Raiders Rumors: Buccaneers DC Todd Bowles Expected to Interest LV in HC Search

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 18, 2022

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles walks on the field before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

The Las Vegas Raiders are reportedly expected to have interest in Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles during their head coaching search.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported on the Raiders' interest and added that Bowles is expected to interview with both the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears this week.

Jon Gruden resigned from his post as head coach of the Raiders in October after emails in which he used misogynistic, racist and anti-gay language were leaked.

Rich Bisaccia took over on an interim basis, going 7-5 and leading Las Vegas to the playoffs.

While Bowles' greatest success has come as a defensive coordinator, he has some head coaching experience at his disposal as well.

After going 2-1 with the Miami Dolphins in an interim capacity in 2011, Bowles was hired to be the head coach of the New York Jets in 2015. In four seasons in New York, Bowles posted a 24-40 record.

While the Jets had a losing record in each of his final three seasons, Bowles led them to a 10-6 mark in his first campaign, although they narrowly missed the playoffs.

When the Jets fired Bowles at the conclusion of the 2018 season, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians came calling and named him DC in 2019. Bowles was previously Arians' defensive coordinator with the Arizona Cardinals from 2013-14.

Over the past two seasons, the Bucs have been celebrated for their offense led by quarterback Tom Brady, but Bowles has helped mold one of the NFL's best defenses as well.

Tampa Bay has been especially good against the run during Bowles' tenure, ranking first in both 2019 and 2020 and third this season.

Also, the Buccaneers were sixth in total defense and eighth in points allowed in 2020, and they ranked 13th in total defense and fifth in points allowed in 2021.

The Tampa defense stepped up in the Bucs' NFC Wild Card Round playoff win over the Philadelphia Eagles last weekend as well, holding Philly to 15 points and forcing three turnovers.

If the Raiders hire Bowles, he will join a team with a defense that ranked 14th in yardage allowed and 26th in points allowed this season.

The Raiders do have some supremely talented pieces on that side of the ball, though, in defensive ends Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue, linebacker Denzel Perryman and safety Johnathan Abram.

While Bisaccia will undoubtedly be a candidate for the Raiders' head coaching job given what he accomplished under difficult circumstances this season, Bowles could be a great fit as well in terms of elevating the defense to the next level.