Is Todd Bowles A Trailblazer?

January 10th, 2023

Bucking the trend.

Here is something absolutely wild Joe stumbled upon yesterday and Joe doesn’t know if this is good news for the Bucs and Todd Bowles or a sign of future doom.

BSPN NFL uber insider Adam Schefter had twittered out how the past 12 college coaches hired this century as NFL head coaches have very poor track records.

That’s very true.

However, as it turns out, six made playoff appearances. Joe was a bit surprised it was that many. Most college coaches (Urban Meyer, Steve Spurrier, Greg Schiano to name a few) have been horrendous in the NFL.

But, have college coaches been that bad as a whole?

Freelance journalist Jason Lisk pointed out that a .500 batting average for college coaches reaching the postseason in the NFL is better than the results NFL teams get if they hire meathead defensive coaches.

So Joe decided to do some research and went back to find the last 12 defensive coaches turned head coaches. This took Joe back through the 2018 hiring cycle.

(Most NFL owners prefer offensive-minded guys.)

Of the last 12 defensive coaches turned head coaches in the NFL, only four reached the postseason (again, going back through the 2018 hiring cycle). Todd Bowles of the Bucs and Brandon Staley of the Chargers are the most recent. Bowles won the NFC South last week against Carolina and Staley led the Chargers to a wild card berth.

Here are the last four most recent defensive coaches hired who got their teams to the postseason:

Todd Bowles
Brandon Staley
Ron Rivera
Mike Vrabel

So half of the college coaches hired to be NFL head coaches found a way to get their teams into the NFL playoffs. With defensive coaches, of the last 12, only four made the playoffs. That’s a third.

The moral of this story? You’re better off rolling the dice with a college coach than you are hiring a defensive guy.

Joe isn’t sure if this is a good sign for Bowles or not. Yes, he made the playoffs, but with a losing record. With Tom Brady.

Last 12 Defensive Coaches Hired

Todd Bowles, Bucs*
Lousy Lovie Smith, Texans
Matt Eberflus, Bears
Dennis Allen, Slimy Saints

Brandon Staley, Chargers*
Robert Saleh, Jets

Ron Rivera, WTF*

Vic Fangio, Broncos
Brian Flores, Dolphins

Mike Vrabel, Titans*
Matt Patricia, Lions
Steve Wilks, Cardinals

* — Led his team to the playoffs.

47 Responses to “Is Todd Bowles A Trailblazer?”

  1. Goatfarmer Says:

    Ha, ha ha. Hahaha.




  2. Proudbucsfan Says:

    This guy is going to get another year and most likely without Brady.
    We will be in the running for the number 1 Draft pick after next season. I will still be watching and I will still be a proud Bucs fan either way 🤮

  3. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Go to bed and lay off the alcohol Joe.

  4. AL121976 Says:

    I think if we get a good OC and keep Licht and Arians in the office we’ll be alright.

  5. Tye Says:

    Bad, VERY BAD!

    If one of the other 3 teams in the NFC South were decent, Bucs don’t make it to the playoff this year and the Bucs likely have 2 less wins…

    That is all while having inherited a team that has been the top in score the past 2 years. Tom Brady (in his 3rd year) as qb and solid defense…

    Bucs are NOT in the playoffs because of Bowles, but because the circumstances of everything else allowed them to stumble poorly into the playoffs!

  6. Onetrickpony Says:

    Uh oooh, we’re screwed

  7. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Seriously doubt Arians sticks around if we fire both of his handpicked boys.

  8. steele Says:

    Thanks for the drink-spitting headline, Joe. You really must have been really, really bored researching this stretch of an idea. Bowles is who he is, and has always been. Zzzzzz…

  9. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    Bill Bellicheat?
    Bill Parcells?
    Bill Cowher?
    Bill Walsh?

    You might want to hire the next Mr. Bill with that rational.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I 100% agree with Goatfarmer.

  11. Ugotrobbed Says:

    Buccaneers history (and history has a way of repeating itself)says we’ll have another decade or two of being the laughing stock of the NFL.. it’s a Bucs life!

  12. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    Appreciate it. Tomlin goes back to far. There were others, of course, prior to 2017.–Joe

  13. SB~LV Says:

    2-4 on the list have passion and more than ONE gear
    Todd has 100% of the coaching science
    Todd had 10% of the art of coaching

  14. Thomas Edrington Says:

    He’s a Visionary — He’s a Revolutionary — He’s Todd-Freaking-Bowles —–


  15. Buc1987 Says:


  16. BucU Says:

    That article gave me a headache.
    Similar to the ones I get when watching the Todd Bowles led Bucs.

  17. alton d green Says:

    Dear Lord in Heaven above!!!!!!!!!! You know I read that Charles Manson was a choir boy that worked for the Salvation Army and volunteered at the Children Hospital. I don’t know what he did after lunch. JOEY JOEY JOEY, you have waaaaaayyyy too much time on your hands. The S. border is secure. Cackling Caramel Harris is a great border czar. Don’t be so hard on her. she’s only had the job for 2 yrs

  18. SKBucsFan Says:

    Trailblazer? Like the crappy GM vehicle ? Or like a leader of men? Which one do you think is more likely?

  19. Nutterbuccer Says:

    It’s 2023. The nfl is an offensive lead league. No longer can teams keep winning 17 to 13 behind a defense. No matter how good that defense is still gotta score points. Bucs have shown time after time this year alone. Got a lead or tie. Battle defensively. But if offense isulmt up to par the defense will crack eventually. Bowles best bet is yo go get a young aggressive offensive minded OC after Leftwich is fired to match the defensive play going forward. Entire offense besides brady is coming back, Mayne brady will enjoy a new OC iand the likes of Mike evans and godwin again instead of going elsewhere

  20. Jack Sparrow Says:

    Maybe bowles knows something about football that we regular guys don’t know ….. hmmm I doubt it ….

  21. robert Says:

    goatfarmer nailed it.

  22. Duane Says:

    He is a trailblazer. He helped the greatest of all time to a rare losing season. The rules in today’s game favors the offense, and he wants to dink and dunk and control time of possession with a no risk it offense with no running game. No vision, no creativity, and no clue as to how to get this team rolling. He is just a placeholder, and is likely to squander the last of our offensive talent until the window closes.

  23. Rod Munch Says:

    If Arians was still head coach, the Bucs likely win 15n games. Sounds insane, I know, but go game by game and tell me, outside of KC and SF, where the Bucs still lose if Arians is running the show.

    Some people might argue the Baltimore game — but the Bucs dominated the first half and with Arians as head coach they would have scored points and put them away early. The other one is maybe the Cinny game where Brady had his issues, but again, the Bucs dominated that game and would have been up bigger, and put them away as well.

    So, I’ll even give you those two games, even then they’d have been 13-4.

    This season is undoubtedly proof of how important good coaching is and why good headcoaches earn big money.

  24. sasquatch Says:

    I’m not really expecting anything out of the playoffs. I’ve moved on to next season.

    I can’t say I’m optimistic about Bowles going forward, but since he’s 90% likely to return next year, I’ll give him a clean slate once he hires his own staff and has a lot less chaos this offseason. It’s going to be an interesting offseason, starting with the coaching staff overhaul and then the salary cap casualties.

  25. Buc4evr Says:

    Bowles will be a trailblazer after next season when the Bucs get the number 1 pick in the draft.

  26. Jack Clark Says:

    Defensive-minded head coaches need to spend most of their salary cap on high quality defensive players, the same way offensive-minded head coaches spend the most cash on offensive players. Considering that Todd Bowels will have to rebuild our team to fit his identity. Hopefully we’ll add some more defensive backs who won’t get torched in one-on-one coverage

  27. NEfan Says:

    NO COMMENT other than it’s disgusting what he’s done to this team.

  28. Bucs56 Says:

    Bill Obrien name being floated around as OC to make a pitch to keep brady. I still think it comes down to bucs, miami and jets. He has kids living in the later 2. Miami probably front runner if Tua is done. I don’t dismiss bucs chances with a returning and healthy oline.

  29. Bobby M. Says:

    The game is structured to favor the offense for more exciting play….completely counter to what a defensive coach is wired for. Bowles is a solid DC but he’s shown no ability to guide a team as the HC. His instincts are always leaning toward accommodating the defense.

  30. D-Rok Says:

    Bowles the trailblazer – bringin’ back defensive slug-fests popular in the 1970’s.


  31. Ed Says:

    I think Rex Ryan nailed it when he called the Bucs “the oldest and slowest team in the NFL”. No one can argue otherwise.

    Only way they can win games is if they score 30 points in my opinion.

    They need to take the leash off the offense and let them do what they do best to score, play hurry-up and stop with the wasted power runs into the middle.

    That kid Thompkins is small but he has a gigantic heart and is very fast. He needs some touches because he is about the only player on the Bucs that can take it to the house on some broken tackles.

  32. Fitz Says:

    Bowles did not get them to the playoffs! But he damn sure did his best to keep them from succeeding. A decent coach with the players on this team would have won at least a few more games and had the offense scoring at least 21 pts a game.

  33. mg Says:

    Goatfarmer had me at Ha, ha ha.

  34. ocala Says:

    Without Brady this Bucs team probably would have lost every game this year.

  35. Allbuccedup Says:

    Forgot about Sean McDermott.

  36. Rod Munch Says:

    Ed – Actually the fastest guy on the team is Julio, the next-gen stats still show that he’s really really fast. While I really like Thompkins and was talking about him on the day we signed him as a UDFA, my memory is that he’s not super fast guy (like 4.45, about Godwin’s speed), instead he’s super quick, and that’s certainly a skillset that is mostly missing from the team. But he’s so tiny you can’t really trust throwing the ball to him since he can so easily be knocked off his routes – which is why the Bucs have been trying to give him some rush attempts. A real shame is that the Bucs wasted a roster spot on Darden instead of giving that spot to Thompkins, since we’d have had a full year of him playing and improving.

  37. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    @rod munch

    He was looking pretty snazzy in there. I know it was just one game, but he knew his lanes and he broke tackles. I was impressed.

  38. The Anomaly Says:

    *Brady made the playoffs

  39. HC Grover Says:

    He blazed a trail to the quicksand pit.

  40. Joe Says:

    Forgot about Sean McDermott.

    Nope, didn’t forget Sean McDermott at all.

    As Joe spelled out in the story, Sean McDermott didn’t make the cut.

  41. Mike Says:

    Bowles and Leftwich have been playing with you this whole season, fooling you into thinking they are predictable and conservative and all about the running game. It’s a trap!

  42. Dreambig Says:

    So if the Bucs get to the NFC championship game, will Todd Bowles be watching game film to prepare or will he be studying for a real estate license or looking for his next career position. We know what he did last year.

  43. NEfan Says:

    Dreambig@ you don’t have to worry about Leftnut, he ain’t going nowhere.

  44. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    In August the Bucs were David Spade’s car in Tommy Boy. Then Bowles came along and poured M&Ms into the vent and it’s been a comedy of errors ever since.

  45. Joe Says:

    poured M&Ms into the vent

    Brown M&Ms?

  46. Irishmist Says:

    The Donner Party were trailblazers too. Pass the ketchup.

  47. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    “Brown M&Ms?” lol

    Remember? He puts M&Ms on the dash and they fall into the vent. “Your brain has a thick candy shell”