Why Todd Bowles Didn’t Want To Blitz

November 8th, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

Joe knows that some Bucs fans were aggravated on top of their anger that the Bucs lost to Houston because they believe head coach Todd Bowles blew the game.

“Why didn’t he blitz?” the Angry Bucs Fan asks.

Well, Benjamin Solak of The Ringer has a window into Bowles’ mindset on Houston’s game-winning drive.

Per Solak, Bowles blitzed a bunch in the first half and man did his defense get shredded.

Stroud went 7 for 9 for 105 yards, 1 TD, and a sack. He didn’t have a completion under 10 yards.

And when Bowles didn’t blitz in the second half, Stroud ate the Bucs’ defense alive.

So it seems that no matter what Bowles tried, Stroud lit his defense up.

44 Responses to “Why Todd Bowles Didn’t Want To Blitz”

  1. adam from ny Says:

    sunday can’t come fast enough…

    to hopefully put this to bed

  2. SB Says:

    Joe’s, as usual Thank you so much for the awesome coverage!
    Also thanks to Carolina for drafting IMO the wrong QB!

  3. adam from ny Says:

    every post for the past couple days is getting all over coach…

    like lacing onto the dude…it’s wild…

    coach really needs to go out there and win one for the gipper 🙂

  4. adam from ny Says:


  5. Tye Says:

    Ancient defense!
    needs to evolve with the times!

  6. Joe Says:

    Joe’s, as usual Thank you so much for the awesome coverage!

    You are quite welcome.

    Also thanks to Carolina for drafting IMO the wrong QB!

    Whew, dodged a twice-a-year bullet for the next 15 years. Hee Hee. 🙂

  7. FortMyersDave Says:

    Bowles D gave up 75 yards not blitzing on the first play of the second half and about 365 yards or so for the whole half. Bowels’s adjustments were an epic fail.

  8. Rob Says:

    This is the same defense that cost us a trip to the Superbowl in which no one covered Cooper Kupp not once, but twice in a row. I don’t think I will ever forget that disasterous finish to our playoff run. The fact that we can’t rush the passer effectively has been obvious for this entire season and any good qb simply picks us apart in our dreaded zone coverage. We are just not that good, especially at the defensive end position which is vital in the nfl. After Bowles gets fired, the new coach, along with Licht, will need to pursue the best available pass rushing defensive ends wherever they can or we will continue to get destroyed. We lack the talent and apparently our coaching cannot squeeze any decent pass rush out of these paper warriors that are so great at practice. What a joke. No more season tickets for me and this crap show. Go Bucs!

  9. I remember 21 Says:

    Despite what bowles may think, blitzing is not the be all end all. This year especially we don’t even get a very good payoff when we do blitz. Our issues are more about the soft zone coverage on the WRs. We need more man to man and press coverages to give the Dline more time to get home. Instead we play 10 yards off and bail as soon as the ball is snapped. Remember that 3rd and 4ish vs the Bills where he blitzed the guy covering Diggs (their best WR by a country mile) and Allen tossed an easy pass to him for the first? Lol. What are we even doing? I just don’t understand the mindset. Whatever we’re doing isn’t working, but he stubbornly REFUSES to try something else. That’s a loser’s mindset.


  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Is he fired yet?

  11. adam from ny Says:

    since everyone is roasting the sh!t out of the bucs and bowles for days now, i will switch it up and give you a chill little story about the bucs before i crash……

    when i was a kid in say 5th grade…i had a friend, also named adam…smart kid, loved sports, and football…

    so he tells me if you write a letter to your favorite player on a team and send it to the team, they will give it to the player, and he will answer you and send you something back…

    i couldn’t believe it…it sounded too good to be true…

    so i gathered my info and wrote a letter to doug williams basically telling him he’s God’s gift…and like 2 months later i receive a first class yellow large envelope back from my idol doug williams…
    inside is an autographed and personalized 8×10 black and white photograph of doug…i couldn’t f’in believe it!…this was wild, a superstar who seemed large than life wrote me back and gifted me something…!!

    ok so now the wheels started turning – and i said let me try this again…next was ricky bell…so i tell ricky how much i love him in a letter, and boom, a month or so later ricky sends me a autographed pic like doug did…i was thrilled…!!

    next it was time to write the big boss man leroy selmon…and i did and again the autographed picture arrived…yippie!!

    after than i did cedric brown next…and jimmie giles …so i was building a collection as a 10 year old boy…

    this was around 1980…and it really worked…

    just an old school story someone might enjoy to take a break from the todd bowles roast-athon

  12. BrianBucs Says:

    So Todd Bowles, the longtime NFL defensive genius and mastermind couldn’t outsmart a 22 year old rookie QB?

  13. Onetrickpony Says:

    I remember a mule that my grandfather had that was just as stubborn

  14. Bucs Go Bucs Says:

    Do you think the defense will have a chance before King Henry in upcoming game?

    Go Bucs!

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Poor Secondary coverage didn’t just all of a sudden start in the Texans game. It’s been occurring every game. And I don’t think it’s that we’re playing zone too much, it’s more that we’re playing ‘sloppy zone’ that’s far too easy to defeat. Combine poor play by our Secondary with a woeful pass rush and any NFL QB can pick you apart.

    And ‘pick us apart’ they are. This season opposing teams are completing 68.7% of their passes (tied for a #24 ranking) for a whopping 2235 passing yards in only 8 games (ranking us #31; only the Chargers are worse). That gives us a Passing Yards per Attempt (YPA) of 7.4 … second-worst in the NFL, and our worst under Bowles by far. Compare that to Bowles previous 4 years here:

    o 2019: 61.4% completions (#8) … 6.1 YPA (#12)
    o 2020: 69.0% completions (#29) … 5.9 YPA (#8)
    o 2021: 65.4% completions (#15) … 5.6 YPA (#4)
    o 2022: 63.9% completions (#15) … 5.6 YPA (#6)
    o 2023: 68.7% completions (#24) … 7.4 YPA (#31)

    That’s a DRAMATIC falloff. This Secondary is getting roasted. It’s resulting in opponents converting 48.2% of their 3rd down opportunities, ranking us #31 in the league. We’ve been getting roasted all season long; it didn’t just start in the Houston game. The only thing that was saving us, prior to the Texans game, was that our Red Zone defense was ranked #2. The Secondary is playing meh, but it has to be the defensive scheme that’s mostly at fault.

  16. rickym Says:

    What ever happened to mixing blitzes, zone, man to man ? Try to keep the opposing offense off balance by being unpredictable. Playing a soft prevent defense for all of the second half and only one blitz? Nothing against Stroud but any NFL journeyman back-up could have put up those second half numbers. Some plays Stroud had 6 or 7 seconds to go through his progressions. No pass rush, No Blitz, Prevent zone coverage. What could go wrong?

  17. CHRISTOS Says:

    Some of us was critisizing the Defense after the 3-1 record, that they didnt play as good as the points allowed suggested. But i guess we were wrong, this Defense is a top Defense as the majority was sayng.
    The 4 man pass rush in not good and the coverage is not good. All year.
    I dont care if you play zone or man the coverage is not even average. You could see it even after the 3-1 start. When you watch the games you can see most of the catches the defender is at least 3 yards of the receiver. You can see there are not much contested catches, not much deflections, not much passes defended. Ypu could see that from the start, wins dont mask everything. At some point the way you play will catch up tp you.
    Looking forward to see a struggling Panthers offense and Young play the game of his life and people start saying what potential he has. Because our Defense does that.
    Go Bucs.

  18. Salary Cap Hell Says:

    Defense Rules , the numbers speak for themselves, the old bend but dont break isnt working!! Bowles obviosly appears overwhelmed at times. He will loose the locker room soon…. Time for upper Management to start planning for 2024, and future player developement. Time to get some reps in for Trask.

    o2019: 61.4% completions (#8) … 6.1 YPA (#12)
    o 2020: 69.0% completions (#29) … 5.9 YPA (#8)
    o 2021: 65.4% completions (#15) … 5.6 YPA (#4)
    o 2022: 63.9% completions (#15) … 5.6 YPA (#6)
    o 2023: 68.7% completions (#24) … 7.4 YPA (#31)

  19. Front Four Says:

    @Defense Rules, you had me up until you conclusion – it had to be scheme. Exactly what is that. I see the problem to be talent. Not enough good players and too many young players not ready for prime time.

  20. Cchead Says:

    If your not going to blitz on the final play, you should only rush 3 and have 8 guys stretched across the goal line. Not rush 4 with 4 only 5 yards behind the line and 4, 10 yards leaving open from the 5 yard line to the back of the end zone. SMH

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    A deeper look at the individual DBs highlights a number of personnel issues to go along with scheme issues. Both Davis AND Dean aren’t playing anywhere close to their career stats this year. Neal is a veritable disaster back there though.

    The Advanced Defensive Stats on Pro-Football-Reference show pretty clearly how each player is doing, career-wise and this year.

    o Davis: 6 games – 405 def snaps … 42 targets – 29 catches (69.0%) … 430 yards (Air-294/YAC-136) – 14.8 YPC … 3 TDs

    o Dean: 7 games – 366 def snaps … 34 targets – 24 catches (70.6%) … 260 yards (Air-172/YAC-88) – 10.8 YPC … 2 TDs

    o Izien: 8 games – 331 def snaps … 34 targets-28 catches (82.4%) … 224 yards (Air-85/YAC-139) – 8.0 YPC … 1 TD

    o Delaney: 8 games – 136 def snaps … 12 targets-5 catches (41.7%) … 59 yards (Air-22/YAC-37) – 11.8 YPC … 0 TD

    o McCollum: 8 games – 272 def snaps … 29 targets-17 catches (58.6%) … 235 yards (Air-104/YAC-131) – 8.1 YPC … 0 TD

    o Winfield: 8 games – 536 def snaps … 23 targets-11 catches (47.8%) … 174 yards (Air-105/YAC-69) – 15.8 YPC … 2 TD

    o Neal: 8 games – 414 def snaps … 28 targets – 27 catches (96.4%) … 534 yards (Air-332/YAC-202) – 19.8 YPC … 5 TDs.

    Both Davis & Dean are performing way behind their career averages in terms of completion percentages allowed; that has to be scheme. Winfield is balling out, but Neal has no business being on the active roster, much less starting. Both Delaney & McCollum are pleasant surprises this year IMO. Izien is a rookie and deserves to be cut a little slack, but he’s still a significant step down from our Nickel corners of the past (guys like Ronde Barber, Logan Ryan, SMB, etc).

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    FrontFour … ‘Not enough good players and too many young players not ready for prime time.’

    I agree with you on your conclusion (that’s the bottom-line major issue IMO), but players like Davis & Dean don’t just magically fall off a cliff after 4 & 5 years. Both of them are up around 70% completions allowed this year … BOTH of them. That’s TWO highly paid professionals, both who’ve won in Super Bowls, who’ve regressed considerably this year. The only thing that makes any sense to me is that they’re being used differently to compensate for weaknesses elsewhere in the Secondary. Not hard to figure out where those weaknesses in the Secondary are. It’s almost looking like we’re playing prevent defense 100% of the time.

  23. Just Saying Says:

    The only reason the defense looked like they were a good defense was that they were creating an unsustainable number of turnovers. It was a fool’s gold defense based mostly on Winfield playing at a HOF level. Everyone else is just getting trampled.

  24. fishhawkbuc Says:

    The Titans Rookie QB will also light up the Bucs D. I see many deep balls going over Carlton Davis’s head.

  25. StormyInFl Says:

    “adam from ny Says:
    November 8th, 2023 at 12:08 am
    every post for the past couple days is getting all over coach…

    like lacing onto the dude…it’s wild…

    coach really needs to go out there and win one for the gipper 🙂”

    Bowles has earned every bit of it. And it won’t stop until he’s gone, which cannot come soon enough).

    It’ll get even worse after he loses to Tennessee this weekend. In two weeks, this team will be 3-7 and the season will essentially be over.

  26. EricTheViking Says:

    All I know is it is asinine to call for Bowles firing at this point.


    He’s America’s HC!!!


    Lifetime contract please!!!


  27. Pewter Power Says:

    So we wanted picked in the trenches because it didn’t make a difference.

  28. Beej Says:

    If you can get to the QB without a blitz you’re doomed

  29. Beej Says:

    CD3: “Targeted 8 times, 7 catches, 112 yards (16.0 yds/rec), 3 TD’s. The one incompletion? A Tank Dell drop

  30. Nicholas Carlson Says:

    Part of what happened here is Stroud is really good.

    But I’m old enough to remember Bucs defenses that made good QBs look bad.

  31. bucnjim Says:

    I’m pretty sure most college safeties could step in and not give up 27 out of 28 targets. This is way worse than I thought!

  32. Jeff Says:

    Clueless Todd!

  33. Beeej Says:

    I’ve not seen much mentioned of the 3 (plays in a row?) defensive holding penalties on us in that game. Was splitting firewood, so I couldn’t tell if they were bogus, or coverage people who were beat and trying to save a touchdown?

  34. NE Fan Says:

    Why do many of you think what you’re seeing is new? This is an exact repeat of last season. The DB’s are way overrated and Bowles once again lacks the ability to make game time adjustments. There is no shame in it, he’s proven he is just not a good coach and BA is to blame for force feeding him down the Glazers throat. The blame has now switched to Licht and Glazers for not removing him last season. His philosophy is old school and obsolete.

  35. Andrew Fish Says:

    Stroud went 7 for 9 for 105 yards, 1 TD, and a sack.

    This is not Shredding a Defense. He should of kept playing tight coverage and blitzing.

  36. It's Corn Says:

    Blitz is empty calories on defense. Flashy results but against top QB’s it fails.

    And the team neglects being good at pass rush without an extra man joining the rush.

    Stroud picked up the blitzes and threw to open receivers time and again on Sunday. Anyone saying the Bucs should have blitzed MORE didn’t see the same game I did.

    They should have been coached better at playing zone… or stuck with man coverage.

  37. Sucat Says:

    Wow you guys are stupid if he blitzed we are screwed if he doesn’t blitz we were screwed obviously he was hoping we would hold up in coverage allot better but why is Joe the most negative thing to read we can’t fire Bowles if we do we are gone and someone said Todd doesn’t know how to adjust that’s bull crap every game after the script we are tough as he’ll on d because he adjusted our defense always gets eaten alive by a qb that can throw accurate and fast and Davis had the worst game ever but that was somehow bowels fault this place makes me sick I hate hate Joe bucsfan

  38. Joe Says:

    I hate hate Joe bucsfan

    Sincerely, thank you for reading. 🙂

  39. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Neal: 8 games – 414 def snaps … 28 targets – 27 catches (96.4%) … 534 yards (Air-332/YAC-202) – 19.8 YPC … 5 TDs.

    So if Neal just sat on the bench every game and the defense only played with 10 men we would have only allowed one more catch on the season…

    I don’t even know how to respond to that. A cardboard cutout would be more effective.

  40. Defense Rules Says:

    realistic-optimistic … Gut feel is that Neal doesn’t understand the nuances of Todd Bowles defense. Everything I’ve read in the past says that it’s quite complicated, especially on terminology. Maybe he’s just in over his head in this defense?

  41. NE Fan Says:

    Or Bowles is simply does not know his players and their abilities. The DB’s haven’t been great for years but they weren’t horrible, now they are? Are we to assume they all fell off the cliff together? Answer “NO”, it’s either the scheme, lack of understanding the scheme, execution or confusion, ALL goes back to coaching.

  42. JBBUCS_06 Says:

    Have heard/read that Bowles’ defense is complicated. Ryan Neal, Izien, Kancey – all 1st year in defense. That’s 50% of starting 2ndary that’s still learning. One thing I’ve always hated about our CBs, although they’re good (not great) is that they are long and rangy but do not have great feet / hips so speedy, quick moving WRs feast on our DBs. Dean, no matter his speed and long arms, doesn’t NOT make quick change of directions easily.

    Quick speedy receivers are our kryptonite. They can stick w/ the Mike Evans types, not the Tyreek Hills. Izien will be really good by Yr3 (barring any setbacks). He has good instincts, but there’s a reason he went from undrafted to Week 1 starter in the slot.

  43. bob in valrico Says:

    I think it would be worth trying Izien at safety To fix the Neal problem. He played mostly safety in college. He has decent speed and it just might help him to use it to make plays and give the corners support when needed. Bowles is trying to put square pegs in round holes by not letting Dean and Davis play man. All he accomplished is embarrassing himself and his players. Then let McCollum and Delaney split time at slot corner until one wins the job.

  44. teacherman777 Says:

    Players coaches get betrayed by players all the time.

    Lax practices during training camp.

    Lots of laughing on the practice field.

    NFL coaches should never spoil their players. Or pander to them.

    If they do, the coach with get “raheem morrissed”

    Which means he will be taken advantage of like a sweet teacher with cruel teenagers.