For all the fanfare of the Buccaneers Landing Bruce Arians as their new head coach, which is appropriate, perhaps, their next biggest move was Arians convincing Todd Bowles to rejoin him, as his defensive coordinator.
Bowles arrived at the Buccaneers facility on Friday morning and here was a peek at the, camaraderie between he and Arians and now, his new fellow assistant coaches in Tampa Bay:
"The main ingredients are here, baby." pic.twitter.com/ZkZsJKr7eQ
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) January 11, 2019
As if that wasn’t exciting enough for Buccaneers fans, the resume’ that Bowles has accumulated building defenses should have them also wanting to pat someone on the back and smile, too.
Bowles was regarded as the best assistant coach in the NFL in 2014 for his work with Arians and the Cardinals defense. They allowed fifth fewest points per game, the fewest rushing yards per game and had the most defensive touchdowns (nine) in the league that season. And, defensive lineman Calais Campbell and defensive back Patrick Peterson were both All-Pros that year, too.
Bowles was named the AP Assistant Coach of the Year for the entire NFL. And no small part., it gave him the opportunity to be a head coach in that hiring cycle of January 2015.
It didn’t take long for him to land his first NFL head coaching job on a permanent basis, as the New York Jets hired him (he had previously been the interim Dolphins head coach at the end of 2011 going 2 – 1).
There nitial success with the Jets with a 10-6 season, and his defense was again solid throughout his tenure. However, three losing seasons are going to cost you anywhere, and especially, in New York. After the Jets drafted Sam Darnold number one overall to quarterback them and yet still went only 5 – 11, Bowles’ time was up in New York.
And that brings us back to his arrival in Tampa Bay, Arians described coming out of retirement at his Wednesday news conference as “the stars aligned for me.” One of those “stars aligning” was Bowles availability to come lead his defense.
Bowles met Tampa Bay media Friday afternoon and made it known that the Buccaneers were not his only option:
Watch Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles' press conference. pic.twitter.com/dNZKMDKBaF
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) January 11, 2019
Yes, the Bears apparently made him a significant offer to replace Vic Fangio and run their defense.
Still, it was a 30 year relationship going back to his playing days at Temple, when Arians was the defensive coordinator, that has him now in Buccaneers Pewter and Red for this season.
Bowles impressive coaching experience, includes stops with the Eagles as defensive coordinator, and as a secondary coach with the Cowboys and the Jets. He played eight years in the NFL himself with the Washington Redskins and the San Francisco 49ers. That included a Super Bowl ring from 1987 in D.C.
As Bowles said Friday, he’s going to begin shortly diving into the game and practice tapes of the Buccaneers and assess what he has and what he doesn’t have. And over the course of the next few months with free agency and the draft, Tampa Bay will begin to build on that side of the ball.
And Bucs fans have to be encouraged that the guy now running the defense has had multiple successes in multiple stops doing it.
And maybe just as key to a turnaround, as hiring Arians.
Bucs coach Arians again non-committal Tuesday on QB Winston
It’s become increasingly apparent, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to move on from potential free agent quarterback Jameis Winston. And Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, coach Bruce Arians gave the latest example that he and the Buccaneers front office will look at the other options available first.
Arians spoke at a podium on numerous subjects, but the most prominent is what Tampa Bay will do in the coming days with Winston?
— Charlie Clifford (@cliffWISH8) February 25, 2020
Arians was asked directly about potential for a franchise tag for his starter a year ago and what the Bucs might proceed to do? But, he refused to endorse that option on the former number one overall pick Winston. And, the Bucs coach maintained that the team will possibly us the franchise tag for defensive end Shaq Barrett.
Further, Arians gave a pointed specific answer on Winston’s poor play last December as the team finished 7-9 and that has the team looking at other options,
Arians on Winston and why it’s still uncertain: “December wasn’t what I wanted to see.”
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 25, 2020
Arians has consistently refused back Winston since the off-season began. This included at an NFL coaching seminar earlier this month in Tampa. He said to the media at that time:
“Really nothing has changed,” Arians said. “What’s Door No. 2? You know? Can we make the one we have better? All those things you go through right now.”
“You’re just sitting there waiting to see is there someone available? … Is he a better option?
The Buccaneers faltered in the middle of the season to drop to 3-7 and then, Winston and Co. blew its final two games to finish 7 – 9 with Winston throwing a career-high 30 interceptions.
After their final loss at home to Atlanta in overtime, where Winston threw the game losing “pick six,” Arians was candid after the final game by saying about Winston’s play that it would have to be evaluated pass by pass and game by game in the off-season. Further, he told the media then, that there “was some great and some terrible…. and you have to decide, if the great outweighs the terrible.”
While Winston did throw for a career-high 5000 + yards in 2019, his interceptions and total turnovers continued to be his downfall throughout the season. The Buccaneers finished 1 – 6 in games against teams with winning records and Winston had 17 total turnovers in those seven games. He finished with the 30 picks that included 10 of them in the Bucs final four games.
Tampa Bay obviously will have the opportunity to go after a free agent quarterback or two, as there is much speculation about the likes of Tom Brady with the Patriots. Plus, Philip Rivers will not be re-signed by the Chargers and is available come March. And, now that Drew Brees has announced he wants to play at least one more year for the Saints, their backup Teddy Bridgewater will be in demand on the market.
The Bucs are also continuing the evaluating the QB class for the Draft the next few days in Indy, which could have some interesting names still available in the second and third rounds and beyond.
Bucs confirmed Monday they will have new uniforms in 2020
On Monday, the Bucs confirmed what they have been hinting at, they will have new uniforms in 2020. But the real question is: what does “new” mean in this instance?
We heard you!
New uniforms coming April 2020. pic.twitter.com/e7qNUsNWZb
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) February 24, 2020
The Bucs also released a statement through their website confirming that April will be the unveiling of the new uniforms, as well as, potential new color scheme, logo, etc. and had these comments from co – owner, Ed Glazer:
“We have heard the feedback from our fans loud and clear and have been working with the NFL and our league partners at Nike to usher in a new look as we enter this next decade of Buccaneers football. We look forward to revealing more details in the near future about our official unveiling event which will take place later this spring.”
As we wrote earlier this month, the Buccaneers have been hinting at trying to enhance their uniforms and there is some belief there will be more orange, the original color of the franchise. There is also educated speculation that the team may go back to a white helmet, which will enable them to have “throwback uniform games” that they’ve not been able to have for the last seven seasons.
This is because under league concussion protocol, players must have the same helmet all season and the Bucs primary one has been pewter in color since their chance in colors and logo in 1997,
The Bucs last altered their uniforms in 2014 by brightening the color red and slightly changing the logo and making it bigger on their pewter helmet. Teammates Ryan Jensen and Mike Evans are shown in the current color scheme, etc. above.
NFL teams have to submit changes in their colors and logos a year in advance. So obviously, this has been in the works for the Glazer family that owns the team for some time.
It should be noted that the Buccaneers NFC South Rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, have already made mention that they are changing their uniforms and color scheme. And, it’s believed that they will go back in 2020 to their original base color of red including possibly red helmets and potentially, primarily gray pants that they wore for over twenty years.
The Falcons have had black helmets for the better part of 30 years going back to Jerry Glanville changing the color scheme to primarily black jerseys in his days at the Falcons coach in the early 1990s.
Back to the Bucs. There is no other team in the NFL that has orange as their primary jersey color. The Bengals Broncos and Browns have occasionally worn orange “alternate jerseys” but not full time.
So, if the Glazers are again embracing a change to mostly orange jerseys, it will be unique. The video Monday showed a red jersey on a sewing machine, which could be a clue or could be misdirection of what the team actually intends to unveil in April.