Todd Bowles Explains How Calijah Kancey Is Growing Up

December 4th, 2023

Beastly rookie season.

Joe often hears that in the NFL once the calendar turns to December, rookies who start are no longer rookies. They’ve played in enough games to know what they are doing.

Bucs first-round pick Calijah Kancey is developing into one helluva defensive tackle. He got a late start missing virtually all of training camp with a calf injury, and all of the worthless preseason and most of the first four games to begin the regular season.

Kancey had a handful of plays in the season-opener at Minnesota but reaggravated his calf in and didn’t see the field again until the Detroit home game in October.

So given his aborted start, Joe isn’t sure the NFL cliché on rookies applies to Kancey. Still, Kancey is becoming a beast and Bucs coach Todd Bowles spoke on that today in his day-after presser.

“He’s figuring out how they try to block them, you know, that’s big for him,” Bowles said. “Usually, you just do your job when you come in, try to learn the scheme. Once you learn the scheme, then you start adding your play to it, becoming more explosive, because he is seeing everything faster. That’s really helping him out a lot.”

This guy Kancey is going to be a terror for quarterbacks, mostly from the inside. He had two quarterback hits yesterday.

Kancey has 10 tackles for loss this season, third among all rookies. And remember, he’s only played in nine games.

Combine Kancey’s numbers with fellow rookie YaYa Diaby, that’s two key pieces to the defensive line puzzle the Bucs added in the draft. Guys who should be with the Bucs for years.

31 Responses to “Todd Bowles Explains How Calijah Kancey Is Growing Up”

  1. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    This feels like ground hog’s day……how JTS was all hyped up after he was drafted……and look at JTS now……

    I hope this Kancey kid is different……like game changing different. If he’s atleast 50% better than GMC…..then I think we struck gold in the draft!!!!

  2. Capt.Tim Says:

    Calijah is strong and explosive.
    And he wants it bad.
    But hes 5’10”, 280lbs.
    Playing at that size, he will always be over matched.
    Hope Im wrong, but injuries may be frequent, and soon cumulative.

    Thats just too small to play Dline in the NFL.
    again, I hope Im wrong, and the young man has a great career.

    But in Vegas, where the BS stops, when the cash drops- Id bet against it.

  3. Beeej Says:

    Is he more a DT or a DE?

  4. zzbuc Says:

    You can definitely see this kids potential…..
    Logan Hall is doing better too

  5. NYbucsfan Says:

    What does Todd Bowles know? #FireTodd

  6. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ Capt Tim

    No way a DT in the NFL is 5’10……that’s way too tiny for an NFL DT….he’s atleast gotta be 6’0 or taller.

  7. Joe Says:

    Is he more a DT or a DE?

    Definetly DT, but the Bucs do use him on the edge occasionally

  8. Andrew Fish Says:

    would love to see the Bucs go back to using a 4-3 defense again. Kancey, Vea, Yaya with one more decent DE would be fun to watch.

  9. DoooshLaRue Says:

    6’ 1’’
    281 lbs
    30 5/8’’
    9 1/8’’

  10. Marine Buc Says:

    Props to our GM…

    Kancey, Mauch and Diabi all appear to be very solid picks.

    I know Mauch has struggled this season but he is developing nicely and after a full off-season he will add some much needed size and strength.

  11. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Kancey is not too small for the modern NFL. In fact he is the same size as Aaron Donald (Donald is actually leaner at 260-265). Donald just has longer arms and insane strength. Kancey has flashed but he’s got a long way to go before becoming a consistent force. Some of his play has been encouraging especially as a pass rusher but he still gets washed in the run game too much for my liking. It’s basically he either penetration on the line or gets washed out. No consistency yet.

  12. Since76 Says:

    Kancey looks like a keeper. I think the defense played well enough to be 2 games over .500 this year. The D would look even better had the offense played up to it’s talent level. The offense is playing under it’s talent level due to that most important position Qb. Hopefully we correct that in the off season. If not we get more of the same. Which is less.

  13. Voice of Truth Says:

    His speed is just special – give him some more time and scheme him correctly

  14. StickinUp4Centers Says:

    It seemed like he was blowing up a guard on every play.

  15. HC Grover Says:

    I have had enough of Bowles and his statemnts. No longer interested in anything he says. Just irritating.

  16. Buccos Says:

    Kancey is about the same size as Warren Sapp. I met Sapp and shook his hand and I don’t think he is 6’ tall. Maybe 5’11”

  17. Mike Johnson Says:

    My big question for the week is..Can we put it all together and beat the Falcons in Atlanta come Sunday/ We need to do this desperately.

  18. CAbucsfan Says:

    Kancey is the same size as Aaron Donald and seems to have the same motor, he’s not too small for the job, dude is explosive.

  19. WiseCrack Says:

    If we had this D with Jaymiss, its likely we would have been able to Win-some more games.

    In fact, Jaymiss would not have been forced to put the ball up in desperation mode as often as he did. Which would have meant less INTS.

    Baker is the MAIN Problem with this team HANDS DOWN. Not the coaching, not the D and most certainly not the WRs (as the Baker apologist would have you believe).


  20. Darin Says:

    I’d rather hear from Calijah about how w bowels is not growing up.

  21. Tony Marks Says:

    if only he played corner

  22. Tony Marks Says:

    WiseCrack Says:
    December 4th, 2023 at 6:22 pm
    If we had this D with Jaymiss, its likely we would have been able to Win-some more games.


    Munsch you don’t have to make up other usernames to post under. You already shot this username’s rep with

    “Not the coaching, not the D”

    yeah uh-huh both those two are great…lolololol

  23. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Chop Robinson would look good paired with Calijah

  24. Usfbuc Says:

    Looking at his draft profile he is almost a carbon copy of Warren Sapp’s draft profile.

  25. adam from ny Says:

    he’s explosive and slippery…

    i’ve never seen a slippery DT…but the dude is slippery af…

    yeah he slips away from OTs and is in the backfield fast

  26. Dave Pear Says:

    Whoever the next coach is will be able to develop him better, faster.

  27. Dave Pear Says:

    Too bad Todd has the credibility of Rich Kotite.

  28. John Cecilia Says:

    Teams double team Kancey a lot, if he have a threat at the edge they won’t be able to double both.

  29. garro Says:

    Not listening to dead man walking BS anymore. 7 snaps for Watts Sunday!

    Go Bucs!

  30. Capt. Tim Says:

    Pittsburgh listed him at 5’10”, 280lbs.
    Ive seen him close enough. 5’10.
    Warren Sapp played 20 years ago, when Offensive centers and guards werent all 6’5”, 320lbs like they are today.

    Arron Donald is unique. Like the guard we signed from Minnesota many years ago. I think it was John Randle. Also a 5’10” destroyer.

    Kancey may turn out like that. I hope so

  31. teacherman777 Says:

    You keep forgetting to mention Izien in this draft class.

    We got 4 starters. That’s insane.

    Izien- starting DB. Nickle plays more than 50% of the snaps.

    Mauch. Goedeke and Mauch are starting to merge and play as 1.

    I watched them closely against the Panthers. They are two tough guys playing together.

    I’m happy they can grow together.

    Defensive Ends are becoming scared of Goedeke. He hits people hard. Again and again and again.

    Burns thought he was punching Goedeke.

    Mauch and Goedeke are becoming brothers in arms. Literally.

    Great picks Licht.

    They are ornery and smart!

    We just need a first round center next year to complete our line.

    Extend Stinnie. He’s doing great!