Hidden Culprit Of Poor Pass Defense: Crap Pass Rush

November 6th, 2023

Calls out bad pass rushing.

Joe mentioned this earlier today but now Todd Bowles is on record discussing it.

In his day-after presser, Bowles was pretty candid about what went wrong for the Bucs yesterday. It was a total collapse of his pass defense.

Bowles said it was defensive backs “busting.”

In recent weeks, Bowles has defended safety Ryan Neal. Today, Bowles didn’t even try to defend cornerback Carlton Davis. “He had a bad day.”

While many Bucs fans seem focused on Davis or Neal and the Bucs secondary, Bowles admitted to a hidden issue that has not escaped Joe’s glare.

Put the friggin’ quarterback on the GD ground!

Aside from Shaq Barrett and Calijah Kancey, Bowles said today, no one on the Bucs defense was putting any sort of heat on Houston rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. (Yes Joe knows Devin White had a sack and a pressure.)

On the NFL level, it doesn’t matter if a quarterback is a rookie (Stroud) or an old man (Tom Brady last year). Give an NFL quarterback time to throw and he’s liable to pick apart any defense.

Bowles said that has been an underlying issue for some time. The secondary is getting limited to no help from a pass rush.

It’s almost like they are being hung out to dry.

“I think in a four-man rush we didn’t have enough pressure at all,” Bowles said. “We didn’t blitz. We didn’t get that much pressure other than Shaq.

“Shaq got some pressure here and there and Kancey, he made some plays here and there. We have to get more pressure from everybody else. I don’t think that was good at all.”

Joe doesn’t know where Bowles is magically going to find a pass rush a week after the trade deadline. There are not too many Bruce Smiths walking the streets looking for work.

Since Jason Pierre-Paul got hurt in 2021, this team has simply sucked with a four-man pass rush, not a whole lot better than it was during the Lost Decade when it was outright criminal how rotten the pass rush was.

And it’s not like the Bucs have ignored pass rushers in team building. Since the Bucs won the Super Bowl in 2022, the Bucs have spent two first-round picks and a second-round pick on the front-seven.

Heck, even former No. 5 overall pick in 2019, Devin White, has greatly regressed over the last three years. Why is that?

At least Kancey, a rookie, looks promising.

At some point, you’d have to think Team Glazer is going to wonder out loud why their major investments in a critical area of the defense are going belly-up.

55 Responses to “Hidden Culprit Of Poor Pass Defense: Crap Pass Rush”

  1. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Shaq Barrett is becoming the new Gerald McCoy, will eventually get his stats but be invisible for much of the game.

  2. FlumundaCheese Says:

    If only some pass rushers like Montez Sweat or Chase Young had been available at the trade deadline…

  3. Onetrickpony Says:

    They have quit on Bowels,it’s always the players and never on the coaches

  4. SlyPirate Says:


    So, Bowles said the DL, OLB, and DBs all sucked. Don’t leave out the MLBs. LVD had a bad day, too. That’s the entire defense.

    Q: What does it tell you when the ENTIRE DEFENSE has a bad day?
    A: They quit on the coach. They quit on the team. They quit because they don’t believe in what you’re selling.

    Bowles is a leader without any followers. He’s a man on a walk.

  5. dmatt Says:

    We had the chance to get Frank Clark but Litch n Bowles are pleased with the likes of JTS, Devin White, Ryan Neal, JDean. I really believe CDavis will recover. 2020 Tyreek Hill embarrassed him n he redeemed himself afterwards.

  6. firethecannons Says:

    there is alot of season left and this team isnt suddenly gonna get good–lol! the pass rush is bad and will get worse and the secondary will too–soon davis will get a season ending injury

  7. firethecannons Says:

    why didnt we get montez sweat? please ask jason licht Joe

  8. NE Fan Says:

    One question, I know Stroud is good against the blitz so Bowles didn’t blitz but at what point do you say I have to at least try to blitz? They were torching the DB’s anyway and the pass rush wasn’t working, wouldn’t most coaches try something different?

  9. Badbuc Says:

    Keeping the linebackers deeper has allowed teams to dink and dunk at will. Buffalo for example completely destroyed us that way. The D can’t get to the QB in 1.5 seconds.

    Of course the amount of holding allowed on on D lineman is rediculous. I saw many examples of it in this game including holding by the facemask and collar of the shoulder pads.

  10. I remember 21 Says:

    The stink from the front seven hits both bowles & Licht. That’s a lot of whiffs on high draft picks for one area of the team. Jason just seems to have blind spots (front 7, RB, TE, I personally don’t love the drafting of small school OL guys and then switching their positions) that go beyond the regular “hits and misses” of the draft. He’s been here long enough, the Glazers need to press him on what he’s gonna do going forward to get it right with these position groups. Do we need new talent evaluators, a special assistant for one or more of those areas? And the lack of development, if not regression, of MANY defensive players sits with bowles. And the decision making on who to sign and let walk. You mean to tell me bowles had no say in who we kept and signed to his D? Nonsense. By my very rudimentary research, Dean & Neal are making a combined $14.2M this season while Mike Edwards & SMB are making $6.5M. I know that doesn’t take into account the full length of some of the contracts and I’m sure some cap implications, but I know which of those guys and which of those dollars I’d rather have on my team, and it’s apparently not the same ones as bowles.

  11. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Ndamakong Suh is available and started in the most recent Superbowl for Eagles, whats the matter Jason Licht , did you lose Suhs’ phone number?????

  12. Mike Johnson Says:

    This is the worst defeat in Bucs recent history. The last bad one I remember was long long ago when the Rams came from 30 points behind to beat us. This team will not recover. I am predicting a 5 game win season. I know Bowles has told his family to get ready and pack bags. He probably has already taken what he needs from his office at Buc one place. He might get fired after these next 2 losses.

  13. captivajim Says:

    its taking a looong time for some people to realize that bowles NOT even a decent HC –but ,at best , he’s an average DC.
    the ’21 playoff loss was 43 seconds collapse against a hurry-up offense. yesterday it was a 40 second collapse with the DC !!!!

  14. confido75 Says:

    What a shocker! Todd Bowles making more excuses. He knows the D is on him and the entire D quit on him. I still think he is the useful idiot temp HC until we get out of cap pergatory and can hire a qualified HC that actually has had success. However, if that is not the case and Licht actually thought this dude could be a HC he needs to go as well.

  15. Buccos Says:

    I am sure the Glazers already have feelers out for guys like Harbaugh at Michigan. He will probably be forced out and would make a great long term solution

  16. Durango 95 Says:

    “…we are Texans ready’


  17. Capt.Tim Says:

    So many wasted picks on The D-line.
    The team quit, other than Mayfield and a few young players.
    Bowles has lost this team.

    Only good thing this Season, is we have found a QB with a 97 QB rating.
    If he can do that, with the team in lay down mode- how good can Mayfield be with a competent Head Coach?

    Nothing else about this team is worth watching. Its an embarrassment.

  18. Hodad Says:

    Licht was crowing about the pass rushers he got in the draft. Last year he crowed about glass eater Goedeke, this year Mauch. They’re both marginal back ups, not good second round picks Licht had to move up to get. What a clown. Players are back ups handed jobs, Bowles himself was handed the job. Glazers have been handing out jobs, and money for what? A clown show. Reminds me, the circus is coming to town. Ring Bros. can skip Tampa. Circus is already at One Buc place.

  19. Jmarkbuc Says:

    It couldn’t help that Dean and Davis both suck

  20. Boss Says:

    “They have quit on Bowels,it’s always the players and never on the coaches”

    ding ding ding!!!

  21. Patrick Says:

    Trivia: Which NFL team lost to a team with no kicker?

    The 2023 Buccaneers!

    Another blooper stat for our franchise

  22. Popcorn Mike Says:

    Isn’t Bowles the damn HC and he’s just starting to say out loud what the problem is. This has been happening damn near all of 023 and he has not changed players or schemes. Come on man BS move or fired the Dline coach if you have to but do something beside coming up with excuses each week

  23. TonySoprano Says:

    3 of the top 5 leaders in receiving yards this week were Texans. When is the last time that has happened?

  24. David H. Says:

    Put Devin White up as an on-ball linebacker. He should rarely be in coverage but is quick and aggressive for edge rushing.

  25. Tye Says:

    A defense that allows the catch and then tackle is what let the Texans go the length of the field and score to win in seconds!

  26. garbs65 Says:

    Licht was never going to add any players at the trade deadline. He knows this is a crap year and why waste money they don’t really have. Bowles gets one more season regardless of the record this year…in my opinion. But, that has nothing to do with the lack of effort we have seen the past several games. That’s on Bowles and the players. I wish we were privy to the conversations Licht is having with Bowles and the Glazers. It may not be your MO to fire coaches mid-season, but I’d like to think someone is getting an azz chewing.

  27. WyomingJoe Says:

    I love when jerks on this site talk about the team quitting on their coaches. Why would they do that and jeopardize their future earnings? It’s because they didn’t quit, they just stunk it up yesterday. Get real. You guys sound like HS Cheerleaders, lol.

  28. Frank Pillow Says:

    Scheme some pressure, Coach! This is on YOU.

  29. T. McGee Says:

    Just checking the site each day to see if Bowles was fired.

  30. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist and Founder of UniqueModernArt.com Says:

    This headline from a Daily mail article sums up exactly why we loss yesterday:

    ‘Todd Bowles’ baffling clock error allowed CJ Stroud and the Texans to complete stunning comeback, as Houston rookie produces historic day vs. Buccaneers’

  31. StormyInFl Says:

    Not so hidden culprit – incompetent coaching.

  32. ElioT Says:

    Picking the wrong players.

    JTS & Hall are both complete busts.

    Jason Licht needs to be held accountable. There’s no defending him.

  33. BucsFan81 Says:

    Start sending everyone at the Damn QB blitz like crazy. I mean damn it can’t be any worse than watching wide open WR run all over the field. The secondary is constantly toast. Winfield might be even better if he was on a team where he didn’t have to cover the slack for rest of the losers in the secondary looking at you Ryan Neal.

  34. Buccos Says:

    Did anyone else see Bowles give Canales that fist bump after we scored at the end. It was like this knowing little smile like we did it we won. Not so fast my friend

  35. unbelievable Says:

    JTS is a bust. I’d rather see Diaby getting reps.

    Hall might be serviceable against the run, but a pass rusher he is not.

    Kancey looks like he should develop nicely at least. But yea, going 1 for 3 ain’t great. I’m also guessing Vea is still injured, because he’s been MIA in the pass rush dept as well, though he has had some nice run stuffs and TFLs.

    As for Shaq – he’s always been up and down when JPP wasn’t on the other end.

    @TonySoprano – isn’t that just embarrassing? 3 different guys went over 100 yards in a single game against us…

  36. unbelievable Says:

    @Buccos – they screwed up by taking the timeout and leaving so much time on the clock. I called it as soon as we scored that touchdown.

    75 yards and a touchdown in 41 seconds by a rookie QB on a team with a losing record… pathetic.

  37. Jeff Says:

    Clueless Todd!

  38. Dwayne Cone Says:

    Browns hold the 49er’s to 17 and give up 38 to the Colts a week or so later. It happens to the all.

    Without the Defense the Bucs would be sitting at 1 and 7 if not 0-8.

    Offense finally shows up and it’s the Defense sucks now? Even with that Shot Show Bucs defense is still giving up just over 20 a Game.
    Before yesterday the Offense had scored more than 20 twice. One was due to a two yard run by Barrett after a Pick and the other Bucs defense gave the ball back to the offense on 3 Takeaways.

    About 75 % of Bucs passes are less than 20 yards and 2/3rds of that are less than 10. I hear a lot of ‘taking what the Defense gives you’ but nothing of ‘imposing your will’. When the majority of your passes are shorts and screens it’s just as predictable as BL running on 1st and 2nd down. Won’t be long before this current increase in near picks turn into pick 6’s.

    Advantage Stroud has is he can see the whole field as the pocket is collapsing and is not in a hurry to check it down.

  39. Shane247 Says:

    Nothing new. All of these problems have existed since Bowles became DC. Wide receivers are always running wide a$$ open through our secondary. These CB’s have never heard of passes defensed because their plan is to hopefully make a tackle after the catch. Do you think it is just a coincidence they never get INTs? You’ve got to put yourself in the right position to get INTs. We never even get a hand on the ball.

  40. Erik The Viking Says:




    Bowles = Failure


  41. Texasbucsfan Says:

    Talk is cheap, action requires effort. Bowles talks about different issues on the team, but there is little effort or accountability on the team. Time to tank & go for a franchise quarterback. Time to clean up this mess!

  42. Bucs56 Says:

    He realizes maybe you can scheme or bring the extra Blitzer. Which falls on him.

  43. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Talk is cheep. Results requires effort. Players quit on their coaches in order to get new coaches in the nfl. Ala raiders, last week. What’s an owner to do, replace all players or get new coaches? Mark davis fired his coaches.
    Both corners here have quit on their coaches. As evidenced by their total lack of effort and inability to perform job task. Probably due to excessive watching of old rod toast jones videos on you tube.
    If the coaches don’t nip this at the bud, this team collapses from within. Guaranteed. Everybody looses. Imo we’re at that ‘smitty’ moment now. Next up 56-3 or new corners. Ones that go to class, are willing to perform job task adequately and play hard.

  44. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Now if the coaches scheme is telling the players to play 3 miles off coverages while in a hybrid faux zone, then replace those schemes or replace those coaches. I’m sick of seeing high dollar CB’s making rod toast jones look like all pro on this team.

  45. #99 the big fella Says:

    All the blame can not be put just on Bowles.. Jason light needs his fair share of blame. Jason had a chance at the trade deadline to help this team but he is to proud to admit his mistakes with the Hall and JTS that he will stand put and do nothing..Terrible coaching, Terrible management decisions..I say fire both of them and let’s start over now.

  46. Rod Munch Says:

    “I think in a four-man rush we didn’t have enough pressure at all,” Bowles said. “We didn’t blitz. ”


    That’s on you stupid. You’re supposed to be some genius who can bring pressure from anywhere – and in the first half you finally let White rush the passer and he gets you sack – then you get a 7 point lead and immediately go into a shell, stop with any type of pressure, then sit there with a stupid look on your face wondering why you’ve lost yet again.

    That’s on you.

  47. Rod Munch Says:

    #99 the big fella Says:
    November 6th, 2023 at 6:27 pm
    All the blame can not be put just on Bowles.. Jason light needs his fair share of blame. Jason had a chance at the trade deadline



    The Bucs have no cap space – and why would Licht trade anything of value? Licht isn’t dumb, he gave it his best shot considering the cap room and the fact we’re paying dues from the SB. In fact he gave Bowles way too much – he should have stripped the team down and started the rebuild already. But it’s clear this is not a playoff team, and even if it managed to get into the playoffs with 6 wins, if the NFC South is that bad, they’re going to get blown out in the 1st round.

    You don’t trade and give up anything to help this team – this team is one ride out until the end and see what happens. Who knows, maybe they go full Major League and suddenly win a bunch of games and go win a SB, in that case, Bowles gets a statue. But what is going to happen is the Bucs will go 5-12 or 6-11, and Bowles will get fired, and at #8 we’ll be picking a QB, hoping there isn’t a run on them before our pick.

  48. #99 the big fella Says:

    Rod, I agree that we have salary cap issues, but he’ll trade away Devin white, trade for draft picks.. I just hate that we didn’t do anything.. I hope like hell we get one of these young guns quarterbacks coming out..

  49. NE Fan Says:

    Why would you ever want to bring in the future franchise QB while Bowles is HC, he’ll ruin him. He single handily handed Tom Brady his only losing season in 23 years. Not an easy task.

  50. orlbucfan Says:

    Is Shaq Barrett #7? Cos he was MIA yesterday. JTS ( oh, the horror) played better than him.

  51. orlbucfan Says:

    NE Fan, do me a favor and jump into the nearest polluted lake. Yahoo.

  52. Crickett Baker Says:

    I’ve been asking where our pass rush is through the last 4 games, just about. It really showed up here. The players have all said they love TB, so that can’t be any reason. Jack of all trades, master of none. TB can’t wear 2 hats, and he is getting overwhelmed.

  53. Nate Says:

    These nfl ayers are becoming soft from.nfl rules and entitlements

  54. NE Fan Says:

    orlbuc, from the man that believes the refs loose every game for the Bucs. It must be tough to watch a game with you b@#ching about every penalty call.

  55. John Dixon Says:

    QB is doing fine with what he has to work with. Baker is one of the few bright spots right now. Told everyone from day one while they were downing Byron and thinking Bowles was the best choice to take over. Bowles has proven he cannot coach, but he will make a team worse with his other decisions as well. Should have ridden Byron for a year or two and see what he had or hired an outsider.