Todd Bowles Says Bucs Have Toughness Problems

October 19th, 2022

Todd Bowles

Todd Bowles had a little pain in his voice last night, perhaps similar to the pain in the guts of Bucs fans on Sunday.

Tampa Bay has been poor on short yardage and often that’s about fire and heart and toughness. In the case of the Bucs, Bowles sure thinks it is.

In fact, Bowles said on the Buccaneers Radio Network that he doesn’t want to see playcaller Byron Leftwich start devising a bunch of new plays for short yardage. Instead, Bowles wants the resident tough guys to man up.

“We were bad on 3rd-and-short, even 3rd-and-inches, 3rd-and-1; we gotta find a way to get one yard,” Bowles said. “We got some tough guys up there. We gotta understand what we are and who we are going forward, as opposed to trying to make a whole bunch of different plays, and we gotta be better at that. … We gotta be tougher up front. We gotta be tougher up front on both side of the ball. Plain and simple.”

What is a little ironic and sad is that making the Bucs a tougher-than-last-year football team was one of Bowles’ offseason goals.

Perhaps this is the week the Bucs collectively turn the corner in the tough guy department.

45 Responses to “Todd Bowles Says Bucs Have Toughness Problems”

  1. Onetrickpony Says:

    Yada yada yada that’s fine and dandy but it all starts with your ability as a coach, to coach up.
    I disagree with you on your buddy, to change game plans which isn’t working ,and is ho hum at best.
    You sound like someone else in the news, point blame at everybody else but your own short comings. I guess that is the new thing these days

  2. PassingThru Says:

    Hey, isn’t player motivation a big part of your job, Todd?

    Some things never change. Bowles was saying the same things in New York.

  3. PassingThru Says:



    Whose job is it to prepare this team each Sunday, Todd?

    Why do the playcalls demonstrate a lack of preparation and a high degree of predictably?

    Once again, whose job is it to prepare this team each Sunday, Todd?”

  4. captivajim Says:

    that’s where we miss the tone setter ; Jensen

    But , for certain there are coaching problems which apparently are not going to be addressed ??

  5. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Bowles in denial. Piss poor play calling in a lot of areas. Pulling guards on short yardage and letting defenders shoot the gap is the problem. Watch the film. Lenny’s getting hit in the backfield.

  6. Bob in valrico Says:

    Hey we got a rookie TE/Fb we drafted for his toughness. If that’s the issue let the kid play. Our two running backs are so involved in the short passing game that they rarely stay put to block. Brady is a much better passer when he doesn’t see
    rushers coming at him soon after the snap.

  7. Ugotrobbed Says:

    Amazes me that the coaches are just getting this! Bad coaching, bad FA signing (if you’re preaching toughness)!

  8. Adrnagy Says:

    This is a good coach telling players in a nice way to get there s.. together. Versus two face arians throwing player under. And in national tv

  9. Bucsfan13 Says:

    You know why we can’t get one yard?! It’s because our interior line is garbage, especially Goedeke. I’m sick of Bowles already.

  10. OrlandoBucFan Says:

    I may have missed something, but has Bowles taken any responsibility for the team’s performance? He seems quick to pin the blame on the players but reluctant to put the microscope back on himself and the other coaches. I agree that the players share the blame, but the NFL is not the NBA. Coaching is still important in the NFL.

  11. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Yeah. Let’s keep doing what doesn’t work and not try something else. You don’t find a mind like that every day.

  12. Eckwood Says:

    Bowles doest realize it s him !! That’s what has changed !! Fournette is not an option on 3 rd and short unless your just dominating the line play …….. another x and o’s dumb jock disease coach that has 0 common sense !!! I think he must be following his own science !!!!
    Did someone say Vaughn is the or one of the most improved players during camp and yes he’s the best 3 rd down back by far !! Nothing worse than coaches killing their teams !!!
    On a second note the Bucs do have a toughness problem and that is part personnel and part head coach !!! X,s and o ‘s don’t necessarily make a good head coach !! It’s Still Early , Go Bucs !!

  13. Rob In Land O Lakes Says:

    No Todd, we have a Bad Head Coach and a p!ss poor offensive coordinator problem. A struggling offensive line certainly doesn’t help but for christ sakes, Todd, your standing there watching BL conduct the dumpster fire and you do nothing about it. Mike Tomlin served you a clinic in how a head coach doesn’t make excuses but finds a way to scheme a game.

    The Rams can scheme Cooper Kupp the ball when 80.000 people watching know he’s going to get it. We cannot scheme Evans or Godwin the ball. Our offense is “beat your guy and Tom will throw it to you”. BL is an absolute mental midget when it comes to the flow of the game plan.

    TB12 has been coached by Charlie Weis, Bill O’Brien and Josh McDaniel. Then he walks into a room with BL the dip spit. Thank you, Todd. You were given a Cadillac and you turned into a 1969 rusted out crap box. You are the reason that if TB12 plays in 2023, it won’t be here.

  14. Bucobill99 Says:

    If thtas the case it isnt a toughness problem its a coaching problem it aint working so time to change it up

  15. Kody Says:


    We don’t have great coaches. We don’t even have good ones.

  16. WillieG Says:

    Bad on third and short? How about bad on third down period. Both sides of the ball.

  17. Bucfan Says:

    Players do not call plays, coaches do. If a play does not work, perhaps you should try a different one.

  18. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Heaven forbid BL adds more plays to the three he uses. Seriously? It’s broke, fix it, this isn’t the 60’s. I’m sure the rest of the NFL uses the same 3rd and short plays ALL the time. This guy has to go!


  19. Robert Says:

    We got toughness issues. Toughness in the form of hard headed coaches that do not adapt after a hard headed gm made bad off season moves. If Hicks, Jensen and Jones return in time we have a chance. Other than that it falls on the coaches to adapt. We can’t compete head to head in the trenches….if only we had someone who could throw the ball…and showed up for practice.

  20. yar Says:

    Let BL call games like he has in the past. Your run the ball mind set that you have instilled in the team is not working. This team went from 30 points a game to barely 17 on your watch, leave BL and TB alone so they can score some points. You need to work on your defense. There weren’t any problems untill you became head coach.

  21. Nicholas Carlson Says:


  22. Beeej Says:

    Third and short is a GREAT time for a play action, esp when we probably can’t get the yard anyway

  23. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    It would help to have a QB that was all in as well.

    Tom Bratty!

  24. Hodad Says:

    The time to toughen a team is during training camp. Bucs had a weak camp with old players getting to many REST DAYS! Honestly rest days during camp, no wonder you’re a bunch of softies. Even now players aren’t playing hoping they’ll be ready in January. This is what you get with an older team that is brittle, and can’t stay healthy. A two week vacation for your star QB during camp, then he skips practice, and walk through for a wedding. That has to have a negative result. If this is a soft team look in the mirror Todd, you made them that way.

  25. Pewter Power Says:

    Like Todd Bowles the DC, head coach not so much. Maybe he should give up play calling duties so he can focus on the entire team especially if he’s not the one doing the game plan

  26. DoooshLaRue Says:

    WillieG Says:
    October 19th, 2022 at 6:55 am
    Bad on third and short? How about bad on third down period. Both sides of the ball.

    That is a fact.

    I only wish we could have signed Softie93 to help the team have fun while losing in the trying times.


  27. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m not quite sure our team is built with tough players……sure, one here and there….but we have good character guys….not bad boys….

    Bowles is good at evaluating problems….but apparently not solving them.

  28. Ed Says:

    Bowles in denial. Play selection is redundant. Opponents know its coming and Bucs don’t have the horses on the left side to be effective running that way.

    Not seeing rub routes or enough passes over 10 yards. It is up to coaching to get players in space.

    Bowles is correct about them playing meaner but that is simplifying it, it takes more than that. Leftwich should move up to the box and learn to see what is happening on the field. He spends too much time looking at his play sheet and isn’t moving the chess pieces around enough.

  29. Whoolio? Says:

    Oh good! Great to here Bowles doesn’t think Leftwich should change much. Just keep pounding it up the middle and don’t throw anything beyond 15 yards with one of the greatest arms and wide receiving cores in the league. We went from a coach that understood how to run an offense and light a fire under his guys with his intensity, to a coach that encourages repeating the same script that lost to one of the worst teams in the league and has the fire of flame retardant.

  30. Capece is Kaput Says:

    Our toughness took a hit with Suh, JPP and Jensen not on the field.
    They may have been replaced with more athletic players at this point in their careers but this seems to be a team that is not much better with those guys not around. Hicks replaced Suh. Not a good result so far. JPP gone for JTS and the other guys (Nassib/Nelson) to rotate. Maybe some more sacks but is anyone intimidated by any of those guys. JTS looks super strong but he is about as scary as a Care Bear. JPP was missing digits for C&^%?’s sake. Now that is scary.
    I remember reading on here awhile ago that someone said Jensen would be back sooner rather than later. Is sooner coming up? There was chatter about November and November is almost here. I like Hainsey but I would drop him in a second to have Jensen back. Any updates Joe?

  31. Deeez NATZ Says:

    I tried to give bowels a fair shot.He is what he is,what was his record in NY? The definition of insanity, we are headed to 8-8 or worse.

  32. Coburn Says:

    Isn’t toughness a combination of something guys just have as well as some developed grinding in camp? If we are lacking it then we are t about to develop it overnight

  33. HC Grover Says:

    translation….bowles is going to stick with the stupid bowles prevent game plans with carolina. i do not feel confident.

  34. Whoolio? Says:

    Leftwich is a dunce. He tries to run against the worst secondary we’ve faced all years long but when we’re up 21, 14, and then 6 against the Falcons he repeats insanity by throwing the ball 11 of 15 times and going 3 and out multiple times. He must think the definition of creativity is repeating insanity. The defense has to absolutely hate this guy. I think they’re blowing coverage because they’re busy thinking about how they want to knock the stupid out of him. I’d be pissed having to continually get back on the field after multiple 3 and outs in a row. Like the offense is supposed to be our strength but we’ve put all the pressure on the defense to keep the game under 20. We deserve to be 5-1 based on the effort of our defense even with the mistakes.

  35. Davenport Says:

    In any situation, a group reflects the attitude of its leader. Todd is quiet, unemotional and soft. And he dares to accuse the team of a lack of toughness


    Keep talking, man. You’re going to lose everyone!

  36. THOMAS PFALZ Says:

    I would think that would be up to the coaches specificaally the head coach to team tougher if that is the problem. I’m beginning to see why Bowles never made it as a head coach before. The first thing he should do is get rid of Lefty but he says no he’s doing a fine job. Like I said before if the Bucs don’t make the playoffs they should get rid of the BA, Bowles, Leftwitch & start anew.

  37. Buddha Says:

    If you are good at what you do it doesn’t matter if they know what is coming. We knew the Rams were going to Kupp, but we couldn’t stop it. The only coach I would fire is the special team coach.

  38. Roc Says:

    Bowles saying this team lacks toughness
    Is like Biden saying the US is heading into a small recession

    NO S$&T !!!



    except a dumb defensive call the BUCS are in SB again

  39. D-Rok Says:

    Bowles said. “We got some tough guys up there. We gotta understand what we are and who we are going forward, ”

    So they didn’t know who or what they were the first 6 games? No unifying message to the team starting in training camp? Hmmm….

    I wonder if this is their IDENTITY going forward? Being tougher?

  40. Your Mom Says:

    So did their guys just stop being tough? What a terrible coach to be sticking with a game plan and play design that flopped, and blaming players for not pushing hard enough.

    This guy’s future here will be short.

  41. MadMax Says:

    Theres blood in the water and the Panthers, Ravens, and Rams smell it. They will be going after us hard and heavy.

    We better find some new plays because we’re a one trick pony right now, especially in the run game. AND START USING EVANS MORE, JEEZE!

  42. Bucamania Says:

    Can’t fix toughness. Either you’re a dawg or you’re not. So much for eating glass.

  43. sasquatch Says:

    That explanation concerns me. I mean, he’s right, ideally your team can go out and push the other team around when it needs to for that 1 yard… But it’s a whole lot easier to do when the defense has to account for a pass play, or a pitch. You can’t let them know what you’re going to call on 3rd and 1 every time. I really hope it’s not Bowles who is limiting the offense.

  44. Rand Says:

    This is the after affect of having no real preseason. The NFL has gone soft and the consequences are more severe injuries.

  45. Brazen Zebra Says:

    Maybe BA shoulda stayed as head coach. Sometimes a team really needs a sparkplug coach to curse and swear and fire up the team. It sure looks like a lotta Bucs have checked out mentally and just want to collect their paychecks and go home. Poor short yardage performance? It doesn’t help when the defense knows for a fact that your 45 year old fragile QB won’t be sneaking or running. Jeez! Just look at Josh Allen or Jalen Hurts! They bring an extra dimension to their offense with their short yardage run abilities.