Todd Bowles Plans To Play Starters

January 2nd, 2023

Lavonte David

Time to line up the Buccaneers’ old and wounded starters on the phony turf inside the Falcons’ dome.

Once upon a time, Bucs top edge rusher Jacquies Smith tore up his knee there covering a kick.

Joe is a little down this afternoon after head coach Todd Bowles announced plans to play his starters in Atlanta. That’s the goal as of today, Bowles said. He didn’t say how much starters would play, but he noted the Bucs have a lot of things big and small to work on and Sunday will be a great time to do it.

Joe is no doctor, but it seems obvious that left tackle Donovan Smith would be better off resting his healing foot. And the same goes for All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs’ bad ankle.

Would Bowles dare put Brady on the field without his two starting tackles, against an angry and physical Falcons team that thinks it got hosed by the refs early this season against the Bucs?

Hopefully, the smart plays (whatever they may be) win out over egos this week.

Going further on why starters will play Sunday in Atlanta, Bowles said, “You worry about injuries, you probably don’t need to be playing the sport.”

58 Responses to “Todd Bowles Plans To Play Starters”

  1. BucU Says:

    After watching his press conference I thought he explained his reasoning behind it and I agree with his rationale. That might be the one and only time I’ve agreed with him all year.

  2. Mike in LOL Says:

    Why would we start any starters next week… they’ve had 16 games to get a groove together, a 17th is unnecessary. And starting some but not all, to rest the people who need it most, isn’t going to help build congruency. Start the backups and 3rd string, let them get some quality reps before the postseason. Would love to see Trask out there just to know if he’s a capable backup for future

  3. Anonymous Says:

    They won’t play the whole game

  4. Oxycondoms Says:

    Trask sucks a$$. Gabbert would be the one that needs work hes the backup

  5. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh boy……hopefully they only play for a quarter just like a preseason game.

  6. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    I remember Gruden resting Garcia last two games of regular season-and Garcia laid an egg in first round of the playoffs.

  7. tampabuscsbro Says:

    great todd, I’m so glad we aren’t giving the banged up QB and banged up linemen some rest.

  8. Allbuccedup Says:

    This guy doesn’t know if hes afoot or horseback hes been saying run the ball more White and Lenny 50 yards total. If Wirfs, Smith or Brady get knocked before playoffs we are done. Hopefully they will play just the first quarter.

  9. Tucker Says:

    This time I agree with todd they do need to work on alot of things if they want a chance to go to the big game. Hopefully yesterday wasn’t a fluke and they can continue to gel well together still look inconsistent too many times against a banged up Panthers defense without their best cornerback.

  10. Darin Says:

    I agree with him for once too. Poop and injuries happen. Don’t fear either you can clean and heal. Let’s not play the ones that are already injured tho.

  11. Larrd Says:

    Bowles is right. They hit three long passes yesterday. Ran for about 60 yards. Got torched by Sam Darnold, working with one good receiver. The are not “in a groove” as far as I can see.

  12. HC Grover Says:

    Possible Blunder upcoming. It was too good to be true.

  13. HC Grover Says:

    A player can get hurt in the 1st qtr. Any qtr.

  14. BOAT Says:

    Joe, I have been very critical of Bowles this season, but this is the correct decision. Teams that just rest their starters often come out extremely flat in their first playoff game and lose the game by halftime. It’s cost plenty of #1 seeds a one and done in the playoffs.

  15. Redeemer Says:

    They can’t rest everyone. Only 46 guys can dress. But there’s no need to play banged up starters, or guys with injury history. If they want to treat it like the preseason dress rehearsal, I guess I can go along. After 16 games, you are what you are. The time for “working on things” has come and gone. Sit as many key guys as possible, and get out of dodge.

  16. Jack Clark Says:

    If Brady wants to play to make his NFL records even harder to break then then I say let him ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  17. Jack Clark Says:

    Hopefully our FG kicker Ryan Succop will get his confidence back against Atlanta!

  18. AmauryGuzman Says:

    You don’t rest starters you try and get this offense going. I don’t like Bowles but he’s doing the right thing here. Usually when you rest starters they come out flat in the playoffs.

  19. Chris from Gainesville Says:

    I wouldn’t normally agree, but if we can build off last week and get some consistency on offense then we really should try to keep it going. Last thing we want is to have a little success, take two weeks off and come out flat until the fourth. I agree with playing them. If they look good in the first half take them out at halftime. This really needs to be treated same as the last game of preseason imo.

  20. AmauryGuzman Says:

    BucsFan i believe the packers did it last year and paid the price.

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    tampabuscsbro … Brady has already said that he intends to play. No way Bowles would let him on the field without his starting OLine to protect him.

    I agree with Bowles that this offense in particular has some stuff to work on. The difference in the game yesterday was the TD scored after the Bucs’ defense forced a fumble & recovered it on the Panthers’ 6-yard line. The other fumble recovery on the Panthers’ 13-yard line only led to a FG, but still, that’s 10 points off of short fields from turnovers … the difference between winning & losing in a 30-24 game. That doesn’t happen every game.

    Connecting with Evans on the same play 3 times for TDs was also critical to the win, but that’s not the norm either (ME13 only had 3 TDs all season prior to those 3 yesterday). This offense has a lot to work on if we expect to get past Rnd 1 of the playoffs.

  22. San Pal Says:

    Bucs all set to host 3 home playoff games:
    Beat the Cowboys at home
    Beat the Giants at home after the Giants beat Vikings
    Beat the Packers at home after the Packers beat 49ers and Eagles
    Beat the Bills in SuperBowl

  23. Redeemer Says:

    Sean Peyton is talking about this very thing currently on cowherd’s show. His point was it’s a no win situation. Momentum is real, but at what cost. This is a bigger issue for teams that have things locked up early. Great interview.

  24. Buccos Says:

    The playoffs started for us on Sunday. We secured our division, now we need to get a winning record and sweep of the Falcons. We also need to work on our offense and sharpen up our defense. They gave up to much yardage and passing TD’s

  25. Bojim Says:

    I think Brady feels they’re finally on a roll offensively and wants to keep it going. First string is probably going to start. For how long I don’t know

  26. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Sitting players at the end of the year doesn’t work. At least from memory it seems that teams that do struggle in the playoffs. I’m not sure if the numbers bear that out but right off the top of my head it hasn’t worked. If you can play play.

  27. Mike Johnson Says:

    I think Maybe this will further help us find our O stride. Finishing 9-8 means we had a winning record. And let’s face it guys, this is not a Championship team anyways. But we just might be able to steal the 1st game. All hands-on deck. I like the call coach Bowles. Let ‘um ball. And let the chips fall where they may. And it just looks better when you roll into the playoffs with a winning record..period.

  28. BucU Says:

    I think I remember the Bucs already had a bye week to rest everybody before taking on a crappy Browns team. How’d that work out?

  29. HC Grover Says:

    At this point how they won the division and the w-l record is irrelevant. It is a 4 game season and they must win 4 in a row, Brady has the edge, he knows how to do it.

  30. R.O. Says:

    First of all he and any other HC this week will be questioned and criticized this week on this decision. 2nd based on the Wild Card round of the playoffs. If we lose it will because we rested player or kept them engaged. If we lose its because we rested players and didnt keep them engaged. If we win its because we rested players or we played them and kept them engaged. Its a no win and people always want to complain if the team does what “you” dont they should. Stop wasting your breath.

  31. SB~LV Says:

    This team is winning despite Todd Bowles as the shot caller

  32. SKBucsFan Says:

    They can start, they just shouldn’t play as many snaps. They can spend the rest of the time stretching and riding the bike. Would like to see Brady with the headset on while Trask plays the 2nd half.

  33. Buc Unto Death Says:

    If you are starting the starters, sit the OC. Let Brady call the offense and see how it works out.

  34. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The key words are…..”we have some things to work on”…..yep…..16 games under your belt and work left to do….

    How about run blocking

    How about Succop on 50 plus yards…..(well, maybe not)

    How about D Smith not holding

  35. Bucanero Says:

    They should play. Got to keep momentum going into playoffs.

  36. NYbucsfan Says:

    Dumb coach, that’s what we have.

  37. NEfan Says:

    I agree start them but no more than a half. I’m not so sure the Atlanta rivalry is as prominent now that the game means nothing to either team. It wasn’t the players that called the roughing the passer penalty. I just hope guys like Jarret do come head hunting. To get.thrown out of that game for roughing means nothing.

  38. Mike C Says:

    This is the classic rest vs rust, not sure anyone has figured out the perfect formula, probably a case by case situation … hope you got it right coach.

  39. mg Says:

    Call 1-800- Traskaholic for a free evaluation.

  40. Goatfarmer Says:

    Totally expected and not surprising at all from the Toadster. Took you 16 games to figure out what the rest of the world knew all along.

    Congratulations. Now get on the short bus out of town.

  41. sasquatch Says:

    Bowles is right. The J03s are being dumb. This team has been sh!t all year and needs every bit of work it can get. If we were sitting at 13-3 and had been beating up on opponents, I might consider resting guys. But this team sucks and giving guys a rest is almost like saying they’ve done a great job and deserve a rest. They do not deserve anything. They backed into the playoffs by sucking a little less than the rest of the NFCS. Not really something to be proud of.

  42. Duane Says:

    Huge risk, with little upside. Nothing positive to be learned from winning or losing to the dirty birds. Just giving the Cowboys and Eagles more tape. This team is OLD, and we just had a 17 game season. Rest is a better premium than rust. Someone needs to let Bowles know you work out kinks, timing, and chemistry in PRACTICE. You live with the results if a man goes down or your veteran team comes out flat in round one.

  43. 941bucsfan Says:

    Pick a side… brady said he wants to play.. if u dont play him, people will say they are treating tommy bad.

  44. Taken Says:

    Playing the starters? OK, I just lost all respect for Bowles. Sorry, I just can’t defend someone that is that stupid.

  45. jehzsa Says:

    I just called Miss Cleo and, amazingly enough, she remained silent.

  46. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Just get Godwin his 100 and 1,000 and maybe some incentives if anyone is close to making extra money then yank the starters.

  47. Goatfarmer Says:

    Hahaha Miss Cleo can’t be smelling too good these days.

  48. TDavis Says:

    Definitely a lot to work on. The Bucs being able to execute their offense and control a game from beginning to end would be super valuable to them headed into the playoffs.

    Also, not super important in this context but anytime that roughing the passer call is discussed, it should always be qualified by the non-call on the blatant PI against Scotty Miller. Game should’ve already been over before that roughing the passer.

  49. SlyPirate Says:

    I’d Sit:
    Smith, Wirfs, TB12, Evans, Godwin
    Vea, Hicks, Winfield

  50. OLDE pfart Says:

    Slypirate has the answer……sit those injured to insure top possible condition for when you need them……good chance for others to get some field time for consideration for next year….

  51. Richard Dickson Says:

    I’ll be honest, I’d feel better going into the playoffs 9-8 rather than 8-9.

  52. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Please rest Durable Dependable Donnie until the off-season so he’s healthy to trade.

  53. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Everyone will play Sunday and guess what?
    We’ll look like dookie.
    This past Sunday was an anomaly.

  54. The Anomaly Says:

    I agree with OPPOSITE of whatever bowels does

    He is completely inept

  55. Bosch Says:

    Of course this would be Turd Bowelmovement’s decision. Has he ever made the right one?

  56. Bosch Says:

    Hey Doooshbag. Just curious. Who is your favorite team? Favorite player?

  57. Rob Says:

    Smart to play them. This team needs all the work it can get. Play the game, cement a winning record and a win streak heading into the playoffs.

  58. DoooshLaRue Says:


    Tampa Bay Buccaneers since 1976 (hence, the doubt)

    Chris Godwin/Tristan Wirfs it’s a toss up.