Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers Transcript: Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Below is a transcript from Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Video from media availability with the team's defensive coaches and strength & conditioning staff can be found on Buccaneers.com.

Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles

(On if Bowles ever went to Head Coach Bruce Arians thinking they couldn't compete with the secondary they currently have)

"No, a lot of them were hurt. We drafted good football players. In my opinion, you can't have enough corners or depth, and the players fell right where we had them ranked and we picked them."

(On what Bowles thinks of S Mike Edwards in terms of his leadership and playmaking)

"He's versatile, obviously he's a very smart player. He's a ball-hawk, he can make tackles, he can blitz. He can do a lot of things, and I think he fits in well here with the things we'll ask him to do."

(On what players Bowles is thinking of using to fill the nickel and slot-corner positions)

"None right now. We have MJ Stewart in here and we'll get the rookies in and see what they can do. Obviously Vernon [Hargreaves] has played it in the past and we are still feeling out the other guys without being able to do too much in Phase One and Phase Two. We have to wait until we get into OTAs and summer camp to really see who those guys are."

(On if MJ Stewart is still under consideration for nickel)

"Our safeties can play nickel. We have a lot of versatile guys, so we can move them around."

(On Bowles impression of LB Devin White at the NFL Scouting Combine)

"It was impressive. Obviously, he's a bright kid. He lights up the room when he walks in. The film speaks for itself and to have a player like that, we're just happy to get him in and get to work."

(On how much Bowles relies on linebackers to create pressure)

"Well, they are part of the front, but if we're getting there with the interior guys we won't Blitz. If we aren't getting there with the interior guys, we'll blitz a little bit. So, it's a 3-4 and a 4-3. A lot of the league is played in sub-personnel anyways, so we'll have four down quite a bit."

(On if the rule changes have affected the way Bowles schemes teams)

"I don't think it's the rule changes, I think it's the offensive schemes of the game. The game has gotten a lot faster, especially out on the perimeter and the edge where you don't see as much power running. So, there's a lot of things out on the perimeter where you need a lot of faster guys."

(On if Bowles was looking to gain more speed in the NFL Draft after watching film)

"We wanted more speed, but it had nothing to do from the films from last year. We just needed more speed."

(On what Bowles thinks of CB Sean Bunting)

"Press ability, man coverage and he's a ball-hawk. Obviously, he can only get better. We'll get him in and get him in the program and mix him in with the other guys and try to get him better."

(On how confident Bowles is after gaining NFL Draft picks on his side of the ball)

"Any time you get new toys it's exciting at Christmas, so it's how you use them the right way and how they fit in with the other guys that'll tell a story, but you like having the guys that you have."

(On if Bowles believes he has enough pieces for what he wants to do with the defense)

"I can tell you in January."

(On why Bowles believes Hargreaves III and Carlton Davis will take the next step playing more aggressive coverage rather than playing off the ball)

"Well, they are going to do both. They're going to play off and they're going to play up. There's no set way that we're going to play this defense. Obviously, we're going to look and see how we can take people away, but at the same time we're going to be smart about what we do and how we do it. So, they can do both and they're going to do both. So, it really doesn't matter. As long as they stay healthy I think they should be fine."

(On how important it is to have a quarterback in the middle calling the plays)

"It's important, because you really want a quarterback on every level of the defense. Up front, in the middle and in the back, and having one in the middle – not that Lavonte [David] wasn't, because he is and he's a heck of a player. So, we have two in the middle right now and that makes me comfortable."

(On how much of Bowles' success depends on elevating the returning players from the roster)

"We've got a lot of guys are returning, so they can play football as well. Obviously, they can play as well. We're going to mix in the new guys with the other guys. We'll have plenty more of the guys returning than we do guys coming in, and they're good football players, but it's all about playing together for us on defense and communication. If they can communicate and they understand where each other are, I think they'll be successful."

(On what Bowles has seen of the outside linebackers so far)

"Not much, Again, it's Phase Two. It's more learning than it is physicality and everything else, but they're into it, they're ready and I look forward to working with them."

(On if it's beneficial to go back and watch film from last year)

"Yeah, you always watch the tape. Obviously, you watch the tape to see what kind of player they were, you watch the tape from a scheme standpoint and football is football. A lot of these guys can play football and we just look forward to getting them on the field."

(On if Vita Vea is more of a nose tackle or a three technique)

"Well, he can play across the line right now until we get pads and I can really see it. It has yet to be determined."

(On if Bowles can pick out a couple of free agents that came in)

"I like all the guys we got. [Deone] Bucannon and [Shaquil] Barrett - I'm not going to discuss scheme right now, because we don't have all the pieces in place - but they'll line up and play and compete and if they don't start we'll have some packages where they'll fit in certain games and try to do certain things with [them]. But we like the guys we brought in."

(On what has impressed Bowles the most about this group so far after working through the first two phases)

"Attention to detail. These guys are willing to learn, and they come in and put their egos aside and that's the first mark of trying to have a good football team – putting your ego aside and attention to detail."

(On if Bowles has talked to DT Gerald McCoy and where he fits into his plans)

"No, I haven't talked to him. Right now, he's on our team and everything else will be decided between Jason [Licht] and Bruce [Arians]."

(On if Bowles has talked to McCoy since he began working for the Bucs)

"I've talked to him since I came on, but that was a while ago."

(On if Bowles can track if McCoy is involved at all)

"It's voluntary. For the people that are here, we coach. For the people that aren't here, we wait until they get here."

(On if Bowles wants to see McCoy back)

"That decision is above my pay grade."

(On what he has seen on tape of DE Kahzin Daniels)

"He's a good football player. Obviously, he's aggressive up front. He can rush the passer. I look forward to getting him in and seeing what he can do."

(On what Bowles makes of Daniels' ability to overcome his disability)

"That's a credit to him and how he was brought up - and his perseverance and whoever mentored him. It can't be nothing but a plus to help him in life and in football."

(On when Bowles and the rest of the coaching staff found out about Daniels being blind in his right eye)

"We didn't find out – well, I didn't find out really until a couple days before the draft that he had that. So, like you said he kept it a secret."

(On how much vision plays a role for guys who are rushing a passer)

"It plays a great deal, but he's made it this far so far, so we'll see. We'll get him in here."

(On how much coaching and talent plays a role in going to the Super Bowl)

"It goes hand in hand. Like I tell my rookies - like I tell them all every year, some rookies go to the Super Bowl. On one of these 32 teams somebody's going to the Super Bowl, so it doesn't matter how old you are or how young you are, it's a combination of coaching and talent. It goes hand in hand, you can't have one without the other, so we're going to coach these guys up the best we can. We're going to get them to play hard and we're going to play tough."

(On if Bowles sees any subtle differences in Head Coach Bruce Arians now compared to when he worked with him in the past)

"No, he's the same."

(On the relationship between the head coach and quarterback)

"I think on any team its unique, because the head coach who's an offensive coordinator - obviously Byron [Leftwich is] going to call the plays and run the show, but it's always unique when you have a coach/quarterback combination to have the quarterback see the game the way the head coach sees it is a whole different deal than just running plays. How Byron sees it and how Bruce sees it - I think to get Jameis to do that I think would be a whole new light for him and a whole new light for everybody else, so I think that relationship is very important for anybody."

(On what Bowles has seen of Lori Locust so far)

"She's tough. She's a grinder, she works hard. She does everything the right way. The guys respond to her a great deal. She knows what she's doing and she can't wait to get started. She's just itching to get the pads on."

(On Bowles' job now compared to his old head coaching job)

"Obviously, I have a lot more time. It's just defense right now. So, defense is what I eat, breathe and sleep when I wake up and come in here, so it'll be maybe two times more than I had as a head coaching duty."