Todd Bowles Says He’s Still Searching For A No. 3 Receiver

October 24th, 2023

“Not me, Coach?”

Yesterday, Joe wrote about how injured wide receiver Russell Gage’s production has been missed.

Todd Bowles sort of went there today.

The Bucs’ big-money, No. 3 receiver was lost to a knee injury in August. Per Bowles, he hasn’t been replaced. Among receivers Deven Thompkins, Trey Palmer and Rakim Jarrett, Bowles says he’s looking for them to step pu.

“We’re still trying to find a No. 3 between Deven, Rock and Palmer. You know, all three of them can do certain things,” Bowles told the Buccaneers Radio Network.

Bowles laid out why Thompkins screwed up and fumbled against the Falcons on Sunday. At 5-6 and about 160 pounds, Thompkins tried to beat several defenders and avoid a negative play after contact, and he paid the price by getting stripped.

“Deven’s gotta learn to get down when the run is not there,” Bowles said. “That’s not a punt return or a kick return. Something you just have to take your loss and line up and go again. He’s a young player. He’ll be better at that.”

Bowles added that Palmer’s holding call against the Falcons was a good block but he didn’t release quickly enough afterwards.

Overall, Bowles praised the trio’s confidence and Bowles says he thinks they’ll start to make plays.

45 Responses to “Todd Bowles Says He’s Still Searching For A No. 3 Receiver”

  1. TB bolts Says:

    Gotta have a QB that can see first.

  2. Mike S Says:

    Its everyone’s fault but Baker’s

    I wonder how long it will take for Baker’s teammates to get sick of that?

  3. StickinUp4Centers Says:

    Palmer has shown the most. Idk if he’s never open, but it seems like it’s rarely thrown his way. They need to get the timing down for the go route.

  4. Mike Johnson Says:

    If Baker does not perform any better, I say bring on Trask starting game 8 or 9. Lets see what he’s got. I mean, what do we have to lose? This team is not going to any playoffs unless some miracle happens.

  5. Proudbucsfan Says:

    If Baker hit Palmer as many time as he’s missed or over threw him this season he would be rookie of the year. The guy is open a lot.

  6. Old School Bucs Says:

    You know I see these posts, and this team, Joe, and these idiots here are delusional!!! Statements like we are so close. Continuing to look for more skill players. Just idiotic. Well ok. I play along and watch the pending disaster. This team cant compete with anyone that has a legitimate shot at the playoffs. Clown show on steroids!!!

  7. Tye Says:

    The owners desperately NEED to be looking for their next HC!
    Bowels time is coming to and end sooner rather than later…

  8. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Maybe Baker needs Lasik surgery like Jaboo 🤣

  9. Jack Clark Says:

    I like our Wide Receivers group, we have two tall, strong, physical wide receivers and three speedsters who can catch the ball.

  10. Texasbucsfan Says:

    i believe that the bucs coaching staff expects to much from the rookies and 2nd year players. The transition from college to the pros is a giant step for most of the players. There is always an exception to every rule. But 13 draft picks and UDF agents is going to take it’s toll on any organization. Hopefully most of them will work out and make a contribution to the bucs.

  11. JD Still Says:

    The more the new guys are actually on the field the quicker they’ll learn, they are good , could be great , they just need the reps, hmmm? Reps to gain experience ? Kinda like a certain quarterback we have that , sadly , has been denied those precious reps ,that’s the problem with the “don’t go near the water till you learn how to swim” philosophy.

  12. K_bassuka Says:

    If you switch the bust QB1 you will find a WR3 and will also help you in keeping your job.

  13. SB~LV Says:

    He is looking for a whole lot more than that!

  14. Tbbucs3 Says:

    The Bucs have a perfect #3 WR on the team, he just happens to play running back.

    Jason Licht *(yet again) botched this running back situation by not signing a someone in the offseason….hey Jason Licht, no More skinny running backs from the PAC 12.

    It’s embarrassing how running backs seem to grow off trees in the NFL but all Licht can come up with is Rashad White, Ronald Jones, Peyton Barber and Jeremy McNichols.

    Leftwhich knew the Bucs couldn’t run worth a damn last year which is why Brady lead the league in pass attempts, Canales needs to get rid of this run first nonsense, Ken Walker is not on the Bucs.

  15. Buc4evr Says:

    We don’t need a new number three WR, we need a new HC.

  16. WyomingJoe Says:

    I think that the biggest problem we have on this team are the quitters on this site! I thought Eagles’ fans were the worst in the league, but you whiners are far more pathetic than they are. The team is 3-3 and the season is young. Trask got beat out by Baker and you guys just couldn’t accept it. You really do make me sick.

  17. TonySoprano Says:

    I’d like to see more plays of getting the ball in Palmers hands quickly. This offense desperately needs more speed.

    Even our short plays take long to develop, as if Baker needs to read through his full progression every time instead of just tossing it to the first option for an easy completion.

  18. TB bolts Says:

    WyomingJoe is fine with mediocrity as long as his guys playing. We beat the worst teams in the league early on when teams have no rhythm. Now we have 1 TD in two games after a game where the D gifted baker 3 possessions to work with and he did nothing with it. Two redzone chances and SHOCKINGLY bakes just couldn’t get it done. Endless excuses for no vision midfield. Wide open Godwin could’ve had his first TD of the season (a game winner at that) and bakes was staring right at him. We could be watching our 6’5 draft pick throwing 20-30 yard dimes all game like he did in FL. Instead were subjected to happy feet cant see scramblerfield. But man he sure has moxie.. and so much experience losing. Yeah crazy for us to want Trask in.. lets keep watching baker bake.

  19. Since76 Says:

    Doesn’t matter if you have two #1s. What would a #3 matter. If you don’t have someone who can throw the ball it’s kinda pointless. Just the sad truth right now. A bucs life.

  20. HC Grover Says:

    Every time he opens his yap……

  21. Tbbucs3 Says:

    “ We could be watching our 6’5 draft pick throwing 20-30 yard dimes all game like he did in FL”

    The only 20 yard dimes Trask is throwing is on the sidelines. The NFL does not care what Trask did 4 years ago by almost beating Bama. If college success translated to the NFL then Bryce Young wouldn’t be 0-6.

    At 3-4 with a first year OC who calls plays like Marcus Arroyo, it’s absurd to call for Bakers benching right now….get back to me if the Bucs drop 4 of the next 5 then you might have an argument.

  22. TB bolts Says:

    Clearly it does matter what he did in college.. since youre still mad he shredded your team at some point in the SEC… now before he’s even played a regular season snap you some how know he’ll have no success.. you either have a crystal ball or you hate the gators lol I think we all know the answer. Enjoy the bake show

  23. WyomingJoe Says:

    TBbucs3: Ouch! What Tb bolts said about Trask must have hit dead center. If you didn’t stink as a Bucs’ fan I’d feel sorry for you. Trask is right where he should be… all 6’5’” of him. He’s lucky he’s still #2.

  24. WyomingJoe Says:

    Sorry TBBUCS3: I meant to say that TBbolt was the one with the Baker-Hate Trask-loving problem, not you. My apologies …

  25. Beeej Says:

    Watched an all-22 of our 6 red-zone plats (all passes) Falcons had 4 on the line of scrimmage, but ended up rushing 3 and dropping 8 into a zone. On 5 of the plays, no one was open, the only complete was a dump-off to White on 3rd down.

    TWO of the 5, Feiler got beat, (THREE MAN RUSH) forcing Mayfield to get rid of the ball. On another of those 5, Campbell shoved Otton sideways into Godwin, which made him late for his timing route, nearly causing a pick.

    FINAL Buc play of the game, Godwin was open in the end zone for a second or two, Mayfield looked at him, apparently didn’t feel good about it, then got sacked

  26. Defense Rules Says:

    Got the impression from watching all 6 games that the Bucs were giving up way too many big plays (over 10 yards) and not getting enough of their own. Went back through the play-by-plays looking at explosive runs & passes for both teams, and it’s not as bad as I thought.

    o Bucs-Vikings (win) … Bucs: 0 runs – 5 passes … Vikings: 0 runs – 12 passes.
    o Bucs-Bears (win) … Bucs 3 runs – 7 passes … Bears: 0 runs – 7 passes.
    o Bucs-Eagles (loss) … Bucs 1 run – 5 passes … Eagles: 4 runs – 11 passes.
    o Bucs-Saints (win) … Bucs 4 runs – 8 passes … Saints: 1 run – 7 passes.
    o Bucs-Lions (loss) … Bucs 0 runs – 9 passes … Lions: 0 runs – 10 passes.
    o Bucs-Falcons (loss) … Bucs 1 run – 9 passes … Falcons: 3 runs – 8 passes.

    So other than against the Eagles & Falcons, Bucs have done reasonably good at limiting long, explosive runs. All together, we’ve given 8 runs of 10 yds or more (7 explosive runs in those 2 games), and our offense has 9 runs of 10 or more yds.

    Unfortunately we’ve been burned by long passes (those gaining 10 yds or more) 55 times in just 6 games. Not good. Fortunately our offense has completed passes of 10 yds or more a total of 43 times in 6 games. Almost all of the difference can be explained by the thrashing we took in the Eagles game it looks like.

  27. Tony Marks Says:

    “If Baker hit Palmer as many time as he’s missed or over threw him this season he would be rookie of the year. The guy is open a lot.”

    He’s also looking back when he shouldn’t (too soon) and so slowing his route and yeah I can show it to you in game film. I don’t see any reason to doubt Bowles on a rookie receiver not being a number 3 yet.

    On Ira’s podcast I think it was one of the joes that suggested our RB1 should be WR3 and I think it has serious merit. His hands are good and he is pretty nimble with change of direction when he is on the move even if he ain’t worth a dime stationary with the ball behind the line. Wish he could play tight end because not liking our TE at all.

  28. Tony Marks Says:

    “Clearly it does matter what he did in college.. since you are still mad he shredded your team at some point in the SEC”

    Sorry TBolt I haven’t followed College ball in a decade so no team to be mad about and I too think its ridiculous to claim college ball translates to The NFL automatically. Even worse for a SECOND ROUNDER. I happen to like Trask and the way he has handled himself. I am a baker guy but if we go to week 9 as suggested above and he is struggling and we are three down from an even
    record then I am all for Trask getting his shot.

    at that point Baker had his run. But now within a game or two of the division title in a weak division a change at Qb would just wreak of desperation and panic by a head coach. Baker is ranked 15 in the league right now ( pretty good for a QB you paid 4 million and with no RB and no WR3). Bowles would have to know Trask is a near top ten QB in the league to risk his job on him.

  29. Old Sombrero Says:

    BeeJ’s factual post matters more than ‘feelings’. Bunch of whining on this site about Baker based on feelings while ignoring facts. If he throws check down to White instead of a pick, they likely win game. But the clowns on this site would dismiss his check-down decisions as padding his stats. The QB is not responsible for the entire offense on every play. He’s playing as good as he can and is NOT the reason for straight losses. The margin for error on this team for him to succeed is thin. Can’t have an awful running game, poor safety (Neal) play, inconsistent Devin White, and/or time of possession failures in same game. Not even TB succeeds. Bucs run game is beyond awful. He (Baker) ain’t elite but he didn’t and shouldn’t have to be.

  30. David Says:

    Forget all these excuses. Lions lost to Ravens 38-6 the same team that kicked Bucs ass two weeks ago. Ravens had a better qb than Lions while we had Baker who is way worst than Goff.
    Baker is center of all the Bucs offensive issues and low scoring.

  31. Chad Stone Says:

    Should bring up David Moore. He has been a reliable 3rd option in Seattle behind Metcalf and Lockett. Comparable to the Bucs situation now with Evans and Godwin.

    Also, the Bucs could pick up Sterling Shepard, who has history with Baker, for a song from the Giants. I also think if you are going to do business with the Broncos, Samaje Perine might also be an option. Obviously, Derrick Henry would be the best option.

    Again, I don’t think Mayfield is the problem. I think surrounding him with a couple of familiar faces might help the running game and give him some level of comfort.

  32. Mike S Says:

    Tbbucs3 is drowning in Gator haterade.

    Tony Marks has a point, but Baker is trending downward. Let’s check in after the Thursday night game. 3 losses in a row and 4 of 5 would make him more difficult to defend.

    David – yep its the QB but Bowles, DC, Joe, Ira, et al all want to blame everyone else. That’s going to get the locker room pissed off at Mayfield.

  33. Mike S Says:

    “We could be watching our 6’5 draft pick throwing 20-30 yard dimes all game like he did in FL”


  34. Mike S Says:


  35. Bobby Says:

    Hey just thought of a really good idea. Bowles has a buddy, Bowles has 2 buddies that are offensive gurus. One of them os on the staff. Bucs have a guy named Tom Moore on the staff. Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t Tom Moore Peyton Manning’s OC!!! I say put Tom Moore in as OC right now. Then have Bowles rely on Bruce Arians consultation on week to week basis as well. Come on Bucs use your resources!!! Bruce Arians and Tom Moore are accessible for the Bucs!!! We need there imput on the offensive sode of the ball now!! BA was Peyton’s OC before Tom Moore was too. Come on Bucs we are a former Super Bowl winning front office and coaching staff snd the Bucs can’t figure this out!!???

  36. Bucs'n'Bucks Says:

    I thought this article was about finding a receiver. How did it turn to Baker-bashing? Here’s a thought. Use all three on alternate plays running go routes. If nothing else, they’ll wear down opposing corners and safeties. At some point, the defense will lay off leaving a man open for a long gain.

  37. unbelievable Says:

    It looked to me like Palmer let up on his route on at least one of those deep passes.

    But yea, if Baker hits those 2 shots, it’s a different ball game.

    Same with the tipped pass to Evans earlier.

    Some missed intermediate balls to Godwin as well…

    Baker did not play well.

  38. Vancouver Buc Says:

    ‘Todd Bowels seems like he’s still searching for himself’ should be the headline. Clueless in Tampa

  39. adam from ny Says:

    i for one thought palmer would be a much more prominent part of the offense after gage went down, and watching palmer go to work in preseason…

    i thought we had a potential star or something brewing in the pot…i’m a little underwhelmed by his impact or lack there of…

    why have i not seen a single slant thrown his way thru 6 games ?

    why aren’t balls being thrown down the seam to otton ?

    why isn’t evans being thrown any go up and get it 50/50 balls along the sidelines or toe tappers ?

    they gotta really open things up..with heavy wr sets…and white rolling down to the scrimmage out backfield and being that 4th receiver…he is often successful as a receiver in space by the sidelines – and thats where he jukes and gains his vision and production…there’s never anything for him up the gut, and he can’t seem to create through the limited space the OL gives him…

    i mean we’ve gone thru all this…and i for one am no professional or coach…so they must see it much more clearly…i’m sure they know it’s almost time to flip the script…

    man oh man….it’s two somewhat desperate teams facing off on thursday night…winner breathes a sigh of relief…losers get lambasted…

    right about now could be a moment to do a group chat call about offense with good ole BA

  40. bucschamp Says:

    search for a RB you fool

  41. Zoocomics Says:

    Speaking of looking for WR3… why have we not elevated David Moore? Not only a proven veteran WR, played in what is supposed to be a similar system coming out of Seattle. And although I realize it was only the preseason, but with Evans and Godwin barely playing a down, Moore flashed when given the opportunity.

    We have Palmer, Jarrett, and Thompkins fighting for WR3, for the most part, they’re all rookies. A change of pace veteran could be nice.

  42. 941Boltsfan Says:

    How about we find a RB1 who can take the rock on the hand off and get something that resembles a rushing attack. Go put Rachad in the Wr3 slot.

  43. Robert Says:

    Think qb change luck it won’t . Baker vs Brady only difference is picks
    Fans use to Brady . Brady wasn’t walking doors improve running game where
    They wanted keep same throw 40 hope no interception

  44. AJ Says:

    He needs to start using Devin in the slot more. He is one of the fastest players in the league. Let him loose with some quick slants and watch him eat

  45. DBS Says:

    He could do what NO does They tried it once with Godwin. He does have 2 QB’S. There is Palmer we all know Trask has shown he can hit for the big play.