Todd Bowles’ comment cannot be sitting well with Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans even one bit.
Defensive-minded head coach Todd Bowles and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers just went one-and-done in the NFL playoffs.
Bowles had been on Bruce Arians’ staff the two previous years, but his first foray leading a team into the postseason did not go according to plan. The two-time reigning NFC South champions were an 8-9 team heading into the playoffs. Despite being able to host the No. 5-seeded Dallas Cowboys in the final game of Super Wild Card Weekend, Bowles’ team lost badly at home, 31-14.
The most troubling thing about the NFC Wild Card loss to Dallas at home was Bowles’ comment about how his Tampa Bay defense gave up 31 points. Apparently, these far too frequent defensive breakdowns came from concepts that were day one installs. In short, the very essence of what his team’s defense was based on this season was largely forgotten during its most important game…
Todd Bowles says the Bucs’ defensive breakdowns were troublesome because they were on Day One installs.
— Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) January 17, 2023
You are either coaching it or allowing it to happen. How embarrassing for Bowles and his staff!
Todd Bowles’ defense is what ultimately let the Tampa Bay Buccaneers down
Tom Brady and the offense may have been unable to score any points in the first two quarters, but defense is Bowles’ side of the ball. There were reservations about promoting him from within after Arians went upstairs late into last offseason. Bowles had one good season leading the New York Jets previously, but he is more likely to be a terrific defensive coordinator than a good head coach.
Three years after acquiring Brady, the Buccaneers are probably not going to get a fourth. While that Super Bowl championship was life-changing, the Buccaneers are regressing to what they were pre-Brady before our very eyes: A sub-.500 team that will always find a way to lose a game it cannot afford. For now, the Buccaneers find themselves firmly between a rock and a hard place.
Though they could be in the market to land a proven veteran quarterback like Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason, Brady has almost certainly played his last down for the franchise. He may want to keep playing into his age-46 season, but his last two playoff runs have gone out with a whimper. All the while, Tampa Bay may have a tough decision to make on Bowles after next year.
Simply put, the Cowboys adjusted to what they saw back in Week 1, while the Buccaneers did not.