Bruce Arians: Todd Bowles’ Philosophy “Didn’t Match” This Year

February 9th, 2023

Bucco Bruce Arians didn’t hesitate to acknowledge today that he was not happy about all the Bucs’ recent changes, as in firing his coaches.

Arians joined Outkick 360 recently and dropped one of the most interesting lines of the 2022 season for those who live and breathe Buccaneers football: The Bowles Way, whatever that is, didn’t fit the Bucs.

There was no bitterness in Arians’ voice. He respects his handpicked successor but didn’t agree with him.

“Todd’s gotta do what he needs, and they way he feels. And his philosophy, it didn’t match this year,” Arians said. “Byron’s going to be a head coach someday. You know, hopefully this doesn’t set him back too far because he is a tremendous football coach. So yeah, I think for us, it’s just which direction we want to go in; Todd wanted to go in a different direction and it’s his ballclub, but I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Man, this had Joe immediately thinking of Arians’ eye-popping comment about Leftwich following the Bucs’ loss to the Bengals.

At the time, Arians said Leftwich finally overruled the voices in his head (Bowles?). ” … The first half was the first time I’ve seen this year when Byron said, ‘Screw it, I’m going back to being me.’ This was a game Mike [Evans] should’ve had 200 [yards].”

Joe will be up late tonight considering Arians’ calmly uttered words today about the Bowles philosophy.

57 Responses to “Bruce Arians: Todd Bowles’ Philosophy “Didn’t Match” This Year”

  1. Casual Observer Says:

    Bowles should have been the first to be fired. Don’t see how we can expect to win with the same captain of this ship. Depressing.

  2. D-Rok Says:

    Non-matching philosphies fairly well epitomizes last season.

  3. Brent Clark Says:

    Honesty is always the best route, the question is, can others understand and take note to it and not take it personal.

  4. Hodad Says:

    Watching our offense this year several times I had to over rule the vioces in my head, and step back off the ledge!

  5. SED14 Says:

    We knew Low Energy Bowles philosophy wasn’t working as early as week 2. We called it out. We gave examples. We called out the play calling, we called out the lack of energy, fire, fight, leadership, defensive game planning and execution. And it only got worse each week. Did the Glazers not see the same thing??? How does Mr. Deer in the Headlights still have a job???

    Low energy Bowles is so massively uninspiring, unprepared, and unequipped to be a HC. But yet here he is…..still standing emotionless on the sidelines with the same stupid deer in the headlights look as JV OC candidates come in and out the door. I’m so angry right now that BA said the quiet part out loud about this wasted season…..Bowles was handed the keys to a Ferrari and he drove it like a Mazda right into the freaking ditch. Worst HC in the NFL. Thank you Glazer family for shoving this low energy, no leadership guy down our throats for another wasted season.

  6. Mord Says:


    And damn. Does not bode well.

  7. gp Says:


    You said it well.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    BA … ‘Todd wanted to go in a different direction and it’s his ballclub, but I wouldn’t change a thing.’

    What exactly does that even mean? BA ‘wouldn’t change a thing?’ He wouldn’t change anything from the 2021 team that lost Marpet, Jensen, Suh, JPP as if those personnel losses had no impact? The primary reason for our 8-9 finish is that our offense sputtered and went from the #2 offense to the #25 offense.

    So what exactly ‘changed’ that BA WOULDN’T HAVE CHANGED? Bucs ran virtually the same number of times last year as they did in 2021 (386 last season versus 385 in 2021). We passed MORE in 2022 (751 passes) than we did in 2021 (731 passes). And yet the Bucs gained over 1,000 yards LESS in 2022 (5894 total yards) than they did in 2021 (6901 total yards). That’s very very close to a 15% REDUCTION in effectiveness.

    Same number of rushes & almost exactly the same number of passes in both seasons. And yet, a dramatic decrease in productivity. So tell me again BA, what exactly WOULDN’T YOU HAVE CHANGED? And oh BTW, where were YOU while this team was struggling mightily on offense? I thought you were getting paid to be a consultant.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘The first half was the first time I’ve seen this year when Byron said, ‘Screw it, I’m going back to being me.’

    Just out of curiosity Joe, please share what Byron meant when he said ‘Screw it, I’m going back to being me.’ Was our 8-9 record the result of Byron going back to being Byron? Since we lost 4 of our last 6 games, I’m not sure I like THAT Byron.

  10. Vancouver Buc Says:

    What Defense just said…

  11. Craig Says:

    That means that Bowles was a defensive team that can run the ball.

    Look for a lot of defense in the draft, maybe a token O-line and a QB at the end.

  12. A Bucs Fan Says:

    I read that as Byron did what he wanted to for one half and then was told to stop which is unbelievable because the offense played their best half of football against the Bengals.

    If it’s true Todd might have had a bigger impact on the offense than I thought. A negative one. If true, he should have been fired too.

  13. MadMax Says:

    Blowes is a blowhard….we all know that…all good for one more year to right the ship and get us some high draft picks next year and get us out of cap h3ll….

    Time to pay the piper, at least we got a SB out of it!

    Now back to the drawing board….and it better include a new head coach for the 2024 season!!!!!

  14. Aceofaerospace Says:

    Unless I missed it, Leftwich is still unemployed. No big demand for a “future head coach”. I’ll believe that when I see it. Maybe he meant head coach in the USFL.

  15. Stebobucsfan Says:

    So now I am starting to see a clear picture something many of us Buc fans have been trying to figure out since the firing of the entire offensive staff. Seems that Leftwich and Bowles kind of bumped heads about the offensive play calls. I understand if you are the head coach you want to do things your way but, the old saying is, if it’s not broken don’t fix it. Now we know. Now I can somewhat understand a offense going from the top 5 to the bottom so quickly.

  16. Richard Says:

    Their in lies the genesis of the problem in retaing Bowles! The good coaches …at any level but especially the nfl…adjust their agenda to match the talent of his players….not demand players adjust their styles, habits and talents to fit his philosophy. This is the downfall of so many coaches….Their ego demands the players fit his style and bypass the talent of many…..Coaches coach, players play….

  17. robert Says:

    preach it richard!

  18. lambchop Says:

    That first half of the Bengals game felt like someone stole Leftnut’s call sheet before the game, and by half time he found it cuz the second half was night and day worse.

    If what BA is saying is true, that’s damning for Bowles. Because it was dead ash obvious the offensive game plan changed drastically after the half.

    I was so impressed with that first half. That’s what we expected from this team the whole year.

  19. Vancouver Buc Says:

    Just confirmation that Bowels is a terrible HC. Who in their right mind takes The 🐐and his offence and turns it into dog crap

  20. mark2001 Says:

    I heard Lefty is in line for a good college OC job. Wouldn’t be the first Buc OC fired that goes to college to move a little down and laterally to rebuild a career.. hint…Monken.

  21. mark2001 Says:

    Ace…ever hear of the little midwestern school called Notre Dame?

  22. Weston Says:

    We ALL know he needs to go. Can we quit pretending he needs another year to be given a “fair chance”???

  23. sasquatch Says:

    Lefty is a dumbass. Bruce Arians is the only one who can’t see that.

  24. Redeemer Says:

    This is confusing and depressing. Defense, the reason those pass attempts went up is because those short dumps where their running game. How many sideways passes to Godwin did we see this season? I will attest that BL was hamstrung by the simplistic and archaic offense he lerned under BA.

  25. Pryda sec 147 Says:

    Bruce efffd us ! He should have picked Byron to be HC and leave bowels as DC easy

  26. D-Rok Says:


    Agree. That Bengals game was BIZARRE, to say the least. Never seen a team so stinkin’ good in 1st half, then so bad in 2nd . That game told me something was very wrong with the Bucs, and I was not near as optimistic about our chances the rest of the season. Strange, indeed.

  27. AbucAway Says:

    What was said prior to what was quoted? I’m interested enough to try and find it. “And his philosophy, it didn’t match this year” needs to have context to understand .
    One sentence is Todd. The next is philosophy. And then Byron. There’s no keystone to put these thoughts together unless that is present prior to the quoted text or BA’s still advocating for BL.

  28. BUCman Says:

    Bowles needs to go!!! Nothing more to say!

  29. HC Grover Says:

    Coach Bozo is still ther. DOOM.

  30. Rayjay1122 Says:

    We all know Bowles sucks. He is not even a great DC much less HC material.

  31. NEfan Says:

    Oh my God DR, so BA admits Bowles did his own thing and you make it into shifting blame off Bowles. You list the amount of plays but you fail to list what plays were run. Predictable is the only word that comes to mind. Baltimore Ravens laughed at the Bucs they knew what plays were being called. That’s a FACT, you don’t think other DC’s saw the same? We all did.

    It makes NO sense a team that went from 13-4 to 8-9 that quickly. 2021 skelton receiving core, banged up secondary and lb core. Losing a few linemen shouldn’t make that much of a difference. One word for you, Bengals.

    FYI, the 2022 Bucs D sucked as bad as the O and in 2021 JPP was useless and should have never been on the field. Next season your eyes will open once you realize Bowles is the root of the problem.

  32. Goatfarmer Says:


  33. Randy Bowers Says:

    Need to kick Arians to the curb to.They’re paying him too much for all his wisdom and diverse insight he’s bestowed upon the team.

  34. Ed McSherry Says:

    A bad decision added to a gross miscalculation.

    Bowles as head Coach was the bad decision, but they (the Buccaneers’ establishment/Bruce Arians) made the calculation that it was still a “safe” decision because Bowles was being handed a Super Bowl team, led by Tom Brady: who could screw that up, no matter who they signed as head Coach (went the thinking)?

    Well, now they know.

    Have to say, though, Bruce Arians did prove to be the right man for the job while he was the “Head Motivate-tor.”

  35. Mord Says:

    Given the OC-repellent instability of no QB and an objectively lame-duck HC, I have to wonder whether the Glazers somehow actually think there is good potential in keeping Bowles or whether they simply don’t want to commit the unseemly act of firing an HC after just one year …. Or maybe they’re just embracing the notion of rebuilding and sucking by keeping the HC who’s already under contract to pass the time.

  36. Dapostman Says:

    All I see when I see Arians & Leftwich is Mr Drummond & Arnold Jackson. I guess that makes Bowles Willis.

  37. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    Darn right he wanted to go in a different direction. 29-10 to 8-10 is different direction.

  38. BrianBucs Says:

    This just shows that Bowles was a bad hire from the start.
    Due to his own personal philosophy he went totally away from what had been working for 2 years

  39. Johnny Vegas Says:

    Clean the entire house! Bowles was horrible and he sucked as the Jets head coach too. There was no fun at the stadium last year and no hope for a big change in 23. Look what the Dolphins did, got younger, creative and exciting. The Bucs were so boring and predictable – and ownership wants to repeat that?
    That is a disservice to the fans. They will be 2-7 when it dawns on somebody that the wrong people got fired.

  40. David Says:

    Wow. That sure sounds like he is saying the atrocious offense was because of Todd Bowles and not BL. So if that is the case, it doesn’t matter what quarterback or OC they bring in, the problem didn’t change. Not good if true

  41. Aceofaerospace Says:

    Mark2001 yeah I’ve heard of Notre Dame. Is Leftwich the new head coach. No, I didn’t think so.

  42. Destinjohnny Says:

    When the GM handcuffs you with he worst offensive line in football…..
    Then won’t own that he was the problem..
    You are doomed from the start

  43. Bucswin Says:

    Stupid is as stupid does. Nothing worse than a hard headed coach.

  44. Esteban85 Says:

    Gotta love this guys style. Come back and coach, Coach.

  45. gotbbucs Says:

    Is this the same Bengals game that Brady singlehandedly gave away? Pretty hard to judge an offense where the QB gave the ball away on four consecutive possessions in the 2nd half.

  46. NEfan Says:

    gotbucs, Brady doesn’t play D, he didn’t give up 34 points, the D did. Hold them to two FG’s instead of 4 TD’s game over. A turnover doesn’t mean automatic TD. Let’s not forget the fake punt that led to points. You’re a bit myopic.

  47. doolnutts Says:

    This is why Bowles is a bad head coach. He is a Lovie Smith clone thinking its 1999 style football. The days of great defense and ground and pound are over. If you want to win you need to score points. I didn’t love Leftwhich but its clear as day the entire offense was conservative and handcuffed. Bowles doens’t play to win he plays to not make mistakes and hopes to edge it out. We are screwed.

  48. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    Arians is a fiercely loyal guy, which is the only explanation for him continuing to lavish praise on Boron Leftwich, the most inept offensive coach I have ever seen, and we’ve seen some bad ones on the Bucs! His next stop will be head coach of a Pop Warner team… And they will be mediocre at best.

  49. Bucs56 Says:

    Wow. What a clown show. A guy employed by the team basically just said Bowles is to blame for the losing season. Calls him stubborn and trying to fit.a round peg in square hole

  50. Browsing from DC Says:

    Like Pryda Sec said, leaving Bowles at DC and promoting BL to HC made more sense to me at the time but like so many others I thought “BA knows what he’s doing”. But it still made no sense.

    Bowles was a failed HC. True, he didn’t have much to work with but he thrived as a DC.

    BA was the one being replaced and BA is an Offense-guy. Why remove Bowles from what he does best instead of filling BA’s offensive-minded shoes with an offensive-minded coordinator? And if I remember correctly, BL was the one being courted by at least one team looking for a HC. I don’t think Bowles got a sniff.

    I get the “he’s my guy” aspect but wasn’t BL also “his guy”? Or was it simply that Bowles had HC experience and he knew nobody else would give him that job?

    Spilled milk at this point but the radical change in coaching philosophy doomed their season as much as injuries did. A NEfan would say, BA ruined the Bucs. Lol. I would say he didn’t do the Bucs any favors by trying to fit a square peg (Bowles) into a round hole (prolific offensive team).

  51. vadertime Says:

    Wasn’t Leftwich the OC when Brady took us to the Superbowl and won? Wasn’t he the coach when we went deep into the playoffs in 2021? Bowles is an incompetent HC and it showed in New York when he was their HC. Get rid of Bowles. Arians quit right before training camp, which left no time for Tampa to vet the field for available HCs. Time for Bowles to go.

  52. Ed McSherry Says:

    Leftwitch had Head Coach Bruce Arians directing his methods and play-calling (especially important in 2020, the Super Bowl winning year).

    Without Arians and with Bowles this past year, it all obviously fell apart.

  53. Ben Harvey Says:

    Bowles…this article cringe. Why do you want to fix something that isnt broken. Tampa had the best record in the NFL last year. Yes they didnt win sb but id mostly blame injuries. This is why Bowles wont make it. His philosophy needs to adapt, not hinder the team.

  54. Bali High Says:

    Lots of grumpy people commenting, I bet all were high fiving when the bucs won the super bowl and wearing bucs gear. All these folks should apply for a head coach job in the NFl. If you love them when they are up you love them when they are down. Fair weather fans.

  55. IE Buc Says:

    Bowles wanted a more balanced attack with a strong run game. Nothing wrong with that. A run and passing attack. You can’t soley rely in a passing game that was getting old and was getting figured out by defenses. 45 year old Beady shouldn’t have been leading the league in pass attempts.

    BL was incompetent and stubborn to change. He kept running on 1st down either for spite or to check a box. The season was lost when he wasn’t fired after the Ravens game.

  56. Izod Says:

    If Bowles couldn’t get the job done this year with the talent and experience he had, he definitely won’t next year.

    Anything less than a playoff berth should get Bowles pink slip.

  57. Reedo Says:

    I think when BA says he “Wouldn’t change a thing” he’s referencing stepping aside so Bowles would get the promotion. He thought Bowles would stick with the proven template and he was wrong.