Zero Excuses For Todd Bowles’ Defense

April 28th, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

The Bucs allowed an average of more than 28 points per game in their final six contests last season.

Sad but true. So it’s understandable why general manager Jason Licht handed Todd Bowles a new and exciting toy in the draft last night — instead of help for Bowles’ 18-points-per-game offense.

Lightning-quick University of Pittsburgh defensive tackle Calijah Kancey is the new guy taken with the No. 19 overall pick. Make no mistake, and do not get misdirected. Kancey is expected to start (or at least be in a true three-man rotation) and cause problems for offenses from Day 1. That’s the only reason to draft a defensive tackle that early.

Fellow defensive tackle Vita Vea was the No. 12 overall pick, but his career started slowly due to a pulled a calf muscle during his rookie training camp.

Bowles now has two guys selected in Round 1 on his watch lining up on the defensive front, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and Calijah Kancey. And he’s got a beastly Pro Bowler he developed in Vea.

Then there’s dynamic linebacker Devin White behind them, another first-round pick under Bowles, and iconic Lavonte David.

The secondary features a Pro Bowler in Antoine Winfield, Jr., and one of the highest paid cornerback duos in the NFL, more guys Bowles developed in his scheme with Super Bowl experience.

Throw in Bowles recruiting safety Ryan Neal this offseason along with full-time young Rams starter Greg Gaines at defensive tackle, and Joe can’t find a reason why Bowles’ defense should look like the unit that finished last season.

There are no more excuses for the defense. Yes, the edge rush is suspect with Shaq Barrett’s health in question, but the Bucs also opted not to address the position this offseason to date.

Yes, the Bucs’ defense was a statistical top-10 unit last season, but it fell apart late and certainly wasn’t playoff-ready.

There’s much to improve on the Bucs, but defense is No. 1, Joe believes, when it comes to Bowles’ job security. If Bowles can’t have a dominant or a nearly-dominant defense again given his pedigree and the available talent, then what’s is really going on in Tampa?

Ira Kaufman Reacts To The Buccaneers’ First-Round Pick In This Quickie Episode. Enjoy!

74 Responses to “Zero Excuses For Todd Bowles’ Defense”

  1. Arn Platz Says:

    Completely agree with you Joe, no more excuses, if he doesn’t get it done this year he needs to go

  2. Buccos Says:

    I would go defense again in round 2 and get an edge rusher

  3. Goatfarmer Says:

    Self proclaimed defensive geniuses on this site take exception to such analysis. As they do segmenting games into “playoff teams” (you know, the better ones) versus non-playoff teams (you know, the not-better ones). Against playoff teams, Bloweszo gave up an average of over 30 points per game.

    Licht is brilliant. Give the Toadster everything he wants, so there can be absolutely no excuse for another poor defensive showing, for another consecutive losing season. It’s win or open the Hamster Farm, Todd.

  4. Bucsfan13 Says:

    I follow a lot of Bucs’ players and they seem to like the pick. Former Bucs QB Tom Brady even liked the post of the video of Kancey. We are in desperate need of a pass rush. QBs hate interior rush. Hopefully this guy can ball out for us. Please stop the Sapp and Donald comparisons. It’s an insult to the great players.

  5. CrackWise Says:

    Would be nice to see Todd roll with the 4-3 now that his personnel have changed so much.

    Thats what “GURUS” do. They make salad out of anything.

    Maybe a hybrid 4-3 or something NEW for sure!!!

    The O will always be good when you have ME.

  6. JN Says:

    Ppl need to realize that Shaq is not going to be the same player. Damn I hope I am wrong but the guy is coming off an achilles and you dont come back with the same explosion and that is what his game is all about.
    These coaches, including Bowles, need to do their jobs and coach up JTS and Hall or it will be all their butts after next season.
    I am still trying to figure out how this defense finished 9th in the league in sacks last year with Vea leading the team in sacks. Something has got to change up front. I love Vea and he’s a baller. And considering he plays roughly half the defensive snaps, his production at his size and for the position is outstanding. But the dude needs consistent help. Time for the others to step up. Excited for Kancey and what he can bring to this defense but I know it will take some time. He just needs to be a contributor, something JTS and Hall have NOT been.

  7. HC Grover Says:

    Nothing will remedy The Bowles Curse.

  8. Pickgrin Says:

    I expected OT Harrison as it seemed like the obvious pick based on “need”.

    Nolan Smith would have been my 2nd guess – again based on need.

    Both those guys were on the board (surprisingly) – and yet Licht basically sprints his card to the podium for a DT….. not even bothering to take calls for a potential trade down.

    That tells me they were all about drafting Kancey if he was available at 19 the whole time.

    I like the thinking the more I think about it. You don’t need all world talent at edge if Vea and Kancey are getting consistent push up the middle. Qbs will be flushing rt or left frequently and basically running into the OLBs…. So there’s hope for JTS after all…. LOL

  9. Tim Says:

    What I really think is suspect is the Strength and conditioning staff. Lot of calves and knees and hammies in the last few years. As far as I know, the same staff is in place. They should be gone IMO as well as the ST coach, Armstrong.

  10. Dooley Says:

    We can still afford to add a safety or, get Quan Martin and flex him between the S-NCB role. That’s a competition that doesn’t get talked about enough and we’ve at the very least have the make-up in the back end to turn coverage sacks to a more common thing.

    A lot of the smoke n mirrors of our defense applying pressure or playing coverage is that we see opposing QBs take a ton of shorter drops in the pocket, in most instance 3 steps or less while passing the ball over our ILBs had at the feet over our safties. So to counter that we’re getting faster on the front. Gaines was step 1 in getting quicker up front & Kancey is the sequel.

  11. Steven007 Says:

    Liking the looks of this defense so far. Also Trent Simpson is still on the board as an off-ball LB. Maybe not when we pick though. Curious to see if we go ol, te, lb, or perhaps even safety with our second and or third pick.

  12. RBUC Says:

    I think Bowles is equally the driving force behind bringing Kancey to Tampa( just as much as Licht) cause he knows the effectiveness of his defense MUST create pressure on the QB from the front four NOW if Logan Hall and JTS don’t see improvement this season who’s to blame Bowels, Licht,or just the players themselves?? Even thou Kancey has been compared to Aaron Donald like Booger said last night for this defense Kancey can bring a Sapp-like effect in Tampa! I AGREE

  13. Goatfarmer Says:

    007 — I really like Trent Simpson also. Drafting him would lodge one deep in Diva’s Bowels.

  14. Allbuccedup Says:

    Hopefully this guy can play more than 50% of the snaps ie Vea.

  15. RBUC Says:

    Listening to Shaq Barrett last week on some random podcast he guarantees when the season starts he will be 100% FULL GO with no hold backs from his injury

  16. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I’m guessing they view Kancey as an edge/DT hybrid more so than pure DT.

    You could run a heavy/early down 4-3 personnel package with Hall/Vea/Gaines/Kancey with Hall & Kancey playing the outside DE’s.

    Then maybe move him more inside on passing downs in a 3-4 or 4-3 with Vea+ Hall or Gaines and JTS + Shaq or Nelson or whoever rushing on the outside

  17. Nicholas Carlson Says:

    Smart teams just keep building on their strengths

  18. Dooley Says:

    “Self proclaimed defensive geniuses on this site take exception to such analysis. As they do segmenting games into “playoff teams” (you know, the better ones) versus non-playoff teams (you know, the not-better ones). Against playoff teams, Bloweszo gave up an average of over 30 points per game.”

    LMAO this coming from the guy that still trying to use 33% of our games to speak for 100% of the 2022 season. Buddy, compared to what you know about the game, EVERYbody is a football genius fym lol

  19. gotbbucs Says:

    Still lots of good CB’s, offensive linemen, Safeties, and TE’s available. We have five picks in the 5th and 6th rounds that I expect to be used as maneuvering chips tonight and early tomorrow.

    We need a Tackle/Guard, Nickel/Safety hybrid, a TE, and a RB. We have eight picks left to fill those four positions. Let the trading up and down begin.

  20. Goatfarmer Says:

    Drooler — just like clockwork. The concepts of segmentation and analysis obviously aren’t your bag. That’s ok. Lots of people fail at basic logic skills.

    However you slice it here are two facts.

    Bucs gave up and average of 28ppg over their last six games.

    Bucs gave up an average of over 30ppg to playoff teams.

    If these facts can’t sink in, it won’t be surprising. You’ll go on believing that the Bowels of Toad is a defensive masturmind.

    The title of the article and subsequent thread are based on Toad’s defense giving it up like a hungry hooker to good teams and late in the season, when crunch time was on. Apparently a concept that is only comprehensible for higher primates.

  21. stpetebucfan Says:

    Everyone likes to point out that Trent Dilfer won a SB because of Baltimore’s historically great defense…think Bears, Bucs and Steelers as part of great defensive teams.

    Point is Trent had talent, his ego blew up as a 1st rounder and he had to learn some humility before going to Ballmer. But I truly respect that about Trent. He’s a very smart man and has considerable talent if not enough to win games on his own.

    Baker Mayfield could easily lead a team to the SB behind a D like that Ravens or the Bucs first SB defense. The targets are in place, the OL is still a work in progress but shows possibilities…so I support the Bucs rebuilding a dominant defense. Defense is also Bowles speciality, he was never going to be comfortable with no risk it no biscuit.

    Bowles DOES have the ability to build and manage great defenses. Canalas and Mayfield will simply need to be decent not great.

    I don’t mention Trask because I really don’t know him. I’ve seen very limited video of him in action. I do not dislike him at all OTOH I basically feel nothing about him. I feel Mayfield clearly has done it before for a truly crappy franchise so with a GREAT D he can do it again.

  22. Dooley Says:


    Let the adults talk football, you’re much more useful in your Fozzy Bear bag or agreeing with posters who have better football sense than you.

  23. Mike C Says:

    Goatfarmer says ” win or start the hamster farm” what was Jesus like Goatfarmer? I do agree that he better put something other than suck on the field this year or it is the Ax.

  24. Goatfarmer Says:

    Drooler — did you happen to read Joe’s article? Probably not. If you want to debate me with nothing other than “the average of the averages over years is the way to discern performance” you can satisfy yourself for days in the bathroom. Try debating Joe on this one, it would be hilarious.

    Hey, Mike C — Jesus ran a hamster farm?

  25. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Going to be a complete wasted year trying to pacify this loser of a head coach.

  26. Bobby M. Says:

    Bowles will manage the game to accommodate/preserve his defense. He needs that unit to statistically look top 15 for job security as a DC in the league. I don’t anticipate much improvement from a team record though….Bowles has been consistently mediocre as a HC for 5 years, producing a losing record with the greatest QB of all time in the weakest division in the NFL.

  27. HC Grover Says:

    To have a chance Canales will have to generate 30+ PPG.

  28. garro Says:

    Nailed it Joe!

  29. Infomeplease Says:

    Joe, nails it again. For Bowles it’s produce or bye bye!!! On paper the defense looked very strong this time last year! But as the season progressed they couldn’t get pressure on the QB consistently, they couldn’t stop the run, and couldn’t create turnovers. These 3 things were what made the Bowles’ defense good during the Superbowl run and following year.

    Again this year, the defense is shaping up very well, on paper, with the draft only 1 day in. We’ll see how well they play! No more excuses Bowles!! Produce or bye bye!

  30. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    If we take a QB, it will almost guarantee Bowles another year in Tampa.
    God Forbid!

  31. robert Says:

    hope they are all in shape…because they will be on the field a LOT. expect some major injuries on the D. we are due.

    and shaq has not played up to his mouth in YEARS. Injury probably helped him save some face. I wish him well, but he’s written off in my mind.

  32. HC Grover Says:

    Bowles,,,HC/DC Highway two Hell

  33. StickinUp4Centers Says:

    Secondary depth is the biggest concern followed by ILB/OLB depth. Drew Sanders could be an interesting pick as he is someone who has experience as both ILB and OLB. Trent Simpson is another freaky athlete who could be useful. Someone to play the slot would be a good addition.

  34. Steven007 Says:

    Imagine being a Colts fan today. Ah, such fun. The blog pontificators. Of which I am one too honestly. We have a group here of plumbers, electricians, janitorial staff, mechanics, dentists, and probably many other fields of labor. All with answers and expertise. That they’ve gleaned from websites and maybe even a magazine. And of course some shows on the streamers. All imagining that they know better than our GM coaches and scouts. All questioning a pick that was in the bottom half of a draft that most experts said had around 13 to 15 legitimate first round candidates. All considering that they know better than a man who’s actual job it is to make these decisions. All considering him fallible because he’s missed on picks in the past in an endeavor that famously has more failures than successes. For all GMs. Now I can understand in the top five to seven picks getting all riled up because we didn’t choose a player with a great chance of greatness. Which brings me back to the Colts. Choosing AR, probably the biggest first-round quarterback gamble in years, with so much premier talent still on the board in other positions, is not only a gamble on greatness, it borders on malpractice. I’m happy with our pic. It was a position of need and good value. We had maybe the fifth best tackle still available or what clearly the brain trust considered one of the premier talents on defensive line. Not really that hard of a decision to me. But what do I know? No more than you.



  36. Goatfarmer Says:

    Pray to baby Jeenus that Will Levis gets picked before 50. We can’t afford any temptation to draft that weird banana dude. Although his mom and girlfriend are hot.

  37. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Joe could run a clinic on Manipulation.
    Since the Bucs didn’t take a RB or QB, and picked a DLineman, they better have a shut down defense or Bowles should be fired.
    Lol- The pick was outstanding and no 1 pick is going to fix all the Bucs personnel issues.

  38. Bama Rich Says:

    Chase Young can help

  39. confido75 Says:

    Love the pick, but concerned about the O-Line needs now the best OTs are off the board. Not sure if they are serious about moving TW to LT, but we need a win here. If BM is the QB, they are probably going to rely on more boot leg routes, etc., since the line won’t keep the pocket clean enough for him. If its KT, they’ll need to figure out how to keep him upright, because he is not going to survive behind a weak O-line, especially as an inexperienced QB. My gut tells me BM will be the starter Day 1.

  40. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    I have my problems with some of the Goatman’s comments. However, he is spot-on with Todd retiring to a hamster farm. Maybe he can organize that. I’m still stuck on that defensive gem that allowed that full blitz at the end of the Ram game. Otherwise we would be in an extra SB.

  41. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Dooley Says:
    April 28th, 2023 at 9:54 am
    “Self proclaimed defensive geniuses on this site take exception to such analysis. As they do segmenting games into “playoff teams” (you know, the better ones) versus non-playoff teams (you know, the not-better ones). Against playoff teams, Bloweszo gave up an average of over 30 points per game.”

    LMAO this coming from the guy that still trying to use 33% of our games to speak for 100% of the 2022 season. Buddy, compared to what you know about the game, EVERYbody is a football genius fym lol
    It seems Goatfarmer is only happy when he has something to whine about. He probably whined about Arians too, before the Bucs won a Super Bowl with him as Head Coach. Probably had to change his/her name after that…Now he’ll copy and paste my post from 2020, just watch! Hahaha

  42. SteveK Says:

    I’d trade DW45 and our 2nd for Young + Jamin Davis

  43. Duane Says:

    Bowles was exposed last year as bad HC material (again). You cant score 18 pts a game while giving up 21. Those margins are likely to be even more challenging this season. This is also the same guy that went Hicks over Suh last year, and has #45 convinced he is the second coming of LT.

  44. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Draft all defense this year then fire Bowles get an offensive minded coach next year because the Toad that Blows will really stink up the field this year. Arians is leaving his front office position shortly because he doesn’t want to be associated with this dumpster 🔥.

  45. SlyPirate Says:


    Imagine Sapp lining up next to Ngata or Donald next to Wilfork. OMG!

    Kancey is a rookie but the 2-3 year outlook is exciting.

  46. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Saints already have a top defense and signed Carr, the Panthers just drafted the best quarterback in the draft and the Falcons just drafted the best running back in the draft. And we are supposed to get pumped on a short stubby short armed defensive lineman that could not get a scholarship offer from his home state of Florida, pleaseeeeeeeee!

  47. captivajim Says:

    should be no more excuses for bowleszo …….but , he’ll think of something …

  48. Dooley Says:

    @Joe in Michigan

    New term for those types of Bucs fans and that’s “SULKamaniacs” 😂 just running wild af

  49. Mike Johnson Says:

    Calm down Ton Edrington. Its obvious from your post the last 3 or 4 days that you are a supreme Bowles hater there sir.

  50. Rod Munch Says:

    Think of how you can rush the QB from the interior if Kancey turns out to be good AND Bowles uses White correctly and has him rushing from the interior as well. That should get you sacks, or push mobile QBs outside where hopefully Shaq or whoever is playing the other side and get some easy sacks.

    Of course to do any of that you need to attack and not just sit back in soft coverage like Bowles did most of last year. Without Arians there, Bowles went into a shell. Let’s hope that changes.

  51. Fred McNeil Says:

    Kancy wasn’t exactly on my radar. Maybe round two. Well, he’s a Buc now. Good luck.

    I Kant Cee. I Kant Cee. woooohh is me.
    Some Eskimo named Todd Nanook
    Reached down in the snow and took
    A dog doodoo snow cone steaming and brown
    N stuck it in my left eye and twisted it round
    Then he stuck another in my right eye
    The pain and the anguish made me wanna cry
    Then he took a big handfull of deadly yellow snow
    From down where the huskeys go
    And he rubbed it in my face with a circular motion
    I Kant Cee… Wooohh is meeee.

  52. Fred McNeil Says:

    Well, off to St. Alfonso’s

  53. Dom>Licht Says:

    DL three years in a row with 1st pick. Defense better be GOOD or Licht should go also.

  54. Duane Says:

    I dont hate the pick. Having a quick motor guy next to Big Vea is going to cause disruption. This will leave the edges with one on one matchups. Kancey is likely to be moved around to create matchups, which I can think Bowles can take advantage of. Is that Hall kid still available? Picking him up as well could exert pressure on the QB.

  55. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    I’m just surprised Licht used the 19th pick on a rotational player. Basically a 3rd down pass rush specialist. I don’t see Vea and Kancey playing together regularly. Kancey is going to be a 3rd down pass rush specialist. So he will play 30% or less of the snaps. Vea plays about 50% of snaps. So they might overlap and be on the line together 20% of the time?

    I also kinda expected Licht to draft a toy for his new hire Canales. At least as a welcome, “we support you” gesture for our new first time offensive coordinator. Considering the offense was horrible last year.

  56. Dom N. Nick Says:

    I like the pick DT beef for the trenches. I hope three of the five next picks are defense, LB, S, CB in addition to the OT and TE we need on offense. Then add depth pieces/projects at swing OT, ILB and WR/return man and the draft is complete.

    Maybe UDFA signings at 3rd QB, TE, S, LB, C and CB for the practice squad

    Sign JPP and Nassib to shore up Edge/OLB
    Sign Gholston for DT depth

    My work here is done 👍

  57. Eric Says:

    We are doomed.

  58. Goatfarmer Says:

    Hoe in Michigan insisted Tom Brady was over the hill and a splash singing. Drooler demonstrates he has the analytical skills of a gerbil. The two of them make a happy couple, demonstrating tardation while ignoring all the positive vibes surrounding Licht’s top pick. Simple Jack the Sequel has parts for both these pudsqueeks.

  59. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Dooley Says:
    April 28th, 2023 at 12:45 pm
    @Joe in Michigan

    New term for those types of Bucs fans and that’s “SULKamaniacs” 😂 just running wild af
    Hahaha, good one! Todd Bowles has no excuses for this year, either the Bucs win and he keeps his job, or not.

    Goatfarmer: You and your name calling are both weak AF. Hahaha

  60. Infomeplease Says:

    Fred, you do realize that pack of gummies you ate a couple of hours ago were edibles not gummies, right?

  61. NEfan Says:

    The Trent Dilfer days are over. Plus this Bucs D is NO WAY as good as Baltimore’s SB D. This is a QB league, 18 points a game will win you SQUAT, fixing the D does nothing if your O can score points.

  62. Max Flores Says:

    I hope on this 2nd Round of the NFL Draft 2023…….We Draft Trenton Simpson LB Clemson to add Depth to the inside linebackers…….and insurance with the behavior of Devin White not wanting to be a Buc and would be a good piece to replace Lavonte in the future

  63. unbelievable Says:

    I agree 100% Joe.

    And somehow with all that talent, their only edge rushers are JTS and maybe a recovering Shaq, who will almost certainly not be the same player he was?

    :: insert cry laughing emoji here ::

  64. Richard Says:

    Dynamic linebacker???? C’mon Joe get real….he needs to be traded tonight!!!! A true cancer on this team if he isn’t….I just saw a very realistic snippet of Lamar Jackson on a run vs Bucs last season and 45 was being pushed down 10 yds down the field by a RB….unfortunately that snippet is very real and occurs very often!!!! Dynamic my a$$….

  65. BUCman Says:

    Listening to Bowles in the draft room talking to Kancey reinforced my belief he has no business being a head coach. Bowles sounded like an uneducated f…ing idiot. It doesn’t matter who we draft as long as he is running things. As gratitude for the Superbowl I know ownership threw Arians a bone last year giving Bowles the job. That should have been one and done!!!! Even Arians sounds like he’s wanting to separate himself from the Todd Bowles train reck.

  66. RBUC Says:

    I believe Licht & Bowles were targeting a player for the offense to add speed,explosiveness,and for Canales to put his fingerprint on the offense, BUT that plan went out the window when unexpectedly the Lions took Jahmyr Gibbs at #12!! They then flipped it to defense and their highest rated player was Kancey, which I totally disagree he will be only a pass rushing specialist! Kancey is versatile and will lineup in different positions on the defense not just inside

  67. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Joe – why no mention of Logan Hall? Was he that bad that the Bucs gave up on him?

  68. MadMax Says:

    Great press conference just now with Calijah….I love the way he wanted to emulate skill players…pretend to be a rb or wr…and he fell into a DT/DE/LB role…some great stuff there. I think we got a huge difference maker in him.

  69. Jack Clark Says:

    Todd “Can’t Get Right” Bowels better get it right this season!

  70. Davenport Says:

    Let’s not forget, Bowles W/L record is horrific — he’s a career loser as a HC. Hope for the best, but brace for the worst. He gives no one any evidence to expect improvement.

  71. Goatfarmer Says:

    OK everyone, check this out. Resident football penius Hoe in Michigan came out with a bold take on Tom Brady being over the hill and a wasted pick. Obviously the rankings of a deranged imbecillin.

    Here in all his moronity, is Hoe in Michigan’s finest take:


    Joe in Michigan Says:
    March 12th, 2020 at 9:57 am
    I’ve had enough “splash moves” in my years as a Bucs fan to last me a lifetime, such as:

    Taking Steve Young instead of Reggie White in the 1984 supplemental draft (I’ve always loved pass rushers).
    Drafting Vinny Testaverde over Cornelius Bennett, and trading Young off for peanuts.
    Trading a 1st Rounder for Chris Chandler because Testaverde got blamed for losses, even though the rest of the team was terrible.
    Trading 2 1st Rounders for Keyshawn Johnson, even though it was known he was a locker room cancer.

    If signing Brady costs us not being able to sign some of our good players that AREN’T OVER THE HILL LIKE BRADY, this will be another possible “splash move” failure to add to the list.

  72. RuKa_44 Says:

    I actually think that is the other way around Joe: selecting another DT with the 1st pick is already preparing the excuses.

    Todd: “See Mr. Glazer, my defense was good, the offense is what created the problems. I took a flyer on this new, young and fresh offensive mind but he didn’t deliver. Let me bring my guys next year and with our super-defense you will see results”

    This selection is the first step to setup the end of year excuse. This is the only reason I can see this selection and not the much more needed address of the offensive line… a line that was bad last year and still lost 2 starters in the offseason cannot be left behind in the draft when a couple of good OT prospects were in the board!!

  73. Vancouver Buc Says:

    Hats off to GFarmer…just that one quote of Brady being OVER THE HILL by The Hoe makes The Hoe a not know it all Hoe. Once a Hoe always a Hoe.

    Also Hoe, Joe’s site is a SOCIAL MEDIA site where anyone can post their opinion…if you want your opinions and alike only posted then create your own private media outlet.

  74. HA-HA-HA Says:

    I want to know who is the Defensive Coordinator????
    If Coach Todd want to be a Head Coach, then he needs a DC and concentrate on becoming a respected head coach.