Ray Lewis Praises Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Structure, Highlights Todd Bowles’ Impact

Published 03/27/2021, 10:52 AM EDT
Feb 7, 2020; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) moves under center near the goalline against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter of Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had an excellent season last year. Despite Tom Brady only arriving in the off-season, the Buccaneers were able to rally around him and massively improve.

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In years past, the Buccaneers often ended the season as one of the most underperforming teams in the league. But their defensive prowess allowed them to end the season with a different title – Super Bowl Champions.

Former Super Bowl winner Ray Lewis recently spoke on First Take about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He had high praise for the defensive unit of the team.

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The way they held the Kansas City Chiefs to 0 field goals was very impressive. Lewis gave great credit to Todd Bowles, who was the mastermind behind their defensive structure. The Buccaneers were defensively clinical.

Feb 7, 2020; Tampa, FL, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a pass against Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) during the third quarter of Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

“I’m going to tell you what it does (for the game of football). It does what it should have done. The general behind that defense is Todd Bowles.

“What Todd Bowles has done with that defense, I’m telling you guys, they know what they have. They have a chance to go back and do it again and again until people stop them because of what Todd Bowles has done with that defense.” 

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Lewis added that the front 7 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are absolutely elite and regularly stop their opponents in their tracks.

He believes that with a unit like that of the Buccaneers, there is no need to run a blitz, but rather just keep the ball in the air. He highlighted the defensive squad that just ran the Kansas City Chiefs off the field at Raymond James stadium.

“Let me tell you something. When you have a front seven that dominant, you don’t have to blitz nobody! All you have to do is make sure the ball does not get over your head, and let the front four hunt the way that they hunted in the Super Bowl. I was mad about those calls.” 

Lewis harkened back to the Buccaneers’ previous Super Bowl win almost 2 decades ago. Taking place in Raymond James Stadium as well, the Buccaneers put in a similarly dominant performance against the New York Giants. The Giants couldn’t score a field goal either. Lewis concluded with the famous adage in football- Defense Wins Championships.

“When you talk about defensive football, dominating a Super Bowl, you got to remember 20 years ago in that same stadium – they didn’t score.

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“The Giants didn’t score. To watch Kansas City not score, Todd Bowles and that defense – defense wins championships.”

Can the Tampa Bay Buccaneers run it back next season? They have managed to retain all of their key players from their Super Bowl run.

Currently, the Buccaneers are considered one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl next season. But in football, there are no guarantees. The Bucs will have to put in a similar showing next season, if not better, to come out on top.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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