Todd Bowles: College Greatness Has Transferred

September 21st, 2022

Mike Edwards is a dangerous man.

Bucs safety Mike Edwards leads the NFL in pick-sixes since he was drafted in 2019.

Head coach/defensive playcaller Todd Bowles dove into pre-draft study of Edwards to explain his prowess.

Bowles hopped on the Buccaneers Radio Network yesterday and said Edwards’ ballhawk ways are a skills that can’t really be can’t be developed at the NFL level.

“He was like that in college, you know, he played a quasi, safety/nickel role in college. He had the best vision underneath than probably anybody coming out his year,” Bowles said of Edwards. “He could see things that everybody else could not. And that’s not something, you learn it over time early, but if you don’t have it when you get here, you don’t really get it. He has that knack for it and he understands it. He makes plays. He makes a bunch of plays.”

Joe heard that from Bowles and instantly wondered why the Bucs drafted cornerback M.J. Stewart in 2018 ahead of Carlton Davis in Round 2. (Edwards was a third-round pick the following season.). Stewart had zero interceptions in 25 games as a college junior and senior.

Regardless, Edwards rose up again Sunday against the Saints (he picked off Drew Brees in the playoffs two seasons ago to seal the Bucs win.)

“He baited [Jameis Winston] into a pick almost baited the lineman into catching him down the field (laughs),” Bowles said. “They made plays. The name of the game is turnovers.”

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26 Responses to “Todd Bowles: College Greatness Has Transferred”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Mike Edwards has also helped others get picks…..he’s always around the ball…..

  2. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Edwards is always around the ball…and has made the Jordan Whitehead FA loss tolerable for now at least. Stewart is short but at least he’s slow. Licht probably would like that one back…but boy has he drafted well of late. A lot of these guys are earning nice futuristic contracts.

  3. D-Rome Says:

    Joe heard that from Bowles and instantly wondered why the Bucs drafted cornerback M.J. Stewart in 2018 ahead of Carlton Davis in Round 2.

    The reason why is because of the three headed monster of Jason Licht, Irk Koetter, and Mike Smith.

  4. Dooley Says:

    Edwards was Mic’d up on Sunday at the Saints, and there’s a cut up of him calling his pick to Jaelon Darden on the sideline, lol Darden took the bet and Mike banked it lol great stuff. It isn’t luck either, dude just has the physical ability and mental awareness to play in space and watch the QB sort of like an Outfielder keeping his eyes on whom ever is at-bat. Dean, Edward, & Winfield are going to have to get paid one of these days

  5. Hodad Says:

    Last year I wondered why Edwards didn’t get much playing time since he always seemed to make plays when he was given an opportunity. I’m glad he’s become a starter finally. I can’t help but wonder if bringing in Logan Ryan is the reason this secondary is playing on the same page. I think Ryan is the spoon that’s stirring the sauce back there. He’s got these guys lined up properly for a change, and they seem to better understand their assignments now.

  6. NCBucfan Says:

    Edwards is our best cover safety, bar none! He was step for step with Olave, on a few plays, and Olave can fly!

  7. Goatfarmer Says:

    Edwards knows a sucker when he sees one.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    Hodad … I agree with you about Logan Ryan; I’d bet that he’s the Alpha dog back there. But Mike Edwards is his heir-apparent, not Winfield. Not the tallest, not the fastest, but he just seems to have this feel for the game & what’s about to happen.

    Next year we’ve got Dean & Edwards (possibly SMB) to pay, PLUS White and probably Nelson. So we’re looking at having to come up with probably an additional $40-$60 mil a year, in addition to the $269 mil we’re already committed to for just 36 returning players in 2023. HOPEFULLY they raise the salary CAP to $300-$320 mil instead of just to $220 mil or so. (Don’t think I’ll hold my breath on that one).

  9. gotbbucs Says:

    MJ Stewart pick is still baffling.

  10. Dooley Says:

    @Defense Rules

    I think part of the cross training of Winfield at nickel back is tact in not having to sub and rotate too much on the back end, but it could also almost acts as a measure to freeze SMBs’ value. Wouldn’t put it past Bowles, with the business direction of Licht & Greenberg, to make it more likely we keep our entire secondary together for the next 2-3 seasons by already taking advantage of Winfields’ pro bowl bowl value and just getting out of him what his future price tag will command. Can’t forget the franchise tag that can come into play for a the players projected to garner more money on the market, like Dean & Winfield, and even Mike Edwards moving forward.

    It’ll be interesting to watch the it all play out over the next 18-24 months, but I wouldnt be shocked if our front office sees keeping the back end together as a top priority, with Vita, Barrett, and eventually D.White getting paid already.

  11. Mr. Editor Says:

    The Bucs are undefeated whenever Mike Edwards gets a pick six. Points off of turnovers will help this team until the offense can find its rhythm. For all of the criticism about the Bucs selecting MJ Stewart in the draft (completely warranted in my opinion), he is still in the NFL (playing for Houston).

  12. BucsfanFred Says:

    @Mr Editor: MJ Stewart is NOT in the NFL; he’s in Houston.

  13. Craig Says:

    Edwards has a versatility that will make him a mint next year. Not sure Dean is on the same list.

    This season is the transition from an offensive team to a defensive one. The money, next year, will be spent on the defense.

    It won’t matter to Brady, he will be gone. Trask will have to make due with some aged receivers and a truckload of draftee and UFAs.

    We need to see what Vaughn and White can do as runners, because they will be a big part of next season.

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    Dooley & Craig … Both of you look to be spot-on IMO. This season will end up being a ‘transition from an offensive team to a defensive one’ because of personnel still under contract if nothing else. Lenny will still be here next year though based on his 2023 CAP hit ($5.3 mil); so will White & Vaughn. So will Mike Evans (CAP hit $21.4 mil), Godwin (CAP hit $35.0 mil) & Gage (CAP hit $9.3 mil).

    And BTW, so will Jensen (2023 CAP hit $19 mil) plus probably Donovan (CAP hit $8.0 mil). And of course Wirfs, Goedeke & Hainsey will still be under their 1st contract, so we’ve actually got the basis of a very good offense, but we won’t be able to afford a high-priced QB to replace Brady. Trask better work out or we’re screwed (I’m confident he will BTW).

    Still, by reworking a bunch of contracts we should be able to keep most, but not all, of our defense together. But hey, that’s what the draft is for.

  15. Listnfrmafar Says:

    DR, you’ll have Brady money to spend. Edward’s is doing good so far this season but he’s also the guy that got smoked by Kupp & Jackson on the exact same play. The true tests are coming. Hey how is Cappa doing in Cincy? Liking Mason more & more.

  16. CrackWise Says:

    @Defense Rules

    Can we drop/trade Jensen and Donovan and recoup some if all that money?

    I think we found a new long term LT and center. They may ever be better!

  17. Suggiefresh Says:

    Defense Rule says:
    i think that is why you are seeing and hearing “built to win this year”. No way in hell we are keeping many of these players and we will be very lucky to retain the WRs, DBs and LBs, Hell, even Lavonte is wanting a big contract extension.
    We are going to see just how good of a coach TB is next year.

  18. Mikejp Says:

    If Todd believed he was that good, why he did not play Edward last year over Whitehead?

  19. Melvin Junior Says:

    I’m from Kentucky & the very first game I ever saw “Edwards” play in there (as a redshirt freshman too, I believe), I told EVERYONE in the room that day that, “I Really Like This “Edwards-Kid,” We’ll Be Seeing HIM Play On SUNDAYS, for a very long time to come!!!!” So, I have been one of his biggest-fans & have been rooting for him for a very long time… Even, remember his recruitment VERY well. He was a part of Stoops FIRST, ‘big-time’ (for us at the time haha) class… He was a high-4* outta Ohio & with a handful of others (also from Ohio), started our lil ‘Ohio-Pipeline’ that year, giving us our first ‘Top-25 Recruiting-Class’ probably, EVER. ALWAYS around the ball making plays head on a swivel keeping everything in front of him and a strong body/athlete… He’s A Stud. GO EDWARDS!!!! Go Big-Blue!!!! #BBN

  20. Dooley Says:


    Mark Stoopes has those wildcats humming, playing some really good football and boy is Will Levis putting a GREAT pro resume together in that offesnive system. one of my favorite schools to watch this year, thats for sure.

    You might want to check the splits, Whitehead missed time, but Edwards played alot in the NB position after Cockrell played himself out of that position. Dee Delaney, Desir, & Sherm all rotated into the secondary in large part to injuries, but I dont remember Edwards being sat in favor of anybody last season even though he did miss about 3 games straight with a DNP designation.


    I still think we’ll bring a QB in to compete with Trask directly as I HOPE, HOPE, HOPE our FO learned from the Freeman & Winston eras and are forever averted to just handing the reigns of this offense over to a rookie/lightly-seasoned QB.

  21. orlbucfan Says:

    From the time he came here, Edwards has made a positive contribution when he’s on the field. He’s a ball hawk and I was a huge Whitehead fan. (Hope he’s making enough $$ to take the sting outta playing for the Jets. 🙄) I sure hope he gets a pick6 this Sunday cos we’re gonna need it!

  22. unbelievable Says:

    Joe heard that from Bowles and instantly wondered why the Bucs drafted cornerback M.J. Stewart in 2018 ahead of Carlton Davis in Round 2.

    I had the same question on draft day, and pretty much every single day afterwards. LOL

  23. tampabayallday Says:

    He is a picture perfect ball hawk.

  24. Alvafan Says:

    One of the biggest plays he made in 2021 was on special teams. He was playing safety and took the perfect angle on the Colts kick returner. It was a smart hustle play late in the 4th quarter when I’m sure he was probably gassed. If he doesn’t make that play the Bucs surely lose that game. That’s why he is so important to the team’s success. I lost some respect for him after the fake coVid card/hanging with AB thing. But everyone has things they regret and CoVid vaccinations were forced on a lot people that didn’t want them. He came back and has been playing great for the Bucs. The fact that he let AB influence him is a red flag. Is he going along following rules so he get the cherished 2nd contract with guaranteed money? Let’s hope his choice in mentors improves as much as his game has.

  25. teacherman777 Says:

    MJ Stewart went on to start a lot of games in the NFL.

    I called for us to convert him into a backup MLB.

    He was nasty in the box but his legs were too short to be a good CB or Safety.

    But he was a great tackler. He could blitz. He played violently. He was good on special teams.

    I wanted to make him a permanent backup MLB.

    He could stick with RB’s and TE’s but not fast receivers.

    But he was a football player.

    Thats why he started for a couple years in Cleveland.

    He wasn’t an NFL bust by any means.

  26. sasquatch Says:

    They drafted MJ Stewart because they thought he would be a physical presence, a tone setter on defense. Unfortunately, they probably overestimated his athleticism because they fell in love with his physical style. And Carlton Davis wasn’t really projected to be as good as he has become… so that explains how that draft order played out. We failed on the Stewart pick and arguably got a steal with the Davis pick.