Todd Bowles Blasts Buccaneers Run Defense

September 21st, 2022

The final Bucs run-defense numbers in each game this season are pretty good — after the opening drive.

Against Dallas and New Orleans, the Tampa Bay defense was gutted on the ground in the opening seconds and both drives ended in field goals against the Bucs.

Todd Bowles hasn’t been a big fan of his run defense this season, so he explained on the Buccaneers Radio Network yesterday.

“Honestly, I did not like it,” Bowles said. “I thought we were running around blocks and running trying to make plays as opposed to playing scheme. And I thought it hurt us early on, especially the first drive. I didn’t like it against the Cowboys. I really didn’t like it against the Saints. So got a lot of work to do fundamentally and clean up some things. But that’s something we take pride in. We can’t rush the passer unless we stop the run.”

Yes, the Bucs have the best defense in the league this season. Yes, Bowles has a crazy-high standard. It’s a beautiful thing.

Joe suspects the Bucs run defense will improve a lot as the team faces lesser offensive lines, and Joe also suspects things will improve a bit without Akiem Hicks in the lineup.

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33 Responses to “Todd Bowles Blasts Buccaneers Run Defense”

  1. Goatfarmer Says:

    As soon as teams realize we can’t stop the run without Suh they will begin pounding us for 35-40 Carrie’s a game. Glad Todd sees what’s wrong and sounds like he knows what to do to fix it.

    Hicks sucks.

    Release with injury settlement.


  2. duff man Says:

    strive for perfection youll reach excellence. I love it from Bowles

  3. Pryda...Sec147 Says:

    Sad Hicks didn’t do squat in a game yet and he is already injured 😒😑

  4. Buc1987 Says:

    I was thinking the other day(I don’t do that very often)Suh will be here soon.

    #8 will be happy.

    Go Bucs!!!

  5. CrackWise Says:

    I was saying this in both games so far this season. AFTER the first 10-15 “Scripted Plays” by the Cowboys and Saints.

    It APPEARED, the D just shut them down. Almost like they didn’t know what to do to beat our D.

    IDK if that is true or not BUT I have a feeling we are going to find out really quick with A-Rod.

  6. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Hicks has been a real disappointment. Honestly, I expected more from him.
    Suh is gonna want too much money, so some here are crying for GMC

  7. Pewter Warrior 813 Says:

    I am okay with a less than elite run defense as long as the pass defense is great. This is a passing league, stop that and you take away the chunk plays

  8. Big pirate Says:

    Sheldon richardson

  9. MadMax Says:


    Why did they change Nassib to #94?

    Because #93 belongs to Suh!!!

  10. ElioT Says:

    Would love to see them sign Suh, thought he played just fine last year, is durable and adds a lot of toughness to the line.

    Let’s go Bucs!

  11. Redeemer Says:

    Bowles comments about staying in scheme are spot on. The defense he runs is predicted on the lineman eating blocks, so the linebackers can flow to the football. Their gap integrity up front hasn’t been great. Last year the offense scored so much that opposing offenses had to abandon the run early. I think once the offense gets going, the run defense will improve by default. As long as the score is close, teams will continue to try to run.

  12. Ash Says:

    Run defense is not as important as pass defense so if the pass defense holds up to being elite I’ll take that in a passing league.

  13. a-bomb Says:

    I am not sure who you guys were watching last year, but the reason the Rams and others ran to the outside on us constantly was because Suh cannot move laterally anymore. A run stuffer who cannot get to outside runs is a major liability in the run game. He is done. The Bucs and the rest of the NFL know it. Get over it. Bucs are better off with Nacho and Hall-while they lack Suh’s power they are more athletic. Hall will get better as the year goes on.

  14. BucsfanFred Says:

    Hicks has been a major disappointment to say the very least. I knew he was a china doll, gut geez, that sucks out loud.
    Nacho has always done a fine job, as several of us have noted, and Pat O’Conner seems ok. I haven’t noticed Hall do anything yet.
    @Big Pirate mentioned Sheldon Richardson. He used to be pretty good, but like Suh, there’s gotta be a very good reason why he’s still available. Price? Attitude? Declining skills? I don’t know.
    We’re probably ok with who we have for right now.
    Save resources for later in the season. Teams headed for rebuilds sometimes hold fire sales.

  15. Dooley Says:

    Sounds like a coach who’s confident in what he draws up, how he wants it executed and doesn’t mind calling his guys out in the same way BA would-minus the brash delivery- to get his point across. Execution is the line between coaching/scheming and players bringing it to fruition, if either side lacks the on-field product will too

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    a-bomb … Dallas ran the ball 18 times for 71 yards. Only 5 of those runs were outside, for 26 yds, and half of those were from a scramble by Dak Prescott. IOW Cowboy RBs were just as effective inside as they were outside.

    Saints ran the ball 20 times for 102 yards. Only 3 of those runs were outside, for 7 yds. IOW Saints’ RBs were much more effective running between the tackles on us. And they were without Kamara.

    Our problem with run defense seems to have been more stopping the run in the middle than on the outside (Shaq & JTS are both pretty stout at containing the run IMO). I don’t see how that would be the responsibility of our interior DTs (like Suh?). I would think that gap control would be primary. Feel free to correct me, but Suh & Vea together locked down the interior pretty well for the past 3 years I thought.

  17. LakelandSteve Says:

    Hicks did not make any type of impact before his injury. I noticed on a couple of inside runs that Devin White either over ran the play or just ran himself out of the play altogether. Also in the early going the defensive line did not eat up enough blockers to keep them off White and David. I know Suh supposedly graded out low last year but our line was hard to run against with him in the lineup. Hicks is definitely no Suh.

  18. SB~LV Says:

    Hicks must have been practicing with his “injury condition “ all through training camp, clinging to that big NFL paycheck, fine line there, I’ll have to give him the benefit of the doubt. But I have my doubts

  19. MadMax Says:

    If we can still get Suh, Hicks heals by week 10, then they rotate here and there to keep each other fresh, and stay healthy, we will have one of the most dominate D lines ever!

  20. Listnfrmafar Says:

    DR, so what your saying is Nacho and Vea aren’t doing squat? I agree, Nacho is a cheerleader and ever since Vea got his payday he has slowed down quite a bit. I saw once in the Saints game the center knocked him on his arse and he wasn’t double teamed. Has Hicks come through for any team he’s played on? I know he was a bust in New England. All you that believe Suh is washed up, he was the BEST dlineman on the team last season.

  21. patrickbucs Says:

    If so is so great then why isn’t he signed? I get that he wants a lot of cash, 32 GM’s in the league haven’t signed him. Has to say something.

    His PFF ratings last year were awful, not the whole story though. I wouldn’t mind signing him at all though.

  22. unbelievable Says:

    Well it better be stout against the Packers this week, or things could get ugly, given our current offensive woes.

  23. Kody Says:


  24. orlbucfan Says:

    What is with all the hot air over Suh? He’s an old fart who wants too much money. I remember when he was drafted-same year as GMC. He got his azz handed to him more than once for dirty tricks. Good riddance. If you bozos want him, you might as well want GMC, too.

  25. Bucamania Says:

    And now Hicks has plantar fasciitis. Made it one and a half games.

  26. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Buca@ if that is true, that WAS an injury prior to his signing. That doesn’t happen over night. You can’t take a shot to get through a game with that? Oralbuc, once again you show your ignorance to the game. Suh like many others would rather wait it out than sign a low ball contract. When a Hicks situation happens and a team becomes desperate, that’s when he gets his payday. You must be a child because you have no respect for HOF veterans. The guy out played ALL Bucs Dline last year, including Vea.

  27. Defense Rules Says:

    Listnfrmafar … ‘DR, so what your saying is Nacho and Vea aren’t doing squat?’

    Nope, not saying that at all. But your technique of agreeing with yourself AFTER you misinterpreted what I wrote was quite cool. Have you considered going into politics?

    Sorry, couldn’t help but tease you on that one. Vea had a very good game against the Cowboys (1 sack, 2 QB hits, 1 TFL & 1 tackle) a decent game against the Saints (.5 sacks, 1 QB hit, 2 tackles), with 85 def snaps in the 2 games. RNR has been relatively quiet: 1 QB pressure & 1 tackle against the Cowboys, and 1 tackle against the Saints, in 53 def snaps in both games. So one’s holding his own (Vea) and the other (RNR) needs to step it up.

    Agree with your bottom line totally that Suh ‘was the BEST dlineman on the team last season’. Like #8, I’ve been beating the drum all year to re-sign him. And now folks see why; DEPTH is critical in today’s NFL.

  28. Dooley Says:


  29. geno711 Says:

    Good post DR.

    I was beating the drums on Hicks being an upgrade over Suh but the injury concern most on this site talked about came true. I think it is a farce that Hicks can come back in anywhere close to 4 games.

  30. Mike Johnson Says:

    Its time for SUH. Make it happen Licht. What you waitin on? Make the man a deal and get him on the field. Our D needs him.

  31. Natron Says:

    Please, don’t mention GMC

  32. ScottyMack Says:

    Far too many insane people on this thread that think the Bucs have money left to sign Suh. I’m not sure they have enough money left to sign Gronk, either, if even for a third of the season.

  33. MadMax Says:

    ^Suh is coming back…..Gronk too about week 10ish.

    And its not about money….COME ON MANE!!!!