The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are giving Todd Bowles a new three-year deal that keeps him as the NFL’s highest-paid defensive coordinator, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Bowles had one year left on his current deal, but this contract replaces that and doesn’t preclude him from taking another head-coaching job.
In January, Bowles interviewed for head-coaching positions with the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons. He was also booked to interview with the Detroit Lions but canceled the interview upon learning the Lions “had their mind made up” about Dan Campbell.
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He was the head coach of the New York Jets for four campaigns, from 2015 to 2018, before joining Bruce Arians’ staff with the Buccaneers in 2019.
Bowles, 57, has a long history with Arians, having also served as the defensive coordinator with the Arizona Cardinals on Arians’ staffs in 2013 and 2014.
Their connection goes back to Bowles playing defensive back for Arians at Temple in the mid-1980s.
“I think it starts with individual teaching,” Arians said of Bowles. “How do they study film? He’ll bring them in at 5:30 in the morning individually, or maybe two or three, to teach them how to watch film. His expertise in defense is outstanding. He knows everything, he’s seen everything, he’s done everything.
“So the X-and-O part, that’s probably the easier part for him. It’s fitting all the pieces together on guys. What can this guy do, what can that guy do? Where can I create mismatches? Where can I get a guy on the easiest guy to beat on the offensive line? Breaking down protections and things like that. He does just a fantastic job of it.”
“He’s the type of defensive coordinator I would run through a brick wall for,” defensive lineman Will Gholston said.
“If he said, ‘Hey, if you hit it at this angle, it’s going to fall down,’ I wouldn’t second-guess it. He’s always right.”
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