Todd Bowles: It’s All About Communication

May 27th, 2024

Communication is critical.

On paper, the Bucs could be breaking in three new starters in the secondary if you count slot corner. That’s a lot for any team.

Hold up, Bucs coach Todd Bowles said last week. It isn’t that simple.

In Bowles’ mind, the Bucs may only have one new starter if if Tykee Smith beats out Christian Izien at slot corner.

When you have new starters, usually there is a feeling out period while everyone gets on the same page. Bowles believes as long as the secondary starters communicate, the Bucs defense will be fine.

“Just getting used to each other,” Bowles said is the key for an adjusted starting secondary. “I consider Zyon [McCollum] a starter because he started nine games last year.

“Jordan [Whitehead] has been here before, so we just got him back to plug in. The communication has got to build up. [Jamel] Dean is smarter, [Antoine] Winfield Jr. is obviously smarter, Zyon is smarter – those guys and the way they work out together off the field and the way they communicate on the field, you look for that to cause more turnovers with understanding what each other does.”

Bowles has a point. It’s not like Jordan Whitehead has never started for him. And McCollum surely knows how to execute Bowles’ defense. Results are a different subject.

So yeah, Joe can see where Bowles is coming from. So long as everyone in the secondary is on the same page, the defense may not see a dropoff.

Just don’t have a communication breakdown.

20 Responses to “Todd Bowles: It’s All About Communication”

  1. Fred McNeil Says:

    Smith probably won’t be much of a problem. He seems pretty smart. It’s also possible Izien keeps his job. He is actually pretty good back there. If Smith beats him it means he’s even better. I like McCollum a lot. He will be fine. Those safeties are a real hazard to any poor soul who finds himself stretched out tor a long ball back there.

  2. Smashsquatch Says:

    Nice reference Joe. Solid. As for the Bucs secondary? I like their athleticism; but their plight will hinge on the d-line’s success.

  3. go dawgs Says:

    The good Ole “communication” line from bowles. The way they lean on that crutch you woukd think the bucs defense has 11 different international players on the field speaking different languagrs…

  4. Pickgrin Says:

    Thanks for posting the classic live Zep Joe.

    That clip is from the Royal Albert Hall on Jan 9, 1970 (Jimmy Page’s 26th BDay).

    If you love Led Zeppelin and don’t own the DVD this is from (officially released in 2003) – then you need to order it immediately and will definitely thank me later for the nudge. Best $25 you will ever spend! It contains over 5 hours of high quality live video footage from all stages of the band’s performing career 1969>1979.

  5. Dave Pear Says:

    When each defensive call has several options each with a couple variants, and then to be sure to confuse the opponent, Bowels asks his players to speak Mandarin to each other, it makes communications difficult. Hence the frequency of busts

  6. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Dave Pear: Since you know everything, how many busted coverages went for TD passes vs. the Bucs in 2023? 🤔

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Dave Pear … ‘it makes communications difficult. Hence the frequency of busts’.

    What really makes communication in the Secondary difficult is when your starting lineup changes week-after-week, often as a result of injuries back there. Bowles’ defense is a difficult defense to master I’m sure, but I keep pointing to the bottom line: POINTS ALLOWED. After the initial year (2019) of pretty much breaking in a new Secondary, Todd’s defenses have finished ranked #8 in Points Allowed (355 pts) in 2020, #5 (353 pts) in 2021, #13 (358 pts) in 2022 and #7 (325 pts) in 2023.

    Far as I’m concerned, that spells CONSISTENCY (the Points Allowed should provide all the hints you need). And you don’t get to be that consistent by giving up a whole bunch of busts.

  8. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Let’s start off with this: The Bucs gave up 23 TD passes in the 2023 season. Is that terrible, to you? 🤔

  9. Hodad Says:

    Izien has become a good young back up. No way he beats Tykee out as Nickel corner.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    I’d expect the Secondary to communicate better this season than last season. Both Winfield & Whitehead have at least 3 years experience in Bowles’ defense. Dean has 5 years now. McCollum has 1 year, but a lot of def snaps (almost 800). Same with Izien (1 year but over 700 def snaps). Tykee Smith brings a lot to the table and MIGHT beat out Izien, but it’ll be a dogfight. Same with Bryce Hall (could give McCollum a run for his money).

    I think our Secondary is in excellent shape. Not all that concerned about our Safeties (we’ve got some good depth there in case of injuries). Same with Nickel corner. We even have good depth at outside corner behind Dean & McCollum (Bryce Hall, plus we have Tavierre Thomas & several others who can fill in outside).

  11. Crickett Baker Says:

    Godogs: That was darned funny! Still chuckling. 😀

  12. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Of the 23 TD passes given up, how many were on busted coverages? Let’s call it 6, with the Bucs having one of the worst Safeties in the league in Ryan Neal, who has been replaced…That’s 6 in 611 passing attempts. If it’s more, let me know.

  13. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Agreed, Defense Rules.

  14. Dave Pear Says:

    Bucs gave up 250’yards per game passing in 2023, almost 50 yards per game more than the previous year. It’s an anomaly that they didn’t allow more points and a repeat of being 4th worst in the league in pass defense will surely result in a lot more points given up.

    Hence the need to score 30th to get to 10 wins.

    Now, the rotating personnel was also a major problem, as is Bowels fascination with moving players to different positions to confuse the opponent.

    CJ Stroud took out Todd’s liver and spleen. Goff took out kidneys and a long. Even Desmond Ridder owned Todd twice, it’s thanks to Antoine that more points weren’t given up.

    It gets old to watch.

  15. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Dave Pear: So you’re saying yards are more important than points? You realize this is real football and not fantasy football, right?

  16. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Dave: You honestly think the Bucs defense will give up close to 30 points a game in 2024? I know, I know, you hate Todd Bowles and all, but you don’t see hope for the defense actually being better this year?

  17. unbelievable Says:

    lol godogs

  18. Dave Pear Says:

    No pass rush + confused back 7 = lots of points given up.

    Yes 30ppg average is necessary. Last year it was barely 20ppg. Not going to cut it for winning 11 or more games.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    The Bucs actually IMPROVED last year in terms of PPG Allowed (19.1 PPG). That’s an improvement of 2 PPG over the 21.1 PPG they allowed in 2022 (and 1.7 better than the 20.8 PPG Allowed in 2021, as well as 3.1 better than the 22.2 PPG Allowed in 2020). Matter of fact, it’s the best any Bucs defense has done since 2007 when Monte’s defense held opponents to 16.9 PPG Allowed average.

    And Dave, the reason this year’s defense will be better and allow even fewer points is because it’ll get more turnovers. The offense will get the credit like it always does for scoring points off those turnovers, but it’ll be our defense that sets everything in motion. Bucs got 25 TO’s in our 2020 regular season, but an incredible 9 TO’s in the playoffs. Without those, no Super Bowl championship (we never would’ve gotten past the Saints).

  20. garro Says:

    Anyone else attend the Tampa Stadium Led Zeppelin riot in 1977? I was there on the 30 yard line. 🙂

    Go Bucs!