Battling Backup Quarterbacks And Rookie Quarterbacks

August 2nd, 2023


Look, Joe is not anti-Todd Bowles. He’s one of the best defensive coordinators in the game. Perhaps one of the best defensive coordinators ever.

The longer Bucs fan float down the NFL river from the Bucs’ curb-stomping of the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, keeping the great Pat Mahomes out of the end zone for the full game, the bigger that defensive masterpiece looks.

And that was the work of Bowles.

Last year running the Bucs? Eh. Tampa Bay got to the playoffs but for an offense loaded with skill position stars, damn if they didn’t live down to expectations. Big time.

At the end of the day, that’s on the head coach, good or bad. For whatever reason, it sure smelled like someone lassoed the Bucs offense last year. That turned out to be a fatal decision.

Maybe worse than the 2022 offensive non-output was a very bad blemish for Bowles and his defense.

Long-time Bucs fans get shivers when they learn a backup quarterback is playing against the Bucs. History is not kind to the Bucs when facing backups and the Bucs defense seemingly plays down to backups.

Well, it was rookie quarterbacks last year. The Bucs were 0-3 against rookie quarterbacks: Brock Purdy, Kenny Pickett and Desmond Ridder.

Joe can almost excuse those three. Almost.

Purdy didn’t beat the Bucs so much as the 49ers chain-whipped the Bucs physically. Joe maintains smelling a whiff of quit on the Bucs that gloomy, rainy NoCal afternoon.

Remember how Brady berated his teammates to get their heads in the game and hustle? Yeah, went over like a lead Zeppelin, didn’t it?

Ridder and the Dixie Chicks? The Bucs already had the division wrapped up playes lots of backups and scrubs, resting key starters for the playoffs.

Pickett and the Steelers? A ghastly, embarrassing loss that Joe cannot pin on Bowles (though the defense did get caught with its pants down a couple of times that day). That game featured the most head-up-your-ass, disgraceful, irresponsible, blind gameplan Joe has ever seen.

A high school coordinator in Clinton County, Ill. wouldn’t have drawn up a gameplan that stupid. Just for that Steelers gameplan alone, SpongeBob Leftwich should be banned from the game of football for five years.

So while Joe cannot pin the 0-3 record in 2022 against rookies squarely on Bowles, the results are the results and they’re on his record.

So this year when the Bucs play rookie Bryce Young and the Stinking Panthers, the best way to erase last year’s stains from rookie quarterbacks is to stomp Young out.

It’s very possible the Bucs have four games against rookie QBs this season, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson and Young (twice). No, Joe does not expect Will Levis to start for the Titans.

If Florida State can make Richardson wilt in the second half, a defense with Vita Vea, Shaq Barrett, Lavonte David, Devin White, Carlton Davis, Antoine Winfield and Jamel Dean ought to be able to suffocate Richardson.

The NFL world will be watching.

29 Responses to “Battling Backup Quarterbacks And Rookie Quarterbacks”

  1. KC Buc Says:

    There have been some pretty dismal teams since 2000….woof that’s painful

  2. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    Defensive masterpiece, or KC lost 3 starters on their O-line.

  3. nooyoker Says:

    “Remember how Brady berated his teammates to get their heads in the game and hustle?”

    I remember the guy who went surfing in the Bahamas during training camp and missed two preseason games and set the tone for the season.

  4. All_da_way Says:

    The Bucs lacked a killer instinct on both sides of the ball last year. They didn’t finish on both sides of the ball or dominate a game completely. That is why they finished with a below average record.

    Lets see if this team that Bowles assembled will fair better. But Bowles has to grow as a HC put a fire under these players to go out there and chase excellence.

  5. Craig Says:

    If the offense of the Bucs continues to progress, the Bowles cleaner should feel safe enough to keep his hands off.

    That will help cut that stifling smell from last season.

    Still think the Tod would be able to do his best if he had a DC. He is, currently, too weak of a HC to share hats without having some impact, like clock management, on the offense.

    Still, a decent offensive game will make a huge difference. Being able to score will allow the defense to feel free to attack their opponents and not worry about a mistake or two.

  6. ModHairKen Says:

    “Perhaps one of the best defensive coordinators ever.”

    Wow. Hmmm. Perhaps not. Rams playoff game.

  7. Dooley Says:

    “Rams playoff game.”

    That game was the start of the 2022 Bucs offense, that’s literally what we looked and played like on offense all of last season.

    “You hear about how many fourth quarter comebacks that a guy has and I think it means a guy screwed up in the first three quarters.”

    -Peyton Manning

  8. Larrd Says:

    Not sure how a head coach gets a pass on an “irresponsible” game plan on either side of the ball.

  9. gotbbucs Says:

    Tale as old as time.

  10. FlBoy84 Says:

    So many seem to think of Bowles as a 2nd year HC when this will be 6th!! season leading a team. Not sure how many more excuses need to be made for the guy, or how many more years he needs to “grow” before he’s a decent HC. Multiple less-talented teams outperformed the Bucs last year, largely due to their the coaching they received. No question BL was a problem last season, but Bowles stating that it was up to the players to motivate themselves was a red flag re: his understanding of what it takes to lead an entire team of men and an organization. Great DC though, no question.

  11. Steven007 Says:

    Joe, I remember leading up to the Pittsburgh game telling all my buddies how badly we’re going to beat up on their secondary. I keep closer tabs on the teams than most of my friends, so I was well aware of how many backups were in their secondary. So the obvious assumption would be that we would emphasize the passing game even more than usual. As the game played out, I remember being shocked and how we approached their defense. I agree, it was an absolutely abysmal game plan that led to us losing a very winnable game.

  12. Infomeplease Says:

    I think Warren was saying that last years Todd directed team wasn’t directed especially against lesser opponents! I sure hope Bowles developes better game plans, gets the players better prepared, and is more aggressive! All that soft zone stuff is allowing these rookies to move downfield unencumbered and making me drink too much during the games.

  13. First Name Greatest Says:

    Looking back at 2022 it blows my mind how the GM and Owners entrusted this roster to such a poor coaching staff.

    Arians is an awesome salesman for his friends/former players they all should give him a % of their earnings as if it wasn’t for him they’d be forced to live much differently

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    OK Joe, WHY exactly are we rehashing last year during preseason? Not enough in your notes to talk about, what? Appears to me that you’re trying to stir the pot about Bowles being a bad HC after saying that ‘Joe is not anti-Todd Bowles’. We had enough of that stuff during the off-season; why can’t we just focus on the TEAM and how it’s coming along?

    Bucs going 0-3 against rookie QBs last year is hardly all on Todd Bowles. San Fran was a curb-stomping & our whole team sucked that day (1 TD & 3 T/Os doesn’t win many games). And the Bucs were leading 17-10 at the half against Atlanta when Bowles pulled most of the starters (which is what a ton of JBFers had thought he should do prior to the game). And against Pittsburgh our offense totally sucked, but the defense stood tall & kept us in the game til the end (we had a chance to tie it with 4 minutes left but our 2-point conversion after our only TD was unsuccessful). Succop kicked 4 FGs that game & the Bucs punted 5 times … tons of missed opportunities.

  15. A Bucs Fan Says:

    That Pittsburgh game Arians was in the hospital that week and didn’t travel with the team. It was the game BL was exposed.

  16. Duane Says:

    Bowles plays not to lose, and that got him beat with an underperforming offense and inconsistent defense last season. Now he has a retread qb, an unknown in Trask, and a first time OC that will be the talk of the team should he have success. May be a good time to throw caution to the wind and pull out all the stops Coach.

  17. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Todd Bowles (New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers):
    • First four seasons (2015-2022): 34-50 (.405)
    • Later success: After his tenure with the Jets, Bowles became the defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he played a key role in their Super Bowl LV victory following the 2020 season.

    Other coaches that turned it around after a challenging start….

    Tom Landry (Dallas Cowboys):
    • First six seasons (1960-1965): 25-53-4 (.327)
    • Later success: Two Super Bowl victories, considered one of the greatest coaches in NFL history.
    Chuck Noll (Pittsburgh Steelers):
    • First six seasons (1969-1974): 36-44 (.450)
    • Later success: Four Super Bowl victories in six years.

    Marv Levy (Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills):

    • First six seasons (1978-1983, including five seasons with the Chiefs): 31-42 (.425)
    • Later success: Four consecutive Super Bowl appearances with the Bills.

    Bill Belichick (Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots):

    • First six seasons (1991-1995 with the Browns, 2000 with the Patriots): 41-55, with a winning percentage of .427.
    • Later success: Belichick went on to become one of the most successful coaches in NFL history, leading the New England Patriots to six Super Bowl victories (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, LI, LIII) and numerous division titles.

  18. HC Grover Says:

    Here comes The Bowles Curse.

  19. CleanHouse Says:

    I am anti Bowles. I cringe in anger every time I see an article w his picture.
    He somehow managed to destroy an all time Tom Brady story book fairy tale ending for us to be on our way to the Super Bowl, probably winning it again.

    Then we put him in charge.

    I blame him for the demise of Brady’s career more than father time.

    Father Todd….The Grim Reaper of winning football

  20. CleanHouse Says:

    I believe Leftwhich was hand cuffed by Bowles’ energy draining personality and game plan then scapegoated to save his job.

    I’t’s impossible that our offense hummed like it did for two years then faultered to that miserable extent.

    Brady checked out more from a coach punting past midfield on 4th and short when trailing than from his struggling marriage.

    Miserable football under Todd Bowles

    Fire the cannons, fire the Bowles

  21. Voice of Truth Says:

    The buck stops with Todd and it is used of stopping well short of the playoffs

    The one time he did back in he got his doors blown off with the GOAT at the helm

    Did Tom play D against the Cowgirls? Who was covering the TE? No one was, all game long – made Dak look like an All Pro – besides losing to 3 rookie QB’s

    Bowles is a joke as a HC – it’s a shame we are going to waste another season with him

  22. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    Why don’t you all evaluate Bowles based on what he does THIS season?

    It’s ridiculous to evaluate a head coach who didn’t have the ability to choose his own staff and didn’t get hired until March 30th after all other head coaches in the NFL worked for hundreds of hours preparing their team for the following season.
    Let’s see how he does now that he has a level playing field.

  23. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    CleanHouse Says:
    August 2nd, 2023 at 2:20 pm
    I believe Leftwhich was hand cuffed by Bowles’ energy draining personality and game plan then scapegoated to save his job.

    If Bowles has an “energy-draining personality” how exactly did his players manage to hold KC to zero TDs during the Super Bowl back when he was DC?

    If that type of personality is bad for NFL teams why are Tony Dungy and Tom Landry in the Hall of Fame?

  24. rrsrq Says:

    The rookie and back up QB conundrum has been going on even prior to Bowles, I think it’s remnants of the Doug Williams curse still alive

  25. Joe Says:

    OK Joe, WHY exactly are we rehashing last year during preseason?

    1. Because it interests Joe. If it doesn’t interest you, then why read it?

    2. Last year affects this year. For example, Bucs needed an edge rush so they invested in the draft with edge rushers rather than addressing other needs like running back or offensive line.

    Joe could go on.

    This was not a “rehash.” Joe had no idea about this stat. He thought it was very relevant.

    Past years have an impact on the present. And Joe firmly believes Bucs fans want to know how Todd Bowles struggles against rookie quarterbacks, and may also want to know why.

  26. Rod Munch Says:

    I’m reading a NY Post story about how Baker is managing to lose his job, and it includes this quote from loser Bowles, “(QBs) No. 1 responsibility is don’t turn the ball over.”

    No, loser, the QB’s number 1 responsibility is scoring points. It’s loser crap like that, that makes Bowles so hateable. We go from a Super Bowl with No Riskit No Biscuit, to, just get us 12 points a game and we’ll win a SB like it’s 1962.

  27. Dooley Says:

    “No, loser, the QB’s number 1 responsibility is scoring points. It’s loser crap like that, that makes Bowles so hateable. We go from a Super Bowl with No Riskit No Biscuit, to, just get us 12 points a game and we’ll win a SB like it’s 1962.“


    You can hold both as high priorities, but turning the ball over directly effects your ability to score points whether it be 3 or 7, because you just gave the ball back to the other teams unit that scores their points lol

    Everybody who says “tHe WhOlE PoInT iS PoInTS” no sh*t Sherlock, but your offense can’t do that from the sideline because you turned the ball over. Stating the obvious like you’re making some sort of revelation just shows you clearly don’t see there are levels to the game of football.

  28. Rod Munch Says:

    Dooley – he didn’t say that, he said the number 1 job is NOT to turn the ball over. Maybe read his quote because you put words in his mouth. Bowles is a dullard, how apparently thinks he has the 2002 Bucs defense that will outscore opponents all by itself. That’s why Bowles is a loser. He’s no Monte Kiffin, and he’s going to insure the Bucs go 5-12.

  29. Joe Says:

    I’m reading a NY Post story about how Baker is managing to lose his job, and it includes this quote from loser Bowles, “(QBs) No. 1 responsibility is don’t turn the ball over.”

    You didn’t love the quote when Joe used it yesterday?