Lay Off Ryan Neal

October 16th, 2023

Back off, says Todd Bowles.

Joe senses from comments on social media last night and on this here website that fans are ready to break out the pitchforks for Bucs safety Ryan Neal.

Yesterday the Bucs, by Todd Bowles’ own admission, allowed two Lions touchdowns on blown coverages. From the naked eye, it seemed Neal may have been the culprit both times.

If Bucs fans were hoping yesterday’s performance was enough to get Neal benched, Bowles has unpleasant news. Only one touchdown can be pinned on Neal, Bowles said. And even then he was in position to make a play.

“First touchdown there were a lot of guys in bad spots,” Bowles said. “That wasn’t Ryan at all.

“Second touchdown, he just has to look back for the ball and take it.”

So this is why you didn’t see Bowles throwing chairs like Bobby Knight today after he watched the film. Bowles believes the Bucs made a couple of correctable mistakes.

Costly mistakes, yes, but not so severe Bowles is ready to take a nosedive off the Sunshine Skyway.

74 Responses to “Lay Off Ryan Neal”

  1. ModHairKen Says:

    Joe, the guy came in with a rep for making plays and he has made none. So, pardon us if we are growing a little impatient.

  2. pewter941 Says:

    He also missed tackles vs the Eagles, and gave up a big td vs the Vikings

  3. Jason m Says:

    He sucks. Hasn’t made one play all year. And looks slow as Crap out there !

  4. Statistically Insignificant Reader Says:

    OH….OK. so Neal did not have two f#@k ups, but one. This game.

  5. Bucs Fans Says:

    dude is straight trash. please let us form our opinion with what our own eyes see,

  6. Hunter Says:

    My problem is he has already stuck out like a sore thumb even before the Lions game for looking like washed up Richard Sherman.

    Then last game happened. Seems to not be a coincidence. But obviously we all hope we’re wrong, I would assume.

  7. Bucs Fans Says:

    The grounds crew could have spruced up the end zone yesterday with some yellow and orange instead of just plain ol white lettering. Big missed opportunity imo. Anyone else think so?

  8. Ufcguy Says:

    How many times do these freaking db and safety not look back.
    That’s the issue….it mf keeps happening. So stop saying all he has to do is…..ya I can say that about the entire fckimg secondary for the last 5 years. Fix it. Just like the run blocking. Yall can’t fcking block period.
    You can’t run or design a legit screen. Where’s your lineman, where’s your design. Detroit torched us with it multiple times. Yet bc your team can’t block or you don’t design it right it rarely works. One toss pitch….and then run for no reason. You play your db 10 yds off and get no pressure on Goff who’s terrible against the blitz. Again that’s your freaking fault. One time I counted to 10 while Goff stood there.wheres devin white being blitzed. I can’t count the missed tackles, guys standing looking and getting juked outta there shoes. That’s the problem

  9. DS Says:

    But he has been invisible all year ijs

  10. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Bowles is a loyalist to his safety & DB room that’s for sure. Facts are Neal looks slow, misses tackles, takes poor angles, and has given up way too many plays down the field this year already.

  11. rrsrq Says:

    I guess when you look at what the Bucs have lost in Jordan Whitehead and even Mike Edwards, we saw plays being made, I know it’s still early but Neal has been absent of plays. We also saw Dee Delany make plays when back there, just saying. This is the ghost of the grave diggers – go get JPP, I do not are if it stunts the growth of some of the younger players, they have had more than enough time to show up. Ryan Neal doesn’t have to cover for 5 seconds if the QB is on his @rse

  12. Hunter Says:


  13. SlyPirate Says:

    This loss is not on the defense.

    The defense held Detroit to a season low with no help from the offense, including a turnover in the red zone.

  14. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    I wouldn’t be as hard on him if his backup didn’t play better than he did when given the opportunity. I don’t care how much people are being payed, you play the one who is playing better.

  15. ghost Says:

    Neal looked clueless, he didnt even turn around and the ball hit him in his hands

  16. ghost Says:

    “The defense held Detroit to a season low with no help from the offense, including a turnover in the red zone.”

    So did the falcons, it was the same score (20-6)

  17. Tbbucs3 Says:

    The Bucs need to lay off of DBs with dreadlocks….Neal fits right in with fellow bust Mark Barron, Sherman, Mike Jenkins, Tim Jennings, EJ Biggers and Dashaun Goldson

    At least Goldson hit hard, unlike Neal.

  18. jerseybuc Says:

    For two years we consistently hear about multiple guys out of position. Go back and look at his post game comments after losses. Something is wrong, either these guys are not understanding the plan, or the coaching is at fault. What I see is a soft D designed to not let big plays happen. OK, I get that, but I also remember Aaron Rodgers after the Packer game last year saying they knew calls coming in from the sideline.
    You cannot win with 2 FGs but the lack of success on third down, particularly third and LONG was striking yesterday.
    Lions are good. Probably better than the Bucs, but very disappointing effort yesterday. They lost their Running back early, and were actually playing their 3rd string RB, making the pass a little more likely. We didn’t seem to notice.
    Need to turn this around at home next week.

  19. TonySoprano Says:

    Neal legit looks like he runs a 5.2 forty. He has been awful. You have a player sitting on the bench that has proven to be much better. Yet Bowles goes the conservative, status quo per usual, and it will continue to cost this team wins.

    Bowles’ answer to every question is “We need to continue to practice, work, come together…” He never even seems to consider changing things, adjusting, evolving, thinking outside the box, etc.

  20. NJbucs23 Says:

    No….he stinks in pass coverage. Teams are going after him now.

  21. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @Sly it definitely is on the offense not doing their part. Doesn’t excuse Neal’s play as a whole. He’s been bad.

  22. NJbucs23 Says:

    And getting beat nonstop on 3rd and longs was a killer. I think the looks were what 10-16 on third downs ?

    Crazy !

  23. CHRISTOS Says:

    I will say it again Neal played really good last year for the Seahawks.
    But he was mostly used close to the LOS and some in nickel, he was not much deep in coverage.
    I m not excusing him cause he has not been good but maybe he is better in short spaces and not deep.
    Amd in the deep TD he made a play on the ball and avoided the DPI which is common in these plays. The receiver hold on to the ball give him credit.

  24. Rayjay1122 Says:

    The coverage by Neal was like watching Roderick Wayne Jones get toasted in the past.

  25. TonySoprano Says:

    Neal legit looks like he runs a 5.2 forty. He has been awful. You have a player sitting on the bench that has proven to be much better. Yet Bowles goes the conservative, status quo per usual, and it will continue to cost this team wins.

    Bowles’ answer to every question is “We need to continue to practice, work, come together…” He never even seems to consider changing things, adjusting, evolving, thinking outside the box, etc.

  26. Hodad Says:

    Safety with no ball skills, great. Dee Delaney is better, and should be starting. Why we giving this guy leeway? He’s on a one year prove it deal, and so far he’s proving he sucks. Bench him.

  27. BucsFan81 Says:

    Neal has been exposed and it will only get worse. Next man up send Neal back to the bench we seen enough.

  28. TURBO 808 Says:

    He made more mistakes than just those two plays. Go back and look at how many times he was the main culprit in all those 3rd and longs the Lions converted. Not to mention St. Browns long catch and run TD was 3rd and very long, he just needed to keep contain

  29. Bucsfanman Says:

    Neal needs to tighten up, as do the rest of the secondary. When I see guys that far off the LOS I have nightmares of the VHIII era.

  30. stpetebucfan Says:

    It’s not just Neal!

    “First touchdown there were a lot of guys in bad spots,” Bowles said. “

    2nd half the Bucs played lights out dominating D for two downs and then ended up in “bad spots” on 3rd down. They didn’t look gassed to me, they never quit hustling, they were outcoached! Why are guys in bad spots?

    Again though give the Lions and in particular their OC Ben Johnson credit. He’s the next OC to get offered an HC spot not Canalas. Canalas still has plenty of time but right now Ben Johnson is fire. Every critical play he played his chess pieces far better than Bowles! No shame there…Johnson is one of the best young OC’s in the business!

  31. Voice of Truth Says:

    Neal is one of the band aids like Hainsey, Otton, RWhite, MGreene – these are all just a notch above practice squad level guys

  32. Voice of Truth Says:

    Delaney has looked much better in much fewer snaps

  33. geno711 Says:

    He seems like one of the weakest links on the defense to me so far this year.

    However, we tend to only notice offensive linemen and defensive backs when they make mistakes.

    If he were as horrible as some fans say, then I think our defense would have given up many more points on this season.

    Plus, he is new in our system. Some guys take a little time in a new system.
    Not every player hits the ground running.

  34. Hodad Says:

    Davis was the butt of jokes on ESPN today for getting blocked into next week by a Lion on a TD run. What a weak effort. Way to wreck sh#t Davis. All the talk about how good our secondary is was just that, talk. We looked better with Zyon, and Delaney playing instead of Neal, Davis.

  35. gofortheface30 Says:

    I would say that the incessant complaining of not resigning Jordan Whitehead is the ultimate revisionist history, you cant resign EVERYBODY, and Safety is generally the most fungible position, and cap has been running lean for Brady and his buddies. Damned if you do, damned if you dont as a GM. At the same time Whitehead is the 30th highest paid Safety and to me, hes better than A LOT of guys ahead of him. At minimum he was a tone setter for Tampa and has toughness along with JPP that we lack right now. In any case, its part of the price you pay for “going for it.”

  36. Jmarkbuc Says:

    A defense that puts teams in 3rd & long, only to give it up on third down almost every time, isn’t disciplined, or well coached, or just not talented enough.

    This has been going on for years.

  37. Jack Clark Says:

    You can’t expect a strong safety to cover the fastest wide receiver on the field. The Lions exploited a bad matchup

  38. CalBucsFan Says:

    Would have been nice to see Bucs offense test the Lions defense on some deep balls to Evans and Godwin too instead of the rookies. They are two of the best at winning jump balls, so have to give credit to the Lions for at least going for it.

  39. BUCS4LIFE Says:

    Secondary did not do well! I guess I was watching a different game.

  40. Rod Munch Says:

    That first TD was 100% on Ryan Neal, and that 2nd TD was 100% on Ryan Neal, not to mention a later key 3rd down was 100% on Ryan Neal.

    Bench him until he is understands this defense better. He is constantly out of position and slow to react to stuff.

  41. Rod Munch Says:

    CalBucsFan Says:
    October 16th, 2023 at 4:19 pm
    Would have been nice to see Bucs offense test the Lions defense on some deep balls to Evans and Godwin too instead of the rookies.


    It’s been labeled a horizontal offense for a reason.

    Also, it is worth noting, Mike might go 90 yards on that battled ball early on. Then the two to Palmer, Mayfield flat out missed him, he was open both times, and that’s two more TDs.

    Really, today, we’d all have a completely different feeling about the team and the offense if Mayfield did his job. But he had a terrible day and looked like the guy on tape from the last two years. Hopefully he can bounce back next week, because after that is a short week on the road in Buffalo, and I don’t think anyone with common sense thinks that is going to go well.

  42. Schindler Lisp Says:

    That game came down to 3 batted balls… and 5 plays where Neal was toasted… this guy is practice squad material at best- my 4ft tall 7yr old son can man up better… what a joke – I think we need to lean into Neal instead of lay off Joe

  43. Bucamania Says:

    Neal is clearly the weakest link on defense.

  44. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Everyone can’t be great.

    Bucs offensive lack of scoring points seems to be the bigger problem. While the defense is keeping them in games.

    Kicking two field goals, will rarely win games.

  45. unbelievable Says:

    I’m not going to call him trash, but he’s clearly the weakest link in our secondary.

    It is what it is.

    Gotta wonder if Dee Delaney has earned more playing time / the starting nod.

  46. unbelievable Says:

    @Rod – yea it’s looking like best case scenario we are 4-3 after the Buffalo game.

  47. gotbbucs Says:

    It’s week 6 coming off of a bye and all the starters are in the game. How are guys not in the right spots at this point?

    I’ve got an idea that can alleviate some of the problem. How about we challenge recievers at the line of scrimmage with our corners that are being paid a whore house ransom instead of lining them up 7 or 8 yards off the ball and bailing as soon as the snap happens? These guys get caught flat footed on every double move because they’re schemed to be standing flat footed at 12 yards where the recievers are making their breaks.
    Wanna know why our pass rush is always a step away from getting to the QB, but never gets there? The QB always has a wide open reciever a yard from the sticks to throw to while he’s going through all the rest of his reads. This scheme is designed to give the opposing QB a security blanket just so they keep the ball in front of the secondary. Free release for everyone.

    This is how Bowles calls coverages in every tough game. He’d rather be killed by a thousand paper cuts than dog fight at the line of scrimmage and give his defensive line a chance to get home. Blitzing and playing soft coverage at the same time are so counter productive.

  48. Lakeland Steve Says:

    Dan Campbell said today he thought the difference in the ballgame was stopping the Bucs offense on 3’rd down and their offense having success on 3’rd down especially the four 3’rd and longs the lions faced. He also mentioned the crowd having a lot of Lions fans at the game, he joked it was almost liked a home game. He said he thought at the end the Bucs were going to have to use a silent count on offense because of the noise. Sad, real sad.

  49. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    In my worthless opinion, the Bucs have only played 2 good quarters of football… the 2nd half against the Saints. Unless we cherry pick a good play here or there.

  50. Since76 Says:

    You were bound to have touchdowns scored on you when your offense struggled almost every week. This loss wasn’t on Neal or the defense. This loss is squarely on the O. The O only played two decent quarters this season. The defense has shown up every game. I don’t see canales adjusting. I hope he isn’t clueless as our last OC.

  51. ModHairKen Says:

    “Neal legit looks like he runs a 5.2 forty“

    The funniest comment I’ve read on here in a while.

  52. Thundersack Says:

    Bucs Fans Says:
    October 16th, 2023 at 3:03 pm
    The grounds crew could have spruced up the end zone yesterday with some yellow and orange instead of just plain ol white lettering. Big missed opportunity imo. Anyone else think so?

    I agree. That was one of the only things I noticed with the throwback game. The organization did an amazing job with the promotion and am looking forward to the creamsicles next year. Hopefully with the Bucs winning…

  53. Dewey Selmon Says:

    You know you suck when Dee Delaney is a better option. DD is a converted CB who us tied for the team lead in ints.

  54. adam from ny Says:

    neal is often the last man standing on long plays when the defense breaks down…so he is the guy blamed…

    yet he is also slow af, not responding and reacting well, and often almost confused out there…

    ok so i’m trying to defend the man — umm but he sucks…lol

  55. Bucsalltheway Says:

    So did he just watch that play or his whole game in totality because he constantly is in bad position outside of the one hit he made on the lion short completion early on…dee Delaney deserves to be back there he understands how to hunt and get takeaways. The first touchdown was on Carlton Davis and he got wrecked trying to play catch up.

  56. adam from ny Says:

    the glaring team weaknesses are starting to rear their ugly heads going into week 7…

    it’s about that time in the season where cobwebs are gone and it get’s fairly apparent what you have…and what needs fixing…

    now it’s up to mgmt. to decide what direction the team goes…

    we are not a league powerhouse…a top 5 team…

    are we top 10???…maybe, maybe not…

    are we top 12…yeah…

    are we somewhere between the 8th to 12th best team in the league — probably,,,yeah

    can changes be made to bump us to like a 6th or 7th best team in the league ???……………..yeah

    will it be done…………………………..i don’t know

  57. orlbucfan Says:

    Whitehead split cos he had a SB ring c/o the Bucs, and the Jets offered him big $$$. So what? He’s history. If Neal stinks, bench him. Next Sunday will be a totally different game from yesterday, and the Falcons better be ready.

  58. Crickett Baker Says:

    I JUST hope that our offense continues to have faith in Canales and he is VERY serious about improving. There is very little he can be upbeat and positive about for that game.

  59. BA's Red Pen Says:

    Neal is a terrible FA bust. He and Jill Tryon-Sissyinka should not be on the roster next season.

  60. Rod Munch Says:

    unbelievable Says:
    October 16th, 2023 at 4:48 pm
    @Rod – yea it’s looking like best case scenario we are 4-3 after the Buffalo game.


    I think almost everyone here would have taken that in the preseason, and honestly, that’s not bad at all. If they can be 4-3, they could get to 10 wins I think. Not that I’m predicting that to be clear, but that would be a very successful season for this team I think.

    It will all come down to Baker, if he bounces back or not. Personally I don’t want to sit through a 6-11 season, and we’re not getting the #1 pick at this point, so I’m hoping he bounces back.

  61. Rod Munch Says:

    Dewey Selmon Says:
    October 16th, 2023 at 5:59 pm
    You know you suck when Dee Delaney is a better option.



    And, you’re correct.

    However the saving grace for Delaney is that since the Bucs are nearly exclusively zone now, his biggest issue, speed, is much less of an issue. The issue I always had with Delaney is that despite knowing where he should be, he was always a full step behind – but a zone can cover up a lot of that.

    With Neal, he looks slow AND not sure where he’s supposed to be. However, with Neal, he might look slow because he’s not sure where he should be. In any case he should ride the bench for a while until he figures it out, since he’s killing this defense, which, outside of him, has played really well for the most part.

  62. RGA Says:

    Neal is not making plays, he’s only noticed when things go wrong.

  63. Marine Buc Says:

    The Seahawks let him go for a reason… We signed him for peanuts for a reason.

    Pete Carroll knows DBs. He is an expert DB picker… lol – and he moved on from Neal.

    I still think Neal has had an OK season so far. When a Safety has a bad play it is very noticeable and he had a few last Sunday.

    I wouldn’t expect much more than mediocre play from this guy.

  64. Duane in Sanford Says:

    Doesnt matter if Bowles thinks he is good or not. He is easily the weakest link out of Winfield, Dean, Davis, and likely Izien. He is going to be the one targeted and will eventually have to make a play. Im betting he is going to be seeing a lot of action.

  65. B Says:

    The entire reason the rest of the league does not blitz like Bowles is the probability your safety is going to end up in that position. A lot.

  66. CAbucsfan Says:

    I am more upset that ME13 sh*t the bed yet again, way too many drops going back to last year, he isn’t playing with the same Fire either, which I get due to contract break downs,

  67. Drunkinybor Says:

    We only allowed 20 points if the offense played just decent this is a very close game. Plus the defense would have been way more fresh. It’s a clunker. As soon as Bakes 90 yard t.d. to Mike got batted. the ghosts of Sombrero past flashed before my eyes and I settled in for a depressing Dilfer day delight!

  68. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    He 100% needs to be laid off.

    Great point Joe!

  69. Rod Munch Says:

    CAbucsfan – You’re most upset that Mike dropped a 13-yard pass in the 1st quarter, not Mayfield overthrowing Palmer twice on what would have been easy TDs, or Neal giving up two TDs because of blown coverage.

    That sounds like a ‘you’ problem.

  70. garro Says:

    Many of us fans really need to take a minute and look at replays of these plays.

    Neal was put in a bad spot by Bowles play call on the second TD.

    Go Bucs!

  71. 757Buc’em Says:

    Bowles has to go ASAP dude is just simp his loyalty to players is sad honestly, he has some of that dumb Bruce Arians don’t fire anyone still in him. Neal deserves to be benched, hell Delaney has been playing eater ball. Same thing he did last yr in the playoffs with SMB AND DEAN. He sucks at adjustments

  72. BucU Says:

    LOL @ “correctable mistakes”.

  73. tbc 1 Says:

    He is very very bad-there has to be someone out there that wants to play and wants to learn and it is not Neil.

  74. Edward Tobar Says:

    Neal was a practice squad guy and should definitely not be a starter. The pass rush is non existent without blitzing