Todd Bowles is in his first day as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers new head coach he feels right at home. He has the support of the team’s ownership; he has the backing of Gener manager Jason Licht, former head coach Bruce Arians and most of all his players, to a man in the Lockeroom.
Defensively, under Bowles’ guidance, the Buccaneers ranked third in takeaways (82), third in sacks (142), ninth in yards allowed per game (334.1), fifth in yards allowed per play (5.13), first in rushing yards allowed per game (82.5), first in rushing yards per attempt (3.72), fifth in passing yards per attempt allowed (6.78), seventh in third-down conversion rate allowed (37.6%), sixth in red zone efficiency (54.7%), and ninth in goal-to-go efficiency (68.6%).
“It was evident to everyone in our organization over the last three years that Todd deserved to be an NFL head coach,” Licht said. “I have always felt that if this situation ever arose, we had the best candidate for the job already in-house. Todd’s football acumen is well-documented and has been on full display with the growth and maturation of our defense since his arrival. He is a unique leader who connects with everyone in the building and is extremely respected by players on both sides of the ball. I know we all will toward our shared goal of bringing our fans another championship.”
Bowles joined the Buccaneers after spending the previous four seasons as the head coach of the New York Jets (2015-18). Under Bowles, the Jets posted one of the best run defenses in the NFL, holding teams to just 4.00 yards per carry, the sixth-lowest figure in the NFL during that span, and allowing only 44 rushing touchdowns, tied for the eighth-fewest in that timeframe. Bowles’ Jets defense also allowed opposing offenses to convert only 36.0 percent of third downs, the fourth-lowest mark in the league. Opposing passers completed just 60.6 percent of their passes against the Jets under Bowles, the third-lowest mark in the NFL.
Nine different players earned Pro Bowl berths under Bowles in New York, with cornerback Darrelle Revis, defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, running back Chris Ivory, wide receiver Brandon Marshall, and center Nick Mangold being selected in 2015, defensive lineman Leonard Williams being nominated in 2016 and safety Jamal Adams, kicker Jason Myers and return specialist Andre Roberts voted to the game in 2018.
Prior to serving as the head coach of the Jets, Bowles spent two seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals (2013-14), including winning Assistant Coach of the Year honors from the Pro Football Writers of America and the Associated Press in 2014. During Bowles’ time in Arizona, the Cardinals’ defense allowed the third-fewest rushing touchdowns (14), the fifth-fewest points per game (19.5) and the fifth-fewest rushing yards per game (96.6). Bowles’ defenses in Arizona also showed a knack for taking the ball away, recording the fifth-most interceptions in the NFL (38) and the most defensive touchdowns in the league, with nine.
While Bowles led the Cardinals’ defense, he saw cornerback Patrick Peterson earn first-team AP All-Pro honors in 2013 and earn Pro Bowl honors both years (2013-14). Defensive end John Abraham (2013), cornerback Antonio Cromartie (2014) and defensive end Calais Campbell (2014) also earned Pro Bowl selections.
Bowles spent one year with the Philadelphia Eagles (2012), serving as the team’s secondary coach before being named interim defensive coordinator for the final 10 games of the season. Philadelphia finished ninth in passing yards allowed (216.9 per game) that season.
Before joining the Eagles, Bowles worked as the assistant head coach/secondary coach for the Miami Dolphins for four seasons (2008-11). In the 2011 season, he was named interim head coach for the final three games of the year, going 2-1. Under Bowles’ tutelage, Miami’s secondary held opposing quarterbacks to a 58.1 completion percentage over that span, the seventh-lowest mark in the NFL.
Prior to his time in Miami, Bowles worked as the defensive backs coach for the Dallas Cowboys (2005-07), coaching three different players to the Pro Bowl (safety Ken Hamlin, cornerback Terence Newman and safety Roy Williams).
His NFL coaching career began in 2000 as the defensive backs coach of the New York Jets, leading a unit that allowed just 183.3 passing yards per game, the sixth-fewest in the NFL. Following his season in New York, Bowles spent four years with the Cleveland Browns, working as the team’s defensive nickel package coach (2001-03) and secondary coach (2004). In 2001, the team set a franchise record with 33 interceptions and in 2004, the Browns allowed the fifth-fewest passing yards in the NFL (181.3 per game).
Before coaching in the NFL, Bowles spent one season as the defensive coordinator at Morehouse College (1997) and two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Grambling State (1998-99).
Bowles played collegiately at Temple and, despite going undrafted in the 1986 NFL Draft, played eight years in the NFL, with Washington (1986-90; 1992-93) and San Francisco (1991). He was a starter on the 1987 Washington team that won Super Bowl XXII. Following his retirement as a player, Bowles spent two seasons (1995-96) with the Green Bay Packers player personnel department.
A native of Elizabeth, New Jersey, Bowles and his wife, Taneka, have three sons, Todd Jr., Troy and Tyson.