Todd Bowles Implies Starters Will Sit Against The Jets

August 12th, 2023

Fifteen key Buccaneers, expected starters, got a rest day last night for Tampa Bay’s first preseason game. That included nearly the entire defense.

Look for it to happen again next Saturday against the New York Jets.

Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht made it clear on the team radio network that last night’s decision was about rest and not injury concerns.

Todd Bowles spoke this morning and strongly implied the starters will sit because they’ll get better-quality work on Wednesday and Thursday in joint practices against the Jets in New Jersey.

Bowles explained the team can execute real plays in those sessions because none of it gets recorded. That means there’s no worry about film leaking out when the Bucs throw exotic looks at Aaron Rodgers.

“It’s good for the veteran guys to go up there [to New Jersey] because in preseason you hardly show anything. So it’s pretty vanilla. And you can get all your stuff in during the week of practice,” Bowels said.

“That’s why you’re allowed to rest those guys come gametime.

“You know, the practices aren’t on film so you can really run your defense and your offense, and they can run their defense and their offense. And you can get a look at live stuff full speed. And come preseason game, everything’s very vanilla, so that’s usually when the younger guys usually get their experience and fly around and play. The practices for us are like games for the veterans. And the game itself is really for experience for the rookies.”

The big question is whether the Bucs and Jets will be in pads for both sessions, Wednesday and Thursday. Joe doubts it and suspects the Bucs will be in pads the first day and then sort of half-pads (“spiders” or “shells,” as their called on Day 2).

Regardless, expect next week’s preseason game to look a lot like last night’s when it comes to personnel– hopefully with better Bucs blocking and tackling. The big tests and evaluations will come midweek.

76 Responses to “Todd Bowles Implies Starters Will Sit Against The Jets”

  1. HC Grover Says:

    His football genius is on display for all to see. In short, if a blunder opportunity arises, never let it go to waste. Double Down.

  2. Cover deuce Says:


  3. Pewter Power Says:

    The ones who played last night need all the reps they can get. Starters make the most of work in practice, we know what they’ll do when the lights come on. That line needs to play the entire game they were so bad

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    I don’t mind a coach thinking ‘outside the box’, but this approach seems to be unprecedented. I’ve never heard of starters not getting ANY game time in preseason games. I can see the pro’s & con’s (I think), but I have no idea how this’ll translate to Game 1 & beyond.

    Can say from past experience though, that if you’re gonna do things that are unique & unprecedented, you damn sure better be right.

  5. Just Saying Says:

    Much better teams than the Bucs got their starters in games this weekend and I’m sure they will next weekend too. How can Bowels think this team is ready and or good enough to not play. Especially after how I’ll prepared they looked last night. I know it is one “meaningless “ game but this team has a long way to go to looking like anything other than a team tanking for a qb. O-line was scary bad.

  6. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    And they wanted to blame Brady for his hiatus last year. Bowles has all starters MIA this. SMH!

  7. Just Saying Says:

    *ill prepared

  8. Kgh4life Says:

    @HC Grover

    Your sarcasm is obvious, however, the approach TB is taking is the consensus for many in the league.

  9. Texasbucsfan Says:

    Same old story, different date. Bowles has to go. Pathetic..

  10. Voice of Truth Says:

    We have coaches that believe both sides of the street on this topic

    I just don’t see how when the other team is playing all their starters and you sit 15 people- how we are supposed to get any tangible work done with our group

    All the rotations are off in skill set match ups until like the late 3rd and 4th qtr when our Vet 3rd stringer makes a comeback against their 4qb raw rookie

    I think in preseason you have a gentlemen’s discussion week prior and play even level players for even level time – not exact but a framework – injuries or a number of things could impact this of course

    All the practice in the world does not replicate the speed lights and energy of a game – after not playing in one for 7 months, a few series for a few games should not be overlooked in its value

    Last year we had a very lax preseason, started 2-0, and then went 6-10, finishing with the curb stomping in the “playoff” game

  11. Texasbucsfan Says:

    Same old story, different date. Bowles has to go.

  12. Texasbucsfan Says:

    Same old story, different date.

  13. Joe in Michigan Says:

    HC Grover Says:
    August 12th, 2023 at 10:29 am
    His football genius is on display for all to see. In short, if a blunder opportunity arises, never let it go to waste. Double Down.
    Ah, Habitual Complainer, the person who implied the Bucs won’t win a game this year calling someone a “genius”. Nice!

  14. Cobraboy Says:

    Todd Bowles said:

    You know, the practices aren’t on film so you can really run your defense and your offense, and they can run their defense and their offense.


  15. #99 the big fella Says:

    Joe in Michigan, Hc Grover is the biggest complainer here. Never has anything positive or relevant to say.. just a troll. Eventually he will go away when the bucs prove the negative Nancy’s wrong.

  16. Beej Says:

    In the 80’s we’d win all our preseason games every year, then promptly go 4-12

  17. Derobbins Says:

    Um.. does he remember hard knocks is there. They ALWAYS FILM the joint practices.

  18. ModHairKen Says:

    Truths from last night:

    Mauch, Dennis and Yaya need every rep they can get.

    Edmonds is better than White.

    Tucker is fast.

    Thomkins is fast.

    Palmer can leap.

    McCollum is a future star.

    Mayfield will start.

  19. View from 132 Says:

    So can I have a refund for 13 years of preseason games since an NFL coach just explained it is not for veteran NFL players?

  20. Rayjay1122 Says:

    I see it like this, the wise guys in Vegas rarely lose and based on the season win/loss line for the BUCS is a good gauge ahead of the season and last night proved it with how bad the OL is going to be. If we still have no run game then this offense will fail. Also l regardless of individuals who are talented such as Mike Evans and Godwin, there are just too many variables like poor OL, penalties and injuries that can negatively impact the season. I can for sure see a top 5 draft pick next season. The OL is going to be the biggest hindering factor to a good record this year. Break out the cream sickles!!!

  21. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    You practice how you finish. And the Bucs wil sit the same guys the last 2-3 games this season to secure the #1 overall draft pick.

  22. Destinjohnny Says:

    They have a better chance of getting hurt not being ready when it’s live if they never have the ramp up.

  23. Buc1987 Says:

    Pitt managed to play some of their starters in the 1st qrtr and going by the last game played which is that beating they took in the playoffs…the Bucs starters should be out there.

  24. Tampa 95 Says:

    Cut trask and put wolford at the backup behind mayfield and make bolwes walk the plank, The guys a bum just stands with his arms crossed if arians was the coach last night he woulda been cussing guys out for all those penaltys we miss his fire please convince him too come back didnt he say he always wanted too coach baker?

  25. Infomeplease Says:

    I think most NFL teams play their starters some during pre season. The older guys usually play the least. When the NFL dropped the pre season from 4 games to 3, in order to evaluate the new players and backups, the starters may be playing less now.

    On the Bucs team, Todd Bowles decision to not play very many starters may be a combination of wanting to evaluate the newer players and to give the starters rest. He complaines that his defense gets tired. He complained that the no risk it no biscuit tired his defense. So my hypothesis is that he’s just trying to rest his players instead of giving them valuable playing experience. If it works, good for him and the team. If it backfires, he may be a defensive coordinator on a new team next year.

  26. Bee Says:

    It’s ok, the team can get reps in against the Vikings. 🙄

  27. TonySoprano Says:

    Toad takes very fourth day off in TV because his players need rest. They are not playing preseason games because they need rest. Just how much rest do these all-world athletes in the prime of their lives need?

    And fans wonder why this team comes out flat and unprepared every game…

  28. TonySoprano Says:


  29. JD Still Says:

    Coach Bowel’s explanation is logical , if unorthodox, but , then again, at one time the forward pass was unorthodox, interesting , let’s see where it goes!

  30. Buc1987 Says:

    Hold on everyone…. this season’s going to suck.

  31. Sly Pirate Says:

    Tony Dungy is losing throwing his iPad after reading this. He believe you have to play starters a quarter to a half in every preseason game.

  32. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    Gaytor bois are delusional

  33. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    Ahhhh…. The preseason tease in full effect. Lol. Every year fans complain about lack of starter play. And even if starters do play it’s usually very “vanilla” which the fans also hate.

    Preseason is for coaches, GMs and bubble players. That’s it.

  34. Larrd Says:

    Bucs should trade for Jonah Williams and Jonathan Taylor. The offense could be good but Goedeke is not ready, apparently. Mauch, too. Rachaad White seems pedestrian.

  35. D-Rok Says:

    I find it VERY hard to believe the joint practices are not taped. Each team NEEDS that tape, if for no other reason than to figure out who to cut.

    And, as another commenter pointed out, Hard Knocks will be there…taping.

  36. Buddha Says:

    Vegas wins because of big. Their goal is to have approximately the same amount on each side. Yes close to 7o per cent of favorites win the game but about 52 per cent of underdogs cover the spread. Last year they were dead wrong about Tampa, Green Bay, LA Rams, Seattle, Jacksonville, Minnesota, San Diego, Raiders and several others. They won because the public overrated or underrated these teams due to the stupidity of touts such as those Joe quotes almost everyday.

  37. Buddha Says:

    vig I meant

  38. Joe in Michigan Says:

    #99 Big Fella: You speak the truth.

    Da Bucs Guy, aka Who Dat Fan: How much do you want to bet that the Bucs don’t wind up with the 1st pick in the 2024 Draft? Stick to your Saints sites, they might GAF over there! Hahaha

  39. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Strategic Rest for Success: Why Players Are Being Rested in Preseason

    • Strategic Rest: Preseason rest ensures top players are fresh and ready for the main season.
    • New Game Plans: Time to try out and perfect new strategies before real battles.
    • Spotlight on Rookies: Young players get a chance to show what they’ve got in real game situations.
    • Injury Protection: Preventing key players from getting hurt in games that don’t count as much.
    • Budget-Friendly Growth: Crucial when rebuilding after a financially tough season.

    Besides resting starters during the preseason is a strategy employed by many NFL coaches to minimize the risk of injury and evaluate younger players.

    Here are some prominent and successful NFL coaches who have been known to rest many of their starters for a significant portion of the preseason:

    • Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): Belichick has often limited the playing time of his key players during the preseason, especially as they’ve aged or if they’re coming off an injury. His approach has been about long-term preservation and preparation for the regular season.
    • Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): McVay has been notably cautious with his starters in the preseason. For instance, in 2018, he rested most of his starters for the entirety of the preseason. The Rams went on to reach the Super Bowl that season.
    • Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): While Reid does play his starters in the preseason, he’s been known to be cautious and limit their snaps, especially for key players like Patrick Mahomes.
    • Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): Tomlin often rests key players during the preseason, especially veteran players. He’s been known to sit players like Ben Roethlisberger for multiple games.
    • Doug Pederson (Philadelphia Eagles): During the Eagles’ Super Bowl run in 2017, Pederson was cautious with his starters in the preseason, a strategy that seemed to pay off.

  40. FrontFour Says:

    So, we’ve got this incredibly thin roster, lots of rookies, UDFA’s, 1st and 2nd year players, limited ability to actually hit and develop players in the New NFL. We’ve got a handful of talented vets, some FA’s and lots of holes starting with the trenches. Why would ANYONE risk getting the few solid players we have injured in preseason.

    Hating on Todd Bowles is a full time job for some, but this guy didn’t put the team in salary cap hell. He’s also not responsible for not signing a legit starting QB or assembling a starting caliber O Line. It’s gonna take a couple years to right the ship. So yeah, go ahead, bang on the best defensive coach we’ve had since Monte and the guy trying to dig us out of a hole.

  41. unbelievable Says:

    Bowles is still clueless it seems.

    Brand new offense. Half new offensive line. New quarterbacks.

    But hey let’s not give them a single live snap until opening weekend. #genius

  42. Wild Bill Says:

    Looked like the Bucs have mastered the art of vanilla football. Can’t hardly wait for another serving next week. Maybe some the cheer leaders will suit up for a trick play or two! I am worried. Very worried!

  43. Wild Bill Says:

    Honestly, this was the worst preseason game I have ever watched!

  44. Defense Rules Says:

    LUVMYBUCS … Logical reasons I agree, but can you remember ANY year when a team didn’t play its’ starters at all? Not even 1 series in the 1st & 2nd games? Specific players yes, but not virtually the whole starting lineup except for the youngsters (who obviously need the reps).

    I’m thinking now that ‘Injury Protection’ is THE reason for what’s going on. We have very little experienced depth IMO, and Todd Bowles knows it. If our starters go down, we’re in deep doo-doo. Who replaces Wirfs? Or Winfield? Or Davis? Or Dean? Or White? Or Vea? The list goes on and on. (We’d obviously replace them, but the drop-off in talent & experience would be significant).

  45. Colonel Angus Says:

    Good post LUV. Preseason is for guys trying to make the roster. Canales isn’t gonna show the league anything, gonna be vanilla play calls all preseason. The one advantage we have is there’s no game film on our new offense, except what is shown in these preseason games. Need the D to carry us til the offense gets the playbook down. It took the Goat half the season to get Arians playbook down in 20’.

  46. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Defense Rules

    LA Rams 2018
    • Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): McVay has been notably cautious with his starters in the preseason. For instance, in 2018, he rested most of his starters for the entirety of the preseason. The Rams went on to reach the Super Bowl that season.

  47. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Colonel Angus

    Thanks, Colonel Angus. Spot on about the preseason being a proving ground for those on the bubble. And you’re right; keeping our offensive strategies under wraps is a smart move. Here’s hoping our defense steps up big time while the offense finds Let’s trust the process!

  48. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Defense Rules, you bring up a valid point. But given the unique circumstances and the potential risks, it might be a calculated move.

    I’m with you on the ‘Injury Protection’ angle. The depth concern is real, and losing any of our key players would be a massive blow. It’s a delicate balance between getting reps and ensuring our top talent is ready and injury-free for the regular season.

  49. BucsFan81 Says:

    Way to build that team chemistry Bowles. A lot of these guys haven’t played with one another but let’s just throw them all out there week 1 and see what sticks. Hell better yet let’s just wait until after the bye week to play the starters to be safe.

  50. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Okay…I guess I’m not watching the rest of the preseason. Hate is a strong word, but I really, really dislike having Bowles as head coach.

  51. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Last time starters were rested this much…we ended up plagued by injuries throughout the year.

  52. Rod Munch Says:

    Hey Bowles, you do know the NFL is literally the entertainment business?

  53. Defense Rules Says:

    LUVMYBUCS … Good find on the 2018 Rams. Super Bowl here we come? (Whoa Nellie, whoa).

  54. Hopalong Bucco Says:

    Oh, to be back in the days of 2 a day practices in pads!!!

  55. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Defense Rule

    Lol Interestingly enough, Coach McVay has employed this strategy on several occasions. Similarly, legendary coaches like Parcells, Belichick, and others have often chosen to rest their starters during the preseason, especially when the roster was thin and there was a need to integrate young talent.

  56. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Defense Rule

    It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I’m really enjoying seeing the young players out there showcasing their skills. It gives us a chance to truly assess our roster. I trust Licht will make the necessary acquisitions wherever he identifies a need

  57. Mike C Says:

    Coach (no matter who it is) will be second guessed on his choice to play or rest starters no matter what he does.

  58. Craig Says:

    Hopefully they will be in the third game, even professions get rusty during off season.

    It would be nice to be able to see the offense gel some in preseason and after last night it won’t happen. They really pancaked after the first quarter.

  59. 941Boltsfan Says:

    Maybe practice ends up on Hardknocks

  60. Since76 Says:

    Well if the starters fall flat game one and the QB that starts isn’t in synch with receivers with game speed we will know who to blame.

  61. ScottyMack Says:

    Derobbins said: “Um.. does he remember hard knocks is there. They ALWAYS FILM the joint practices.”

    So what are you saying … that hard knocks is going to film every play from the Bucs-Jets joint practice and than sell that video to opposing teams or do you really think they are going to air all of the plays in that joint practice somehow in the ~50 minutes of actual air time that week will get on Hard Knocks?

    They’ll show a piece of a play here and there with a whole lot of commentary. I wouldn’t be so worried about what airs on Hard Knocks – especially from what is likely a pretty tight shot on just one matchup here and there.

  62. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    This team under Bowles continues to give us no reason to be excited for the upcoming season. This is not a Super Bowl contending team, so what exactly are we scared of happening? If a starter gets hurt, we still aren’t a championship contender. So why not let the guys get some real reps. I don’t care if we are at camp with another team, it is not game speed. They still aren’t tackling to the ground. It’s not the same thing. So now we are going to get another snooze fest of a game with a bunch of guys that won’t make the team. I’m sure people are lining up for season tickets now! This season is going to be all Todd Bowles. He’s going to make sure we run the most conservative, boring offense possible, and then he’s going to rely on his average (at best) defense to keep us in games.

  63. Drunkinybor Says:

    New offense needs time to gel. Wirfs has never played a live down at LT in the NFL. We can’t get him in fir the first possession? Weird Bowles

  64. TonySoprano Says:

    Bowles says don’t worry it’s just preseason.

    After a week one blowout he’ll say don’t worry, it’s just weak one.

    After we’re 1-5 he’ll say don’t worry, it’s only October.

    He’ll continue this charade until the miserable season is over and then claim we have to make changes next year…but then won’t change a thing, again.

  65. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Hey Hawaiian Buc,

    I get where you’re coming from, but I think we need to give Bowles and the team a bit more credit. Every coach has their strategy, and while it might seem conservative now, it’s all about the long game. Remember, not every Super Bowl-winning season starts with fireworks. Sometimes, it’s about building a foundation, and that’s what Bowles is doing. As for the defense, “average” has been known to surprise when it matters most. Let’s rally behind our team and see where the season takes us. After all, the unexpected journeys often lead to the most memorable destinations. 🏈🔥

  66. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I get resting a few players each game…that’s just smart. What I have a problem with is resting so many.

    You can bet he’s the kind of coach to rest players in the last game of the season too.

  67. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    If Todd Bowles had any sort of history whatsoever of leading a championship team or even building a championship team I would be more than willing to give him credit. If BA was doing what Bowles is doing, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. But all Bowles has done at every turn is make the team worse. He did it in NY and he’s clearly done it here. He took a team absolutely loaded with talent last year and went 8-10. What do you think is going to happen this year with a younger and much less talented team? Especially when you rest everyone. I get that you want to support him. I do too actually. But deep down we all know how this is going to end. If you are completely honest, you have zero faith in Bowles, simply because he has not done ONE thing since he’s been here to give you any faith. I don’t think this team is awful, and definitely has some talent. But we all know this season is going to be awful. Basically as bad as we were offensively last year with the best QB of all time, now we will have a journeyman QB , a terrible OL, and mediocre at best RB. I want to be positive, but as long as Bowles is here we are going to continue to fail.

  68. IrishTony Says:

    Hold your horses fans what he’s saying is that the scrimmages against the Jets is where you’ll see starters against starters not in the game. We’re moving towards the scrimmage era to prepare starters for the regular season vs the pre-season games are for 2nd, 3rd team players and QBs to a lesser degree.

  69. IrishTony Says:

    Pre season means Jack squat these days. It’s all about these team scrimmages where starters get their reps against starters.

  70. IrishTony Says:

    I honestly believe that pre season as we know it (games played) will end in the near future with an expanded schedule. What you’ll see in the guy are these team scrimmages with possibly two opponents vs one. The only thing keeping this pre season nonsense going is the revenue.

  71. IrishTony Says:

    ^^ “What you’ll see in the future”^^

  72. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @Hawaiian Buc,

    I’ve always respected your deep dive into the game and your passion for our team. I remember your insights from years back, like when you talked about the athleticism of football players on the basketball court. But let’s not get lost in the past.

    Bowles is a different chapter. Sure, his history isn’t glittered with championships, but leadership isn’t just about past trophies. It’s about vision, adaptability, and the ability to rally a team. Bowles is laying down a foundation, and while it might not be flashy, it’s essential.

    You mentioned the 8-10 record last year. Setbacks happen. But it’s how we respond to them that defines us. This younger team? They’re hungry, eager, and ready to prove themselves. And sometimes, that raw energy can be a game-changer.

    I’m not asking for blind faith. Just a bit of patience. Let’s see how the playbook unfolds this season. After all, in football, as in life, it’s not about how you start but how you finish.

  73. Duane Says:

    Bowles sees a strategic value in not having the play of his starters on film- at the cost of not having them play. Im not sure if he is outguessing himself, or if he is just trying to gaslight anyone that asks him a legitimate question. Really doesnt do himself any favors. Is there a rule that prevents him from saying he is trying to keep his guys healthy for the season?

  74. Bucs since 76 Says:

    The Bucs had 12 penalties for 127 Friday night against Pittsburgh. If not anything else we need to play the starters at least one quarter to make sure we get a handle on the penalties before playing the Vikings. Also, our new OC needs to call plays with the first team to iron out the kinks. Well at least the starters can work together against the Vikings to get ready to start the season at home against The Bears.

  75. garro Says:

    Not surprising really as we despirately need to find out about depth guys and who can help this year. But when are they gonna play?

    Go Bucs!

  76. Toad Bowels Says:

    I would be more excited to see a limp dead squid in the stadium lobby than to watch a Toad Bowels coached pre-season game.

    Maybe it’s good strategy but the idiots who paid good money for preseason game tickets deserve to see a guy with a bucket of exciting limp dead squid in the lobby.