Todd Bowles decides to join Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay as his new defensive coordinator

Yahoo Sports
Former <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/teams/ny-jets/" data-ylk="slk:New York Jets">New York Jets</a> coach Todd Bowles agreed to join the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/teams/tampa-bay/" data-ylk="slk:Tampa Bay Buccaneers">Tampa Bay Buccaneers</a> to be their defensive coordinator. (AP)
Former New York Jets coach Todd Bowles agreed to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be their defensive coordinator. (AP)

Todd Bowles, recently fired as the New York Jets head coach, had an interesting choice.

If Bowles wants to be a head coach again, he had to be a coordinator again first. He was a fine defensive coordinator with the Arizona Cardinals; that’s why he got the shot to lead the Jets.

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When Bruce Arians took the job as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach, it was expected that Bowles would reunite with him to run the defense. Then an interesting option came along: Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio became the Denver Broncos’ head coach. Bowles reportedly had an opportunity to lead the Bears’ defense. From the outside looking in, it would seem that running the Bears’ elite defense would give Bowles his quickest path back to being a head-coaching candidate.

ESPN reported Bowles will join the Buccaneers after all, as their new defensive coordinator. He must like a challenge.

Todd Bowles picks Bucs over Bears

It’s undeniable that Bowles would have had more talent to work with in Chicago. Led by Khalil Mack, the Bears had what was likely the best defense in the NFL this season.

The Buccaneers probably offer more familiarity, given Bowles’ history being an assistant under Arians. It’s also possible, if Bowles wants to be a head coach again, that he felt he might have a shot to succeed Arians. Arians is 66 years old.

It’s also true that the bar is a lot lower for Bowles to cross in Tampa Bay. The Bears had a great defense this season and there’s only one way to go from there. The Buccaneers defense was terrible, but maybe Bowles can help.

Bucs defense was among NFL’s worst in 2018

The Buccaneers ranked 31st in points allowed and 27th in yards allowed this past season. It’s not that the Bucs don’t have talent. Players like defensive linemen Gerald McCoy and Jason Pierre-Paul, linebackers Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David are among the best in the NFL.

Bowles must see an opportunity to lift that talent to bigger and better things. Bowles has an aggressive mindset and he could transform the Buccaneers into a tough matchup for opposing offenses.

With the ever-entertaining Arians running the show and Bowles in charge of the defense, the Buccaneers could be an interesting team to watch.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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