Todd Bowles Set Up To Succeed

July 21st, 2022

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

You’ve heard of coaches set up to fail, right?

Well, it seems one NFL researcher is of the mind that first-year Bucs coach Todd Bowles is set up to succeed.

Bryan Knowles, in the Bucs’ chapter of the Football Outsiders 2022 Almanac, essentially wrote Bowles only needs to steer his new Bucs’ car straight on the highway to success until Tom Brady really does retire.

And for those who point to Bowles’ mostly disastrous tenure with the Jets, Knowles suggests Bowles should be given a pass for that.

… His record as a defensive coordinator is above reproach … . He’s beloved by his players, and he has shown strengths in personnel management and handling personalities and the other non-Xs-and-Os responsibilities that come with coaching a team. His 24-40 record in New York was terrible, but you can question how much of that was Bowles himself and how much of that was Mike Maccagnan and the rest of the Jets front office failing to get him the players he needed to succeed. At the bare minimum, Bowles and Maccagnan were not on the same page, with contemporary reports hinting at turf wars and arguments about decisions made in a scheme where neither man was clearly in charge. (Reportedly, one of the reasons Christian Hackenberg received zero snaps in the NFL was because Bowles was never on board with the pick and wanted to punish Maccagnan for making it in the first place.) Bowles’ sole successful season as a head coach was in 2015, the only time the Jets have been in the top 20 in DVOA since 2010. It was the first year of the Bowles-Maccagnan partnership, with a roster still mostly stacked with John Idzik’s players.

That sort of organizational spite won’t exist in Tampa Bay, where Bowles, Arians, and Jason Licht are all on the same page with how the roster is constructed. And Bowles won’t have to deal with the pain of working with a Sam Darnold or Josh McCown, or trying to squeeze the most out of a talent-deficient defense. He’s in a much better position to succeed than he ever was in New York. That doesn’t guarantee he will succeed, of course, but Bowles wasn’t an out-and-out failure with the Jets, someone so clearly bad at his job that his overpromotion was immediately self-evident. Considering how much his former players, even from the Jets, still go to bat for him, giving Bowles a second shot makes more sense than a lot of other potential retread candidates.

Knowles later typed that so long as Bowles doesn’t scratch the paint on this Bucs Ferrari, everything should be fine.

Joe wants to see how this defense shakes out. You have to figure Bowles signed off on all the personnel moves on the defense. Joe finds it difficult to believe if Bowles preferred Ndamukong Suh over Akiem Hicks, then Suh would be here.

Same with letting Jason Pierre-Paul walk and adding Logan Ryan.

If all of these new pieces of the Bucs puzzle fit and the defense is strong again, that’s going to make Bowles look very smart. And if the defense plays stout and the offense continues to thrive, that’s going to make Bowles a winner.

12 Responses to “Todd Bowles Set Up To Succeed”

  1. Buczilla Says:

    Unless there are catastrophic injuries, anything but at least one playoff win is unacceptable.

  2. 2022 Year of the GOAT RETURN Says:

    Solid all around Coach….. was impressed how the defense kept us in games even though our secondary was a mash unit.

  3. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Best setup for a new coach since Barry Switzer.
    Barring injuries, the D will be fine.
    Will the new Guards mesh with the Oline? Can the rookie TE’s block? Rudolph was signed to be another passing down target
    Everything looks good on paper- but the Oline will be key to offense’s success.

  4. Dooley Says:

    It’s not often a new HC is coming in to takeover for his predecessor without the predecessor having been fired/hired away. Bowles having the reins of a team he’s already familiar with the majority of the talent, an established working relationship with the front office, veteran players already steeped in his brand of football on defense, an OC he’s built a report with along with the greatest QB to ever play the position.

    I think if Bowles can translate that same ability to correct his mistakes in the exact way there were big differences between our regular season game plan for KC in 2020 and the super bowl matchup that this franchise will be in good shape moving forward. It’s really undermentioned/valued that Bowles designed that game plan w/o having had his team run at any point of the 2020 season and did it over the 2 week build up leading to the SB making it one of the more dominant defensive performances in recent SB history. That to me says more about Bowles as a coach then managing the chaos that is the New York Jets

  5. Hodad Says:

    You finally hit the nail on the head Joe. If the Bucs wanted Suh, and JPP back, they would be back, end of story. Seems the rest of the league is in no hurry to sign either one also.

  6. #8 Says:


  7. Goatfarmer Says:

    Barry Switzer was able to win a Super Bowl with the Cowboys. I just hope Todd can make the playoffs.

  8. sasquatch Says:

    Mister #8-

    Suh isn’t coming back. They’ve moved on.

  9. JDStill Says:

    The decisions have been made, only time will tell if they were good or bad.

  10. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Aikeem Hicks can be a total beast, and in my mind is an upgrade over Suh.
    Hicks was not only awesome against the run, but unlike Suh can rush the passer effectively.
    He had 8 sacks one year, followed by 7.5 the next.
    Coach Bowles will turn him loose, and he will love playing here, with a real chance to go to the Super Bowl vs being stuck on a crap team in Chicago.

    We are a loaded team, and Coach Bowles may very well go to the Super Bowl, in his first year.

  11. Todd Says:

    Bowles exemplifies “unconscious competence”.

    Just like Brady.

    Just like Evans.

    Just like Jensen and Wirfs.

    Just like Rojo.

    “Gotcha on that last one! Didn’t I?!”


  12. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Sorry to say, he was set up for failure. Brady is back so Bucs have to win at least their division or SB repeat and after that if Brady leaves, then what??? That man has a LOT of pressure on him. Unfortunately his stint at the Jets is hanging over his head.