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January 10, 2012 @ 11:51 am
Current rating: 4.60 Stars/5 Votes

PR Great Debate: Bowles Would Be Best For Bucs

Written by Eric
Eric Dellaratta


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Which head coaching candidate should the Bucs hire? In the second installment of the Pewter Report Great Debate, Eric Dellaratta says Todd Bowles should become the next head coach in Tampa Bay.

In the first edition of the Pewter Report Great Debate, the PR staff – Scott Reynolds, Mark Cook, Andrew Scavelli and Eric Dellaratta – offers its opinions on which head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator the Buccaneers should hire to replace Raheem Morris. Dellaratta sounds off second, saying that Todd Bowles should become Tampa Bay's next head coach.


Former Bucs head coach Raheem Morris lost his team during the final 10 games of the 2011 season – all of which were losses. Some called it the worst display of football that they had ever seen. Sadly, I would have to agree with them.

The Buccaneers failed to even execute the basics of football. They were not disciplined and committed too many penalties, which is something that the head coach is ultimately responsible for and needs to correct. Some of the players didn’t even look like they were trying during the last few games of the season. Players were routinely out of position on defense, and when they were in position they were unable to even make a proper form tackle. This should be something that defensive players should know coming out of college.

Most of the blame was being placed on Morris, who was fired on January 2 after Tampa Bay’s 45-24 loss at Atlanta, for not having his team prepared for battle on Sundays, and the blame was placed correctly. The Buccaneers were clearly heading in the wrong direction and the Tampa Bay community made its collective voice heard. The majority of fans were calling for Morris to be fired during the team’s 10-game skid, but the Buccaneers lacked a coach that could take over on an interim basis. Morris’ firing was only a matter of time.

Morris and the entire coaching staff were all fired, leaving an incredible amount of coaching positions to be filled. Tampa Bay’s first duty will be to find a new head coach and that coach should be Miami defensive backs coach Todd Bowles, who served as the Dolphins’ interim head coach for the final month of the season after Tony Sparano was fired.

While he is not the big name coach that most Buccaneers fans have been pleading for, Bowles is an impressive fallback option if the Bucs are not able to lure in more excitable names, such as Mike Zimmer or Rob Chudzinski. Bowles would also most likely be the cheapest option out of the limited 2012 coaching pool.

Bowles has experience in both 4-3 and 3-4 base defenses, and has learned under some notable coaches such as Mike Nolan, Bill Parcells, and Wade Phillips, who is reported to be interviewing with the Bucs later this week.

Bowles is intriguing because of his underrated track record. If you look into his resume, you will find that Bowles was a key factor in sculpting some of the NFL’s best secondaries in the past decade.

He began his coaching career as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach for Morehouse College in 1997. Bowles later went on to be the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach for Grambling State from 1998-1999 where he served under former Bucs quarterback and director of pro personnel Doug Williams.

He then made the leap into pro football. Bowles’ first coaching position in the NFL came as a defensive backs coach for the New York Jets in 2000, which was a unit that only allowed 183.3 passing yards per game and ranked sixth in the NFL in pass defense.

Bowles was a part of the Cleveland Browns organization for four years (2001-04). During his first three years with the Browns, he was a defensive nickel package coach. In 2001, the Browns led the league in interceptions with a total of 33, which was also a franchise record. In his final season with the Browns, Bowles acted as the secondary coach. The Browns ranked fifth in interceptions with Bowles as the secondary coach in 2004.

The New Jersey native was hired by the Dallas Cowboys in 2005. Bowles coached the Cowboys secondary for three years (2005-08). During that time, Bowles coached three Dallas defensive backs to Pro Bowls. Safeties Ken Hamlin and Roy Williams combined for four trips to Honolulu, and cornerback Terrance Newman contributed with another invitation. Bowles did a phenomenal job getting the most out of these players, and clearly guided them in the right direction during his tenure as a part of the Cowboys’ organization.

Bowles also had an exceptional pro career as a defensive back. He played eight years in the NFL, including seasons with the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers.

The Redskins captured the Super Bowl championship in 1987 with Bowles starting at free safety. He’s someone that players can relate to today’s NFL players because he’s already “been there and done that” as a player, and not just as a coach like Morris was. The sight of his Super Bowl players ring might bring some extra motivation to a Buccaneers team that desperately needs it. 

Bowles also had a short stint in the talent evaluation department. After his playing career ended, Bowles took a job in the player personnel department for the Green Bay Packers in 1995. This is an interesting part of his resume. It would be extremely beneficial to have a head coach that understands how the front office aspect of the job works from the minute he steps in his office. His player evaluation skills would be a nice complement to his coaching expertise.

Bowles, 48, has spent the last four seasons with the Miami Dolphins as the defensive backs coach and the assistant head coach. He is being credited for the successful development of Miami’s impressive young secondary. Bowles helped cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Sean Smith adjust to the NFL after being drafted in the first and second round in 2009. They have proven to be one of the best and most underrated young cornerback tandems in the league. He also assisted safety Yeremiah Bell during his Pro Bowl season in 2010.

Bowles was named the interim head coach after Miami fired Sparano with just three games left to play in the 2011 season. He led the Dolphins to a 2-1 record, which included wins over the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills. The Dolphins also played a good game against the New England Patriots with Bowles at the helm. The Fins almost came away with the win, but in the end lost the game by a final score of 27-24.

When Bowles gives a post-game press conference, he is soft-spoken, humble, and gives credit where credit is due. But according to Dolphins safety Yeremiah Bell, Bowles is a no-nonsense coach on the football field.

“He’s soft-spoken, but if he needs to get in your face, believe me, he’ll get in your face,” Bell said. “There is another side. He’s not that quiet guy people make him out to be.”

Veteran defensive back Will Allen had similar things to say about the Dolphins interim head coach.

“He’s not afraid to call you out,” Allen said. “If you’re doing something wrong you'll hear about it first hand. He’s not going to pull you to the side. Everyone in the room is going to hear him do it.”

Bowles would bring a fresh, new attitude to the Buccaneers locker room. The players will relate to him because of his playing experience, but they also will respect his “no-nonsense” philosophy.

Based on his experience and personality, Bowles is a good, realistic candidate to be the next head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Buccaneers need an offensive coordinator that will continue the development of quarterback Josh Freeman. That coach should be Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements.

The Green Bay Packers have had amazing success on the offensive side of the ball during Clements’ tenure as the team’s quarterbacks coach. The Packers have become one of the best passing offenses in the NFL, led by their stud quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Packers quarterback has developed into arguably the best passer in the league, and that is large in part due to the coaching of Clements, who was also the quarterbacks coach for legend Brett Favre from 2006-07.

Favre threw for more than 4000 yards in 2007 and Rodgers threw for more than 4000 yards in 2008. This was the first time in NFL history that a team had back-to-back 4,000-yard passers were different quarterbacks. All of this happened with Clements as the quarterbacks coach.

Last year, Rodgers and Clements both captured a Super Bowl ring after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers. Clements’ ring would be yet another ring that would be worn around One Buc Place by a coach that would make an impression on this young football team. At this point, Bowles, Spagnuolo, and Clements would all bring Super Bowl experience to a Buccaneers locker room that needs a winning mentality.

In addition to assisting in the development of Rodgers, Clements looks like he sprinkled some of his magic on Packers’ backup quarterback Matt Flynn.

Flynn was able to start against the Detroit Lions in week 17 this season, as the team wanted to rest Rodgers for the playoffs. The former LSU quarterback ended up throwing for a team-record 480 yards and six touchdowns against Detroit. It might be hard to wrap your head around it but Flynn threw for more yards in a single game than Rodgers, Favre, or Bart Starr ever did. This impressive performance happened with Clements as the quarterbacks coach.

Clements also spent two years as the offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills. From 2004-05, he was given the reigns of the Buffalo offense, which featured the talented Willis McGahee at running back. In 2005, quarterback Kelly Holcomb broke the Bills’ all-time completion percentage record (63.7 percent) under Clements’ tutoring.

In total, Clements’ has 19 years of coaching experience. He has had the chance to coach quarterbacks under coaches such as Bill Cowher, Lou Holtz, Mike Ditka, and Mike McCarthy. Clements also played 12 years in the CFL as a quarterback, where he went on to capture two Grey Cup championships. He was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 1994.

I think Clements would be the ideal offensive coordinator candidate for the Buccaneers based on his track record of developing quarterbacks, his 19 years of coaching experience, and his 12 years of playing experience.

The last major coaching vacancy to fill is the position of defensive coordinator. Since Bowles has never been a defensive coordinator at the NFL level, the right move would be to sign a proven defensive coordinator. With that being said, the Buccaneers should pursue former Rams head coach and former Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

Spagnuolo would be a premium defensive coordinator option and might be more expensive than other options on the market. But with Bowles coming to Tampa Bay at an affordable price, the Bucs can use the money they saved on Bowles in order to lure Spagnuolo to One Buccaneer Place. Although it is probably an unrealistic option, it would be the best move for the Bucs to make.

The former St. Louis head coach uses a 4-3 base defense, which is what the Buccaneers will most likely be implementing next season based on their current roster. His scheme has a heavy emphasis on blitzing, and features many exotic blitzes that involve safeties and cornerbacks. It will be a fresh defense to present to the current Buccaneers roster, which desperately needs some change.

He helped construct and lead the 2007-08 New York Giant defenses, including the defense that took down the undefeated New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. If hired, the Buccaneers would have two coaches at high-level positions that would sport a Super Bowl ring around One Buc Place.

Spagnuolo has been especially good at getting the most out of defensive lineman. During his career as an NFL coach, he has worked with players such as Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Chris Long, and Michael Strahan. He has also worked with well-known coaches such as Ron Rivera, Andy Reid, Tom Coughlin, and Pat Shurmur. It is clear that Spagnuolo meets the criteria as far as experience is concerned.

Spagnuolo has coached many different positions over the course of his career in football. Some of these include defensive backs coach, defensive quality control coach, defensive line coach, linebackers coach, and even special teams coach. His experience in positions that cover the entire football field would be extremely beneficial to the success of the Tampa Bay defense. The Buccaneers could also make Spagnuolo the assistant head coach in addition to his defensive coordinator duties.

Spagnuolo is a well-rounded coach that would be a perfect hire to fill the Buccaneers’ vacant defensive coordinator spot.

Monday: Scott Reynolds' choice for Tampa Bay's head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator
Tuesday: Eric Dellaratta's choice for Tampa Bay's head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator
Wednesday: Mark Cook's choice for Tampa Bay's head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator
Thursday: Andrew Scavelli's choice for Tampa Bay's head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator

Last modified on Wednesday, 11 January 2012 10:46

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    This article made me LOL!!!
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    Folks, I think many of us are not reading between the lines on the article. I'm fairly certain that Mr. Dellerrata has more Buc insider info than I do and what he is saying in not so subtle a fashion is that we fans should not get our hopes up for a top tier coach who would bring a top tier salary. I want Marty too and it even sounds like, all thing being equal, the writer would too. But based on what we know about the Glaziers and their finances perhaps it's not realistic to get our hopes up for a $6mil/year coach along with $1-2mil/year assistants. I think it's an interesting article. Now, I will really hate it if he's right and we actually hire this Bowles guy. But I've been disappointed in the Bucs coaches since the moment Chucky hit the pavement.
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    HEAD COACH: MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: BRIAN SCHOTTENHEIMER (no longer under contract with Jets) DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: KIRBY SMART I don't think we'll be able to get Kirby, unless we promise him the head coach job in a few years.
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    Well I like the OC and DC you mentioned, but don't know much of Bowles.
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    NO, NO, NO. NO more one trick pony's No more position coaches. Next you'll be suggesting we start looking at strength coaches and travel secretaries!! Thinking out of the box. We went that route and ended looking like we were thinking out of our posteriors.
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    is this a serious article? If the dolphins wouldnt hire him why should we? I'll take shotty or sherman
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    Yes - if the Bucs want to see more of what the last three years brought, this is exactly who they should hire......
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    I can't get behind this one Eric. I mean you even caviat it by saying he's a good option if are in a fallback position because we can't get a bigger known commodity. I'm also weary of anything "cheap" as you get what you pay for. It's another roll of the dice coach, and I'm sick and tired of those.
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    If he's so good why doesn't Miami promote him?
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    I'm not sure but I think these are opinion articles, not who they think will end up as the coaches. I'm not getting my hopes up for the Bucs to hire a big name like Schottenheimer or Zimmer so this is an interesting idea.
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    Very well written, Eric. It is great you are thinking outside of the box for the head coach position. I thought you had very good arguments for your candidates.
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    Enjoyed the article, very thorough. Great supporting cast for him in my opinion, think Clements is going to do some great things. I heard Spag is going back to Philly though. Personally, I'm giving the edge to SR on the debate, but it was a great read. Excited to see what MC/AS bring in the next few days to the Debate. - 3SK
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    younger black, new jersey native, former db coach straight to hc...wait a minute, why is raheem wearing a dolphins beanie in that pic? seriously...todd bowles? this team needs an experienced hc that ALREADY knows how to practice, travel, manage a game and everything that comes with being an EXPERIENCED hc. btw, i don't believe race has anything to do with coaching quality. i was just pointing out one more similarity.
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    Yeah and what does Black have to do with it?
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    Yeah, lets replace Morris who never had any coaching experience who was primarily the Db's Coach with another unproven guy who was primarily a DB's Coach are you guys INSANE? The mere mention of that is only entertaining in a comic book, get real!!!!! I do like the Spags pick for D-Coordinator. lol, wow that pick for HC is out in left field the Dolphins don't even want him as a HC and he's on their staff but hey we'll take him, lol (stupid)
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    ARE you FO REAL!!! We just put a D backs coach straight to HC. I dont see that happening again. In no what is that a good choice, other than its POSSIBLE! I want a winner. Loosing in the playoffs is a much better problem than we have now. I want Marty with that huge chip on his shoulder.. He quoted at saying he would love this intriguing chance at this young team... I want Marty..
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    Wow! I'm sold. I love the idea of all three positions, particularly OC and DC. I never heard of Bowles but his pedigree is good. AND he is CURRENT! 48 yrs old is perfect to both command respect and to relate to players... I hope the Glazers look at this. Also: I don't care whether good ideas come from interns, editors or John Wayne. You nay sayers need to open that thing that sits at the top of your neck, you know your head, and then go one step further and open up the thingy inside your head called a brain. And then that part of the brain that contains compassion and understanding behind the door called OPEN MINDED> Jeeeez!
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    I completely agree.. What the hell happened to Pewter Report journalism? First Jim Flynn, then, Charlie Campbell? This news source probably wouldn't even be around if we lost Scott Reynolds. I hope they read this because this is pitiful. You let an intern right a column who doesn't know anything. Then you get a free-lancer, Mark Cook, who was a nobody to be the beat rider? I have to resort to the Tampa Bay Times and Rick Stroud for my insider news. Thank you Pewter Report.
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    I think you completely misunderstood the point of this column. This looks like it is an opinion piece, not an article pointing out who the Bucs should or most likely will hire, but who the writer wants personally. Why would you assume that Eric doesn't know anything? I'm at least willing to give him and the other writers a fair shot before criticizing them. I personally liked his choices of OC and DC and he did make an interesting pick at HC with Bowles, who most people aren't talking about.
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    It is beat writer, not rider. But thanks anyway.
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    I think you ride your beat very well.
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    Well thought outand good information Eric. I'm still for a seasoned HC; the suggestions for OC and DC I like and Bowles would be fine as DC, not as a HC. First, you have to have at least 2-3 years as a OC or DC before advancing to HC. Something similar to his got us in big trouble recently. Just my opinion.
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    I miss Charlie Campbell... These are three unrelated coaches, why would any of them want to work together? Especially Spags when has already been a HC, where Bowles has not, he wouldnt do it. This scenario is not even feasible. What happened to this website?
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    I like these picks, but I would still prefer Scottenheimer over Bowles at HC. As for OC, Hue Jackson was just fired. He would be my #1 choice over anyone else available for OC. I was really, really impressed with what he did with Oakland's offense given what he had to work with. I also like his confidence and attitude. I'm fine with Spagnuolo as DC but I don't think he's worth the money it would take to get him here. The Giants look just as good if not better on defense without him. Also, the Rams sucked on defense. I think you'll get the same results with Del Rio only he's cheaper.
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    Epic Fail! No thanks.
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    Not bad. I can begin eating solid food now.
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    Not interested in another crap shoot. Sorry. been there; done that. Beating Buffalo and the Jets no big deal. Players always play hard for interim coaches. Watching the Dolphins secondary get torched when it counted and blowing a big lead to the Patriots gives me no confidence. Good choices for coordinators. MARTY! MARTY! MARTY!
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    This would be great, although not realistic. The Glazers and Dom want old experienced coachs to erase the Morris era. They are dead wrong, the problem of morris was maturity, not the fact that he was young. As for Spagnuolo, no way the Glazers go get him, his price tag is way too much for them ... But I purchase this coaching solution anyday if it means no Sherman, W. Phillips, Childress, or whoever has been put on our coaching search !
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    This is, by far, the best 3 coaches that the Bucs could get, in my opinion. Good experience, good track record, and solid people. I like these 3 choices better than any of the other suggestions. I hope you are listening Dom and Glaisers.
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    He had the Dolphins playing hard when they had nothing to play for. Won at Buffalo, loss at NE by 3, beat the Jets at home. That's enough gets my attention.
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    This is a good example of the direction the Glazer's should go. A respected coach, although not a previous head coach, paired with a proven 4-3 defensive coordinator in Spagnuolo. I'm on the fence with Clements, but he's guided Rogers to an elite level, so I can't argue with that. I think the Raheem era pretty much took all the potential rising stars off their radar though. They seem to be focused on old and experienced.
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