a 2nd and 2 would some-the-hell-how end up with us punting.

    if there is one thing Bowles does with the offense, I hope he emphasizes that it has to be more physical. One of the reasons Brady threw for all those yards is because he HAD to throw for all those yards. The running game was not good. Clyde Christensen has already mentioned that they “have to get the running game fixed’. it was neither physical nor reliable enough.

    Hopefully Shaq Mason makes a huge difference in the running game. Hopefully Bowles emphasizes a more smashmouth approach, which will open EVERYBODY up in play action.

  3. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Joseph I agree with you. For all our vaunted OL accomplished in pass blocking they were mediocre at best at run blocking.

    I also agree that Shaq Mason has the potential to help change that. I’m truly glad we kept the mean red head…his fiery temper sets the tempo for the other guys.

    We have a very nice group of RB’s now. Playoff Lennie does it all…Vaughn is getting better and Bernard is an underrated runner and of course he’s great at what we have him for…catching passes out of the backfield…something that Brady utilized extensively in New England.

    I agree with Joe about letting Leftwich be his man…to an extent but I don’t want to see a Dirk Koetter replay where the HC simply looks at one side of the ball.

  4. SB~LV Says:

    It’s going to come down to
    Do the players have confidence in him as their leader

  5. Bird Says:

    1000 % agree

    He gives his opinion on how opposing teams will try to stop offense based on their schemes/ players. And let byron and brady run offense.

    Pretty simple if you ask me. This team should score a ton of points once again

  6. MadMax Says:

    He’ll be fine…im rolling with it and his co DC’s

    I think ive picked up on a late round LB out of app st. D’marco Jackson….something about this kid really stands out.

    Trade down unless Zion is there…..
    mid 2nd CB Alontae Taylor
    end of 2nd DT Logan Hall
    3rd LG Ed Ingram
    4th Matt Araiza or LB D’marco Jackson…then grab the other with our last pick if still available.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucky Brooks … ‘Looking at the biggest challenge that lies ahead for Bowles in his new role, he must figure out how to get his offense to perform better than his units in New York did.’

    I have trouble believing that any serious sports analyst would even write something like that. THAT’S what Brooks considers Todd Bowles biggest challenge to be? Bowles’ NJ Jets offense ranked #11 in Points Scored in his first (10-6) year, scoring 387 points, but then his offenses fell off the cliff in 2016 (ranked #30 scoring 275 pts), in 2017 (ranked #24 scoring 298 pts) and in 2018 (ranked #23 scoring 333 pts).

    For comparison, Bucs’ offense ranked #3 in 2020 (scoring 492 pts) and ranked #2 in 2021 (scoring 511 pts).

    It’ll be really hard for me to ever take Bucky Brooks’ analyses seriously again. Todd Bowles biggest challenge isn’t with the Bucs’ offense; it’ll be with our defense. I’ve never been a big fan of dual-hatting a HC as the team’s OC or DC, but hopefully Todd Bowles can make it work because he’s got a strong defensive staff & they’ve been together for quite awhile. THAT may very well be his biggest challenge.

  8. gp Says:

    There were several “reasons” he did not do well in New York (Jersey?).
    Hopefully, those “reasons” have been addressed as he takes over “our” team.
    Lets get it straight though, he will be head coach, which makes him responsible for the team effort. Whether they make an effort or not.
    I would think it important for him to be involved at least to some extent in just about everything the “team” does.
    How much involvement, and how much control exerted, will steer this team. Whether to a championship or to the pits remains to be seen.
    It’s all on him.

  9. gp Says:

    Don’t misunderstand my previous post, just stating the obvious.

    I have high hopes for Bowles and expect great things from him.
    I also expect him to act as “head” coach as opposed to a glorified positions coach, out of his element.

  10. Bojim Says:

    Yep. You’ve been left a SB team, stay away from the offense Todd.

  11. steele Says:

    Yes the goal is simple. Make up for the most boneheaded playoff-losing defensive sequence in recent history. Put a consistently scary defense on the field that stops teams. Prove that previous head coaching disappointments were a fluke.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Bowles biggest challenge has nothing to do with the Bucs offense…

    It’s his defense.

    How does he have an improved defense? So far…not so good.

    Deleted, Suh, JPP Whitehead…..added Ryan.

    That certainly isn’t an improvement…..we must focus on defense with our draft and if at all possible bring back Suh at the very least….and at the very most, if JPP is healthy and will sign an incentive laden ed contract…bring him back.

    Now, to be fair…..another year’s experience for our younger players on defense will help……need an improvement from JTS, Nelson, Edwards, SMB & Dean…..would also help for Devin White to rekindle his inner Grizzly.

  13. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Bowles has the ultimate luxury of having THE MASTERMIND BL to help Brady learn how to run a super smooth offense.

    Just listen to BL Tommy and we just might do alright.

  14. sasquatch Says:

    SB~LV Says:
    April 3rd, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    It’s going to come down to
    Do the players have confidence in him as their leader

    The defensive players undoubtedly do. And that has as much to do with who he is as it does with his defensive mind. So, there’s no reason why the offense would not follow.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Joseph … Solid observation IMO that the Bucs’ offense was ‘off’ at times last season, but as I’ve looked back at 2020 & 2021 both seasons were quite consistent. Drive summaries for each game fascinate me, because they can tell you so much in just a little space regarding what your team is doing right vs what it needs to get better at.

    Looking at the last 2 regular seasons, Bucs’ offense was quite consistent over those 2 years. For instance, in looking at how drives ended:

    o Total drives … 2020: 180 drives … 2021: 194 drives
    o Touchdowns … 2020: 58 TDs … 2021: 61 TDs
    o Field Goals … 2020: 28 FGs … 2021: 25 FGs
    o Interceptions … 2020: 12 INTs … 2021: 12 INTs
    o Fumbles … 2020: 4 fumbles … 2021: 7 fumbles
    o Safety … 2020: 0 safeties … 2021: 0 safeties
    o Punts … 2020: 55 punts … 2021: 62 punts
    o Out-on-downs … 2020: 5 … 2021: 6
    o Missed FG … 2020: 2 Missed FG … 2021: 6 Missed FG
    o Blocked FG … 2020: 1 Block FG … 2021: 0 Blocked FG
    o End-of-Half/Game … 2020: 15 … 2021: 15
    o Time of possession … 2020: 29:06 … 2021: 30:11

    The 2 seasons (considering 16 vs 17 games) are actually very consistent, to include the Points Scored (2020 – 492 pts scored is 30.7 PPG, while 2021 – 511 pts scored is 30.1 PPG). If there’s an area that could use improving, it’s Time-of-Possession.

    Bucs have an explosive offense that can score quickly, but that’s a double-edge sword IMO. We usually put a lot of points on the board, but our average TOP was down in the 29-30 min range per game, which means our defense spends more time on the field simply because we have an explosive offense. (That was admittedly aggravated by our inability to consistently get off the field on 3rd downs). As a consequence, I think that our defense wears out in some games (especially close ones against good offenses) by the 4th quarter. Evidence the Rams’ game last year. A more consistent running attack would probably help increase our TOP, and thus help the defense more (i.e., COMPLEMENTARY FOOTBALL?).

  16. cmurda Says:

    Catch 22 for Bowles too. If he wins, well, Brady’s here but good job. If we don’t win a SB, it’s a disappointment. I would say that’s a pretty good amount of pressure. He has inherited a great team but with the highest of pressures. Obviously we all want it to work out.

  17. WVBuc Says:

    The other goal is convince Tom 2023 is best for him to play in Tampa. This coaching change has the benefit of timing that allows Tom to get comfortable with Bowles.

    Imagine if Arians had waited until next February to retire and Brady is a free agent. If he plays in 2023, would he want to play for a new head coach who is defense oriented or would he choose Miami?

    Now Tom will have a year with Bowles and if they are successful in 2022, it will be easier to convince Brady in 2023 to return to Tampa. If 2022 goes poorly, it wouldn’t matter who the coach was, the only way Brady would return to Tampa is if he’s already 100% locked into finishing his career as a Buc.

  18. Listnfrmafar Says:

    I see Bowles biggest obstacle is getting the D off the field on 3rd downs. How many 3rd & 6,8,10 & 20 yd receptions did the secondary give up? DR your stats are interesting. Like the D in 2021 the offense had far more injuries which obviously hindered their productivity but apparently not by much. I do disagree with regarding scoring. If you can score, score preserving the D shouldn’t be a consideration, that’s why you have

  19. OBVIOUS Says:

    He’s Likely Not going to have Leftwich next year and chances are VERY good that he won’t have Brady next year either (2023)….

    With that “fairly certain”, he needs to get with some kind of program. I agree with not getting in the current offensive way BUT he’s probably considering the future.

    I get the damn the torpedoes this year but I’ve got a crazy idea that he has a crazy idea about sticking around for awhile and giving us some kind of change for years to come. More than likely, that’s his actual Interest in understanding the offense far more than he needs to now

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    Listnfrmafar … Don’t misunderstand; I believe you score at every single opportunity. But IF the running game is working, it can get the 1st downs AND prolong drives. Bucs only ran on 33.8% of their plays in 2021 & on 36.3% of their plays in 2020 (those are near the bottom of NFL teams). I know that we’re a predominantly passing team, but there were a lot of times when we chose to pass on 3rd & short … and didn’t make it.

    I guess I’m one of those old-school guys who believe that the running & passing games should complement each other to keep the defense always guessing (ie, unpredictable). Not saying we’d score more points like that (although that may turn out to be the case), but increasing TOP by just 2 minutes per game can be huge for the defense.

  21. 1#bucsfan Says:

    They go hand in. Iron sharpens iron. If you watched the man in the arena you say how intense practices were offense vs defense and that’s what made them a dynasty. Let bowel vs Tom n Byron duke it out on practices. It should make every one better

  22. cmurda Says:

    @D Rules. That old school mentality led to a lot of disappointing ends in the playoffs under Dungy. I’m not saying you’re wrong but I am saying that you go with your strength. Our strength is definitely passing the ball so we should be throwing 2/3 of the time. I think we are right where we should be. I get where you are coming from but if the offense has to be excellent at their job and then assist with the defense’s job, then you ain’t got no defense. I’m with List on this one. Score and score often and quick or methodical. Whatever is working and whatever will work best. There were 30 seconds left in the Rams game. So we needed to score with less than 10? No, clearly the defense vomited all over themselves.

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    cmurda … Not saying at all that you ever pass up a chance to score. Points Scored are always the bottom line IMO. But so are Points Allowed.

    In that Rams game you mentioned, the Bucs’ offense had the ball for only 25:52 minutes, compared to 34:08 minutes for the Rams. That’s over an EIGHT minute difference that our DEFENSE was on the field as opposed to the Rams’ defense. If you take a look at the defensive snap counts, you’d see that NINE Bucs defenders were on the field for 60 or more of the 72 defensive snaps (over 83% of the snaps). Several of those defenders were hurting BEFORE the game as we all know (JPP & several others were banged up).

    So IF the TOP had been closer to say 30-30 instead of 26-34, MIGHT that have made a difference in the final score? Just asking for a friend.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    BTW cmurda, even though there was a significant disparity in the TOP, the number of plays for each team was EXACTLY THE SAME 972 offensive snaps each).

    So same number of plays, Rams scored THREE more points, and guess what the run-pass ratio was for each team … Rams 41.7% run-pass to Bucs 19.4% run-pass. Rams ran the ball 30 times for 73 yds (2.43 YPC average) while the Bucs ran it 14 times for 51 yds (3.64 YPC average). Both teams got FIVE 1st downs running the ball, even though they ran it over twice as much as we did.

    So our running game was much more effective than the Rams’ running game was, yet we used ours far less than they did. BTW, same exact thing happened when they beat us earlier in the year. Had our offense just achieved the 30 min TOP that they did during the regular season, we would’ve won that game IMO.

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    Gotta proof-read better … make that 72 offensive snaps each.

  26. cmurda Says:

    Game tied with under a minute to go. Anything that happened before that point is just the ambiance. I could say not having Godwin or Wirfs changed everything. No A.B. We could play the what ifs game all night long but when the playoffs roll around the defense needs to put their big boy pants on.

  27. unbelievable Says:

    Good stuff, Defense Rules.

    On those drive summaries, notice the increased fumbles and missed field goals in 2021 vs. 2020… compared to only 3 more total touchdowns in 2021.

  28. That Dude Says:

    Depends on injury’s again …
    Just like any NFL Team ..
    If they can stay healthy they can compete ( Pending )😎

  29. Bucsfan13 Says:

    I guess I’ll state the elephant in the room: Brady will be 45 and that cliff can come FAST. I still have nightmares of Marino’s final season. I would also include Brees and Peyton’s final season. I agree that the offense was off. We had too many third and long situations. The obvious passing situations allowed defenses just to tee off. We need to run more, but more efficiently. The play calling sequence was predictable . Another issue is that sometimes the offense and defense start off slow, and we’re constantly playing catch up. I think that’s been our biggest issue against the Rams.

  30. Listnfrmafar Says:

    DR, look what happened to the Titans and Indy who chose the running game. I know you’re not saying go all ground and pound and Bucs do need to run more, I think I read somewhere Brady agrees with that, the 3rd & 2’s and 4th &.1’s need to be more run focused. Agreed, a little adjustment wouldn’t hurt.

  31. Floodgates Says:

    Offense looked pretty broken to me against the rams