Todd Bowles: You Can’t Play Conservative

September 12th, 2023


Are we seeing the transformation of an NFL coach before our very eyes?


Todd Bowles had his weekly in-season sitdown with dangerous Dan Lucas of WFLA-TV Channel 8 yesterday. And the words from Bowles’ mouth nearly had Joe fall over in his office chair.

Lucas asked Bowles about Chris Godwin’s sick catch on third-and-10 that sealed the Bucs’ win over the Vikings on Sunday. That seeped into discussion of the Bucs going for a first down on fourth-and-one from the Bucs-32 and later kicking a 57-yard field goal.

“You can’t go up into a place like that and expect to play conservative and win the ballgame against the Vikings,” Bowles said about his newfound gambling ways. “We had to go for the win.

“It was time to win the game. We felt like we could fall forward (and get a first down). We played to win. We didn’t play scared. The guys didn’t flinch.”

Holy Flirkingschmidt! Did someone drug Bowles? Has he been brainwashed? This cannot be the same guy who in a similar situation last year against the Browns in a tie game ripped the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands when it appeared Brady was on the cusp of a(nother) game-winning drive.

Bowles said after the late-November overtime loss to Cleveland the one reason he played for overtime is that Brady could have thrown a pick. Brady at that point in the season had two interceptions! Can you imagine?

And yet Bowles decides to roll the dice with Baker Mayfield yesterday?

What in the name of Bruce Arians is going on here?

Joe is damn near speechless. Has Bowles suddenly seen the light after building a rich reputation over the years as a play-it-safe coach?

Whatever caused Bowles to have this transformation, Joe applauds it. It’s just funny that Bowles took the air of the ball with the greatest quarterback who ever lived, yet a year later decides to go savage with a guy 98 percent of the national media thinks shouldn’t even be on an NFL roster.

38 Responses to “Todd Bowles: You Can’t Play Conservative”

  1. Leopold Stotch Says:

    My only explanation is that he didn’t trust Byron at all. This is officially HIS team. His coaches. The players he wanted (especially at QB). So now that he’s got his guys, he can feel in control. I don’t think he felt any control at all of the offense last year. That’s why he stayed away. I think we may see a different Bowles this year. Or he learned his lesson and hopefully that stays.

    I too applaud Todd Bowles.

  2. CleanHouse Says:

    Cleveland was unforgivable. Let’s see what happens…. It will have to be a lot for me to change my opinion.
    Kudos on trying to win.

    We’re 1 game in….

    If we beat the bears and the eagles and saints,

    Then I will reconsider this guy as a head coach.

  3. garro Says:

    He really said that? …With a straight face?

    Go Bucs!

  4. OilfieldTrash Says:

    Maybe Bowls isn’t as conservative as one would expect. After all he did call the cover zero blitz that lost the playoff game against the Rams.

  5. All_da_way Says:

    Arians rubbed off him and that is a good thing.

  6. bob in valrico Says:

    I suggested last year that Bowles had to be more aggressive and and also needed help with time management. These gametime decisions show a step in a right direction for the former. A coach has to have that” Play To win the game” attitude to be successful and inspire his team.
    Whether its was a look at what went wrong last year by Bowles, or even a
    a Licht, Bowles sitdown, I am all for it.

  7. Darin Says:

    Don’t crown him yet he’s no Dan Campbell

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    Leopold nailed it … last year he had no idea what to expect out of the Bucs’ offense (none of us did really). This year this is HIS TEAM; his coaches & his players. Bowles has a much better feel what to expect from them & he’s obviously got a much higher confidence level in what they can do.

    How often a coach goes for it on 4th down is a reasonable indicator I would think of their risk-taking mindset. Last year the Bucs went for it on 4th down 27 times (tied for 8th-most in the NFL) and made it 15 times, giving us a 55.6% chance of making it (tied for 7th-best).

    And he did have Succop attempt 7 FGs from 50 yards & beyond (mid-pack ranking tied for #13 in that category). Succop made 2 (ranking us pretty close to the bottom … 1 team had 0 and 2 others had 1). So he took risks there too; just didn’t succeed very often.

    And on the defensive side we all know that he’s a risk-taker when it comes to blitzing. So maybe it’s not really fair to say Bowles didn’t ‘gamble’? Maybe he just feels more comfortable this year with the coaches & players who he’s got executing those calls.

  9. Citrus County Says:

    I have changed my opinion on the Glazers. So let the speculating begin. The Morris, Schiano, Koetter, Smith era was BAD. With the Dungy era they had a super bowl caliber defense loaded with HOF players, a marginal offense and a closing window of opportunity. They mortgaged the farm and got Gruden at the expense of alienating the fan base for a shot at a SB. They succeeded and all was well, but firing Dungy cost them a lot. I don’t think Gruden was their favored type of personality but he won for them. I think Gruden’s vulgar and arrogant side was not to their liking and after the “Controversy” they sure were quick to erase his memory. After Gruden it seemed no one with real potential wanted to coach in Tampa (Parcells) and they were always picking from the bottom of the barrel. Hiring Jason Licht was the best decision they have made. He was apparently responsible for getting Arians. They took another risky chance and it certainly paid off. But I think Arians’ persona was a bit much for them also. Now we get to the core of last years fiasco. Arians was, in my opinion, ALL IN for Leftwich and Leftwich knew it but I think the Glazers saw Dungy and Mike Tomlin in Todd Bowles. When the Glazers opted for Bowles the temper tantrums started. What a WISE decision. It is still very early but perhaps we have found stability. Congratulations to the Glazers and Triple B.

  10. Duane Says:

    It’s only natural that a coach with a defensive background would be leery of taking chances with the ball. After all, forcing teams to take such chances and then making them pay for it is the bread and butter work of football defenses.

    That Coach Bowles has more confidence in his offense is a reflection of being a head coach and not a DC, and also is a reflection of having his choice of OC calling the plays, and his choice of who’s out there on the field.

    It’s not flabbergasting – it’s to be expected. Note that Bowles and Canales are most definitely NOT following the “no riskit no biskit” offense of Bruce Arians. That was never in the cards. The passing vs run plays was balanced, very unlike the Arians throw it all over the field every play offense, where Brady was putting the ball up 40 some to even 50 some times a game, putting the offense squarely on the GOAT’s shoulders to carry as best he could – with great success the first two seasons, and not so much success his third and final season with the Bucs.

  11. BucsFan81 Says:

    I just think Bowles knows he is coaching for his job at this point. He is willing to risk more when he has nothing to lose. I hope this continues though it drive me nuts last year how conservative he was. Dude was punting from opponents 40 yard line.

  12. go dawgs Says:

    citrus county^^ good job

  13. Rosadog Says:

    His HC career is on the line.

    Better to empty the chamber.

    No excuses.

  14. DJB Says:

    Hahahah… so now Todd is a regular Ron Rivera

  15. Citrus County Says:

    Thanks dawg. Had uncle sam not decided to “draft” me for his team, I may have found myself with a small track scholarship and patting UGA on the head.

  16. Couch Fan Says:

    Is Bowles reading this site? Unlike Joe I wont call him “Big Balls” because of 1 good game but I might have to rethink calliing him a cowardly coach if he keeps this up.

  17. Beej Says:

    Bowles has had all winter, spring and summer to ponder his actions last year. Prolly spent a lot of time on the phone w BA too

  18. Jack Clark Says:

    Thank you Todd bowels for not being a big scaredy cat

  19. Citrus County Says:

    And the irony of it all is that (if I recall correctly) Lovie Smith conditioned his hire on the hiring of Jason Licht.

  20. go dawgs Says:

    Citrus County^^ yes sir, i played for uncle sam also back in the day brother! hoooah! Thank you for your work!

  21. orlbucfan Says:

    This is finally Todd Bowles’ team. If Canales turns out to be as good an OC as Licht is as GM, and Bowles on D, the Bucs are going to be beyond scary. I’m rooting for Todd Bowles. BTW, kudos to the ST coach; your guys were great Sunday!

  22. Cobraboy Says:

    So Bowles DOES read fan comments!

  23. Buddha Says:

    Clean house…. Unless they win the first four games, you were not changing your opinion? This is the NFL not flag football. Wins are tough to get, especially on the road. The two top teams prior to game one have already lost. 13. Wins will probably get you home field advantage. I think there will be six teams or fewer than winter 11 games or more. I was just dog would learn to

  24. unbelievable Says:

    I really hope this is the new Todd Bowles.

    He said he learned a lot from Jets and from last year, perhaps this is the result of it? Let’s hope so.

  25. RustyRhinos Says:

    Hey Darian “Don’t crown him yet he’s no Dan Campbell”

    Could you tell us how many years has it been since Mr. Dan Campbell has held the Lombardi trophy? 3 years for DC then HC now Todd Bowles.
    No need for a crown when you have the Trophy and the ring…


  26. optimisticbucsfan Says:


  27. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    @citrus county – wth? You got all that from ONE Game where we had 245 crappy yards? BUwahhahahahahahahaha

    This fanbase had battered fan syndrome.

    Don’t even see a freak lucky win and somehow thinks we’ve turned some fake corner.

    Ugh. That crow is gonna taste terrible.

  28. Cchead Says:

    Bucs could have had Doug Pedrrson as HC 2 times
    1st time they went with Koetter, second time Bowles. Maybe Bowles and his loosing record has learned from his dismal past. Hope so.
    Go Bucs!

  29. Citrus County Says:

    optimisticbucsfan … NO. I got my viewpoint from 28 years of close observation of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, NOT from one game. But YOU could probably give me a Bucs history lesson after checking out Wikipedia. I know you can read because you can write. Oh , you can tack on another 19 years of my interest in the team because I followed them since their inception while I lived up north in Maine. STFU

  30. Citrus County Says:

    optimisticbucsfan… I forgot to ask. How old are you?

  31. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    Leopard can’t change its spots.

    This is a one off.

    Any attempt to make this ONE SINGULAR GAME more than it was…is foolish.

    Lots of disappointment coming our way.

  32. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    @ citrus county – my age? Ok weirdo creepy online stalker. SMDH.

  33. Citrus County Says:

    You can’t bait me FOOL.

  34. Obvious Says:

    So Citrus County,

    You’re suggesting something akin to “sabatoge”. Careful…. The know it alls around here are SURE that Leftwich didn’t have it in him to pull off such a diabolical sceme.. They just “ass u me” that Leftwich was simply retarded and that Arians toted him around as a comfort animal or something. I agreed with some guy that was convinced of that and I got thrown under the bus for it. But hey, I happen to believe you are on to something!

    After Leftwich got rejected for the head coach spot (he was going to coach the jags and I believe HE THOUGHT HE WAS A SHOE IN for the Bucs head coach position) well he had a CHIT FIT (in my opinion) and said screw the entire Org as well as fans, and rigged it to loose…. Up the middle 3 OUT OF 4 PLAYS EVERY FRIGGING SERIES, ALL SEASON LONG?



    It’s REDICULOUS TO SUGGEST OTHERWISE! OF COURSE HE WAS REJECTED AND DEJECTED and I’m pretty sure that a Super Bowl winning OC that won a super bowl, Arians adjustments or not, had MORE IN HIS TOOL BAG THAN JUST RUN IT UP THE MIDDLE ON EVERY SINGLE PLAY! IMPOSSIBLE!

    Just my Opinion. Don’t really care what others think but I agree with your theory..

  35. Citrus County Says:

    Obvious Says: Thank you for that endorsement Mr. Obvious. I really liked the “support animal” statement. I have a lot more theories and speculation about BA, Brady, and the entire circus of 2022. The important thing is; I do believe the Glazer family has learned much from it all. Last night I had this vision in my head of Leftnut shredding the stuffing from his BA teddy bear, but decided not to use it in my comments.

  36. Citrus County Says:

    Pardon me …”comfort animal “

  37. Citrus County Says:

    I laid out my theory with full explanation as to why I felt that way months ago. Mr. Obvious you are the first to my knowledge that has agreed with me and I thank you once again. Hopefully many fans will wake up and smell the coffee.

  38. Obvious Says:

    Absolutely 👍