Markees Watts Getting The Same Treatment As YaYa Diaby Did

December 14th, 2023

Bucs edge rusher Markees Watts. (Photo courtesy

In the first, oh, 11 games, when the Bucs played rookie outside linebacker YaYa Diaby, things happened.

Week by week, despite limited snaps, it was growing clear that Diaby needed to be on the field more.

Against the 49ers, Diaby early on was playing dynamite, even getting a sack. Then, for nearly the entire second half, Diaby sat on the sidelines while Joe Tryon-Shoyinka pretty much sealed his fate as a swing-and-miss draft pick by doing nothing.

Joe nearly had a fit that Diaby wasn’t on the field more. Outrageous! Bucs coach Todd Bowles said in so many words that Diaby wasn’t enough of a well-rounded player to stick him back on the field.

At one point Bowles sort of flippantly said all Diaby was doing was making a few splash plays. Joe couldn’t believe it. Um, yeah! More than the team’s first-round pick of an outside linebacker could say!

Some plays are better than no plays!

If a guy is making plays, get him on the field. If he’s not a well-rounded player, experience will sure help more than picking his nose on the sideline and talking about booking a flight to the DR in January and scoping chicks in the stands.

Diaby was finally named a starter in the first game after the loss to San Francisco, at Indianapolis. Interestingly, it seems the Bucs started playing better about that time. Funny how that works, huh?

It seems rookie pass rusher Markees Watts is getting the Diaby treatment. This kid Watts, when he is on the field, things happen.

Against Tennessee, he made a fantastic stop on a screen pass to the right sideline, right in front of the Bucs’ bench. He also had a quarterback hit against Will Levis that forced Levis into a terrible wounded duck pass that was picked by Antoine Winfield, Jr.

Since that Tennessee game, Watts has had just 13 snaps. If you believe the PFF tribe, Watts has had five quarterback pressures, four quarterback hurries and a quarterback hit. Pro-Football-Reference has far more modest stats for Watts in 34 snaps.

Still, the way he played against Tennessee, Joe would find ways to get this Watts on the field. But Bowles is not Joe. Why hasn’t he played more? He’s still learning, Bowles said.

“He’s got to continue to get acclimated to the system,” Bowles said. “The mental errors have got to cut down and we’ve got to be comfortable just calling anything when he’s out there – we just can’t call certain things,” Bowles said.

“He’s getting used to that part of it. That takes a little bit of time.”

The thing Joe cannot figure out is why can’t Bowles find a way to get Watts on the field for obvious pass-rushing situations?

With the third-worst pass defense in the NFL, you cannot tell Joe the Bucs defense will be that much worse by putting a young pass rusher on the field who makes things happen.

Does Bowles really believe JTS is a better option? JTS has morphed into an expensive lawn chair on the field.

31 Responses to “Markees Watts Getting The Same Treatment As YaYa Diaby Did”

  1. Terry Phillips Says:

    Joe, I am in total agreement. Time to play the players that make plays, not the ones that are supposed to make plays.

    Taking it a step further. KJ Britt is playing better LB than Devin White at this time. Let KJ work beside Lavonte and lets try Devin White as a pure pass rusher, let him use his speed and ball hawking skills in a more specific way. Maybe we will see addition by subtraction!

  2. HC Grover Says:

    He should just call …get the QB!

  3. Not Says:

    TB must go ! Which means Bucs must lose !
    As was mentioned before , Bowles is destroying this pass first roster. If he’s not fired this year he will totally destroy the team over next 1-2 years.
    Then new coach will have to totally rebuild team again.
    Looking at a good 5 years for any chance if TB doesn’t get canned at the end of season.

  4. adam from ny Says:

    i said it a couple weeks ago…i was like where the f is watts…???

    the coaching bible that bowles subscribes to – which the league has obviously moved past – has him not letting youngsters or rookies pop into the rotation, even if it’s warranted

  5. BUCS SQUAT Says:

    Isnt that what coaches do they teach people like Watts How to do what they say he’s lacking Coach Bowles will soon be a great used car salesman

  6. dmatt Says:

    No say Watts allow Desmond Ridder to stiff arm him for a td that should’ve been a sure lost of yardage or no gain, but most certainly not a td. One of many embarrassing moments for JTS since his 3 yrs in the league. He’s demonstrated nothing but a weekly lack of performance. Let’s just cut our losses with him, now! We just tried out several players yesterday n one happens to be a former DE with the University of Pitt, Deslin Alexandre who was on the starting front line with Calijah Kancey in 2022. While watching film study of Calijah Kancey after our 2023 draft, I couldn’t help from noticing Deslin Alexandre consistently making plays all over the field. Any updates on the guy?

  7. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    I believe many coaches don’t know who their better players are on their rosters in spite of themselves. I see it all the time.
    The really good coaches do not have this problem.
    It manifest itself in many different ways.
    Like if a coach isn’t proficient in time clock management.
    If a coach gives the big money contracts to substandard performers…
    If the minor details fall way short in games.
    Lots of bad penalties.
    Things like that are sure fire indicators…
    Because if a fish stinks at the head, the fish stinks at the tail.

  8. Leopold Stotch Says:

    I just get more and more disappointed the more I read about Bowles. His tush backwards philosophy and game plans. It’s so aggravating.

  9. Dew Says:

    Boyles just makes crap up when he doesn’t have an answer.

  10. ATLBuc Says:

    We all know Bowles doesn’t mind playing less talented players because he’s playing Baker instead of Trask.

  11. Front Four Says:

    The other guy not making plays is Shaq. I get he’s gotten a pass with his injury and tragic offseason. But he just doesn’t make plays anymore. Diaby should start along with Watts. I’ve heard players talk about the complexity of the defense so if these guys have been slow to pick it up I understand taking more time to make the transition. JTS AND Shaq have been big disappointments.

  12. A Bucs Fan Says:

    It’s the complex coverages he calls. It was nice when it worked but at this point a lot of Bowles exotic looks have been scouted on tape and the disguises are outdated, and being beaten because players are playing out of position to trick other team. He needs to simplify the defense and trust the talent on the field. His play calling is getting the Bucs beat more than the players are.

  13. TDTB Says:

    Perhaps if the Bucs had a full time DC, that person would ensure that Watts was trained/taught over the last nine months.

  14. Lt. Dan Says:

    “Since that Tennessee game, Watts has had just 13 snaps.” More evidence that Bowles is NOT a defensive genius.

  15. garro Says:

    Makes Zero sense to me Joe. Both of these guys earned more snaps…period!
    Bowles continues to make statements contrary to what we all see from the snap he grudgingly gives these guys and it really has got to undermine his crdibility with the rest of the team. Not to mention the fans and the media.

    One has to wonder what the Glazers think about this kind of stuff from Bowles.

    Go Bucs!

  16. BucU Says:

    Just another Todd Bowles blunder. And people wonder why we want him gone yesterday.

  17. dmatt Says:

    If the defense calls are that complex, then improvise to simplicity, that’s what the great ones would do. I just can believe the number of open receivers left wide open with nothing but real estate between them n the defender due to busted coverage. That’s on the coach. Cooper Kupp exposed this defense back in the playoff game in Jan 2022. I agree,Shaq has become an afterthought. He has lost it. ANelson need one on one coaching, he doesn’t know how to use his physical attributes. Keep Lavonte, Winfield, n Will Ghoston as mentors for the young guns on defense. I’d let JDean,DWhite,KVaughn,n Mayfield walk after the season. At this point,we know what Mayfield is. He isn’t a guy you can count on to build a team around. He is an average at best quarterback who is on the brink of becoming a backup. Trask should be given an opportunity within the last 4 games.

  18. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Bowles has lost his touch as a defensive coach now that he is head coach. He needs to step down from this experiment and stay in his lane. This is the second failed attempt as head coach and something the Bucs owners should not take lightly in the off season.

  19. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I actually like the idea of making players earn more playing time. We don’t know how much of a playbook deficit the kids has.

  20. BucanerJim Says:

    Coach Bowles is the one, who is playbook deficient.

    All season our secondary defenders play soft, giving up way to many completions. Ridder 347 yds?… while our receivers are covered up? Its the defense’s version of running it up the middle first and second downs.

  21. orlbucfan Says:

    I think I’ll trust Bowles on grading D players than a bunch of air headed loudmouths on here. Gotta admit, the comedy/commenting is entertaining. Man, what HAS happened to Shaq Barrett??? There’s going to be plenty of dead wood to cut which will help Licht give much-deserved raises to LVD and ME13.

  22. StormyInFl Says:

    “orlbucfan Says:
    December 14th, 2023 at 8:16 am
    I think I’ll trust Bowles on grading D players than a bunch of air headed loudmouths on here. Gotta admit, the comedy/commenting is entertaining. Man, what HAS happened to Shaq Barrett??? There’s going to be plenty of dead wood to cut which will help Licht give much-deserved raises to LVD and ME13.”

    The eyes don’t lie. JTS has been pretty much a joke all season long. Yet he still gets significant playing time. Why? The guy gets easily taken out of every play he’s in on. Has shown nothing. Shaq has been disappointing too, so I don’t know why you can’t give some of his snaps to Watts. The only LB who started the year and is producing is Lavonte David.

  23. Buc50 Says:

    JTS: Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane

  24. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Put your young players on the field. If they sh** the bed, take em out. I don’t like a coach that forces players to fit the scheme. Build your scheme around the player’s strengths. And you won’t know their strengths without putting them into live games.

  25. Conner50 Says:

    Bowles is a joke. “Cant call certain plays” you actually can and im sure it would work better than having jts unblocked and still not get the qb. Like last week against Ridder. But yet JTS is still on the field on Sundays as is Ryan Neal and he blows. Merriweather would be an improvement

  26. Conner50 Says:

    He’s so ignorant, his job is on the line and yet he still don’t make changes in the game plan to better the team. Keep playing guys who are blowing coverage and can’t make the tackles. Throw some of them young guys in, the roster needs a lot of changes after the season anyhow so time to see what we got in a lot of the young bucs

  27. Thundersack Says:

    I have been watching the games and paying particular attention to when Watts is in the game. Albeit, it is not much. He is a one trick pony at this time as a great pass rusher. He is constantly getting displaced to the ground (knocked off of his feet) on runs and sometimes on pass rushes.

    On top of that Bowles says he doesn’t fully understand the defense?

    He does need to play more, but lets not lose sight that he has just made a few splash plays so far. File under: Not Enough Info

  28. Buc4evr Says:

    JTS was supposed to come up on the outside and cover Ridder in case of a run. Instead JTS decided to become a “lawn chair” and let Ridder skate by for an easy TD. JTS, could have forced the Falcons into FG situation instead of an easy TD. I’ll take a guy like Watts any day of the week even if he is still learning over JTS.

  29. TheMIGHTYVH Says:

    JTS has no use on the field. Ridder abused him on his TD last Sunday.

  30. unbelievable Says:

    No come on guys, we just have to trust Todd Bowles and his hidden genius ways.

    After all, he’s basically the Lebron James of coaches, according to some dummy around here named Gipper

  31. Jake Says:

    I think the only thing Bowles is good for is excuses this year. He was given a a pretty good team last year and supposedly Byron was the problem. This year what, only a handful know the system now at the end of the season?
    Maybe the bucs need to put up a help wanted sign for a new coach, might find
    someone who works on what’s going on with the team and now reading a book
    about the greatest excuses.