Todd Bowles: Lay Off Ryan Neal!

October 27th, 2023

Terse response.

Joe is starting to see what many Bucs fans see, rightly or wrongly, fair or unfair.

Last night was the first Bucs game this season Joe watched live on TV. When people scoff at Joe for his observations during games and say, “What game were you watching?” it really has merit. Watching a game from high in the corners of stadiums and watching a TV broadcast feed really are different games.

Bucs safety Ryan Neal seems to always be chasing receivers after the catch, Joe was beginning to get Sabby The Goat feels.

Well, it’s unfair in the eyes of Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

Asked today about Neal’s apparent struggles and if he should be benched for Dee Delaney, maybe for the very first time Joe heard Bowles come close to snapping.

Bottom line is, someone on the Bucs defense is screwing up and Neal looks like the fall guy (if he’s not the guy). And Bowles is quite unhappy about it.

“I think if you knew what the coverages were supposed to be you wouldn’t be blaming Ryan Neal,” Bowles said tersely.

When asked to elaborate, Bowles firmly replied, “We talked about everything in the meetings — we handled it.”


Another very interesting element of Bowles’ day-after presser dealt with pass defense, Bowles was asked about why he doesn’t play more man-defense, which better fits Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean’s skillset.

Bowles said he “would love to” but when there are five receivers the Bucs have to defend, he has to worry about other players’ skillsets, too. And if he crafts coverages just for Davis and Dean, he’s liable to expose more than two of his defensive backs.

Bowles said not all of his defenders are able to play man-to-man.

No, Bowles did not out who those players are.

64 Responses to “Todd Bowles: Lay Off Ryan Neal!”

  1. Couch Fan Says:

    He’s right its not Neals fault. Its Bowles own fault. Which of course he will never admit.

  2. Mike S Says:

    3 in a row and now 4 of 5.

    Happy feet Mayfield isn’t the answer.

  3. Pryda…sec147 Says:

    Some fire from bowels he must be feeling the heat getting turned up on his seat 😂

  4. zzbuc Says:

    Ryan Neal???
    He is not the problem, the problem are de CB, both of them are playing poorly!!!!
    Specially CDIII!!!!! Trade him, and play McCollum……

  5. Zoocomics Says:

    We’re paying both corners quite a bit to play zone coverage, just say ‘n

  6. HC Grover Says:

    Guess things are not bad enough yet to hire a HC.

  7. Lombardi Lenny Says:

    Mike S says….

    Happy Feet Mayfield isn’t the answer LMAO !!

  8. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Lay off Tim Jennings 2.0!

  9. Texasbucsfan Says:

    Nothing is going to change as long as we have the same coaching staff. Bowles is a loser. Plain and simple. Canales does not show me much as an OC. Playing for a draft choice. Keep losiing

  10. ModHairKen Says:

    “I think if you knew what the coverages were supposed to be you wouldn’t be blaming Ryan Neal,” Bowles said tersely.

    When asked to elaborate, Bowles firmly replied, “We talked about everything in the meetings — we handled it.”


  11. Tye Says:

    Bowels is an absolute JOKE as a HC…. What a clown…
    The day he is replaced can’t come fast enough…

  12. Beej Says:

    I watched Atlanta continually drop eight into a zone, while playing man on the tight end coming off the line

  13. Boss Says:

    he handled it. we are SAVED!

    if you think anything but the opposite of what lovie says you are clueless.

  14. Leopold Stotch Says:

    Well Joe, I appreciate you admitting that there is certainly a difference between being in person and on TV. Even on the alternate prime channel it’s considerably different. I’d say most of us see a standard broadcast. Either way, thank you.

  15. unbelievable Says:

    Winfield can’t play man to man? Izien can’t do it? Delaney can’t do it? Really?

    What a load of s(p)it.

    Sounds like we’re playing zone because Ryan Neal is massive liability. Genius coaching right there

  16. J Says:

    That’s right. Lay off Neal. It’s Bowles horrible decision making. Bowles should be paying US to watch this hot garbage.

  17. nate Says:

    This team just isnt very good..

  18. Bucfan37 Says:

    Whatever… the Bucs are clearly in a rebuilding mode. They could be a contender before too long. We have all been here before.

  19. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Bowels comments sound like a different version of ‘we do what we do’.

  20. Beej Says:

    So we have 30 million of CAP money for two corners who are very good at man, but not so much at zone. However, we don’t play man because nobody else on the defense can play man?

  21. Bucsfan561 Says:

    Zzbuc how is Carlton Davis playing bad?? He’s our best corner and may be one of the best press man corner in football.. if anything we need to take a look at 35.. he hasn’t gotten much better and they signed em to a multi year deal.. I would say play 27 a lil more and on 3rd & 5+ play Dee Delaney in zone at SS..

    Still trying to figure out the infatuation w/ JTS.. Anthony Nelson has outplayed him for the last 2 years

    The OC hasn’t realized in idk 6-7 games that we’re a lil better going uptempo.. maybe not running it up the middle every first down & let’s spice it up a bit.. get Mike Evans the ball! It’s not going to be easy as last night showed he’s gonna get doubled & sometimes triples but at least give Mike a chance to make a play.. also might need to see more Jarrett at the 3rd wr spot, you can tell he can make plays but he needs a chance

  22. FortMyersDave Says:

    Well if Ryan Neal is not the weak link then where is the problem Coach? Is it the fact that there is no qb pressure from the DL or the edge rushers or Devin White? Is it the fact you do not feel comfortable playing Man to Man D because only Davis and Dean are competent enough to do that? Lets say Bowles thinks the lack of qb pressure is making his soft D fail, well guess what, the sacks and pressures are not coming so maybe it is time to make some adjustments Coach… I still think Neil should ride the pine but it sounds like Bowles thinks someone else deserves it even more. In a nutshell the D is shaky on all levels including play calling and the coaches themselves.

  23. jehzsa Says:

    But for some notable exceptions, the Bucs display in a game as much passion as Bowles in a presser.

    Bet a couple of cheeseburgers that when he is let go, he’ll be binge-watching Netflix for a long time afterwards. Perhaps Tubi, to save some dough.

  24. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    When your defensive backfield makes 32 tackles (Neal led with 13) you know there were way too many passes completed or RBs getting through the front 7.

    It does look like Neal should have had help on several plays.

    It looked like we were playing very soft…….with Allen getting the ball out quickly, we needed to play tighter.

  25. SlyPirate Says:

    Neal is horrible BUT THERE IS SOMEONE WAY WORSE …

    On several plays, Neal covered for White. White loafed around. He was exhausted and disengaged. Neal had to race in and make a tackle that should have been White’s.

  26. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    If he wants to play more man but out players can’t play man it sounds like he has a problem with the GM who brings in round pegs for his square system. I’m on team Licht

  27. TonySoprano Says:

    So by this logic, no defense in the NFL can play man coverage unless they have 5 allstar CBs? I can’t wait for this doughy, sleepy-eyed clueless coach to be canned.

  28. Jack Clark Says:

    Ryan Neal is not the problem, the problem is our SORRY AS edge rushers! Every game we hear the announcers say the quarterback has ALL DAY to throw because our sorry as edge rushers can’t getting any pressure and forces our secondary to cover wide receivers for an unreasonable amount of time.

  29. Joe Says:

    So by this logic, no defense in the NFL can play man coverage unless they have 5 allstar CBs?

    No, think about it:

    The other guys cannot play man. So if Bowles plays more man, he’s opening up dudes, in more areas of the field who aren’t as good as Davis and Dean to get roasted. Apparently Davis and Dean can play zone well enough (Joe did not type “good”) so the other guys aren’t basted each and ever play.

    Joe has two questions:

    1. What about Winfield?

    2. Why not match-up defenses?

  30. FortMyersDave Says:

    Jehzsa, Bowles could probably get a job as the USF defensive coordinator. The standards there are now low hanging fruit; go 4-4 while letting Trent Dilfer’s UAB club and FAU both put 56 points up. Then again he could be watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island with Spongebob Leftwich next fall as well!

    Yeah I hear you Jack Clark, the soft zone and Bowles concept of defense relies in a solid edge rush and qb pressure. No qb pressure and any qb can pick you apart just like last night. It is just the Bucs did not seem to adjust after the half when they should have figure out they had no rush on the qb yet they simply let the Bills march down the field and get what would be the game winning TD in no time at all. Why doesn’t Bowles adjust to some mam to man or hybrid coverage to mix things up?

    SlyPirate: good point on White. Man how many games has it been since he got a sack or made an impact play? A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and the Bucs team and coaching staff as a whole has too many rusty or broken links to count.

  31. realistic-optimistic Says:

    You don’t have to play man coverage across the board. How about a creative mix of man and zone… You know like play to your strengths? So silly

  32. Popcorn Mike Says:

    Every week I hear Bowles say something about players missing assignments and out of position. First of all, this has been happening for 7 games what’s the problem here? Is it the coaching, players not listening or ??? What’s the consequences for this bad play?

  33. Architek Says:

    It’s cool – go down with the ship captain. Very admirable of him.

    However, this secondary has been busting coverages weekly since he came and it costs us a trip to the NFC Championship with Brady!

    So you see the trend and a path to the HC and the players following him out the door. I’m grateful for the Super Bowl but we are not heading in the right direction.

  34. Buc4evr Says:

    Ha , Neal is a slug and Bowles is a mental midget. The whole team is just pathetic thanks to Bowles. Let’s screw up the end of the half like we did with Atl. Ok let’s not go for 4th and three, or a FG, let’s punt. At least Bowles will be gone next year.

  35. Schindlers Lisp Says:

    Ryan Neal is garbage – toilet bowles knows it and thats why hes soooo defensive about it… Dee Delany is quickly becoming my favorite player lol… Its about time you came back to reality joe – I was worried about you but then again even a broken clock is right twice a day so maybe I should reserve the merit and make sure you maintain a consistent reality driven take… blaming your bunk frame of reference on the format you watch the game thru is bogus and weak – just admit you were wrong about “laying off Ryan neal”

  36. David Says:

    The defense has been performing fine and keep them in the game for the offense to catch up. Toilet Bowl is only good at defense. He sucks in other area.

  37. PowerOfPewter Says:

    This is year 5 of Bowles’ defense. Why is it getting worse?

  38. Joe Says:

    If he wants to play more man but out players can’t play man it sounds like he has a problem with the GM who brings in round pegs for his square system.

    That’s what Joe thought but you know what? Who picks the final-53 man roster? (Hint: It’s not Licht.) So if these guys suck so bad playing man, why did Bowles keep them?

  39. Jeff Says:

    Thank our lucky stars that Clueless Todd will be fired at the end of the season. Todd’s gotta go!

  40. zzbuc Says:


    CDIII is constantly out of position and his tackling is a disgrace, watch the game again (I did), and check it out yourself.

    I agree that 35 is playing really bad……

    CDIII Dean and White to the trading market now….

    I wouldn’t say JTS to the market, because there is none market for him

  41. orlbucfan Says:

    Someone should stick a foot up Devin White’s butt. He couldn’t be bothered with helping spy on the Bills’ QB? I hope LVD puts the snake eyes on his butt the next few days. He better show up in Houston.

  42. tbc 1 Says:

    trade Neil

  43. Leopold Stotch Says:

    (Old Steve Rogers (Captain America)) No, I don’t think I will

  44. Buccos Says:

    Off topic- why not trade for Dalvin Cook. He seems to be in the doghouse with the Jets and needs a new team. He isn’t very old and has fresh legs. He is good in short yardage and I believe was a 1,000 yard rusher last year if I’m not mistaken

  45. Rod Munch Says:

    Losers never admit mistakes, like signing some guy another team dumped despite the fact NFL teams never let young talent on super cheap contracts walk for nothing. This is like with Baker, he stinks, but will Bowles make any changes? No. Why? Because that would mean having to say he made a mistake.

  46. Defense Rules Says:

    SlyPirate … ‘On several plays, Neal covered for White.’

    I can’t say that since I don’t know what plays you’re talking about, but White was definitely lagging out there. I don’t think it has anything to do with loafing though or not being in tip-top shape. When I watch him, he slow as can be and almost seems to be dragging one leg. Last night he was constantly getting caught out of position & just seemed to be wandering around in the middle. Something’s wrong, and I suspect it’s physical (groin?).

    Doesn’t matter though. If a player’s a liability, replace him until he heals up. He’s leaving the middle of the field wide open, and it’s hurting us in run defense AND pass defense. Keep getting this feeling that Bowles is making a LOT of compromises to keep this defense afloat.

  47. Rod Munch Says:

    Bucsfan561 Says:
    October 27th, 2023 at 11:15 am
    Zzbuc how is Carlton Davis playing bad?? He’s our best corner and may be one of the best press man corner in football..


    A lot of the simpletons around here literally have no idea what they’re watching, so they see some guy run by Davis on a route and they yell and screen and throw a fit because they’re too dumb to know it’s a zone defense, and Davis is told to guard an area, not a man. But the bigger the idiot, they more they double down on being stupid, and so these morons, instead of just saying “oh, I didn’t know that,” instead they just yell louder and repeat the same thing more and more often until other peckerwoods pick up the call and start parroting it as well. Those are the morons who, on literally every play, complain about White, Davis and JTS. Literally every play, they’ll complain about them, regardless of what happens.

  48. Defense Rules Says:

    zzbuc … ‘CDIII, Dean and White to the trading market now’.

    So trade 3 veteran defensive starters? And replace them with who? THAT’S the problem IMO … we have no depth. We regularly play 5 guys in our Secondary (CDIII, Dean, Izien, Winfield & Neal) and we really only have 2 experienced backups (Delaney & McCollum). And since those 5 starters have a history of missing games, 2 isn’t really enough.

    And the only real backup for LVD & White is Dennis, who’s had 4 defensive snaps all season (3 of those in the 1st game). Not sure we really want to be putting him in the middle of this defense with that lack of experience (plus didn’t he have a groin issue also?). Lack of depth once again, BUT … probably the best we can afford at this point.

  49. Rod Munch Says:

    Defense Rules Says:
    October 27th, 2023 at 2:05 pm
    zzbuc … ‘CDIII, Dean and White to the trading market now’.

    So trade 3 veteran defensive starters? And replace them with who?


    I like all three, but they’re all be wasted in this zone defense.

    Also, it’s not like this team is any good – so who cares who you replace them with. Maybe you go 5-12 instead of 6-11 if you keep them all. The team stinks either way, and the worse record helps with the draft.

  50. Buccos Says:

    If this team wasn’t competing like hell and staying close in games then maybe you start to break up the team. In this division though our team could get hot and win a few games and make the playoffs. It’s not like the Falcons are going to run away with it. Get another running back and keep pounding the rock and get your TE’s involved. That is why we were so good under Brady. Gronkowski.

  51. Tony Marks Says:

    Beej Says:
    October 27th, 2023 at 11:15 am
    However, we don’t play man because nobody else on the defense can play man?——-

    Beej the coach is in bits and pieces telling fans what they don’t want to hear because there’s no one magical fix and that is that personnel issues abound all over the team.

    He let out earlier this week he doesn’t have a WR3 he can pencil in

    We already know he doesn’t have an RB1

    the lack of holes at times indicate he doesn’t have the oline to run block effectively

    Its apparent to me We have TEs that wouldn’t start on many teams

    and now he is telling you he doesn’t have the personal to be versatile on defense.

    Though fans don’t want to hear it – all of it is credible and explains why both Canales and Bowles talk about “working towards ” and “works in progress” because they probably know from the inside – what they got is what they got and theres no new people coming in this season. So they are trusting in internal development ( which explains why they are refusing to leave the run game project)

    Fans? Welcome coming back to the reality most NFL teams have to live with – improvements and adjustments over time – no one magical, player or coach signing that turns it all around.

  52. IE Buc Says:

    I kept saying this over and over again last year, but I would have kept SMB over Davis. SMB just needed to get healthy, and he has been good with the Titans this year.

  53. Tony Says:

    I told some that I didn’t think they’d win more than 7 & some thought I was crazy but it looks like it’s heading that way. They figured because Baker is more capable of running with the ball over Brady & being a bunch of the players are still there I guess they figured they figured they might win more but I couldn’t see it. Especially when the OL isn’t helping that much either. I think every OL got called for at least one penalty last night.

  54. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    No wonder Seattles GM wasn’t worried about Neal leaving and even thinking he’d be back soon he’s a one year wonder

  55. Tony Says:

    They should’ve kept Whitehead & I thought they should’ve kept Edwards, too! I’d resign Winfield & put somebody else with him. I was never much of a fan of Dean or Carlton when they were coming out. Tryon is another one I was never much of a fan of when he was coming out either. I’d put Yaya & Watts ahead of him. There’s a couple of them starting on the team that should probably be backups.

  56. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Bowles gives off Lovie Smith vibes. Time to move on.

  57. Rod Munch Says:

    Pelsbuc61 Says:
    October 27th, 2023 at 4:46 pm
    Bowles gives off Lovie Smith vibes. Time to move on.


    Bowles is a better DC, but Lovie was the better headcoach, at least he got a team to a SB. Meanwhile Bowles managed to get Brady to have his first losing season, and his first loses to Atlanta, and the Cowboys. Not even Lovie would have been that bad as headcoach.

    But as a DC, I still like Bowles. Real shame we must fire him and can’t just demote him.

  58. Todd’s Blowfish Says:

    Lay off Ryan Neal. OK, Todd.

    The dude has done nothing, NOTHING, nada, zero, zilcho, null, void, explicitly squat in uniform as a Buccaneer.

    Todd’s loyalty is admirable, but it’s also why he is a horrible producer of wins as a head coach. Devin White and Neal could be packed off for a running back (anyone….anyone) and a late round pick and the team would be better for it.

    Todd is too smart to be a head coach. The evil genius doesn’t get his schemes through to his players. His secondary never plays zone well. Never. Ever. Don’t talk about the Chiefs SB win – they had two quadriplegics at OT and about 5 balls Mahomes threw right into the face masks of his receivers that would have changed the dynamic of the game, maybe not the outcome. And now we’re without SMB, Whitehead, and Edwards. And Delaney has proven >>>>> than Oneal when called upon.

    Todd’s schemes work in his head. Unfortunately, no one else’s’.

    And his Time Machine throwback offense sucks. It sucks to watch, it probably sucks to play, and it sure as hell sucks on the scoreboard.

    Who will be surprised if the Bucs come out against the Texans and have 3 points or less at the half in 10 days?

  59. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    Jason and Todd are dead men walking.

    The team is very close to quitting on Todd.

    It’s ok that Bowles is NOT a head coach.

    Peter principal

  60. Raansu Says:

    And this is why he’s not a good coach.

  61. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    Joes, stop protecting Licht.

    He gone dudes. Nothing you can do or say will stop it.

    He stinks out loud. Time for a new day in Tampa Bay

  62. BillyBucco Says:

    Start Trask, draft a QB if it doesn’t work. Pretty simple at this point.
    This team is NOT this bad. Sure there are some holes ( TE, LG, C and S) but we have enough talent to be winning games. This same Buffalo team laid 48 on the Dolphins and you don’t hear them complaining to fire the Head Coach.
    Teams come with good game plans all the time and balls bounce a certain way.
    But the lack of production on offense clearly points to Baker. I have rewatched every game on All 22 and there are guys open. Baker pumping is a lack of confidence and wanting to protect the football, but that’s only because he is in accurate. He wouldn’t be pumping if he didn’t see them open, je is just always late on the read too.
    Maybe Canales could help him out more, but eventually the guy has to play good.
    7 games in and the National Narrative will quickly be back on Mayfield just NOT being the guy.
    I literally want to lose every game from here on out, and there is a real possibility we do.
    This team has to be close to quitting and I don’t blame them at this point.
    Mike helping a guy up at the end was more a reflection on Baker IMO not passing the dam ball to him and him being a Pro than anything else.

  63. Pamela Scoggins Says:

    The Bucks have been playing horrible since Bowles took over as head coach. Look Mayfield is an exceptional quarterback, he’s got the weapons he needs around him to get the job done, the coaching and play calling us lacking. When you have a quarterback and receivers that can air out down field, but your coaching staff would rather play “safe” football and not allow the team to do their job, your crippling your team. The Bucks have a winning team, cut Bowles lose, then turn Mayfield and the offense lose to do their job, no more Todd Bowles and his defensive offense, it’s not working, make a change before we lose Mayfield.

  64. tbc 1 Says:

    Does Bowles ever get mad-seems like Arians would be all over these players{Neil} just saying.