Best Head Coach In The NFC South

July 15th, 2022

Todd Bowles

It’s easy to argue that the NFC South is the NFL’s weakest division when it comes to head coaches.

Their combined record is 51-102.

That’s no typo. Todd Bowles, Dennis Allen (Saints), Matt Rhule (Panthers) and Arthur Smith (Falcons) are a miserable lot if you live by the motto, “You are what your record says you are.”

None has playoff experience as a head coach, whereas every other NFL division has at least one head coach that can make that claim. Three divisions can say every head coach has playoff experience.

This puts the Bucs in great spot with Bowles, their new head mean. He’s the only NFC South coach that’s ever posted a winning record (2015 Jets) and he’s got less competition in the coaching ranks. Plus, he probably has the best staff in the division.

That means more pressure on Bowles to succeed in a hurry. Why? Nobody should outcoach him, and combine that with having the divisions best quarterback by a mile.

Joe wonders whether Sean Payton quitting as Saints coach partly prompted Bucco Bruce Arians to retire and pass the torch to Bowles.

If Arians’ primary motivation was looking to set up Bowles for success, then Payton bolting surely would have been a small consideration.

The more Joe dives into the hand Bowles has been dealt, the better it looks.

28 Responses to “Best Head Coach In The NFC South”

  1. Casual Observer Says:

    IMO, this roster is in great shape. Only weakness is TE. Highest priority to fix that by training camp. Bowles will do fine.

  2. Bucs Win Says:

    Coaching won’t be an issue. The staff is the same. Bowles isn’t dumb, if it ain’t broke……

  3. Buc50 Says:

    I would argue that you are only as good as your QB. Bowles has one and the other guys don’t. Bowles never had one, so lets see how he performs with Brady.

  4. Allbuccedup Says:

    Hopefully we will have a good year and Lefty will get a head coaching gig and we will get an extra 3rd round pick because we will definitely need it.

  5. Allbuccedup Says:

    Dennis Allen #1
    Todd Bowles #2
    The guy in Atl #3
    Matt Rhule a distant #4

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Casual Observer … Agree that the STARTING ROSTER is in great shape for the most part, but DEPTH is almost always the Achilles Heel for playoff teams (probably the others too?). I think that Wirfs going down in the playoffs significantly impacted us, as well as us playing several starters on defense who weren’t even close to 100%. But the same could be said the year before when we won the Super Bowl … for the Saints & Chiefs, not us. We were relatively healthy at the end; they weren’t.

    Personally I think our offense has pretty good depth (except at TE as you noted). Feel just the opposite about our depth on defense. And especially at LB, both inside & outside. What if LVD goes down say for any significant period of time? Or Shaq? And also on our DLine. What if either Vea or Hicks goes down for any significant period of time? Or Gholston? Unlike last season, I actually feel better about our Secondary this year, thanks to the additions of Ryan & Neal.

    I know they’re old-timers, but I’d feel a lot more confident in our defensive depth if we re-signed Suh, and yes Minter.

  7. ben Says:

    The defense has been outcoached by the Rams and Saints more the once .. I want to believe but he will have to prove it .

  8. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Not sure I agree with this, but the guys at the Sports Bar insist that Arians was forced out by Brady.

  9. Casual Observer Says:

    Defense Rules – You are one of the most astute commenters on this board and I respect your opinions. You are right about depth. I would only comment that depth is a problem for all teams. You can’t have all-pro types on the bench. I think (one can’t be sure) that some of our rookies and FA signings will be quite adequate. The LB depth worries me the most. I do trust Licht to understand all this and make the best decisions before season starts.

  10. Duane Says:

    I think Bowles puts his stamp on this team by getting this defense right.

  11. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Agree with both D.R. and Casual Observer.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Is there anybody else that at least…..sort of;….misses BA/

  13. It's A Bucs Life Says:

    Dennis Allen always has his defense ready to beat the Bucs, but got smoked by the Giants, and Eagles two teams the Bucs handled easily. Dude has 8 career wins as a head coach.

    Rhule and Arthur Smith have yet to have a winning season as a head coach.

    While I’m not sold on Bowles as a Head Coach he does have a winning season with the Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick as his QB so can’t argue with him being the best Head Coach in the division

  14. Goatfarmer Says:

    I wish Bowles would elevate one of his assistants to run the defense and call the coverages. I have low confidence in Todd.

  15. Tye Says:

    YEPPY.. Bowles is the best of the worst!…. And even that is subjective because Dennis W/Raiders can be argued…

  16. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Tye: Yes, because Bowles and the NY Jets was a PERFECT situation, huh?

  17. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Goatfarmer: Bowles is known as a top NFL DC, not perfect, but top 10…Do you follow football?

  18. Anonymous Says:

    ^^^^…football? …..are we talking football!?

  19. David Says:

    Goat farmer

    Why? He has elevated 2 people, probably there more for show and to learn throughout the year so one of them can take over next year. No way should he give up being the DC and calling the plays this year. As little changes possible is best.
    Besides, he is easily one of the top five DC‘s in the game. He proved that during the Super Bowl run and he proved it last year, regardless of a bad call in the playoffs. What he did with DBs walking in off the street, not much of a pass rush, JPP being a shell of himself, and SUH getting worse and worse against the run and almost nonexistent in the past rush the whole year , was remarkable

  20. Allbuccedup Says:

    Chris T Apple R looks to obvious to me. Glazers took him to a Manchester United game in England and said Tom what can we do to get you to come back for one more year? And they answer was obvious you can start by dumping Arians and let me and Byron run the offense.

  21. Rod Munch Says:

    I think people are completely underestimating the Saints. I think Payton leaving like he did is going to be more like Gruden leaving the Raiders to come to Tampa, since there was almost no turnover otherwise, the team didn’t really miss a beat. I think, for the most part, teams can sort of run on autopilot for a year – it’s the 2nd year things fall apart.

    I could be wrong, but the Saints this year have real NFL talent at WR, and they didn’t lose a ton of talent – not as much as might be expected. If, however, Winston isn’t healthy and Kamara is suspended for 6-8 games, maybe they’re not as good, but even in that case they should be able to get by for a few games with Dalton at QB.

    In any case if there’s one team in the league that shouldn’t get cocky vs the Saints, it’s the Bucs, and I’ll wait until we actually win those games before writing down a W on the schedule.

  22. Buczilla Says:

    A crazy amount of injuries, or sheer ineptitude on Bowles part is the only way that I can see us not kicking butt this year. I’m not expecting him to be Vince Lombardi, but I am expecting him to be at least competent with our roster and far and away the best coaching staff in the league.

  23. Goatfarmer Says:

    I shudder when I see Bowles moving to zone coverages. Often one or both CBs peel off 10 yards, often on 3rd and less than 10. The DBs routinely don’t know their zone assignments, nor does DW. The blitz schemes were figured out by opponents last year, and the pass rush waned. The “premier defense “ notion came from two scrub OTs starting for the Chiefs in the SB, and a noodle armed Brees getting figured out in the second half of the Saints game. The Packers had the Bucs on the ropes in the second half. Bowles has a hard time beating Taylor’s Heineken. He can’t beat the Rams.

    The offense has had to bail him out. I have watched the games. NFL game pass replays. His reputation as a defensive genius is highly exaggerated. His performance as a HC for the Jets was – it speaks for itself.

    Prove my skepticism wrong, Todd.

  24. FrontFour Says:

    We lost 9-0 to the Saints at home last season. Defense was not the problem.

  25. Goatfarmer Says:

    The 9-0 loss was against Trevor Simean! Beast of a quarterback. What was the score of the other Saints game?

  26. Rod Munch Says:

    Some teams are just bad matchups. It’s like the Bucs playing the Packers at home, even a bad Bucs team is going to beat a really good Packers team in Tampa.

    Sort of like how if the Bucs play the stupid Bears in Chicago, they’re just not winning that game. Every time we play there all the dopes that don’t know our history will say ‘easy w’, and the Bucs just don’t win there, it’s just the way it is.

    The current Saints, with their defense where they literally just hold and drag down our WRs on literally every single play knowing the refs won’t throw a flag on every single play, well that’s how you slow the Bucs. Take away the passing by literally tackling the WRs on every down, and there’s not much left since these Bucs don’t run the ball much.

  27. T REX Says:

    tallest midget

  28. Eddie Marz Says:

    Todd Bowles is an excellent coach. Glad the torch was passed to him. Can’t go by his record with The Jets. Without the personnel your limited as what you can do as a coach. He won’t have that problem with Tampa. GOBUCS!