Reloading, Not Rebuilding

July 16th, 2023

Todd Bowles

Don’t mention the word “rebuild” around Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

Since Tom Brady retired, Bowles has been clear he has no desire to rebuild.

Rebuilding would mean Bowles is pretty much mean keeping the seat warm for the next head coach, whenever the changing of the guard happens. So the Bucs are reloading. Evidence is how many core players were retained, specifically on defense.

Gilberto Manzano of admits trying to win the NFC South for the third straight year is a noble goal. In the big picture, Manzano wonders if it would have just been smarter for the Bucs to pull the plug, take their medicine, and at the same time set themselves up for a top-shelf quarterback in the draft.

It was surprising that the Buccaneers decided to re-sign cornerback Jamel Dean and linebacker Lavonte David in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year with Tom Brady retiring. But playing in the subpar NFC South probably had the Buccaneers thinking they could win the division for a third consecutive year with Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask as the starting quarterback. It’s probably not worth losing a chance to draft Caleb Williams or Drake Maye, but they’re at least trying in Tampa Bay.

Joe is sure Bowles didn’t want to commit career suicide. Barring reassurances from Team Glazer that he would be retained if the Bucs tanked in order to draft Drake Maye, why would Bowles agree to rebuild?

As Manzano points out, the Bucs have enough talent to make a run in the weak NFC South, provided Tampa Bay can get just competent quarterback play.

27 Responses to “Reloading, Not Rebuilding”

  1. Pickgrin Says:

    “the Bucs have enough talent to make a run in the weak NFC South, provided Tampa Bay can get just competent quarterback play.”

    I think thats the whole point of why so many who prognosticate have the Bucs winning only 4, 5 or 6 games.

    None of them believe Kyler Traskfield to be “competent” Quarterbacks….

  2. Saul Says:

    I’m tired of hearing of all these experts saying the bucs are not going to be nothing this year. If the defense gets it together they have a chance to be the number one defense in the league. We’ve had the top 10 offense last 6-7 years in a row we only need a quarterback that’s going to protect the ball because he will have his shots down for you with all the targets we have. With the new offensive coordinator we have a chance to be a top five offense in the league we just need the offense in line to get it together. When the bucs win the division watch all the experts get back on the bandwagon and not one would admit they were wrong.

  3. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Sound like rebuilding to me…..the Bucs offloaded many of their old players. I think except for Lavonte David, the Bucs did not resign any other older players.

  4. HC Grover Says:


  5. Defense Rules Says:

    I think it’s entirely possible that the Bucs focused on ‘reloading’ our defense in 2023 (kept all but 2 of the same starters … added Gaines & Neal) and will continue to ‘reload’ our defense in 2024 when Winfield, White, LVD, Gaines, Neal are all up for new contracts plus Davis & Shaq have ‘out’ years I believe (both could be let go to allow for signing the others).

    Our offense however could well be in ‘rebuild’ mode. This year we added a new QB, a new TE, a new WR, plus 2 new OLinemen (not to mention switching Wirfs to a new position). Next year will be even tougher though since we have so many defensive players to re-sign PLUS do Wirfs’ new contract, Evans new contract, possibly Mayfield’s new contract, plus much of our OLine (Feiler, Stinnie, Leverett, Walton). That’d be a LOT of money going out.

    Since Bowles is a defensive-minded coach, perhaps that’s why he’s focusing on trying to keep as much of the defense together as he can (ie, ‘reloading’). Maybe the media needs to ask Canales instead of Bowles if our offense is ‘rebuilding’?

  6. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Who told this guy it was supposed to be a rebuilding year? I don’t recall hearing or reading that.

  7. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Doug Kazirian says his pick is Bucs Over 6.5 @ +120 and he is correct, because the injury bug will not be as bad this year.

  8. Dooley Says:

    More like renovating than rebuilding, we’ve added some new pieces on the coaching staff and roster. Really started churning the bottom half of the depth chart last season. Going into camp we’ve got position battles all over the place for starting gigs and role/rotational/special teams players. Last I looked a third of our 90 man roster is comprised of . From QB to kicker, even the long snapper Zach Triner has some comp coming to camp.

  9. Fred McNeil Says:

    Week after next and camp starts.

  10. Netwalker Says:

    What top shelf quarterbacks in the next draft are guaranteed to be future pro bowlers? Exactly none. It’s always a crap shoot. The Bucs have a one time ‘top shelf’ quarterback, a number one pick, on the roster. Maybe he sucks, or maybe he just needed some seasoning and the right situation.

    It’s a common theme that most quarterbacks need four or five years to come into their own. Some even say early thirties to reach their peak. Screw next years so called quarterback bonanza. Let’s focus on what we have. A number one pick that may just have needed the right place to blossom. I’m going with that until proven wrong, and it feels a whole lot better than debilitating defeatism.

  11. Buckee Says:

    Why is it assumed having the number one pick for a QB is the answer?
    Here are last 10 years
    2010 Sam Bradford
    2011 Cam Newton
    2012 Andrew Luck
    2015 Jamis Winston
    2016 Jared Goff
    2018 Baker Mayfield
    2019 Kyler Murray
    2020 Joe Burrow
    Which one is the franchise QB that has made his team top shelf for any length of time? Maybe Joe B? Let’s stop the we need a bad record to have the top QB pick to turn us around.

    Maybe Joe? So please stop with lets

  12. unbelievable Says:

    ^ Exactly Buckee.

    1st round picks in general are at best about a 50% chance of working out. And 1st round quarterbacks have an even lower percentage.

  13. MadMax Says:

    We win game 1, against the vikes, then its a mess after that….i hope im wrong…would love to be wrong….just too many new pieces in place that need to figure things out….its all good though, im scratching this year

  14. MadMax Says:

    and if Baker goes down, oh boy!

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I believe the Bucs missed an opportunity to rebuild in order to save Bowles….

    I love LVD but he’s not the future…..neither is Jensen…..

    Sometimes you have to bite the bullet. The best thing that can happen to the Bucs is to land a cheap franchise QB in next year’s draft without having to use draft capital

    We have a corps of younger players with talent…….

    I don’t mind the resinging of Dean because of his age.

  16. Tony Says:

    If we’re RELOADING can we RELOAD on a new coach?

  17. Hodad Says:

    Fans who are pinning for a new coach, and or to draft Maye, Williams better watch what they wish for. New coaching staff with a rookie QB would set us back years not forward. We have good players worth keeping, why start from scratch. You play to win the games, not to keep changing coaches, and hoping to draft the next great QB.

  18. Oneilbuc Says:

    Hodad. I agree 💯 persent bro that’s my whole point of the franchise and fan base. I don’t want to lose on purpose I believe every time you are on the field you play to win not lose!!!

  19. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Every single draft expert was sold on Winston. Only knock they said was off field issue. Look what happened. Nuff said.

  20. Lou. Says:

    @TBBF — We saw in 2008 how moving on from older players played out. Badly. The new guys weren’t there yet and the old guys just left us and nothing worked for years after that. So while you’re right that David is not tomorrow’s answer he is today’s — and there is no other solution to turn to. Unless we want to stick a couple of tomato cans out on the field just for grins.

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    TBBF & Lou … Every organization needs a mix of veterans & youngsters all the time IMO. Veterans should provide the leadership & ‘corporate history’ that any team desperately needs, while the youngsters provide the infusion of new talent & ‘low cost’ that’s essential when you’re dealing with a salary CAP like the NFL has chosen to.

    I’m not a big fan of ‘rebuilding’ because it usually seems to mean 2 things. One: you’ve dumped most of the ‘old guys’ in favor of youth (to cut costs usually) & thrown out much of the team leadership in the process. And more times than not it seems, the ‘new guys’ aren’t exactly the pick of the litter. Two: it usually means a new HC & coaching staff has been brought in, and history hasn’t been kind to the Bucs in that regard (coaching staff turnovers have killed us). Player development & getting the roster to ‘gel’ is infinitely harder when everything’s ‘new’ (too many wheels get ‘re-invented’?). Greg Schiano & Lovie Smith are poster children for that.

    I’m still in favor of keeping Todd Bowles because he’s shown himself to be an excellent DC AND to be very good at player development on the defensive side. BOTH of those are critical right now. I’m not very inspired by what he’s done on the offensive side admittedly, but that’s where I’m HOPING that Dave Canales has his act together (if not, we’re in deep doo-doo). Then again, BA’s offense didn’t light it up until he was provided with the best QB ever to play the game AND was supported by incredible talent on the offensive side. It’ll be fascinating to watch this year play out.

  22. Dooley Says:

    “Then again, BA’s offense didn’t light it up until he was provided with the best QB ever to play the game AND was supported by incredible talent on the offensive side. It’ll be fascinating to watch this year play out.”

    Not true, Jameis Winston turned the ball over at an amazing rate in 2019, but our offense in year 1 under BA was top FIVE in total yards, pass yards, pass attempts, completions, first downs, pass TDs….and turnover percentage. The offense “blew up” year one, it’s just our primary ball handler in 2019 had issues with ball security.

  23. HC Grover Says:

    If we are winless at the Bye it will be Regurgitating time.

  24. garro Says:

    Yet another in the seemingly endless stream of Blabbering Fool national media sprortswriters…

    Go Bucs

  25. Thomas Edrington Says:

    Re-Loading implies there were bullets in the chamber last season……Bucs weapon was about half-loaded, so they’re re-loading with half of the capacity!!!

    Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  26. RustyRhinos Says:

    “It’s probably not worth losing a chance to draft Caleb Williams or Drake Maye” Can anyone tell us today that either or both of these college QBs will be any good in their first season in the NFL? Can anyone tell me that they will make it through their college season uninjured? Can anyone prove that either QB will be a great NFL QB? If so can you share your future knowledge abilities with me on the Powerball numbers? I will split it 50/50 with you.

    We will be moving forward in the 23 season with Mayfield, Trask, and Wolford. Get used to it, quit the whiney you know it all attitudes. We should have a solid team again even without the GOAT. Double-digit wins this season? It could happen. All the JBFers posters are not the only ones who are bad-mouthing the Buccaneers.

  27. Anonymous Says:

    rustyrhinos delusion is here.