You’ve heard of coaches set up to fail, right?
Well, it looks like an NFL researcher thinks Bucs freshman coach Todd Bowles is poised for success.
Bryan Knowles, in the Bucs chapter of the Football Outsiders 2022 Almanac, basically wrote that Bowles just had to steer his new Bucs’ car straight ahead. He doesn’t have to do much if anything different from what he did before the Bucs were on the road to success, or until Tom Brady truly retires.
And for those pointing to Bowles’ mostly disastrous tenure with the Jets, Knowles suggests Bowles should be given a pass for that.
Bowles is an interesting candidate for a second head coaching job. His record as a defensive coordinator is impeccable…. He is loved by his players, and he has shown strengths in personnel management and personality management and the other non-X and O responsibilities that come with coaching a team. His 24-40 record in New York was terrible, but you may wonder to what extent Bowles himself and Mike Maccagnan and the rest of the Jets front office failed to find him the players he needed. needed to succeed. At a bare minimum, Bowles and Maccagnan were not on the same page, with contemporary reports hinting at turf wars and arguments about decisions being made in a pattern where neither man was clearly in charge. . (Apparently one of the reasons Christian Hackenberg didn’t get any shots in the NFL was that Bowles never agreed with the pick and wanted to punish Maccagnan for making it in the first place.) Bowles’ successful season as head coach was in 2015, the only time the Jets have been in the DVOA’s top 20 since 2010. It was the first year of the Bowles-Maccagnan partnership, with a roster still mostly made up of John Idzik players.
That kind of organizational spite won’t exist in Tampa Bay, where Bowles, Arians and Jason Licht are all on the same page with how the roster is constructed. And Bowles won’t have to deal with the pain of working under a Sam Darnold or Josh McCown, or trying to make the most of a talent-deficient defense. He’s in a much better position to succeed than he ever was in New York. That doesn’t guarantee he’ll succeed, of course, but Bowles wasn’t an outright failure with the Jets, someone so clearly bad at his job that his overpromotion was immediately apparent. Considering how hard his former players, even the Jets, are still fighting for him, giving Bowles a second shot makes more sense than many other potential retread candidates.
Knowles later typed that as long as Bowles doesn’t scratch the paint on this Bucs’ Ferrari, you should be fine.
What interests Joe is to see how this defense crumbles. You have to understand that Bowles signed every personnel move on defense. Joe finds it hard to believe that if Bowles preferred Ndamukong Suh over Akiem Hicks, that Suh wouldn’t be around.
Same with letting Jason Pierre-Paul walk and adding Logan Ryan.
If all of these new Bucs puzzle pieces fit together and the defense is strong again, it will make Bowles very smart. And if the defense plays hard and the offense continues to thrive, that will make Bowles a winner.