Skip to main content

Todd Bowles Announces Decision On Calling Defense

NFL: JAN  11 Bucs Coaches Press Conference

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 11: New Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles speaks to the media during the introductory press conference for new Tampa Bay Buccaneers Assistant Coaches on January 11, 2019 at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa,FL. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Todd Bowles' responsibilities are expanding. Yet in Thursday's press conference introducing him as the new head coach, the former defensive coordinator said he won't abandon his play-calling duties.

Per Pro Football Talk's Myles Simmons, Bowles said he will keep calling defensive plays this season. Defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers and inside linebackers coach Larry Foote, meanwhile, will serve as the team’s co-defensive coordinators.

“I will still call it this year, but they will run a lot of the defense going forward," Bowles said Thursday.

Tampa Bay finished 20th in total defense last season, but the NFC South champions allowed the fifth-fewest points per game (20.8). Stuffing the run has been the team's forte under Bowles; the Buccaneers finished first in rushing defense in 2019 and 2020 before settling for third last year.

The Buccaneers have already re-signed defensive lineman Will Gholston and shutdown cornerback Carlton Davis. However, they lost starting safety Jordan Whitehead to the New York Jets, and Ndamukong Suh headlines their currently unsigned free agents.

Bowles is replacing Bruce Arians, who announced his sudden retirement after three seasons as Tampa Bay's head coach.