“Too Good To Let Go”

September 4th, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

The potential weakness of the Bucs defense is the worst weakness a defense could have.

Where is the edge rush?

Yeah, Bucs sacks king Shaq Barrett said he’s back, or at least 90-something percent. Remember, he’s returning from a blown Achilles. The rest of the edge rush other than Shaq? Wishful thinking as Joe sits here on Labor Day.

If the Bucs can produce an edge rush, this defense could be scary good.

It seems head coach Todd Bowles may have raised the bar. Last week when asked about how the Bucs kept six outside linebackers on Cutdown Day, Bowles praised the group.

“I think we got very good football players at that position,” Bowles said. “They were too good to let go because I think one of them would have been picked up either way, and you can never have enough edge rushers.

“They’ll make us create packages for them and do certain things so everybody can get on the field.”

Joe wholeheartedly agrees that you cannot have too many edge rushers. But Bowles left out a critical word: “productive.” You could have eight edge rushers but if they don’t produce, so what?

The Bucs, and more importantly Bowles, need to find a way to develop an edge rush if it’s not there on opening day, a consistently productive edge rush. It might mean the difference between Bowles being a head coach or a defensive coordinator in 2024.

Join Ira Kaufman and Bucs fans on opening day at the Big Storm Brewing Co. taproom in Clearwater — 49th St. just south of Ulmerton Road.

It’s a 1 o’clock kickoff and Ira will be hanging out starting at 11:45 a.m. 

Beautiful covered patio with strong sightlines and audio. Indoors, too! Cocktails, a full menu, Florida’s best craft beer and more.


Huge covered and comfortable outdoor patio at Big Storm Brewing Co. in Clearwater.

Click on through to check out their website.

Fun time ahead.

Indoors too! Joe highly recommends the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich and fries.

31 Responses to ““Too Good To Let Go””

  1. John Sinclear Says:

    His skill set is as a defensive coordinator. I hope, if he’s replaced as head coach next year that Licht will keep him as the DC.

  2. BigMacAttack Says:

    I think the Bucs are going to do well this season, very well from what I’ve seen so far.

  3. Hodad Says:

    I guess we won’t know till they play the games.

  4. Mike Says:

    This group of edge rushers kind of reminds me when we had a young Michael Bennett who was trying to get some playing time and eventually developed in to a heck of an edge rusher. Hope some of these guys make a name for themselves.

  5. Duane Says:

    Jayzus, Joe … so now you’re whining that Coach Bowles, a man of relatively few words, similar in low key style to Bill Belichick, “left out a word”.


    You need help, man. Chill, watch the games, and then you’ll learn just like the rest of us will how good this defense will be this season.

  6. Beej Says:

    He kept all these edge guys in the hopes that 1-2 of them might work out

  7. JN Says:

    Blah. Blah.Blah. I have zero expectations of this team this year. We will win just enough games to be out of the qb sweepstakes but no where near playoffs. Stuck in Todd Bowles football hell.

  8. Kgh4life Says:

    @John Sinclair

    That’s a ridiculous statement. Why would TB take a demotion and work under the new head coach? No NFL coach has ever done that. You haven’t thought this through.

  9. Bojim Says:

    I agree with Kgh4life. TB has too much dignity for that.

  10. Netwalker Says:

    Please stop with the “you cannot have too many edge rushers” nonsense. Of course you can and it’s obvious. If this were true you’d have a whole 53 man team of edge rushers. Even at far less numbers these young players have to get on the field to develop. Same goes for any position group. All players need consistent play time to develop. So yes, you can have too many players at any given position.

    Let’s face it, need is the primary driver as to how many are kept at whatever position. The secondary consideration is the talent of the players you have to choose from. Several other factors also come into play. Cost, age, fit, health. All matter to some degree.

  11. Babygrace Says:

    Bowles knows football as well as many head coaches. When he coached the Jets they had horrible talent. Now he is coaching a team with young and unknown players. Never forget you win games with Jimmies and Joes. If we finish in the middle of the pack I would say he did a pretty good job.

  12. William Walls Says:

    Demoting a person within the same organization is something that just isn’t done for a variety of reasons. Kgh4life mentioned a big one. And also, if a demoted person remains in the same organization, they cast a shadow over whomever replaces them and it encourages factions to form even when neither “leader” is trying to create those factions. People who liked how the previous leader did things will naturally resist the new way more vigorously when their previous leader is still within the building, and those who agree will tend to band together onbtop of tgat. Before you know it, you have a faction of the team more loyal to the old boss than the new one even when the old boss himself is loyal to his replacement.

    It’s not guaranteed to happen, but almost everything in the transition would have to go perfectly to prevent it, and that never happens.

  13. pmarcello Says:

    All these so called trade proposals and rumors are just the fake news and the opposition trying to psyche the bucs into beating themselves to make it easier for all the Media’s darling teams . Fact is the buc have a whole lot of good football players {especially their young strong armed scrappy QB!. The simple fact is that they are all about jealusy and envy and fear. Go Bucs go Baker. Once you take them down the field a few time and score and score and score ME will fall into line withj all the rest. Don’t expect the Media and the trolls to let up though. The more the bucs win the more they will attack. Just like they did and are doing to Trump.

  14. Marine Buc Says:

    I believe JTS could have a breakout year – 8 sacks maybe more if he stays healthy.

  15. Beej Says:

    What did we keep on the 53 man roster, 5 WR’s? (as opposed to 7 in the GOAT era) Traded those 2 spots for more edge rushers, mostly a matter of team direction

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Given the Bucs checkered past when it comes to pass rushers, there’s a lot of merit to ‘you can never have too many’. JTS & Nelson were the only 2 OLBs to give us 17 games, and they only combined for 9.5 sacks. We lost Gill to IR before Game 1, and we lost Shaq for over half a season in Game 8 (and before that he wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire with 3 sacks). We had 2 other part-timers who aren’t on the team right now (Avery 9 games & Nassib 13 games) who contributed a whopping 4.5 sacks. So out of an initial 6 OLBs last season we got a COMBINED 17 sacks, representing a tad over 37% of our team total of 45 sacks.

    In 2021 we got 23 sacks from our OLBs, and in 2020 we got 18.5 sacks from that group. And of course 2019 was a bumper crop year when our OLBs got 34 sacks … from only 3 OLBs (Shaq 19.5 sacks; JPP 8.5 sacks; Nassib 6 sacks). Those 34 sacks represented over 72% of our 47 sack total … twice as many as we got last year from our OLBs.

    We NEED more production from our OLBs to have a Top-5 or even a Top-10 defense. Odds are that we’ll lose 1 or 2 to injury someplace in the season, and we have a couple OLBs (Shaq, Gill) coming back from injury last season. We have 2 youngsters in the group (Diaby, Watts) and 2 others (JTS, Nelson) who gave us 17 games each but neither of whom lit it up last year. I’d say that keeping 6 OLBs was a smart move.

  17. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Beej

    I believe part of the reason for keeping 7 WRs last season was due to having several aging vets – J. Jones, B. Perriman – and Godwin coming back with a rebuilt knee…

    However I still think only having 5 WRs is not enough. I would be more comfortable with 3 RBs and 6 WRs.

    Or maybe 5 OLBs and 6 WRs. Do we really need 6 OLBs?

  18. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Marine Buc: There are 3 more WR’s on the practice squad, if needed. I like the Bucs keeping pass rushers, bring those young kids in fresh late in games when the Bucs have a lead. I woulda been upset if the Bucs cut Markees Watts and he was signed by another team. That kid worked over the Steelers 1st Round Left Tackle on a few plays.

  19. Rod Munch Says:

    The Bucs have some huge depth issues on defense, in particular at corner and ILB. But who knows, if the young talent steps up maybe it’s not as big of an issue as I think.

  20. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Joe in Mich

    True – there are a few WRs on the practice squad but they can disappear at any time unless the Bucs protect them.

    I don’t have a huge problem with keeping both Gill and Watts they are both a bit undersized and athletic so at least they will be able to pitch in and play special teams as well.

    It will be interesting to see if they bring in either of them to rush the passer late in games. A fresh Watts will run circles around a tired 330 pound tackle in the 4th quarter…

  21. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    It is true, you can never have enough GOOD Edge Rushers. The ones who aren’t very good are just wasting space.

  22. HC Grover Says:

    I feel like letting go.

  23. Power Of Pewter Says:

    So there wasn’t clear winners in the Edge-Rusher Competition in trading camp? I don’t know how to spin that as a positive. With a pass rush, Buc’s defense will be pretty damn good. Without… mediocre at best.

  24. Pewter Power Says:

    Let the National media tell it, it’s like we didn’t have a single draft pick this year. You’d think Baker was drafted out of high school and every pass will be a deep shot downfield. lol no he’s not good enough to throw a slant pass or dump off to a running back plus he’ll never got any deep shots downfield.

  25. PewterStiffArm Says:

    And oh by the way, Kirk Cousins is a statue with happy feet. One game at a time, that’s all I am worried about. Hostile environment and a lot of noise, hopefully the noise is coming from our defense stepping on Kirk’s helmet.

  26. Bucs since 76 Says:

    We do have a veteran in David Moore WR on the practice squad

  27. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    I’m not only pulling for the Bucs to succeed this year, but Bowles as well. I’m not sold on sending him packing if the Bics only win, say 7 games or whatever someone else has as a yardstick.

    I put some but not a lot of stock in his record with the Jets. They’re a perennial cellar-dweller in the AFC East with a rare winning season here and there. Last year was, well, total fubar.

    Imagine if we lose Bowles. Now we need a competent (and hopefully experienced) HC. Not many great candidates out there. PLUS we essentially lose our DC as well and I’m sure most here would agree that replacing that would be even harder. A new HC (unless rah rah Canales gets promoted…a huge gamble) would also probably want a new OC as well as other changes.

    A lot of ppl here will be dancing in the streets if Bowles is ushered to the exit door while the team ushers in another decade of mediocrity. So be careful what you wish for my friends.

    Oh yeah. Edge rush. We’ll be fine. Last year we were tied for 7th in sacks with 2 other teams with 45. Not terrible but you wouldn’t know it from reading comments here. 45 is a far cry from the Eagles’ 70 sacks but 50 to 60 is possible this year.

    One week to go!!!

  28. 1#bucsfan Says:

    If the edge rushers can’t produce I agree with joe. It’s going to have to come from somewhere else. DW45 is nasty up the gut. Dude had almost 10 sacks 1 year then got pulled from blitzing which doesn’t make sense cause he’s a liability in coverage so have him hunting the QB more. Send AW31 more he did good too when he wasn’t in the slot. Bowles can be a great DC at times but then makes some boneheaded decisions at times.

  29. garro Says:

    Bowles did a great job of creating pressure last year. Imagine if he didn’t have to send so many from the back end and got sacks with the front four with the occasional blitz?

    Go Bucs!

  30. DJB Says:

    Bowles would have been satisfied with being the DC, but the Bucs shoved the head coaching job down his throat. During the last preseason game against the Ravens, Todd looked miserable on the sideline, like he had an abscessed tooth.

  31. Joe Says:

    Bowles would have been satisfied with being the DC, but the Bucs shoved the head coaching job down his throat.

    Joe is pretty confident that Todd Bowles being hired to replace Bruce Arians was set up in January 2019 in order to lure Arians out of retirement. Also, the timing of Arians’ second retirement wasn’t very good in order to pluck a coach from another organization.