Why Tom Brady is so comfortable with Todd Bowles as head coach

Why Tom Brady is so comfortable with Todd Bowles as head coach

TAMPA – Whatever chafed Tom Brady the past two seasons, he will discover a more comfortable fit with Todd Bowles as the Bucs’ head coach.

Brady spent 20 seasons with Bill Belichick and grew dependent on the intense, disciplined structure that became known as the “Patriot Way.”

Belichick is a disciple of Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells. So is Bowles, who played and learned life skills under former Bucs head coach Bruce Arians dating back to their days together at Temple. But it was Parcells who helped mold Bowles as a coach.

In 2000, Bowles worked for the Jets as a secondary coach under Al Groh, a longtime assistant to Parcells. When he went to the Cowboys in 2005, Bowles coached under Parcells. After Parcells became executive vice president of football operations with the Dolphins, Bowles joined him on Tony Sparano’s staff in 2008.

Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and Brady will continue to be responsible for putting together the game plans. But they will no longer need to get input from Arians, who is moving to a front-office job.

That doesn’t mean Bowles won’t spend time with Brady. In fact, their shared roots that extend from the Parcells tree cannot be overestimated.

“We both want to win,” Bowles said, “and we don’t care how we win.”

Like Parcells, Bowles is a defensive head coach who appreciates how all the pieces fit together.

“We could be a passing team, but if you have to run the ball 45 times to win the game, at the end of the day it’s about winning the game,” said Kacy Rodgers, the Bucs’ co-defensive coordinator who had stops with Bowles in Dallas and Miami before coming to Tampa.

“We can be a blitzing team. A lot of people look back at the Chiefs game (in Super Bowl 55), we really didn’t blitz them. We used a four-man rush, but we were a pressure defense. It was whatever we need to do to win that game. If this game we have to blitz them every time, it’s whatever it takes to win the game. ”

Brady doesn’t care if his team has to run the ball or score 40 points, as long as it comes out on top.

“You just need one more point than your opponent,” Rodgers said.

Bowles learned the 3-4 defense from Parcells in Dallas, where Bowles served as a defensive backs coach. Rodgers has had been there a year as a defensive line coach. Unlike most defensive backs coaches, Rodgers said, Bowles wanted pressure on the quarterback, even it meant less help in coverage for his secondary.

“He wanted you to get the ball out of the quarterback’s hands faster so his guys could limit the things receivers could do to them,” Rodgers said. “Most DB coaches are more or less rush four and give me people underneath. He didn’t mind leaving his guys on an island because he knew the ball had to come out or the quarterback was getting hit. His philosophy was different than any DB coach I’d ever been around. ”

Brady was stunned at Arians’ lack of involvement in the offense – his offense – when he joined the Bucs in 2020. But Arians trusts Leftwich and believes he will be a head coach in the very near future. A condition of Arians taking the head-coaching job was that he wouldn’t call plays or stay up all night doing practice scripts.

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There were plenty of early hiccups. The Bucs started 7-5 in Brady’s first season, and some changes were made during the bye week to incorporate some of the things that were missing, such as more of a commitment to the run game, pre-snap motion and play-action.

The Bucs won eight in a row, including the Super Bowl.

Bowles will be more hands-on in meetings and at practice, and his handprint will be on both sides of the football. Perhaps Brady will get the attention to detail and discipline he apparently has been craving since he left New England.

Bowles’ personality will also be a fit with Brady.

Arians is prone to chew players’ tails and call them out in the media. Bowles uses sarcasm to get his point across, and you don’t want to be the player getting cut up by his sharp tongue.

Brady and Bowles have competed against each other when they were division opponents with the Patriots and Jets, respectively, but their communication and relationship grew as a result of so many practice battles with the Bucs.

“You’ve got to keep your head on a swivel and you’ve got to have thick skin because the jabs will come,” Rodgers said. “He has a lot of personality and doesn’t miss a chance to blast it.”

Whatever happens, Brady should be in his comfort zone with the Bucs’ new head coach.

“(Bowles) harps on (discipline) constantly, and we’ve been a lot of different places together, but the way you see the players gravitate to him and buy into what he says is very impressive,” Rodgers said. “It makes it a lot easier to coach when the guys want to please the coach.”

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