Todd Bowles: Missing Players Weren’t Needed

September 26th, 2022

Guys who played screwed up.

Joe thought Bucs coach Todd Bowles made a helluva smart comment last night after the game.

The Bucs were missing damn near a Pro Bowl offense. Mike Evans was suspended. Julio Jones didn’t suit up (Bowles later said he could have). Chris Godwin was unavailable with one of those AdventHamstring Training Center specials. Donovan Smith couldn’t go with his hyperextended elbow. And this is not even factoring in Ryan Jensen.

One could argue that just one of those players starting would have made the difference in a 14-12 loss.

Bowles wouldn’t tolerate any such thought. When asked about the missing players, he correctly noted their absence didn’t cost the Bucs a win. The guys who were on the field cost the Bucs a win.

“We didn’t have to have those guys to win this ball game, we just needed to play smart,” Bowles said. “So, we weren’t waiting for anyone to come off the field and say, ‘If we would have had this’ – we had a chance to win this game.

“We shot ourselves in the foot and that’s something we can’t do. Talent had nothing to do with the way we shot ourselves in the foot.”

Joe doesn’t know where to begin. The fumbles, maybe? The penalties? How many drives did penalties kill? Of course, the delay of game on a two-point conversion to possibly send the game into overtime was a killer.

Bowles is absolutely right. If people want to point fingers at guys not being on the field for the loss, that’s misdirected.

Instead, Bowles smartly said, point fingers at guys who snapped on their chinstraps.

68 Responses to “Todd Bowles: Missing Players Weren’t Needed”

  1. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    Bowles was the one that wasted the timeouts and left us with Zero when we really needed one. Pass the blame glass to Todd and take a big gulp Mr. Bowles.

  2. Goatfarmer Says:

    Bowles needs to take the Boron into a room and do some splainin. Then he needs to have BA come in the room and leave, then Brady needs to come in.

    And maybe Licht needs to come one and explain to the Boron what his job responsibility is, what his current performance is, and establish a performance improvement plan that must be rigidly executed or…..consequences. Offensive coordinators have been fired mid season before.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It makes perfect sense to assume that the missing players would have performed better……sure, you go with the players you have…..but, do you really think Evans, Godwin & Jones wouldn’t do better than Perriman, Scotty & Darden?
    D Smith better than Walton…..

    For me, it was the missing players coupled with poor playcalling by BL.

  4. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Bowles is cool as a cucumber, and always makes too much sense, I think.
    Other people’s mileage, may vary, lol

  5. Colonel Angus Says:

    Turnovers kill. Those fumbles cost at least 3pts which would have won the game. Gotta squeeze that ball.

  6. Goatfarmer Says:

    One of the killers was the overly complicated triple reverse flea flicker call right after a big gain. Even if the ball ended up in Brady’s hands the Packers were all back there so he probably gets sacked anyway. What a stoopid fargin’ call. Boron.

  7. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Hainsey was one beat late on the snap on the two point conversion. I don’t think that miscommunication happens if Jensen is playing. Not to take away from Hainsey because he’s filled in well for Jensen, but the communication and timing are still off between him and brady at times.

    Also, the Perriman fumble cost the bucs points, and miscommunication on the deep post to Perriman that went to the end zone on third down was a huge missed opportunity.

  8. Kentucky Buc Says:

    He mentioned everything except coaching.

  9. Onetrickpony Says:

    Tampabaybucfan pretty much matched my thoughts exactly

  10. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    First wasted timeout was at 3:24 when Myers of green Bay was injured on the play and you had injury timeout. Second wasted timeout was after a 7 yard loss on sack of Rodgers. Third wasted timeout was after a totally unnecessary running play to Lenny that gained 2 at :21 left. Timeouts are like water to a man in the desert in a close ball game.

  11. OrlandoBucFan Says:

    Bowles is correct that the players on the field (and coaches) lost the game. Still, his comment fails to recognize the impact talented players have on games. If that were not the case, we would still have Winston as our quarterback instead of The Goat. With more talent on the field, teams have the capacity to overcome errors. The team that Bowles fielded yesterday simply didn’t have the talent to overcome their own miscues, which left a very small margin of error. I wonder if starting Julio Jones would have been enough to overcome the Bucs’ margin of defeat. Bowles’ comment simply deflects the blame away from his own poor judgment to sit one of his most talented players, and one would have filled a critical need at a depleted position.

  12. Upstate NY Buc Says:

    Bucs receivers need to run more of those pick routes…Packers got away with at least 3 plays for positive yards. Should of been flags according to rule book!!!

  13. Steven007 Says:

    76, the only time out I questioned was the one after the injury. But I thought when there was the injury time out they would have given it back to us. Obviously that didn’t happen. Otherwise it would have been the right call had there not been an injury.

  14. gp Says:

    To be honest…
    The exact same defense that blanked the packers in the second half, allowed two TD’s in the first half. Had they limited that to just one, that would have won the game. ie. We lost in the first half, first quarter even.

    Anyone wanna go there?

    Poor play calling, possibly. Poor execution, most definitely.
    Coaches can’t prevent, cause, recover, fumbles. Turnovers kill drives harder than penalties and we had a couple drives killed by penalties too. That’s at least 5-6 scoring drives shot down in their prime and that’s entirely on the players. Just one of those would have won the game.

  15. Goatfarmer Says:

    Timeouts weren’t any issue. They scored the TD. The run to Lenny got them to Brady sneak range but he hit Gage with the incredible TD pass/catch that set them up for the tie. A delay of game penalty on a 2pt conversion is the height of ineptitude and stupidity. Todd will know exactly how, why and who. He needs to enact corrections immediately.

  16. SB~LV Says:

    Excellent coaching, actually they whole roster understands that they were not mentally ready to step on the field yesterday.
    Move along….

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    Todd Bowles … ‘“We shot ourselves in the foot and that’s something we can’t do. Talent had nothing to do with the way we shot ourselves in the foot.”

    I don’t disagree with Todd’s sentiment here; Bucs offense did shoot themselves in the foot. But TALENT is a huge factor in terms of guys who consistently make big plays, and that’s what we were missing yesterday. Some guys make the BIG PLAYS when they’re needed; others watch from the bench. Too many who were on the field yesterday would’ve been sitting on the bench if the big dogs hadn’t been injured. Shouldn’t be used as an excuse (and Todd didn’t do that), but it is a factor that impacted the outcome.

    Donovan Smith, Ryan Jensen, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Julio Jones … had they been in the lineup, Bucs offense surely would’ve put up more than 12 points & been able to secure the win. But then again, if frogs had wings they wouldn’t bump their ass hopping.

  18. TJ Says:

    It’s kind of annoying since the Super Bowl run we cannot put it all together as a team. The defense was the Achilles heal last year, now it’s the offense who is playing undisciplined, making turnovers and dumb fundamental mistakes. This next few weeks we will see what Leftwich is made of. Bowles needs to keep the D going and hopefully the offense will get healthy and pull their heads out their butts. I will say it’s mostly 2nd tier offensive players making mistakes. If they want to stay in the league they need to step up.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    gp … Bucs defense gave up 14 points in 60 minutes to a talented Packers offense. They’ve given up a grand total of 27 points in 3 games to 3 good teams … a lowly 9 PPG average … to rank #1 in the NFL for Points Allowed and #4 in the NFL for Yardage Allowed. I would hope that no fans are foolish enough to say ‘They should’ve done better’. (Well, anyone except their DC who’s obviously trying to keep them big-time motivated to do even better).

  20. Francisco Guzman Says:

    Anything short of an nfc title game would be a massive failure for this team. Disgusted with yesterday’s L. Couldn’t even beat a no so vintage packers team at home.

  21. Mike Johnson Says:

    I totally disagree with Coach Bowles. Missing plyers were needed desperately. We saw clearly why these receivers are 2nd tier for our Bucs. That drop by Perriman deep in Pack territory arguable cost us the game. There were many other drops as well. I give the Packers Defense credit though. They came to play. Hope we have a lot more healthy players for the Chiefs. We are going to need them.

  22. Francisco Guzman Says:

    Defense Rules a talented packers offense? This packers offense is not that good. It’s a team in transition offensively. Anyway the bucs offense was embarrassing yesterday. Too many mistakes.

  23. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    Offense averaging 13 per game-that side of the ball had better improve quickly, last season offense averaged 30.

  24. Darin Says:

    Who is leftwichs’ backup?

  25. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Good players play better than average players……I understand what Bowles is trying to say because you never know who will be playing and he doesn’t want to blame the loss on the missing….

    But Todd C’MON MAN!!!

  26. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    Timeouts were a HUGE issue-which is more easily converted-4th and 2 or 4th and 7 ????? That cannot be argued Goat.

  27. SB~LV Says:

    Needed that type of game …
    Move along now!

  28. LostDecadeSurvivor Says:

    Are people in here misunderstanding this?

    Bowels is saying that they could have won that game with the players that were available. Not that the players who were out wouldn’t have helped.

    He’s saying that they should have won this game if not for being idiots (fact check true).

  29. Davenport Says:

    At what point does real heat turn to Leftwich. Regardless of injuries, this offense has been pathetic. There is no excuse.

  30. gp Says:

    Our defense held the packers scoreless for three full quarters. I would call that good work. Four quarters would have been better, but my previous post wasn’t exactly a dig on the defense.
    It was poor execution (all game long) that lost that game.
    But the points we couldn’t overcome were scored in the first.

  31. Will Says:

    The point Todd is making is 100% correct. We were in that game with a chance to tie it with the players that suited up. A fumble by Perriman before the half when we’re probably going to score at least a field goal. Then a fumble by Gage when we’re moving the ball and getting a rhythm going. If those don’t happen we win the game with the talent that suited up. I think if we have Evans and Godwin that game isn’t even close but we had enough on the field to win.

    I think the issues we’re having offensively will get better but we’re playing with an entirely new offensive line. BL isn’t doing us any favors with his vanilla play calling and please get Sneak in there a bit for a different look at RB. I love Fournette but he’s looking a bit out of gas right now.

    How is it that Lafleur can figure out how to get his best players on the field at the same time but BL can’t? He knew all week who wouldn’t be playing and yet he runs the exact some offensive scheme with no new wrinkles. Smh

  32. zzbucs Says:

    To many crying babies on this site!!!

  33. Maniac Buc Says:

    Today will be Scotty last day as a Buc!!!

  34. DBS Says:

    Green Bay made plays too. They punched the ball out. Just like our defense is taught to do. That is the game. You were not on the field and do not know what happened other than what you saw. You people act like the packers were going to be a push over. Why were you worried about the first 4 games of the season??? We have no way of knowing for sure what would have happened. They get paid to play too.

  35. alton d green Says:

    WOW Joe I don’t know where to begin. Oh wait a minute You’re obviously just as dumb as smiley Bowles. You REALLY need to go back and read those injured names again and again. Then make your statement again. What you and picklepuss are puking is that Evans, Godwin, or Julio down by the schoolyard would have been just as apt as 2nd or 3rd stringers to fail to get open, or fumbled. A center that isn’t even wet behind the ears. off lineman that think “oh the refs won’t see this. I’m thinking as I write. You and smiley are from the same mold.

  36. alton d green Says:

    zzbucs, you nailed it!!!!!!!

  37. alton d green Says:

    all those great players would not have made a difference?????? JOEY got 80 million votes right?

  38. George Says:

    Hainsey screwed up the two point conversion

    No one on The Bucs will fess up to that cause he is all we have .

  39. DBS Says:

    gp. B!tch all you want. We are not going to hold every team to 3 points or less. It is our offense that on the opening drive went down the field and yet again put up 3 not 7. Then after the DEFENSE gives them great field position? Another 3 points.

  40. Goatfarmer Says:

    76 – a timeout on a 2pt conversion shouldn’t be necessary. The second they scored the TD they have an options package of plays that if they lined up immediately when the play clock started, would have had plenty of time to call at the line. Because of ineptitude, yeah, one remaining TO would’ve helped so I get your point. My point – in no universe with a well coached and prepared offense should it ever be necessary.

  41. firethecannons Says:

    why wait to lose to say we just need to play smart. You would think he would have this drilled into the players in advance. Too many costly penalties and relying on players that are not good–like scotty miller. no more days off for Brady–he is not helping himself with that.

  42. gp Says:

    I think the point is that we should not have had to be in the desperate position of needing a two point conversion to tie and force overtime.
    Hainsey’s miscue was but a tiny reason why we lost.

  43. LVMYBUCS Says:

    Hey Bowles dont be another Tony Dungy!

  44. BucDaWorld Says:

    People we understand that the missing players would have been better, yet they did not cost us the game. The missing players did not fumble the ball. The missing players did not have penalties on crucial downs. The missing players didn’t let GB score touchdowns on back to back possessions. The players on the field did that. We are not asking the receivers to be Mike, Chris, and Julio. We are just asking them to do their job. If they cant get them off the team. We are not asking the line to be a pro bowl line, we are just asking them to stop with the stupid penalties and protect Tom. If they just do their jobs we win this game. We are not asking the coaches to to be Sean McVey we are just asking for some variety in the play calling instead of the same plays every game. If this happens we win despite who is out.

  45. gp Says:

    Perhaps I was not very clear because that was pretty close to what I was saying.
    I would specify “offense” as the culprit, and truthfully, they hold most of the blame.
    But they aren’t the only ones who came up “just short” in this game where had we played (executed) well all game, nobody would be talking about a failed two point conversion.

  46. Brandon Jeff Says:

    I understand why everybody is harping on the Bucs offense right now. But what got me is how the Packers running backs would hit the line at full speed and then drag a couple of defenders for five more yards before they were brought down.
    I’ve seen this running style from numerous other teams as well.
    I don’t understand why we get stuffed at the line repeatedly and then only occasionally break one for 9 yards. It seems like we’re too tentative in the backfield waiting for a hole to open up before we move forward.

  47. Dooley Says:

    Poor execution, poor play call pacing(because when it works NOBODY complains), having to worry about scoring points all while compensating for the differences in talent levels at multiple positions. All that, on top of really costly turnovers and stupid penalties that negate big plays/sustaining drives. That’s what our offense looked like, and for a number of reasons it feels like watching the 2020 offense all over again, but with 2022 problems. Slow starts on offense have been a thing since the Koetter area, and is the one problem the Arians, now Bowles regimes have yet to remedy.

    A team, or unit, trying to find it’s identity at the start of the season and struggling to do so. It’s got to get cleaned up, crow all you want about the defense allowing 14 points, they clamped down and played winning football from the start of the second half while the offense floundered through 3 qtrs of football. Gotta prepare better for KC, 3 weeks in and they look like the best team we’ll face in this 4 game stretch that there was so much angst & agony about in the offseason. Coaches got to have a better directive, and the players got to execute consistently enough to win.

  48. HC Grover Says:

    Clearly Bowles is a football genius.

  49. Jack dos Santos Says:

    Coaching! Coaching! COACHING!

    1. ALL of their problems were related to coaching. Our receivers have to be coached that once you complete a catch downfield, in that moment the player needs to understand you have already advanced the ball and the only priority is protecting the ball. after a reception, our players seem to shift their priority to how many yards they can get after a catch rather than ball protection.

    2. If you look how we mishandled our timeouts at the end of the game that was all related to coaching

    3. If your look closely at the video at the end of the 2 point conversion delay of game, you will see Brady clapping his hands to the center try to get him to snap the ball more quickly. The center took his time raising his head and snapping the ball. Jensen would have been on point!

  50. rsjcheapseats Says:

    Good coaches don’t blame defeats on injuries – because the same guys will be the ones to play next week.

    But anyone else with a brain knows the injuries yesterday changed the game completely.

    As usual we get the idiots who blame everything on coaches.

    And blaming this loss on the D is batcrap crazy.

  51. Listnfrmafar Says:

    He learned from the best. What a lame moronic statement. Why are there starters and backups? Answer the starters have MORE talent. Just like BA throws the players under the bus and takes NO accountability. Timeout and game management is what determines the greats from the wannabes. Now I am not the biggest Belichick fan but that guy waits for moments like Bowles and BL panicking during stressful game time decisions. They choked as much if not more than some of the players. At least they were backups, unfortunately there are no backups for shatty coaches. Calling out the players and not you and your staff is Bush league. How can anyone claim that was a well coached game????

  52. Ash Says:

    You absolutely have to have them to win. Fans pointing out that starters have the talent to get past the mistakes that happen in every game are absolutely correct. Back ups don’t have the mentality or the talent to do that that’s why they are not starting. You know who continue to shoot themselves in the foot over and over again, backups. Todd bowles doing coach speak, starters get paid the big bucks for a reason and if we had them we win that game 100 percent. But we move on it’s a long season and when the offense gets healthy they will be dangerous and absolutely a contender to get that next superbowl trophy go bucs.

  53. Listnfrmafar Says:

    I just lost ALL respect for that clown.

  54. Lennon Duncan Says:

    You need SMB

  55. MerryPlankster777 Says:

    Defense was solid. Need to work on the O.
    What is the purpose of BA again? Bow out gracefully only to peek around curtain? seems a bit Crusty.

  56. #8 Says:

    I blame myself. I had some $ the Bucs covering.
    I’ll be betting for our opponent from here out guys. Sorry.

  57. Coburn Says:

    Agree with others that point out having your starters allows a lot more margin for error. You don’t need to play a perfect game when you have guys that can make big plays to offset the odd mistake

  58. Bucfan Says:

    When Brady retires, the Bucs will also need a NEW coaching staff!!!!!!

  59. Bobby M. Says:

    We were in a dog fight and simply gave away opportunities. Gage, Perriman, Miller, etc….all great back ups but they simply aren’t as polished as starters. Miller is unreliable, he can’t catch anything remotely contested. Gage and Perriman display both ability and inconsistencies. You can’t win with fumbles killing two drives.

  60. gotbbucs Says:

    Would Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have made a difference yesterday? Absolutely.
    The point is they weren’t available and there’s nothing that could have been done about that. Play the what if game all you want. When you have that many big time players out the game plan has to reflect the talent on the field. Perriman is not Mike Evans, so don’t send Perriman on a fools errand by trying to have him make plays that realistically only Mike Evans can make. Russell Gage is not Chris Godwin, so don’t expect him to break two tackles and get tons of YAC on bubble screens like Godwin typically does.
    Green Bay adjusted their offense to free up less talented recievers by running rub routes and picks. It got them two TD’s early and that turned out to be enough for them.
    Leftwich came out with the same exact game plan that he would have used had everyone been healthy and not suspended, only the talent on the field couldn’t carry out that plan.
    I want to see a game where they only huddle after an incomplete pass. If it’s a completed pass or positive rush, get on the ball and play tempo with Brady setting the formation and calling the play at the line.

  61. Rod Munch Says:

    Well look at it this way, the Bucs were missing about $65-million in players that last game. That’s a lot.

  62. Architek Says:

    I agree with Bowles! No need to make excuses for lack of detail and execution.

  63. captivajim Says:

    If Bowles isn’t careful -he go down the tubes with Leftwich……. to say 1st stringers will give you the same result as 2nd & 3rd guys is just Stupid . guys make the 1st team because they’re better than the others >!!

  64. Purplepirate Says:

    “Instead, Bowles smartly said, point fingers at guys who snapped on the chinstraps”

    It’s a silly argument. Those guys are back ups instead of being the main guys for a reason.

    Of course the guys who couldn’t play aren’t to blame, but to argue them not playing isn’t to blame is nonsense. If who plays doesn’t matter, then release Brady so he can work on his marriage and go with Trask the rest of the way.

  65. Purplepirate Says:

    “If those don’t happen we win the game with the talent that suited up”

    But they did happen. That’s the point. They probably don’t happen with the main guys. That’s why they’re the main guys.

  66. Bucschamp Says:

    Be careful TB, too much confidence and we lose this whole thing

  67. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    Brandon Jeff Says:
    “… the Packers running backs would hit the line at full speed and then drag a couple of defenders for five more yards before they were brought down.”

    DW45 is tackling shoulders instead of getting his head across midsections or shins. He always has. I am afraid this is a permanent condition. If they could coach pad level into him he would be the complete package.

    If I ever see DW put his face mask in a running back’s chest and drive right through him, I believe I will faint in disbelief.

  68. Browsing from DC Says:

    The waste of a timeout is Andy Reid-ish. After scoring the TD, why did it take so long to get the play(s) called and get to the line (9 seconds or so left on the play clock)? Pathetic. Yes, Brady changing the play (to the correct run play that looked like an easy score for Lenny) took time, but he shouldn’t have had to guide the receivers into position. Too much inexperience? Maybe those “missing players that weren’t needed” would have known where to line up and not wasted valuable seconds?

    The crowd noise may have also been an issue with Hainsey appearing not to snap the ball when Brady first called for it.

    A lot of “maybes” on that 2 point try but penalties, drops, poor pass pro, poor run blocking, etc were the culprits. I get what the coach is saying. The players out there are pro football players who should know how to block and catch, not fumble, not commit dumb penalties, etc. but saying that your B Squad is capable but blew it seems like he’s saying “The coaches did their jobs, called the right plays but the players failed”.

    Plenty of blame to go around for this loss but does he really think that playing 50% or more backups can beat KC next week? Possible? Sure. Probable? Pipe dream. We need our healthy starters back on offense. Period.

    Time for Brady to get on the phone with Gronk. TB12 came back for this fiasco? Put his personal life in jeopardy to stink the joint up? 3 TDs in 3 weeks? Gronk may not be the answer but he’ll do until the answer gets here.