The Tom Brady-Todd Bowles Disconnect

November 7th, 2022

After such a bizarre and ugly game that delivered a thrilling Bucs “W” yesterday at The Licht House, it’s a great time to share one of the more bizarre phenomena of this season.

The photo above is about as rare as an alligator sighting at the beach or steamed broccoli on the lunch plate of Ira Kaufman.

The iconic photographer has tried repeatedly — and failed — to spot head coach Todd Bowles and Tom Brady together and take a picture. Yesterday, the image above was captured. There was no conversation, only Bowles patting Brady on the back as The Goat walked by prior to kickoff.

It’s the only photo has of the pair together, and that includes practice and training camp.

Joe reached out to multiple industry sources who advised Joe that the USA Today image database has no photo of head coach Bowles and Brady together — and that Getty Images doesn’t share one, either. (But they do have shots of Brady and Byron Leftwich mis-tagged as Brady and Bowles).

A Google image search reveals one photo of Brady and Bowles engaging, though Joe’s research shows the picture is from last season — before Bowles was named head coach. Network TV cameras, it appears, also have failed to capture Brady and Bowles together. And lastly, Joe talked to a Tampa journalist and was advised that his outlet gave up on capturing the two of them engaging.

Joe finds it very strange that a new head coach would be so disconnected from his superstar quarterback.

The photo above also is about as rare as Brady mentioning Bowles at a news conference or on his weekly podcast.

There was so much pregame chatter last week and on Sunday about how Bucs officials are unhappy about the Bucs’ low total of run plays and how change in that area is coming. Even general manager Jason Licht dove in on the Buccaneers Radio Network just minutes before kickoff, “We need more balance, more rhythm on offense … can’t have the defense on the field two-thirds of the time in the second half,” he said.

Meanwhile, the coach in charge seems to have zero communication with the 45-year-old quarterback who has a big hand in making sure the Bucs run the football.

Bucs fans also have seen that when there’s a timeout and the Bucs have the ball, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich walks onto the field alone to talk to Brady.

It’s all rather mysterious and Joe thinks Bowles and Brady connecting directly during games once in a while would be beneficial — and certainly more normal.

58 Responses to “The Tom Brady-Todd Bowles Disconnect”

  1. Bobby M. Says:

    From a HC perspective, Bowles is not a leader of men. He’s a solid coordinator and that role fits his personality well but as a HC, there’s a solid sample size from this season and his days as the Jets HC showing he’s ineffective.

  2. HC Grover Says:

    Simple. Bowles is a Football Bozo and Brady is GOAT

  3. DungyDance Says:

    Look at the difference in leadership between the quotes from each head coach (from the Associated Press article about the Bucs game):

    Bowles: “We always have a chance with (Brady), grateful to have him,” coach Todd Bowles said. “He got over 100,000 yards. … He still plays at a high level, love the guy to death.”

    McVay: “I thought our defense did enough to win. Clearly offensively, not even close to good enough. I’m a big part of that. … Had a chance to be able to close out the game out there, really didn’t get it done,” McVay added. “This is not good enough. Changes have to be made. Adjustments have to be made. We can’t continue to go on with this.”

  4. mg Says:

    Flush Bowles. Hire Peyton.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    DungyDance … You forgot one other major difference: Bowles won; McVay lost.

  6. JA Says:

    The goal of this story is to infer Brady doesn’t like or respect Bowles because they are not photographed together. Since Bowles gave 100% of the responsibility to B.L., why should Bowles and Brady be seen talking during games? How do we not know they chat it up on a regular basis behind closed doors? How do we know Brady doesn’t loathe Todd’s very existence? We don’t!
    To claim or infer something is true because there is no evidence to the contrary is yellow journalism at its finest.

  7. Leopold Stotch Says:

    Intriguing stuff… I wonder how he was in NY with his qbs. Also considering he said he would put his mark on the offensive side, it’s interesting that he seems disconnected from Brady. Maybe next year he will? Or he tried and it was miserable. Many ways to look at this. Good stuff Joe’s.

  8. DungyDance Says:

    Did Bowles really win? Or did Brady win it?

  9. VATom Says:

    Last weeks NFL replay of the game shows Brady and Bowles chatting on the sideline during the game.

  10. MadMax Says:

    Like ive been saying, the team has checked out on Bowles. He needs to go but i know it wont happen anytime soon. Yesterday was player pride and trying to salvage a little bit of it.

  11. BucU Says:

    Great last 44 seconds of the game for the offense. T
    The other 59 minutes and 12 seconds were horrendous. Nothing whatsoever has changed with these coaches. Garbage for 59 minutes.
    Seattle will blow us out next wknd.

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    mg … Bowles’ defense held the Rams to 13 points … without Hicks, without Shaq, without Winfield. To their credit, Bucs’ offense made an awesome drive in the last minute to get a TD in the waning seconds & score 16 points, just enough to win the game. Three FGs in over 70 offensive plays prior to that garnered us NINE points. Yes we won, but something’s seriously wrong that goes far beyond the head coach who apparently had little if anything to do with that offensive performance. Much like Chucky always had little to do with the defensive performances when he was Bucs’ coach?

    Asking Santa Claus to bring you Sean Payton for Christmas isn’t gonna fix what’s wrong with the Bucs’ offense. He can’t block, Donovan Smith looked horrible out there yesterday. The offense ran it 20 times & had 51 yards to show for it (2.5 YPC). Brady had to pass it 58 times … that’s right, 58 times. He did complete 36 of those (61%) but it sure looked to me like many of those were behind the LOS and netted zip, zero, zilch … in key situations. And I still can’t figure out if Bucs’ receivers had 7 or 8 DROPS, including a couple that should’ve been TDs. Yes we won, but our problems persist. And that’s not good.

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    DungyDance … You apparently missed the point. Compare Brady to Stafford if you wish, but not to Bowles.

  14. Joe Says:

    Hey @joe take another look at Brady hugging Leftwich after the game.

    Joe doesn’t have to take a look. Joe used a photo of the embrace last night. And Leftwich is not Bowles.

  15. Arians4President Says:

    Great job Joe. This feels like the most insightful article I’ve read in years. I’m not sure how I missed this physical disconnect. Insane

  16. geno711 Says:

    McVay probably lost that game with some horrible play calling.

    Good coach but not on the level of Sean Payton or Andy Reid as an offensive mind.

    I am on the get rid of Leftwich bandwagon but yesterday, McVay may have been worse.

  17. Mr. Editor Says:

    The coaches have to help the players. I’m not sure why Bowles didn’t throw the challenge flag on Camarda’s excellent punt that landed 1 inch from the end zone.

  18. bucs4life Says:

    It’s the job of the head coach to lead, gameplan, communicate, chime in when it comes to playcalling. Why is he not doing his job? He’s not a defensive coordinator anymore.

  19. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Bowles seemed extra strange and overcome by relief in that presser. Like a previous article headlines…Brady saved Bowles. This whole dynamic sorta blows the “Brady hates Arians/wants him replaced” narrative outta the cove, huh?

  20. D-Rome Says:

    Joe this is all very interesting but I think the truth is more boring than this story. The truth is that Todd Bowles is the defensive coordinator as well as Head Coach and he’s busy worrying about defensive play calling. QBs don’t typically interact with defensive coordinators even when they’re on the sideline. The sideline demeanor could look different if had a defensive coordinator. I never saw Brady chat up Matt Patricia or Romeo Crennel during a game.

    Bruce Arians used to talk with Brady all the time but he wasn’t calling plays.

  21. SB~LV Says:

    Juicy gossip

  22. BuddhaBuc Says:

    @JA – Joe wasn’t inferring they loathe or love each other. He was only pointing out an observation of it being odd that the QB and HC aren’t ever seen collaborating, which is very odd. Joe only opened a door for a conversation. How is that “yellow journalism”? If these types of articles bother you, you’re in the wrong place.

  23. ModHairKen Says:

    Expect to see a Bro Photo of them real soon, deep sea fishing or killing an elk or something. Great catch, Joey.

  24. Ash Says:

    Hearing leftwich talk about playaction being wasted plays almost an aneurysm he has to go I almost lost it seeing the bucs run over and over again on first and second down it’s unacceptable the bucs are the worst running team in the league the answer is not to run more my goodness.

  25. Thomas Edrington Says:

    Real simple, Brady doesn’t want to be around LOSERS and Todd Bowels (movement) is a big LOSER — proved it with the Jets, proving it again with Bucs…..without Brady, if they keep Bowels next year, say hello to a four-win season.

  26. PSL Bob Says:

    I’m as happy as any Bucs fan about the W. But, Joe’s and Ira’s posts last night and this AM seem almost giddy about the win. The final Brady drive was magical. That’s not going to happen every week or perhaps ever again. It doesn’t cover up the awful offensive play that occurred over the previous 59:16 of the game. Running up the middle on first down. Predictable screen passes. Dropped passes. The lack of passes more than 20 yards. And the most unforgivable of all, the failure to challenge the called touchback near the end of the game when it was clear the ball did not touch the goal line. Unless we expect a miraculous change of coaching philosophy, the Bucs will not beat a team with a more potent offense than the Rams. Take the Seattle Seahawks, for example. Brady showed what this team is capable of when he’s in shotgun and firing at will down field. But I have a strong suspicion that the Buc’s first offensive play next week will be Fournette up the middle for no gain. Leftwich has got to go!

  27. buccaneric Says:

    @JA Joe literally scoured the internet databases for a photo them together and you call yellow journalism?

    Lol. Sure, buddy.

  28. BucU Says:

    This offense is still completely broken!!
    You know it. I know it. THEY know it.
    It was another abysmal performance by the entire offense and that lies right on the doorstep of Leftwich. Nothing has changed. The play calling was horrific. We’re playing at home against another awful opponent and we looked completely neutered again.
    This win will be short lived. Seattle will put us back in our place next Sunday morning. This offense is downright sickening.

  29. Thisisouryear!! Says:

    DR- I used to be a huge fan of Bowles too. I do think Peyton or Arians would fix this. The problem is the play calling. Yes- tons of drops and the o-line is getting blown up and penalties, but Arians would hold them responsible and even call them out. I don’t think Bowles has that kind of respect and he surely isn’t fixing things w the play calling.

  30. AMI_Chris Says:

    We ought to be thinking more about who our quarterback is going to be next year. With Bowles signed for five years, the Glazers will never walk away from him this quickly. In his second act as head coach, I fear that Bowles is less like Bill Belichick and more like Rich Kotite.

  31. Ugotrobbed Says:

    Bizarre and probably the root of this teams issues. This is NOT a good sign for the future of this organization! This team has the look of their head coach!

  32. View from 132 Says:

    AMI… next year will be Lamar Jackson.

  33. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    A new conspiracy theory. You heard it on JBF first.

  34. fern Says:

    I can’t believe you posted this garbage

  35. Pewter Power Says:

    The excuse when he coached the Jets is he never had a quarterback. I think he’s officially out of excuses. Can’t play Dungy ball in 2022

  36. SB~LV Says:

    If the unsaid is true , then there is something fundamentally wrong. Do they both go next year?
    Which one of the two is likely to stay?
    Will it be the right one?
    Come on down Sean !

  37. Mike Johnson Says:

    You guys are straight up pitiful. We won yesterday. Yet you still are not happy. Brady Bowles disconnect? Come on Man! Straight up nonsense. You will not be satisfied until we get a new coach of another hue.

  38. Listnfrmafar Says:

    DR, a little hypocrisy don’t ya think? You were all over Bowles last week about not looking at stats, now he’s back to being a genius holding one of the worst offenses in the league to minimal points. I will NOT trash the D because this is still the NFL and they came to play but on one of Kupps big plays he blitzed Stafford and the results were not good. Joe if you remember Bowels wanted to kick on 4th and 2 and Brady shot him down and resulting in a stop and eventual Rams FG. Bowels should on screen his dismay. I’m sure that went up his arse sideways. Leftwich has to go, that was his worst display of play calling yet.

  39. Lamarcus Says:

    Yet…The Ravens game Bowles and Brady had lengthy discussions on tv but I know you have to have a narrative for this story

  40. RSJCheapSeats Says:

    A bunch of nonsense – Joe just wants conflict – basic classic sports radio stuff.
    A) Nothing here is nonsense.
    B) Joe has no desire for conflict. Joe is interested in the best Bucs team possible, however.

    The truth – Brady could have had BL fired at any time. That he doesn’t tells you about what he thinks of BL, and their releationship.

    This is far too much for most fans to begin to comprehend.
    You know who doesn’t want BL fired?

    The Goat.

  41. Richard Says:

    Boomer Esiason had it right….” the bucs look like a team coached by Todd Bowles”. BTW….it has nothing, zero, natta to do with “hue”!!!!!!!

  42. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Conflict sells. The world we live in. People can bash others from the safety of they’re keyboard.

  43. Jack Sparrow Says:

    Brady just saved Bowles and LEftwich a$$ for another week.

  44. SB~LV Says:

    Tom is flying Amber Heard to Germany 🙃

  45. Rich S Says:

    Let T.B.12 call the 3rd down plays

  46. Mark Says:

    We are all obviously missing the galaxy brained brilliance of Mr. Leftwich’s play calling. Who knew that first downs were so meaningless that they could be frittered away?

    Here is why we fans were gifted on the Bucs drives in the first three quarters (excluding the end-of-half a hurry up drives):

    Run: 3 yards
    Run: 4 yards (holding penalty)
    Run: 6 yards (on first and 20)
    Run: 2 yards
    Run: 1 yard
    Run: 5 yards (eventually, a 3 and out)
    Run: 4 yards (3 and out)
    Incomplete pass (3 and out)
    Run: 7 yards
    Run: 6 yards
    Run: 5 yards
    Run: – 1 yard (3 and out)
    Run: 4 yards
    Completed pass: 6 yards

    Mere mortals cannot comprehend such genius!


  47. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    The Bucs signed Bowles to a 5 year contract, so we may as well get used to him.
    Unless he falls flat on his face, I do not see him being replaced soon.

    I saw another side of Todd Bowles when we were losing yesterday that was very ugly, and almost scary. Bowles was on the sidelines flashing creepy ugly faces that would make Jon Gruden proud.

    And I agree with RSJCheapSeats about the relationship between Leftwich and Brady. Anyone can see that they are close.

  48. orlbucfan Says:

    Do I gotta read anymore kudos crap about Sean Payton??? I can tell the real fans just by the idiotic statements about that cheating’ jerk. Let’s get over the Brady worship. He’s old and needs to retire. Half the time he acts like a senile deer caught in headlights on the field. His incredible luck holds cos he hasn’t been slammed to the ground-yet-and had his neck broken. The entire team won this game and enabled that final possession which iced the game. Cardiac Bucs win. YEAHHHHHH!!!!!

  49. reach87 Says:

    Bobby M. Not a leader of men? Hilarious. Get a grip. Ridiculous. Balderdash!

    Go Bucs!

  50. AB Says:

    yesterday’s game is all the proof anyone needs of what the situation.

    Bowles is an excellent defensive coordinator – yeah, the Rams offense is a shell of itself but, still, you can’t do any better on defense (other than one blown coverage/play).

    The offense continues to suffer the same issues for over a month. They are not trying anything different, anything creative in the run game, and have not held anyone accountable on that side of the ball – at minimum, you need to start with the Harold, give it a couple weeks then proceed to Byron if nothing changes, give it a couple weeks and then go to Bowles if it still sucks.

    Bowles is not doing his job as a HC and the Glazers seem to be not be willing to force his hand to do what every other reasonable organization would do. I am sure Frank Reich is loved in Indy – he still got the axe.

  51. Redeemer Says:

    No capable head coach gives his coordinator 100% autonomy. Yes, delegation is important, but Bowles is singularity focused on his defense. He’s been a coach in this league for 15 years. Some guys are just career coordinators. Nothing wrong with that. Unless you have a good understanding of all three phases, a head coach you ain’t.

  52. LoveMeSomeBucs Says:

    Maybe Tom should be the OC because Leftwich stinks…running lead foot shuffle foot Fournette is ridiculous…White showed he could hit the hole with some speed…Julio Jones is a cripple and needs to be gone…Evans has taken a damn beating for this twam and still does and he gives it everything…Scotty Miller is the fastest guy on the team to get open and drop a pass..Otton is steady as a rock and does his job…Tyler Johnson needs to get back in the lineup and if the defense can get healthy we will see…NFL and their European BS is ridiculous…play a 4:30 Sunday game then fly to Munich for 9:30am game….

  53. TJ Says:

    Frank Reich was just fired as Head Coach of the Colts. He has a great track record as an Offensive Coordinator….. and he might be free the next 2 months… get work with greatest QB of all time…. Jus sayin…

  54. richbucsfan Says:

    Ahh, Joe is getting closer to the locker room issue. But, close is only good in horseshoes. There is a disconnect alright, one which is bringing this team down. Keep sniffing around and you will find it. Check your sources as I have done mine. You will see and better understand what is happening. And, for that matter, look at on-the-field performances by former great players (not naming the positions as that will give away too much). Something is very, very fishy and divisive happening. For sure, after the season you will see.

  55. LakelandSteve Says:

    It’s already obvious, Todd Bowles is not a head coach. He seems like a great guy, but not everyone is a rocket scientist, or a neurosurgeon, or a underwater basket weaver. He may be a good defensive coach but it doesn’t look like he can handle and motivate a coaching staff and 53 professional football players.

  56. Ed Says:

    I can handle, if still not understand, Brady hanging on too long at the expense of his family. However, there is one thing that would turn me irreconcilably against the Bucs. That is hiring Sean Peyton as coach or in any other capacity. There is no other person in the NFL who I detest even close to the way I do Peyton. He should have been banned for life from the NFL in any capacity.

  57. Buffalo54 Says:

    It was nice to finally see Brady have a smile on his face for a change! Bowles needs to go overlooked lost penalty on rams ,nothing against him he’s just not the correct coach for this team!

  58. Paul Bready Says:

    Bowles’s headphones aren’t turned on !!! Deer in the headlights