Lavonte David Talks Belief In Todd Bowles, Offseason Losses & Bowles Taking Charge

February 15th, 2023

Iconic Bucs linebacker Lavonte David sure dropped a few interesting takes on how he perceives Todd Bowles as a head coach.

David hopped on CBS Sports Radio and had plenty to say when host Zach Gelb asked him about his confidence in Bowles as the top dog, not the defensive coordinator.

“I do believe in [Bowles] as a head coach. I really do,” David began. “Because his personality, you know, a lot of people see him as a smooth, cool-demeanor-type guy, but the way he leads, I really respect it. And a lot of guys across the locker room respect it as well. Just the way the season went, it was just unlucky for us. And I feel like a lot of things just didn’t go our way. Obviously, with injuries and things like that, obviously the second day of training camp we lost one of our best players on our team losing our center. That was a huge piece of what we do on offense. And then, you know, on defense we lost key pieces in [Ndamukong] Suh; we lost JPP. And then a lot of turnover in the secondary, guys getting hurt … and stuff like that. So all that plays a part in it. But a lot of guys in the locker room respect Todd Bowles for what he is and his daily approach.

“And, you know, sometimes I feel like [Bowles] kind of like was thrown in the fire in a sense with [Bruce Arians] retiring. He just had to, you know, pick up with that and not really taking control and doing things the way he wanted to do it, and have everything go the way he wanted it to go. As you can see, a lot of stuff is changing this year, so we’re going to see how it goes.”

Lotta meat on that David buffet. Were the losses to Suh and JPP that significant? JPP played the 2021 season with one arm, missed five games and was a shell of himself. Suh’s production was never replaced and the Bucs’ run defense regressed.

As for Bowles not getting to do things the way he wanted to do it, Joe gets that Bowles was blindsided into grabbing the head coaching job in late March, but would he really have made significant changes if he got the job seven weeks earlier?

It’s hard to say. Perhaps Bowles would have changed a couple of assistant coaches and influenced a different outcome early in free agency, like adding a pass rusher instead of Russell Gage.

20 Responses to “Lavonte David Talks Belief In Todd Bowles, Offseason Losses & Bowles Taking Charge”

  1. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    54 is a company man and that’s admirable. I would take Bowles as Defensive Coordinator all day everyday. However even Helen Keller & Stevie Wonder can see that Bowles is not head coaching material.

  2. sasquatch Says:

    People love to hate Bowles, but even if you think he’s not much of a HC, you have to grant that he was dropped into a crappy situation with tons of turmoil, starting with the QB, then injuries to key guys, and free agents that failed to make an impact due to injury, and an OC who was lost without BA. This is a totally sh!tty situation he was put in. And now, this offseason is even more difficult and he’s stuck as a transitional coach whose team will be lucky to replicate last year’s record and even if he makes the most of the situation, b!tching fans are gonna blame him.

    Considering all of last year’s sh!tty circumstances, I’m starting to think 8-9 was actually an accomplishment.

    At this point I’m not sure what to make of Bowles. I know everyone out here in the complain-o-sphere thinks they know the truth. I’m discouraged by this OC search as well, but I’m still hoping for the best and hoping for improvements in some areas this year.

  3. FortMyersDave Says:

    Lavonte is not going to throw Bowels under the bus so what do people expect him to say? He obviously thinks Toilet Bowels is a great coach from a defensive perspective but I wonder what some of the players from the offensive side of the ball think of the head coach after all the disappointment and regression last season as well as Bowels going turtle in games like Cleveland and Pittsburgh; clearly 2 winnable games! TB12’s opinion would certainly be interesting to hear!

  4. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    LVD towing the company line. Of course he’s not going to criticize his HC but he and all other players need to ask themselves why they played so lifeless all season long. Bowles should have never been made the HC. Things won’t improve until he’s gone. Lovie 2.0.

  5. Go Bucs Go Says:

    Let me summarize his comments on HC Bowles so you can save time and energy trying to read between lines.

    LVD on Bowles:
    “We respect him.
    His team played poorly, man…
    But we respect him. Do you know what I mean?
    He was forced into the scene last time. Let him be and do what he does and see what happens.”

    Go Bucs!

  6. BrianBucs Says:

    LVD wants to stay with the Bucs so he is being careful not to piss anybody off

  7. HC Grover Says:

    Time for the pre calamity spin to begin. By the first preseason game they will be claiming this is a ‘Super Bowl’ run. They do it every time.

  8. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    Perhaps Bowles would have changed a couple of assistant coaches and influenced a different outcome early in free agency, like adding a pass rusher instead of Russell Gage.

    Or resigned both JPP & Suh, considering what they signed for with other clubs and added an additional player. 16 Million for Julio & Gage we might be talking about several players. Don’t even get me started with the Hicks contract.

  9. steele Says:

    Besides being a company man, LVD likes the easygoing (easy), non-judgmental, hands-off brand of non-management. You are paid handsomely for just showing up, it feels damned good, like “you’re a man”, and when you screw up, it’s all good, you’re “still a man”. Lose? That’s okay. We’ll figure it out, later. We professionals.

    Far better than being pushed and challenged, and held accountable by some nasty taskmaster or visionary who heaven forbid, makes you dig deep and causes you discomfort or stretches your boundaries.

  10. Goatfarmer Says:

    “A lot of guys” could mean 10, and include a few towel boys and such.

    What LVD is really saying in a nice way, is “Toad Blowes sucks.”

  11. sasquatch Says:

    ^ Can’t blame Bowles for not re-signing Suh and JPP. That was a budget decision, an organization decision, and those guys aren’t worth the money anymore. And people keep saying how the team is old and slow… JPP and Suh just would’ve made them older and slower, and with even deeper cap problems this year. But by all means, keep complaining.

  12. FrontFour Says:

    I don’t blame anyone for the loss of Suh or JPP. Neither of those guys was close to the players they were in 2020 and wouldn’t have done much for us in 2022. The guys we replaced them with just weren’t anywhere near as good as the 2020 or even 2021 versions of JPP and Suh either on the field or in the locker room.

  13. Sinking Ship Says:

    Please stop with this. He is what his record says he is. Ask Bill Parcells. Wait until you add in this upcoming season. He will never be a HC again.

    Helping your under qualified friends to hurt and organization is criminal. Continuing that is insanity.

  14. SufferingSince76 Says:

    I love your style, LaVonte, but please don’t pee down my back and tell me it’s raining.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Licht’s strategy for 2022 was to build the oldest team roster in the NFL, with very poor depth, by kicking the salary CAP can down the proverbial street and HOPE that our Bucs could make the playoffs in the weakest division in the NFL then take whatever happens. It was a bankrupt strategy from the very beginning (oldest team led by the oldest QB?) that mortgaged our future big-time.

    Well, for those farmers among us, the chickens have come home to roost. But … we are where we are. Supposed ‘fans’ are focusing their ire on the wrong person. Bowles inherited this mess, he didn’t create it. If anything, he saved Licht’s & BA’s bacon over these past several years by creating a quality defense from the mess that he inherited in 2019 while they poured their money into the offense.

    Question in my mind is … can he rebuild this defense AGAIN given this disastrous salary CAP situation, high number of defensive FAs, questionable remaining ‘core’, and obvious lack of field leadership on defense? THAT’S not a hopeful starting position, especially given our relatively low draft position. Honestly have no clue at this point, but if folks think that Andy Reed or Bill Belicheck are gonna quite their jobs with the Chiefs or Pats and come rescue us, they better think again. And no, BA’s not coming out of ‘retirement’. He saw this coming last year is my guess and said ‘Hasta la vista baby’.

  16. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Bowels took our horrible defense and we pretty much won a super bowl on the backs of our defense. Thank you bowels for fixing our defense now let’s make em better.

  17. gp Says:

    HC Grover Says:
    February 15th, 2023 at 1:35 am

    Time for the pre calamity spin to begin. By the first preseason game they will be claiming this is a ‘Super Bowl’ run. They do it every time.

    I get it, we gotta face reality, right?
    That said…

    If any team starts the season with no expectation of getting to the dance at the end, THEY WON’T.

    I’m no fan of Bowles, but I’ll be damned if I root for the team to lose.
    Hopefully he will get to make the changes he wants.
    Hopefully he will get the players he wants.
    Hopefully he will be able to instill the mindset he needs to succeed.

    Hopefully, he learns to gameplan for each individual game.

    While I may prefer to see someone else wearing the uniform or on the sideline, the Bucs are my team and I will root for them on game day regardless.

    I reserve the right (privilege) to complain just a little bit on these pages though.

  18. NutterBuccer Says:

    The one mind boggling thing to me about last year’s free agency was that we let Jordan whitehead…the tone setter…walk and we signed Julio Jones to more money than he got. We signed hicks to more money than he got. I know whitehead wasn’t too happy with the way he was being used (coming off the field in passing downs at times) but money talks and whitehead is better than any strong safety we had on the field last year. The buca clearly catered to brady which I’m not complaining about but I think 2023 bucs are gonna surprise. Guys have to play with fire and should have something to prove that it just want all brady the past 3 years.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    gp … I love your approach to 2023 (seriously): root for the Bucs but reserve the right (privilege) to complain. That’s the story of America 2023 in a nutshell IMO, EXCEPT … most just run straight to the complain option.

    I’ve pretty much decided on a similar approach, except I probably (admittedly) look at Todd Bowles differently than most. In my military career experiences, I had some awesome leaders, but also my share of ‘junkers’ like we all do. You know what, looking back the ‘guy (or gal) at the top’ didn’t really make all that much difference in how well the organization functioned in the big scheme of things. It was the quality of the organization supporting that guy (or gal) that made the most difference, by far.

    I take the same view of Todd Bowles as HC. With a strong OC (AND a strong GM), I believe that he can get the job done. Just so long as he ’empowers’ his OC to do his job with minimal interference (which I think he will). As a DC, Bowles has a pretty decent track record, and we need a good DC right now to get that part of the ship squared away (it’s far worse off than the offense IMO). I think it’ll be interesting to watch it all play out.

  20. NEfan Says:

    So Bowles the HC wasn’t involved in any of these FA signings? Hicks over Suh? He also chose to play JPP last season while he was hurt and useless. LVD is a FA, he wants his money, he can’t be burning bridges. FYI LVD, the Bucs had far more key injuries in 2021 than 2022.