Todd Bowles Believes Jordan Whitehead Is A Better Player

May 24th, 2024

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

You can’t say safety Jordan Whitehead wasn’t an impact player with Tampa Bay when he left the Bucs as a free agent after the 2021 season.

He packed a wallop with his physical hits and his impact could best be summed up in the NFC Championship game when he forced a fumble with a bone-rattling hit that set up a Bucs third-quarter touchdown.

How key was that hit? Well, the Bucs won by five. So yeah, that forced fumble arguably won the game and set up the Bucs to win the Super Bowl two weeks later.

Whitehead believes he’s a more versatile safety after two years on the Jets’ elite defense. Bucs coach Todd Bowles didn’t exactly disagree. In a roundabout way, Bowles thinks Whitehead is a better now than when he last played for the Bucs.

“Jordan has been physical when he was here,” Bowles said. “We watched him in New York and he played the same role there. He’s a lot more vocal and a lot more experienced than he was when he left here.

“Him and ‘Win’ [Antoine Winfield] had a great relationship when they were here – they still have one right now. I’m looking for that one to grow.

“I think it’ll help the communication on defense. He was one of our vocal leaders back then. The more people will talk, the better we will be.”

Earlier this offseason, safeties coach Nick Rapone said he thought Whitehead was used in New York to play deeper at safety. Whitehead confirmed that this week when he said Bowles used him more in the box.

Whitehead is damn durable. He’s missed six regular season games in his six NFL seasons, impressive for his hard-hitting style.

If that trend keeps up, as Joe wrote yesterday, opponents will have trouble throwing down the middle on the Bucs.

38 Responses to “Todd Bowles Believes Jordan Whitehead Is A Better Player”


    Bucs letting him go was a big mistake.

  2. Boss Says:

    that should be one intense duo.

  3. JimBobBuc Says:

    With Win and Whitehead at safety I hope Bowles will cut way back on the Charmin zone. With some pressure up front, we should get more pics.

  4. Dave Pear Says:

    The reason is simple and documented. Robert Saleh simplified his role and actually had him playing safety. Crazy concept I know. Instead of safety, OLB, ILB, edge and nickel all in the span of one drive.

  5. ModHairKen Says:

    If he played more in the box here, how did he have more tackles in NY?

  6. Dave Pear Says:

    If the Bucs take care of business and win against inferior personnel, Bucs should start 2-1. Will love to read the nozzles of doich explaining how Atlanta is a dark horse for the Super Bowl.

  7. Dude Says:

    “If he played more in the box here, how did he have more tackles in NY?”

    Whitehead was a full-time starter with NYJ, he split reps here with Mike Edwards and NYJ didn’t have a LVD soaking up all tackles in the box in front of Jordan.

    I’m expecting he & Antoine to be like the Bash Bros for us minus the HGH or Emilio Estavez.

    And it’s about damn time, can’t wait to see Whitehead fold somebody up like an easel. Might have to get that #3 jersey this year

  8. BillyBucco Says:

    Dave Pear
    Jeff Ulbrich is the Defensive Coordinator for the Jets not Saleh.
    He has been since 2021. Saleh is not the defensive coordinator so he didn’t have Whitehead doing anything.
    Once again your football knowledge is sub par.
    But you seem to think everything gets called by the HC so who knows.

  9. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Whitehead is probably better now, and much better than Ryan Neal. I expect the Bucs defense to be better this year, and they were pretty good last year, IMHO.

  10. TomBucsFan Says:

    they should’ve let edwards go and kept Whitehead

  11. Dave Pear Says:

    You have to be generationally stupid to not recognize that the head coach is responsible and accountable for the whole team. Saleh is a defensive guy and was smart enough to hire a full time DC rather than doing both like the Toddster. It’s his scheme, his gameplan, his coordinators then implement and Saleh oversees it. Consequently Whitehead had his best season.

    It’s too much to expect for an inbred fan to understand that the head coach runs the team. Good golly, tards gonna tard.

  12. BA’s Red Ren Says:

    I love Jordan Whitehead. And I’m not ashamed to say it.

  13. Eckwood Says:

    Sounds like he got coached up outside the confines of one buc place !!

  14. PSL Bob Says:

    I was really pissed when we let him go. He was a thumper and that fumble Joe referenced was one of many key plays he made in our SB run. With Winfield and Whitehead back there it should bring back memories of John Lynch when he came up to punish ball carriers, RB and WR alike. Can’t wait to see what the pair can do this year. Hopefully the two Ws will bring will bring us Ws in 2024. GO BUCS!

  15. geno711 Says:

    Before all the Bucs fans crap on the Bucs for letting Whitehead go and acting like he became a superior player with the Jets, well…

    Well, in 2022 he negotiated a 2-year contract with the Jets averaging 7.25 million per year. It was to pay him a total of $14.5 million.

    Instead of being one of the Aaron Rodgers salary cap hits in 2023, he renegotiated his contract and took less money for the 2023 year.

    Instead of making 14.5 million as originally signed by the Jets, he made a total of 12.75 million in the two years. Essentially, taking a cut of 1.75 million with the Jets in his 2nd season. In fact, he had already been paid over 10 million for his time with the Jets in guaranteed money.

    If he and his agent thought there were a bunch of teams lining up for him in 2023, I doubt he takes the cut. For Pete’s sake, if he was cut in 2023, he would have only had to make up about 2.7 million from another team in 2023 to be even.

    None of this makes him a bad player. But to suggest that he became a top notch because of the Jets coaching, just is a false narrative. Personally, if he was a great player, then the dude would have signed for much more.

    Let’s hope he is a great player. Mostly likely, he is just a player that fits our system well and will be a good player in our system.

  16. geno711 Says:

    Whitehead Snap Counts

    2023 1078
    2022 1130
    2021 922
    2020 1119

    Other stats according to PFF
    2023 4 int, 74 tackles, 20 completions in 32 targets
    2022 2 int, 70 tackles, 22 completions in 34 targets
    2021 2 int, 66 tackles, 33 completions in 48 targets
    2020 2 int, 64 tackles, 19 completions in 27 targets

    Pretty much looks like the same guy to me between the Jets and Bucs. But I will defer to guys that watched all 22 tape of him or other film of him while he was with the Jets.

  17. Dude Says:

    “None of this makes him a bad player. But to suggest that he became a top notch because of the Jets coaching, just is a false narrative. Personally, if he was a great player, then the dude would have signed for much more.”


  18. Usfbuc Says:

    We was good for us before, good with the Jets, and hope he is good for us again

  19. Booger Says:

    Yeah, I never saw this drastic difference in him as a Jet that a lot of people seem to be representing. Other than just in that ‘one game’ where he had THREE of his 4-total INT’s last season. He’s a nice player. Probably, a slightly above average starter. But, with who he replaces he’s gonna ‘look like’ a HOF’er. A solid pick-up for the Bucs. And, I don’t know about all that… That we should’ve kept him over Mike Edwards! Mike Edwards was a HELLUVA Player who made A LOT of big-time clutch plays for us every time we needed ‘em. I might be just a little biased since I said that he’d be playing on SUNDAYS, after seeing him in about his first or second game as a starter at Kentucky… But, I would rather have him than Whitehead. I believe y’all are way overstating and overblowing Whitehead’s career. Hopefully, he takes it to the next level this season… He should now be entering his PRIME.

  20. Marine Buc Says:

    Whitehead is a huge upgrade over Ryan Neal.

    Just one of the reasons I believe our defense will be better than last year’s defense…

    Let’s hope Hall, Zyon, Kancey, Diaby, JTS can all improve on last year’s performance.

  21. Dave Pear Says:

    We were at our best when we had all 3. I don’t know why Bowels didn’t play three safeties more often but Todd is a defensive masturmind so, defer to the Toddster.

  22. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Dave Pear: The Bucs only had 1 good Safety last year, AWJ. Who are the other 2 you would’ve played?

  23. Joseph C Simmons Says:

    Whitehead is damn durable. He’s missed six regular season games in his six NFL seasons, impressive for his hard-hitting style.


    I like him a lot, but he’s a small dude that hits REALLY hard. That won’t last forever. Ask Bob Sanders.

  24. BucU Says:

    JW is a beast. He’s happy to be home again and he and AW3 are gonna be terrors in the box or in the secondary.

  25. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Whitehead had 2 forced fumbles in that game. 1 we recovered. The dude can ball.

  26. lambchop Says:

    I was thinking about this and how it would be funny to send guys on our team with potential to intern on another team with different schemes and bring them back. LOL.

    Too bad the NFL doesn’t have a real farm system any more. UFL is not it. NFL Europe was the closest thing, but you can’t have a successful B-league in Europe. It needs to be in the US.

    Instead of expanding the NFL season, why not invest in a B-league? The obvious answer is Ad revenue and media deals. It just won’t garner as much money as expanding the Golden Goose (NFL).

  27. Dave Pear Says:

    Hoe in Mishigun – idjut – I was talking about when we had Edwards Whitehead and Antoine. Maybe you should read preceding posts if you can read.

  28. lambchop Says:

    I wonder what the prospect of Oklahoma, Nebraska, or Virginia getting an NFL team are. Oklahoma and Nebraska has had a good college football base. Tons of football fans there. Virginia makes sense as it would create a rivalry with the Commandos.

  29. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Dave Pear: Thank you for sharing your vast knowledge! You’re very wise and should replace Todd Bowles, Jason Licht, and the Glazers.

  30. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Oh, and Dave Pear…Remember when you said the Bucs would have to score 30+ points a game to win in 2024 in one of your recent comments? I’m holding you to that this year, so plan on another name change. Hahaha

  31. James Willie Says:

    We need to stop talking about how it was a mistake to let him go. HE’S BACK! Look forward, not back. This is going to be special.

  32. Dave Pear Says:

    Hoe from Mushgam – Bucs are gonna need 30ppg to win 10 games. That’s a solid prediction. And if you think anyone forgets you said Tom Brady was washed, you are mistaken and you have zero credibility as anything other than a mouth breathing brain stem artifact. Carry on. Biotechotch.

  33. heyjude Says:

    Lambshop – “I wonder what the prospect of Oklahoma, Nebraska, or Virginia getting an NFL team are?”

    Good point. Thinking Oklahoma City as definitely being one. Unsure about Nebraska and Virginia. There are the Commanders in DC and Nebraska may not have the market for it. Same for Iowa. There are other solid reasons why Alabama, Kentucky, and Mississippi don’t have an NFL teams.

    I was thinking Austin, San Antonio, and Salt Lake City as possibilities too. My own opinion has always been if the NFL expands to two new teams, they both should be black NFL owners. It’s way past time for a change.

  34. FrontFour Says:

    Just glad we got him back.

  35. Buca Dawg Says:

    The BUCS are gonna be very good at the backend Whitehead, W I N , add in the mix Smith the rookie from GEORGIA plus the up graded depth from the guy from Rutgers & we have a Strong Physical Hard hitting secondary that is also talented GO BUCS!!!!

  36. Booger Says:

    Nebraska & Iowa are laughable, and Oklahoma isn’t far behind. NEVER Happen. Too small of markets in the middle of nowhere… Are NOT NFL-worthy. San Antonio has been foaming at the mouth for a NFL franchise since before the Alamodome… It’s the major reason they built it in the first place. Salt Lake is primed, and already have the organizational leadership and infrastructure set in place. I wouldn’t count out St. Louis, either… The city as a whole is trying to rebound. But, like Portland (also desperate for a team)… Until, they start changing how they vote by voting out the party in power, who has DESTROYED the ‘quality of like’ there, they will NEVER get a team there, again.

  37. MelvinJunior Says:

    Austin would be a great city for a new NFL Franchise, BUT they are just too close to both Houston AND Dallas, & as long as Jerry is still alive, he will NEVER EVER allow that to happen. NEVER EVER. And, it’s too big of a College Town. The University of Texas & the Longhorns will always continue to DOMINATE that town… Along with the COWBOYS. Soooo… It Will NEVER Happen. It STILL irks me that Houston did not take back the “Oilers” name instead of deciding on the Friggin’ TEXANS. Just SO Stupid. Mind-Blowing that the “TITANS” didn’t keep it in the first place… There Are ‘OIL-WELLS’ In Tennessee. I’ve SEEN ‘Em. How STUPIDDDD. Then, they wear those old Warren Moon/Earl Campbell iconic ‘throwbacks’ last year & its like, WHAT THE… CHANGE ‘EM BACK. Geeez. They’re getting ready to open a brand new stadium and EVERYTHING… With those TRASH uni’s and that TRASH nickname. It’s a total no-brainer for a complete rebrand with this new stadium. Just think of the amount of merchandise they would sell. Being from southern Kentucky, I wanted to be a fan of them so bad for so long when they moved to Nashville… I loooved the Oilers growing up as a kid and played on their little league team. Warren Moon was my FAVORITE player and I LOVED those colors/uniforms. Plus, the Bengals had SUCKED for years. That was when the Bucs became my favorite team… They were already my 3rd fave since my great grandparents had homes here and other parts of Florida (Leesburg) since the ‘50s and my dad bought his first place here at Saddlebrook in the ‘90s.

  38. heyjude Says:

    MelvinJunior – Agree about the Oilers. A lot of respect for Warren Moon.