Todd Bowles Unloads On NFL Punishing Defenses

April 3rd, 2023

Todd Bowles reacts.

He’s not wrong!

Good guy Jarrett Bell of USA Today found a way to get Bucs coach Todd Bowles worked up. Discussing how the NFL keeps chipping away, chipping away, chipping away at how defenses do their job, Bowles was flat out fed up.

And the guy leading the charge, apparently, is NFL doctor Alan Sills.

Recently, there seems to be a movement in NFL circles to get rid of the “hip-drop tackle.” This is basically where a tackler wraps up a ballcarrier around the waste and pulls/throws him down.

When Bell brought this up to Bowles, the Bucs coach unloaded!

“We play the game at 100 miles an hour. … It’s a physical game. You’ve got to tackle how you’ve got to tackle. There’s going to be collateral damage,” Bowles said. “You want to limit it as much as possible. You don’t want nobody getting hurt, but it’s hard to tell somebody how to tackle. The angles are different. The speed is different. I don’t know how you stop it. ‘Don’t tackle high. Don’t tackle low. Don’t hip-drop.’ What are you going to tell a guy? Some guys are more athletic than others. Where does it stop?

“I mean, g@#damn. Just play 7-on-7 and the game will be over.”

Bowles is right. When has there been a rule change that has benefits the defense? Once upon a time you could hit receivers five yards past the line. Then you couldn’t hit receivers coming over the middle. Then you couldn’t hit receivers high. Then you couldn’t hit guys who weren’t looking at you.

Now, you can’t hit too hard. If you hit too hard, here come the flags.

And G#$damnit, why do we need more penalties? We need less! Who the hell goes to a game to watch zebras? Nobody!

What Bowles said about flags is what Joe has said about these dumb new sack rules. Now, nobody knows what a sack is but — YEAH! — here comes a flag!

Just put flags on quarterbacks and that way they won’t get hurt, and every fan will know when the quarterback is sacked or not.

53 Responses to “Todd Bowles Unloads On NFL Punishing Defenses”

  1. Alanbucsfan Says:


  2. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Good For Bowles!

  3. Buc4evr Says:

    Might as well play flag football with no blitzing. NFL is becoming a joke.

  4. Dooley Says:

    Tackling is an improvisational skill and I get the NFL wants to “protect the shield” but this hip drop thing is kind of ridiculous.

  5. YucsBall Says:

    Das Lawyers

  6. Mickman Says:

    They want to eliminate the hip drop?
    Then they definitely should end the teammates
    Pushing from behind to help runningback
    Get yards. Why would that not be a risk
    Of injury when a 300lb lineman is pushing
    Or pulling a running back for more yards?

    Need to be consistent, pretty soon you will
    Only be allowed to tackle one on one with no
    Other assistance

  7. Mickman Says:

    I am not sure I have ever seen a pler get injured for a hip tackle…most of those tackles as QBs in grasp that
    Refuse to go down…maybe they need the in the grass rule to be enforced.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We did have one rule that could have helped the defense but they ended it..

    That was the ability to challenge a DPI call……

    IMO, a coach should be able to challenge anything on the field…..any penalty or lack of a penalty…….but keep the loss of time out and limits on challenges.

  9. Redeemer Says:

    I dont want no one to get hurt either Todd. I also don’t want anyone to get hurt. This crap has been going on for 20+ years. It started with crying baby Bill Polian, who couldn’t beat the patriots. He complained enough that the league reinforced the 5 yard chuck rule, making it nearly impossible to play bump and run. Recievers basically have had a free release since. Its only going to get worse. I agree with Bowles 100 percent here. I thought they wanted guys to wrap up around the waist? They’ve virtually eliminated kick offs, now this? Also note that the league rejected a proposal to make QB flopping reviewable. This pisses me off to no end. As a man who played defense all the way through Jr. Collage, it makes me nauseated.

  10. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Might as well switch to two hand touch or flag football. The hip drop tackle’s prevalence is because of the other rules already in place. Take it away and defenders will not be able to tackle any longer.

    In other news do the Bucs have ANY cap space to sign the former Seattle S Ryan Neal? I think he’d a good compliment to Winfield.

  11. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Indeed a team should be able to challenge any penalty , and so sick of seeing snaps that are obviously after play clock reaches :00 and no flag for delay.

  12. SB~LV Says:

    Go away Bowles
    No one wants to hear your opine
    If you can’t understand the direction the NFL and how the game is played you are already too late
    The game is all about explosive plays on offense!
    In order to play in the 2023 NFL you better have a quarterback that can make plays with his feet and arm
    You better have explosive WR’s and RB’s
    How many points did your team score on average last year?

  13. Fred McNeil Says:

    Mickman, somewhere bank in the early 1980’s they experimented with calling QBs in the grasp TOO quickly. Sometimes all it took was a good handful of jersey to get whistled down. I remember Dandy Don Merideth joking that maybe we should put dresses on the QBs. Imagine if he said that last year. Hoo boy!

    Some QBs are easy to tackle once you get a hand on them. Some, like Josh Allen are like trying to tackle Godzilla. You can’t Taylor the rules to individuals so you draw a (un)happy medium somewhere.

  14. Redeemer Says:

    @1976, another good one. The refs give them an extra tick almost always. Remember too that they made it nearly impossible to shift on the d line. All an o lineman needs to do is jump up and point, and they call a neutral zone infraction. I’m sick of this. The league functioned just fine before all this crap. I get leading with the head and all that jazz. But, if they keep this up, the game will be ruined. Thanks Joe, I need a valium now

  15. Cobraboy Says:

    “First, we kill the lawyers…”

  16. Goatfarmer Says:

    Todd is 1000% correct on this. Stop messing with the best team sport in the world or just put flags on them.

  17. Cobraboy Says:

    All this crap will do is alienate old school football fans from the game.

    Maybe the NFL should get Dylan Mulvaney as a poster person of who the NFL prefers as paying fans, since old school is no longer a thing.

    Dick Butkus is spinning in his grave.

  18. Redeemer Says:

    @Fred, the in the grasp rule is a tough one. The rule reads, an official must blow the play dead, when the QB is fully in the grasp of a defender behind the line and his safety is in jeopardy. While I agree they called it too frequently in the past and the rule needed amending, Josh Allen can be firmly in the grasp and get out of it. I can count on one hand the last time I’ve seen it called in the past 5 years. The league wants offense, I get it. But as soon as a big name QB gets hurt, when he’s firmly in the grasp, they’ll go back to the old rule.

  19. lambchop Says:

    The NFL is becoming the Arena League. Next rule down the line will be a 50-yard field where a defense can’t stop an offense much. I understand why it’s happening, but the NFL is watering down its product unfortunately. They’re just trying to keep the pipeline stocked with players coming in and prevent any lawsuits or parents pulling their kids out of football.

    It’s tackle football. You’re going to have phantom injuries as well. You can’t prevent everything.

    If they want to make things more evenly balanced, I would revisit certain established rules and re-evaluate them by tweaking them. For instance, the horse collar tackle. The tackle that Devin White made on inFamous Winston should never be a flag. It was a sleeve/jersey pull and it was unfortunate that Winston got hurt. But, I blame the field more than anything. Let certain flags be reviewable. White was flying past Winston and unintentionally grabbed whatever he could. That’s not an intent to hurt. Why not ban turf?

    There are things that can be done to slow down the watering of the NFL, if allowed.

  20. Infomeplease Says:

    The flag thrown on the early sack of Prescott was an early momentum changer. I hate the refs more and more every year. I can’t wait till next gen stats and AI make the calls!

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    The NFL offers ‘entertainment’ for us, the masses. There’s big money involved, but with it comes risk. Not for us ‘the masses’, but for those involved in providing that entertainment.

    Anyone who’s watched boxing has seen 2 guys beat the absolute daylights out of each other … with very little protection. Anyone who’s watched Mixed Martial Arts has seen 2 guys absolutely pummel each other … with very little protection. At least NFL equipment offers a modicum of protection compared to those 2 ‘sports’.

    Yet with the size & speed of our modern day gladiators, even the improved equipment has its limitations. Still, there will always be those who will be willing to assume the risk because of the potential rewards. The NFL is right IMO of trying to minimize the most serious injuries (especially head, neck & spine injuries?) but they have to be very prudent (?) about HOW they do it. Todd Bowles (and most likely every other DC) obviously doesn’t think they’re being very ‘prudent’ in their application of the ‘hip drop tackle’. Good for him for speaking out.

  22. Joe Says:

    All this crap will do is alienate old school football fans from the game.

    Joe’s pretty confident that is the NFL’s goal. They can’t make more money on old school football.

  23. garro Says:

    I cant tel lyou the number of times I felt like just shutting it off and going out and mowing the lawn instead. They are legislating the game to death. I too feel like the refs think the game is about them at times.

  24. Redeemer Says:

    @Defense, modern helmets have actually increased concussions. They went away from leather helmets, because of skull fractures. I doubt they’d be many guys leading with the head, if they had leather helmets. Rugby players don’t have the same concussion rate. It’s actually much safer than American football. It is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. I get that it’s two different sports, but lots of this is lip service. Id love to see the data from the league. We all know they have it.

  25. THOMAS PFALZ Says:

    NFL flag football league. No more tackling. WTF

  26. Mike Johnson Says:

    Bowles is spot on. The game has and is changing yearly. Pretty soon, they gonna give the QB’s aprons and pocketbooks.

  27. #99 the Big fella Says:

    SB~LV you are a douche bag !!!! stop with your anti Bowles crap every article.

  28. Winky Says:

    Cobra, very funny. Lol

    Go Bucs!!!

  29. HC Grover Says:

    Preparing for Women players no doubt. Get the flags.

  30. Goatfarmer Says:

    Speaking of defense, the Bucs gave up an average of 27.6 ppl in their 10 losses last year, including some really lousy offenses. Yep. Bloweszo’s defensive prowess is leaking oil, knee cartilidge and Turkey gravy. The league has figured him out, and will he do anything to change the trajectory? All signs point to doubtful.

  31. Crickett Baker Says:

    It seems to me this is ALL about the owners, not the fans. We want smashmouth violent football. We want to hear those Lynch-like hits. We liked the gladiators! This is about the owners protecting their ass-ets, period. I think the fans should start protesting in a big way–not just ticket-wise but verbally! Owners want to be liked, too.

  32. Goatfarmer Says:

    Flags and dresses. I know, lingerie football for men, with flags.

  33. unbelievable Says:

    Agree with Bowles 100%, its getting fkn ridiculous

  34. Rod Munch Says:

    “You don’t want nobody getting hurt”


    Let’s take a moment and listen to our AI overlords as they explain why this is bad grammar, or Todd Bowles is more sinister than we believe…

    “You don’t want nobody getting hurt” is a double negative. The use of “don’t” and “nobody” creates two negative elements in the sentence. The two negatives cancel each other out, resulting in a positive meaning. Therefore, the sentence actually means “You want somebody to get hurt.”

    A better way to express the same idea without using a double negative would be: “You want everyone to be safe and avoid getting hurt.”

  35. Defense Rules Says:

    Goatfarmer … the Bucs gave up an average of 27.6 ppl in their 10 losses last year, including some really lousy offenses. Yep. Bloweszo’s defensive prowess is leaking oil, knee cartilidge and Turkey gravy. The league has figured him out, and will he do anything to change the trajectory? All signs point to doubtful.’

    Interesting observation. Wrong conclusion, but I wouldn’t have expected otherwise. How about a little more context though (an alien thought I know, but nonetheless).

    Yes our defense gave up 278 points in our 10 losses last year.

    Our offense scored a grand total of 164 points in those same 10 losses.

    In those 10 losses, we surrendered 168 points to 5 teams who made the playoffs last season and who were obviously considerably better than we were. That’s 33.6 PPG average. Bad, very bad.

    In those 5 losses to playoff teams, our offense scored a total of 92 points, an average of only 18.4 PPG. Bad, very very bad.

    In the OTHER (just for you) 5 losses to non-playoff teams last year, we surrendered 110 points, for an average of 22.0 PPG. About our average.

    In the OTHER 5 losses to non-playoff teams, our offense scored a total of 57 points, an average of 11.4 PPG. Bad, really really bad.

    I tutor 2nd grade math at a local elementary school for fun. Even my 2nd graders can do THAT math and tell you that 92 is less than 168 and that 57 is less than 110.

    Our defense on the 2022 season gave up 358 points, for an average of 21.1 PPG (even our 2020 SB Championship team defense gave up an average of 22.2 PPG). Thus our defense was competitive in 5 of those 10 losses (the ones to the non-playoff teams). The offense wasn’t. Had they been, we could’ve just as easily been 13-5 instead of 8-10. Of course, then again, if pigs had wings they could fly.

  36. Goatfarmer Says:

    The conclusion is easy. They lost all 10 of those games. All the other stuff is fluff. HEY THAT RHYMES!

    Just trying to use capital letter for emphasis. Seems to be a trend.

  37. Rod Munch Says:

    I told the AI to take Todd’s quote, but make it more meaningful and impactful and deep, oh, and shorten it up… Now listen to the new AI Bowles…

    “Life is a game played at full throttle, with physicality and inevitable casualties. We strive to minimize harm, yet the art of tackling remains a nuanced and complex dance. How can we teach it, when angles and athleticism vary? The truth is, we cannot fully stop the collateral damage. So, we must learn to accept it as a necessary part of the game, and perhaps, of life itself.”

  38. Rod Munch Says:

    Goatfarmer, since I had the window open, I told the AI to rewrite your last comment and make it all meaningful and stuff… Here’s AIfarmer at work…

    “All the fluff fades away, leaving only the painful truth – they lost every game. In the end, that’s all that matters. Rhyme or reason, there is no escaping the stark reality.”

  39. Defense Rules Says:

    Goatfarmer … ‘The conclusion is easy. They lost all 10 of those games.’

    Just dawned on me that’s the difference between the two of us. Some of us like to try to understand WHY things happen. Others are just content to write ‘Bowles sucks’ ten thousand times a day and make OBSERVATIONS (CAPS just for you Goatfarmer) as to why others are stupid for not listening to them.

  40. Defense Rules Says:

    Rod … What’s AI program are you using?

  41. Goatfarmer Says:


    I understand WHY things happen and make OBSERVATIONS. NORMALLY, I don’t feel the need to BORE ANY READERS with 4,982 word missives on all the potentialities and then hedge the outcome (4-13 or 11-6 for a win record for example — there’s going out on a limb, hooboy).

    Bowels defense got torched by anyone good and even some not so good. The average points per loss included the loss to GB wherin they only scored 14 but with a depleted and weird Kaaron Rodgers, Yeah, I know that was kncluded, and that one wasn’t the defense’s fault — but it was Bowels’ fault.

    There’s more, so to spare others from the boredom, I’ll suggest to go rewatch Dallas “playoff” game, last Panthers game (a win but Bowels made Darnold look like Marino), Bengals (yes but Tom’s picks — and a great defense like we’ve seen in Tampa has held teams in spite of JaMiss or Dilfer), Browns….23 points to them….sheesh….(although again Bowels blew it as a HC expecting the D to win it), Noners (the immortal Brock Purdy LMAO), Raves (27 points to a team that allegedly can’t pass, except 231 yards on Bowels while running for 230 as well), and I’d say Panthers 1 and Steelers (but again those were more inept head coaching), and then of course the 41 point beauty against the Chiefs.

    Bowels doesn’t get a pass for 2019-2020 any more. He been figured out. By anyone remotely good at least.

  42. Rod Munch Says:

    Defense Rules – ChatGPT. It’s remarkable. Just talk to it like it’s a regular person, tell it to rewrite something someone else said, or just write something new. Here, for example, I just told the AI to write a new song for the Buccaneers in the mold of ‘Hey, hey, Tampa Bay’… and include references to winning two super bowls and Tom Brady.

    In a few seconds it writes the following… Be afraid people, AI IS coming for your job, and it’s gonna be here way faster than you think…


    Verse 1:
    We are the Bucs, we’ve come to play,
    On the field, we’ll make our way.
    From the Bay to the Gulf of Mexico,
    Our spirit and our passion, we’ll show.

    Hey, hey, Tampa Bay,
    We’re the Buccaneers, we’re here to stay.
    With two rings and Tom Brady by our side,
    Our winning spirit, we can’t hide.

    Verse 2:
    Our cannons roar, our ship sets sail,
    We’ll leave our opponents in the gale.
    From offense to defense, we dominate,
    With Tom Brady leading, we elevate.

    Hey, hey, Tampa Bay,
    We’re the Buccaneers, we’re here to stay.
    With two rings and Tom Brady by our side,
    Our winning spirit, we can’t hide.

    Verse 3:
    From Raymond James to the Superdome,
    We’ll march and conquer, we’ll never roam.
    Our fans in red, we hear your call,
    Together we’ll rise and never fall.

    Hey, hey, Tampa Bay,
    We’re the Buccaneers, we’re here to stay.
    With two rings and Tom Brady by our side,
    Our winning spirit, we can’t hide.

    We are the Bucs, we always shine,
    With two Super Bowls, we redefine.
    Our legacy we’ll continue to write,
    With Tom Brady, we’ll keep up the fight.

  43. Rod Munch Says:

    Another theme song… telling the AI to do it in the style of an 80s sitcom… Keep in mind, this AI can’t access up to date info, so it’s like 2-years out of date, thus the Brady reference….

    They’re the Bucs, living the dream,
    On the field, they’re a winning team.
    From the Bay to the Gulf, they’ll sail,
    With Brady and the crew, they’ll never fail.

    Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay,
    They’re the Bucs, they’re here to stay.
    With a cannon blast and a pirate roar,
    The Bucs will conquer, and so much more.

    They’re the Bucs, through thick and thin,
    With heart and soul, they’ll always win.
    Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay,
    The Bucs, they’re here to play!

  44. Rod Munch Says:

    Hey Goatfarmer, I again asked the AI to rewrite what you said but to make it much much shorter, here’s what it said…

    “I get it. I see it. Bowels’ defense got torched by good and not so good teams. He doesn’t get a pass anymore.”

    BTW, I’m not picking on you or anything, I’m just playing with the AI and you just happen to be the last post I see.

  45. Goatfarmer Says:

    You’re killing me, Rod! This is outstanding. I am all for brevity, there are certain posters that deserve longer replies, even though no one will ever compete with the king of the fog index.

  46. Goatfarmer Says:

    I’m giggling like Osqueelbuc in a village maroons’ conference.

  47. Rod Munch Says:

    Goatfarmer – oh half my posts are mini-novels, so I have no issues with long posts, in particular if they’re interesting. But it’s also interesting the way the AI just cuts to the chase. Sometimes with hilarious results, but most of the time it does it extremely well.

    Also DEFENSE Rules, I posted the AI name but it got caught in moderation, but I assume it will appear sooner or later. Not sure if the name triggered it or something else so I won’t repost it here, but it’s the one everyone is talking about it.

  48. Defense Rules Says:

    Easiest way to NOT GET BORED Goatfarmer is to just not read them or respond to them. That’s the approach I’ve taken for quite awhile on commenters who are consistently negative. Life’s too short for that sh!t.

  49. Goatfarmer Says:

    I don’t…….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  50. PassingThru Says:

    I thought the Bucs coaching staff punished us enough last season with their offense.

  51. Crickett Baker Says:

    That is very cool and interesting (to me), Rod.

  52. Oneilbuc Says:

    Goatformer. You are the stupidest person on here all you do is bash Todd Bowles. You know nothing about football so you call people names like child. Todd Bowles done a good job with the defense last year they played good enough to win at least 10 games but your old and washed up Daddy Tom Brady sucked last year and couldn’t help the offense score points.

  53. Goatfarmer Says:

    You’re wrong Osqueeler. All i do is bash you.

    Nine wins by the defense last year! Want me to post when you said that?

    Telling me I brought race into a discussion when I was promoting the idea of hiring Brian Flores. Want me to post it?

    Who is y’all?

    You hate Brady. You loved Jamiss. You are the global village maroon and everyone knows it but the global village maroon.

    But keep it coming, girl. You’ll get your time in the sack with Jamiss soon enough.