Todd Bowles Isn’t Scared Of Playing Rookies

August 22nd, 2022


So with the arrival of tampering Tom Brady this morning after his Bahamas vacation — otherwise known as an excused personal leave — Brady finds himself playing behind a line riddled with injuries.

Prior to his vacation/family leave, Brady knew Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen was down and likely out for the regular season. As he enjoyed his final weekend night in the Bahamas, Brady lost another possible starter in left guard Aaron Stinnie. He is done for the year with a blown knee.

So now the Bucs, unless they go out and get someone, are left with Nick Leverett and rookie Luke Goedeke to battle it out in the final days of the preseason to determine who will protect Brady at left guard.

Bucs coach Todd Bowles is not bashful about starting Goedeke — if he earns the job. Bowles doesn’t seem worried about a guy’s pedigree, so long as he can play.

“It’s not about experience, it’s about experience playing,” Bowles said yesterday. “Luke [Goedeke] and Nick [Leverett] do a great job right now. They’re getting a lot of reps, so they’ve earned that right to compete for that spot.

“Maybe if one more goes down … We don’t mind playing rookies – we’ve been playing rookies since we’ve been here. It’s just a matter of them getting in-game experience.

“We’re comfortable with the guys we have right now, but if we can find an option that’s out there that fits us, we will look at it.”

Bowles himself as Bucs defensive coordinator demonstrated that he’s not shy about starting rookies. Two years ago when the Bucs won the Super Bowl, a key member of the defense that held Pat Mahomes to nine point was rookie safety Antoine Winfield.

The previous season, Bowles had no issue throwing cornerbacks Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean into the fire and starting Devin White at linebacker.

Bowles seems more worried about production than experience. That’s the way it should be. If a player can start, then he starts.

30 Responses to “Todd Bowles Isn’t Scared Of Playing Rookies”

  1. SB~LV Says:

    That is what coaches say

  2. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Good for Tommy. He put his family first! I’m so glad we have an organization who understood his situation. Kudos to Licht and Bowles. They handled this situation great by valuing Tom’s privacy. They bungled the messaging, but it’s good to see them support Tom. I can only the imagine the hurt his wife and kids would feel if he promised them this vacation and then bailed because the media demanded that he must put football first before his family. Something he’s done to the detriment to his marriage, as Gisele has been saying numerous times on the record.

  3. Kody Says:

    With the rate of injuries, rookies might be all that he has left.

  4. Breadwinnerbob Says:

    The Bengals made the super bowl with a way worse o line .. We have tom brady and a better wr room rb room is better people.. don’t forget that top 3 run d .. added 2 good players at safety.. were loaded don’t panic

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    There’s rookies, and then there’s ROOKIES. Some guys stand out right from the git-go; others just take time to develop before they can become starters or key rotational players. Winfield & White? No problem; polished their skill sets on-the-job. SMB & Dean? It’s taken longer for them, but they now have some great experience.

    Buc fans have gotten a bit spoiled over these last 2-3 years by having several rookies (Wirfs, White, Winfield, SMB, Dean, Edwards, JTS) step into key roles that helped us make the playoffs. Here’s hoping that this year’s crop of rookies steps in to fill even more roles.

  6. Bucsfan13 Says:

    I would hate to say this as a lifelong Bucs fan, but man I wish “Tampering Tom” would just abandon this team. See what life is like with Gabbert and Trask. Some people didn’t want him here in the first place. I hate the sense of entitlement by some Bucs fan. These silly nicknames and constant patronizing is laughable. Some in the media can barely contain their hatred for Brady. Tampering Tommy leaves town, and some people are left writing articles about Trask and Gabbert. Tampering Tommy will finally be out of your life.

    I would pay good money for someone to call him Tampering Tommy to his face. It’s easy behind a keyboard.

  7. Goatfarmer Says:

    I hope Geezie disappears to Tahiti to supervise photo shoots for the next six months and leaves Tom alone.

  8. Leopold Stotch Says:

    Breadwinnerbob: While you are correct, the Bengals line was atrocious, without looking, their schedule had to have been significantly worse than ours is this year, since they were last or 3rd place the previous year. Burrow is young and can move if necessary, Brady, as I’m sure you’re aware, is a statue. While it’s too early to hit the panic button, since it’s still preseason, upgrades would be nice to have. I’ll make my conclusion during or after the Dallas game.

  9. Coburn Says:

    Even if goedeke or Leverett surprise us that leaves us with what? 4 guys at the 3 interior positions? Hainsey, Shaq, Leverett, goedeke. How does that not make one nervous?

  10. PassingThru Says:

    “It’s not about experience, it’s about experience playing,” Bowles said yesterday.

    Bowles: “Have you ever played Center or Guard in a regular season game before?”

    Rookie: “No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.”

  11. Breadwinnerbob Says:

    Hainsey was playing when Lenny had 4 td vs panthers Mason is a stud and definitely being underrated by bucs fans Leverett was good in spots last yr don’t panic and dallas won’t beat us either .. where are they better than last yr? We definitely improved the defense especially the secondary

  12. allen Lofton Says:

    TB played with rookies on the offensive line when he was with the Patriots – so if Todd Bowles is ok with a rookie on the offensive line and on a Super Bowl run still why are so many questing his decision.


  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I must say that after all the bashing of Bowles for playing Stinnie late in the 3rd quarter….I can’t find anyone questioning him on the move….
    I suspect he would describe the competition for the LG position as the reason…

    But, if you’re gonna bash…’ve got to ask….

  14. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Ya, Bowles isn’t the guy under center sniffing Aaron Donald’s and other great dline and LB’s steaming breath. Stupid statement, fix the oline, your QB goes down so will the season.

  15. PassingThru Says:

    4 TDs? You must be confusing the great Al Bundy of Polk High with Leonard Fournette.

  16. PassingThru Says:


    In all seriousness, Hainsey did play in the Indiana game, which is when Fournette scored 4 TDs. He never scored 4 TDs against Carolina.

    Here’s the kicker: Hainsey only played Special Teams in that game. He did not play a single snap at Guard, Center or Tackle.

  17. HC Grover Says:

    We will see the diff on saturday with Brady back. El Blundo will too.

  18. AbucAway Says:

    Todd trying on his poker face…

  19. Nicky666 Says:

    Wouldn’t mind starting rookies at any other position but given the o-lines job is to protect our 45 year old lord and savior I do feel like experience on the line is gonna be key to our success this year – I personally like the idea of signing Tretter and moving Hainsey to LG – unless they feel like Jensen comes back this year at some point id be more inclined to make that move – seems like the most logical decision – Go BUCS 🙂

  20. Goatfarmer Says:

    If Brady is on the playing field under center (?) this weekend, I will throw my television in the pool. There would be nothing stupider than that. Make it the Trask / Griffin show.

  21. SPARKY Says:

    Oh yea Passing Thru, the great Al Bundy game.I was at that game as I was dating his daughter, Kelly at the time. Anyway, I’m kinda getting a good feeling about maybe Jenson’s injury ain’t as bad as we thought. They don’t seem to be too worried about getting a replacement. Maybe just a mumiscuse tear like Wilson has? Back playing in a month? Hope so

  22. BucsNoles Says:

    Gonna have to pick up at least 2 OL. . . at least for BUs???

  23. Nicky666 Says:

    Sign Tretter!

  24. BucsfanFred Says:

    Please, don’t play TB Saturday.

  25. BucsfanFred Says:

    Sparky: from your lips to God’s ears.

  26. Mark A Swygert Says:

    Um, hey, Sparky, Al Bundy was a high school football star. His daughter wasn’t born yet when he had his moment. You were dating a fetus?

  27. SPARKY Says:

    Oops, maybe it was his wife Peg. Yea that’s what it was, it was his wife Peg, before they were married of course. Kelly must of been 18 years later. Not to mention that night with Bud.

  28. captivajim Says:

    Well–bravo for him !!!

  29. PassingThru Says:

    Peg got pregnant with Kelly while listening to tunes in backseat of Al’s Dodge while they were still in high school. That’s why Al isn’t in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Al Bundy: “That 8-track is to today’s stereos like what a girlfriend is to a wife: an earlier, better version.”

  30. Crickett Baker Says:

    I believe Brady must play in this final preseason game. At least a series or two. He has been away from the guys for too long. He needs to get into game mode.