Bucs’ Todd Bowles ‘dissatisfied with a lot of things’ after loss to Steelers

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles was not pleased with the team’s performance in Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he’s not pointing the finger at anyone in particular.

During a press conference on Monday, Bowles was asked if he was disappointed with offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich’s play-calling through Week 6 as the Bucs struggled to score against a team that’s dropped four straight.

Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium on Oct. 16, 2022, in Pittsburgh.

Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium on Oct. 16, 2022, in Pittsburgh.
(Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

“I’m dissatisfied with a lot of things,” Bowles responded. “Winning is No. 1. It’s not about the play-calling, it’s all-inclusive.”

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He continued: “Players have to execute what the coaches call, and coaches have to make sure that the players are in the right position to call them. We don’t throw blame anywhere — it’s all-inclusive. It’s offense, defense and special teams when we have a bad game. It’s not even about play-calling, it’s just about team.”

The Bucs poor execution in the red zone resulted in four field goals and just one late touchdown pass to get within reach of the Steelers, but it was too little too late.

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith (56) forces a fumble as he hits Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady during the first half in Pittsburgh on Oct. 16, 2022.

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith (56) forces a fumble as he hits Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady during the first half in Pittsburgh on Oct. 16, 2022.
(AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

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After the game, Bowles was blunt about the team’s struggles.

“I think guys that are living off the Super Bowl are living in a fantasy land, and you’ve got to get your hands dirty and go to work like everybody else,” Bowles responded when asked if they took the Steelers lightly. “We’ve been working hard, and we’ve got to work harder because nobody’s going to give us anything or feel sorry. We’ve got to go back as coaches, as players — the time for talking is over. You either got to put up or shut up.”

When asked if he felt like there were players or coaches living in a “fantasy land,” Bowles clarified.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles walks onto the field before the game against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 25, 2022, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles walks onto the field before the game against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 25, 2022, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
(Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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“No, I didn’t say we were. I’m just saying, you get patted on the back so much, you got to relive — every year and every week — you’ve got to go out there and earn your pay and earn your keep, and if you don’t live like that, then it’s going to be a result like today.”

The Buccaneers are off to a disappointing 3-3 start. They are averaging 20.2 points per game this year after averaging 30.8 on the way to winning the Super Bowl two seasons ago and 30.1 in 2021.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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