Tom Brady (12) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers walks off the field during warmups at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA on October 16, 2022.

Pittsburgh Steelers Vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Week 6

Bucs coach: Tom Brady doesn’t get ‘special treatment’

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles said Monday that Tom Brady doesn’t get “special treatment” while addressing the quarterback’s absence from the team’s final walkthrough to attend the wedding of Robert Kraft.

But it is getting special attention.

Brady missing Saturday’s final walkthrough is getting scrutiny in the aftermath of Tampa’s bad loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday. The Bucs were 9.5-point favorites but lost 20-18.

Bowles was asked about the optics of Brady’s absence, given his extended sabbatical during training camp, among other excused absences and scheduled days off.

“He works as hard as anybody,” Bowles said. “Special treatment — there have been a few guys that have missed some meetings and some practices for some special things. It just doesn’t get publicized because they’re not him. It kind of comes with the territory. We don’t worry about it too much.”

Kraft got married Friday night in New York in a surprise wedding to Dr. Dana Blumberg. The pair invited 250 or so guests to an event but didn’t tell them about the nuptials, per reports. It was a star-studded affair that included Brady — but not New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

Belichick said Monday he told Kraft it would be best to focus on the Patriots’ game against Cleveland on Sunday, a game the Patriots won.

Brady, meanwhile, skipped the team’s morning walkthrough and rejoined the team Saturday night in Pittsburgh.

Brady finished 25-for-40 with 243 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers. The loss dropped the Bucs to 3-3.

–Field Level Media

Oct 16, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (84) is tackled after a catch by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Myles Jack (rear) during the third quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Brate would be taken from the field on a medical cart. Pittsburgh won 20-18. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs TE Cameron Brate out of hospital after injury in Pittsburgh

Tampa Bay tight end Cameron Brate was released from a Pittsburgh hospital and was to fly home with the team after he underwent evaluation on Sunday night.

Brate was carted off the field during the third quarter of the Buccaneers’ 20-18 loss to the Steelers earlier in the day.

Brate caught a pass from Tom Brady for 6 yards and was tackled hard by Steelers linebacker Myles Jack. Brate couldn’t get up and needed medical attention from the Tampa Bay staff.

The Buccaneers quickly ruled him out for the remainder of the game. Coach Todd Bowles said after the game that Brate suffered a neck injury.

Two weeks earlier, in a Week 4 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Brate suffered a concussion but initially remained in the game after the hit that caused it before the Bucs eventually ruled him out. Bowles later explained that Brate complained of shoulder discomfort and “nothing about his head” when he was initially hurt.

Sunday was Brate’s first game back after missing one game with the concussion. He had two catches for 14 yards before his neck injury.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA;Kansas City Chiefs safety Bryan Cook (6) breaks up Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (84) catch during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Todd Bowles explains Bucs’ handling of Cameron Brate’s concussion

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate suffered a concussion in Sunday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, but he initially remained in the game after the hit that caused it.

Bucs coach Todd Bowles told reporters Monday what happened behind the scenes, saying when Brate first came off the field, he said he hurt his shoulder and did not display concussion symptoms.

“He went on the sideline. He complained of shoulder discomfort, nothing about his head,” Bowles said. “He was checked out three times. You just say, ‘Give him a minute.’ Nothing came up. He went back in until the end of the half. At halftime, he started having symptoms, but they were delayed. He started complaining about that. We tested him, he’s in the protocol and we kept him out the rest of the game.”

Brate was slow to get up after his head hit teammate Chris Godwin’s shoulder late in the second quarter. As he jogged off the field, he ran into one of the game officials, but it has not been confirmed if that was related to disorientation that could have resulted from a concussion or simply happened in the rush to get off the field.

Tampa Bay eventually ruled him out during the third quarter.

Brate’s situation drew criticism in the wake of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffering a concussion and a neck injury in a game last Thursday, just four days after he was cleared to return from concussion protocol. The NFLPA fired the unaffiliated neurologist who cleared Tagovailoa to play in Week 3.

Former Tampa Bay coach Tony Dungy called out the Brate decision during NBC Sports’ halftime show (before Brate was ruled out) and said the NFL’s protocol was a “broken system.”

“He complained about his shoulder, not his head,” Bowles said Monday. “You can’t see a neurologist or talk about concussions if you only complained about the shoulder.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA;  the Tampa Bay Buccaneers huddle against the Green Bay Packers in the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers watching Ian, balance focus with perspective

Todd Bowles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are attempting to focus on football while maintaining perspective as the relocated team watches from Miami as Hurricane Ian makes landfall in western Florida.

“Our thoughts and hearts go out to everyone still in Tampa,” Bowles said at his media availability from Miami via Zoom video conference on Wednesday. “It’s bigger than the football team, No. 1. What we do is really small entertainment for people that go through a lot of rough things and hopefully we can provide that.”

Bowles and the Buccaneers brought family and pets to Miami to escape the eye of the hurricane targeting the Tampa region. He said that was the most important logistical detail the team will tackle this week.

In contact daily with the NFL, Bowles said the Buccaneers are still planning to play Sunday night at Raymond James Stadium but know the plan could change at any time before game day. Minneapolis and Miami both have been considered as options for the primetime game with the Kansas City Chiefs. Bowles said coaches have repeated this week that focus will be critical no matter the travel itinerary.

“Nobody is going to feel sorry for us,” Bowles said.

Bowles said he’s personally never experienced a hurricane or been displaced during the season. The team temporarily moved across the state to Miami, which is not expected to be directly or deeply impacted by the storm moving northeast.

“Talking to people about a hurricane is difficult, because nobody has ever really been through it,” he said.

The Tampa region has not taken a direct hit from a hurricane since 1921. Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall south of Tampa, but forecasters said the city could see storm surges of up to 6 feet.

The Bucs were expecting wide receivers Julio Jones and Chris Godwin to practice in some capacity Wednesday, Bowles said, but left tackle Donovan Smith is not going to take the field and could miss his third consecutive game.

–Field Level Media

Sep 9, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles looks on before a game against the Dallas Cowboysn at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs shake-up: Todd Bowles replaces Bruce Arians as head coach

Just over a year after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won a Super Bowl championship, the team announced a major leadership shake-up on Wednesday.

Bruce Arians retired as head coach to move into a front office job, with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles getting promoted to head coach. Arians’ new title is senior football consultant.

According to the Buccaneers’ website, Arians told the team’s players and coaches of his decision. The 69-year-old then released a statement that read in part, “I love football. I love the relationships, the strategy, the competition–everything. It has been one hell of a ride, but I know this is the right time for me to make this transition.

“So why now?

“The simple answer is that I have accomplished more than I ever dreamed I could during this incredible coaching journey. Winning Super Bowl LV at our home stadium, with my mom and family in attendance, was really the last item I wanted to check off my career bucket list. For me, this is about more than just trying to add more wins to my coaching record.”

Arians added, “I really began thinking about my personal transition plan earlier this offseason. I wanted to ensure when I walked away that Todd Bowles would have the best opportunity to succeed. So many head coaches come into situations where they are set up for failure, and I didn’t want that for Todd. (Quarterback Tom Brady’s) decision to come back, along with Jason (Licht, the general manager) and his staff doing another great job of keeping the core of this team intact during free agency, confirmed for me that it was the right time to pass the torch to Todd.”

Bowles, 58, had a largely unsuccessful four-year stint as the New York Jets’ head coach, never making the playoffs. He led the team to a 10-6 mark in 2015, his first season, then never won more than five games in the following three seasons. Bowles spent the past three years as Arians’ defensive coordinator.

Arians first took charge of an NFL team in 2012, when he guided the Indianapolis Colts to a 9-3 record while filling in for head coach Chuck Pagano, who was battling leukemia. The next year, Arians took over as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, and he led them to a 49-30-1 record and two playoff appearances in five seasons.

In his three seasons as the Buccaneers’ head coach, Arians produced a 31-18 record. Tampa Bay won the Super Bowl after the 2020 season, then was eliminated by the eventual champion Los Angeles Rams in the NFC divisional playoffs after last season.

Buccaneers owner Joel Glazer said in a statement, in part, “When Bruce arrived in Tampa Bay three years ago, he spoke about establishing a winning culture and adding another Super Bowl championship for our community. He delivered on both of those promises, and our family is deeply appreciative for all that he has accomplished during his time as our head coach.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 7, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore on the sidelines in the second half against the Denver Broncos at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Jaguars to interview Kellen Moore, Todd Bowles

The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to conduct a virtual interview with Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore late next week, NFL Network reported Sunday.

Also expected to take part in a virtual interview is Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, per the report.

Former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson interviewed for the job on Thursday.

Also Sunday, CBS Sports reported that Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke is urging owner Shad Khan to bring in Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien for an interview.

The Jaguars are seeking a replacement for Urban Meyer, who was fired on Dec. 16 due to a disappointing season on the field and a series of embarrassing incidents off of it.

Bowles and O’Brien have NFL head-coaching experience.

Bowles, 58, led the New York Jets from 2015-18, ending his tenure with a 24-40 record and no playoff appearances.

O’Brien, 52, was 52-48 in six-plus seasons (2014-20) with the Houston Texans, fired in 2020 after an 0-4 start. The Texans made the playoffs four times under O’Brien, posting a 2-4 record.

Pederson, 53, reached the playoffs three times in five seasons with the Eagles and posted a 42-37-1 overall record before being fired on Jan. 11, 2021. He led the Eagles to the Super Bowl LII championship.

Moore, 33, became the Cowboys’ quarterbacks coach in 2018 and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2019. This season, the Cowboys have the NFL’s top offense, averaging 409.5 yards and 30.5 points per game entering Week 17.

Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and Jaguars interim coach Darrell Bevell reportedly also are under consideration.

Jacksonville (2-13) brings a seven-game losing streak into Sunday’s game at the New England Patriots (9-6).

–Field Level Media

Jul 26, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles during training camp at AdventHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers brace for Chiefs’ third-down attack

Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles draws the task of slowing down the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, a mission that starts with Tampa Bay rattling Patrick Mahomes.

The Buccaneers are looking for a better showing than Week 12, when Mahomes lit up Tampa for 462 passing yards and Tyreek Hill posted 269 receiving yards and three touchdown catches.

“They play fast, but they understand football. They’re not just a track team out there,” Bowles said Monday via Zoom teleconference as Super Bowl media availability began. “They can beat you vertically or horizontally. They can keep you off-balance a lot.”

Hill became the third player since 1980 with 200 yards receiving in a single quarter — the first quarter — to set the tone for the Chiefs.

Part of the challenge for Tampa is finding solutions on third downs, where Kansas City seems to be unaffected by what might appear dire to a typical offense. In the playoffs, the Chiefs have converted 55 percent (11 of 20) of third downs to a new set of downs. The Chiefs converted 49 percent (95 of 194) in the regular season on third down.

“Look very comfortable for them, they convert a lot of them,” Bowles said. “Whether Pat does it with his arm or his legs. They’ve got a slew of weapons.”

Bowles said the previous game against Mahomes was a good learning tool for the Buccaneers’ young secondary.

The group opted to meet before sunrise four days a week to focus on self-scouting and erase mistakes before the team gathers together.

The Buccaneers want to know where tight end Travis Kelce is on third down. Of his 105 receptions in the regular season, 79 went for first downs.

Kelce had 13 receptions against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game. He ranks second among tight ends in postseason receptions (73), receiving yards (859) and touchdown receptions (nine), behind only Rob Gronkowski (83 receptions for 1,206 yards and 12 touchdowns).

“You know he can run and catch, but he’s such a smart football player,” Bowles said. “He plays with a high motor, understands the game and has a great rapport with the quarterback. … You marvel at watching him play. Somehow he finds a way to get open.”

–Field Level Media