Why Is There (Still) Poor Blocking?

November 7th, 2022

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

Oh, Joe is happy as can be the Bucs pulled off a win yesterday. Division leaders again. All is good with the world, right?

As Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friend.”

Against a bad team, the Bucs had to work coal miner to cobble together 16 points against a three-win team. C’mon.

Winning is the greatest perfume. Football proves that again and again. But despite the Bucs winning, Joe will not pretend problems don’t exist, that all of a sudden one of the worst offenses in the NFL is magically better.

Joe brings this up with the interesting comments today from Bucs coach Todd Bowles. He said in his day-after presser that missed blocks continue to haunt the offense.

“Some good, some bad from the run production,” Bowles said. “We missed a few blocks here and there – I think that had a lot to do with it.

“Again, we’re making an effort to [run the ball], but not at the expense of losing the ballgame. We’re going to continue working on it and go from there.”

“Effort?” That’s High School Harry stuff. The NFL is a production league. Produce or step aside.

This speaks to a larger issue. If there is effort, that means one of three things: A guy can’t hack it in the NFL, a guy isn’t the brightest bulb, or awful coaching. You pick.

Joe liked what Bowles said, that he’s not going to run the team off the cliff just to run the ball. Joe staunchly believes you use what works or what is best to work. You only have x-amount of snaps in a game. Don’t waste them.

If you are running effectively, run. If you are throwing effectively, throw. Please, someone, show Joe the 11th Commandment that says “Thou Shalt Run the Ball.”

As for the continued missed blocking — in November! — don’t get Joe started. Joe is trying to enjoy this Victory Monday.

35 Responses to “Why Is There (Still) Poor Blocking?”

  1. MR Says:

    4-5 record
    36% 3rd down conversion rate
    178 total first downs
    546 rushing yards
    2547 passing yards
    14 TDs

    3-5-1 record
    36% 3rd down conversion rate
    170 total first downs
    780 rushing yards
    2312 passing yards
    12 TDs

    Colts fire OC last week and HC today.

    Why is Leftwich still employed??

  2. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Lenny continues to miss the few holes we provide for him.
    It was so bad that Tony Romo commented on it during the game.

  3. NashvilleBuc Says:

    There is one commandment we keep breaking: “Thou shalt not run a 6 yard route on 3rd and 8.”

  4. c-spann Says:

    I think it is a bit if Lenny missing holes and tip toeing. Mostly the play design project where the play is going. Definitely need more creativity in the run game. BL is running an offense from early 2000s.

  5. BucU Says:

    Why are our receiver’s unable to gain any separation at all every week? This offense is HORRENDOUS.
    And substituting White for fournette isn’t gonna solve this nagging open wound of an offense.
    Leftwich did NOTHING with the 10 days between the Ravens game and this latest debacle.
    It ain’t going away folks. The win just puts a band aid on the problem. These coaches have no clue how to fix it. PATHETIC comes to mind.

  6. Caleb Says:

    It’s hard to run the ball when the defense knows it’s coming. I think they ran it 10 out of 11 times on first down in neutral situations. They also like to bring two tight ends in and choreograph that they are running even more. This team is not going to improve by just doing the same thing more. They need to give White more carries and they need to spread the defenses out a bit more to give their running backs a better chance. Also stop running on first down and third and short so much please.

  7. HC Grover Says:

    Free Brady…Sluggo and Lefty are tamping him down

  8. Pewter Power Says:

    It’s coaching just shut up the coaching and let these guys play I guess

    With all the issues we have. That last drive no drops, no poor blocking, no qb hits no penalties and no runs. How did they manage to protect Brady on that last drive if the line is so bad?

  9. Casual Observer Says:

    Joe’s title in this segment is spot on. Wish the answer was easy. Caleb’s point is a good start, imo.

  10. Eric Says:

    Sean Payton to the rescue

  11. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Nashville Buc is correct. It’s ridiculous how many times they are short of the first down marker on 3rd down.

  12. JA Says:

    Despite the Buc’s woeful inability to run, the OL has been underrated when protecting Brady (14 sacks). Among all quarterbacks with 8—9 starts, only Goff has been thrown down fewer times with 13 in eight starts.
    And that “lousy” three win team we beat yesterday managed to win the Super Bowl last year. Imagine what their scribes are scribbling about losing to a lousy three win team in the Bucs—a team who would have some believe they believe the end zone is protected by an invisible forcefield.
    If this year proves anything, it’s the importance of an offensive line. Ask Stafford, Rogers and the bad actor in Denver.
    Replete with our sundry supply of running backs, the hubristic Lenny should share the load more often.

  13. D-Rok Says:

    In the parody History of the World, Moses came down from the mountain with 3 tablets, loudly proclaiming, “I have 15 commandments…” and then broke one. So he finished with, “I have 10 commandments.”

    Thou Shalt Run was surely in the broken tablet, methinks. LOL!!!

  14. Jerseybuc Says:

    Honestly I start with white fro the rip he’s been more productive than Lenny. I don’t care how much Lenny makes white seems like he does more with the ball from the small sample size. Lenny wants to pout so be it trying to win games

  15. Your Mom Says:

    It’s a misleading statistic, you can have backfield passes that are basically the same as a run. Brady isn’t racking up all those passing yards from Kurt Warner throws after all, they are coming basically from runs disguised as passes on the stat sheet.

  16. sasquatch Says:

    This offense, in addition to the poor play calling and gameplans, lacks leadership at the coaching level. You can’t expect Brady to be a player AND a coach. Arians let people know what he wanted loudly when necessary. He had the respect of the offense. There’s no indication that Leftwich does anything to motivate or coach the offense. And Bowles apparently isn’t filling that void either. They need a veteran play-caller who also is a motivator. Bowles will most likely survive for next year — let’s hope he can find a strong leader who can design a diverse and attacking offense.

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Three straight times last night the Bucs ran on short yardage on 2nd down….all three times the run was stuffed.
    That, my friends, is poor playcalling.

    If there were ever a time when you want your QB to go downfield, it’s on 2nd and short…….

  18. Redeemer Says:

    They at least have to have the threat of the run. If defenses don’t have to respect the run, it makes it that much harder on Brady. Everything is so congested. Brady can’t throw 70 times every game, it isn’t realistic. Just find a way to beat Seattle, and try to fix it during the bye. IMO they are what they are. Maybe White should be RB 1 going forward.

  19. Hondo Says:

    Poor coaching is the reason this team is not very good. Plenty of player talent

  20. David Says:

    I’m going to keep saying it until it happens. This is a pass first team. It’s a pass first league. Then you mix in the runs to set up play action.
    They are acting like it’s 15 years ago and trying to run first. Not cutting it

  21. ClwJB Says:

    Tony, I mean Todd, is going to get fired from his second and last HC job soon

    That disgusting display yesterday on offense was just like the Dungy era with Mike Shula or good ole Clyde C calling the plays

    Doesn’t take more than a 3rd grade education to see the difference in execution in hurry up with TB calling plays and the rest of the time

    Todd should get fired for not being man enough to make a change

    The OC will be on the street next season, or maybe breaking down film at a college program…

    Disgusting and the only reason we won is TB12 and a D that was embarrassed and finally played like it

  22. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    There is still poor blocking because we have guys that are poor at blocking. If we have guys who are able to be good blockers, then it’s because we have coaches who are poor at coaching blocking. One of these is true. Unless, of course, the other teams have players that are good at shedding blocks, and, if they’re not, they have coaches that are good at coaching shedding blocks. Sometimes you have to get to the basics to get the job done. Sorry if I made it too simple of a reason.

  23. LakelandSteve Says:

    Joe, you run the ball to keep the other team from completely teeing off on your offensive line and putting your QB in the hospital. If you have the threat of a run you can pass much more effectively and move the ball more effectively. You are not going to win many ballgames throwing 60 times a game. If that wasn’t the God awful Rams last night the outcome probably would have been different.

  24. JBBUCS_06 Says:

    A gentle reminder…. these coaches won a super bowl 2 years ago with offenses that put up over 5k yards. That’s why they’re not fired like the Colts coaches. The offense isn’t moving now BECAUSE we have 40%+ new starters with 2 of those starters right in Brady’s face. Simple as that. It’s impacting the run game and passing game.

    Missing Gronk and AB, two hall of farmers. Replaced by rookies and injuries.
    By week 11 or 12 the O should be better. We will win with defense and mistake free ball. If we get healthy for the final run, I like our chances for divisional playoff game. All bets are off after that.

  25. Capt.Tim Says:

    Two first time starters on the line.
    Another new guy at right guard.

    And stil people are puzzled about why we cant run or pass block.
    Im not

  26. Kentucky Buc Says:

    But they did run the ball at the expense of losing the game. It took a miracle drive to win it. Bowles is in denial. The most predictable play calling I’ve ever seen. I think at one point they ran on first down 10 out of 11 times . Those numbers only improved after going no huddle 3 times. Refusing to see there’s a problem is a big problem. At this point I fully believe this is by design and not by BLs design. Todd is pushing this ground and pound agenda. If he’s not then it’s just complete incompetence by the HC.

  27. unbelievable Says:

    “We are making an effort to run the ball ….. by running on 95% of 1st downs, again and again and again, for no gain.”

    “Our theory is that if we continue to be this predictable, other teams won’t believe anyone can be this stupid and stubborn, and will eventually stop stacking the box, and the boom- our running game finally works!”

    – Todd Bowles & Byron Leftwich, probably

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    David … ‘This is a pass first team. It’s a pass first league. Then you mix in the runs to set up play action. They are acting like it’s 15 years ago and trying to run first. Not cutting it.’

    I totally agree that they’re ‘not cutting it’ David, but fixing it isn’t as simple as ‘do this & it’ll all be OK’. I honestly believe that Bowles has been hands-off the offense (hey they’re only rushing on 30% of the plays, much lower than in years past … kinda tells me we are going very heavy passing). Problem is multi-faceted.

    BL is doing a sorry job of play-calling, but that’s OK, his play designs are even worse. I’m convinced that he only has a handful of plays in his repertoire, and that he gives the Bucs’ playbook to our opponents before each game. A blind man could see what’s coming on all too many of our plays.

    But it’s not all on BL either. Our Oline isn’t consistent at anything. Like Capt Tim wrote … ‘Two first time starters on the line. Another new guy at right guard’. Add in that Donovan Smith looks worse to me this year than he did as a rookie; maybe his elbow is still really screwed up & he can’t get any leverage. Wirfs even seems to have taken a step backwards. Running to the right now doesn’t look to be any better than running to the left.

    And yes Brady has only been sacked 14 times in 9 games, but he looks to be a LOT more concerned about his protection this year than he was in 2020 or 2021. I’m seeing tons of balls being thrown short of the LOS, much less short of the 1st down marker. And as soon as they’re caught, the receiver is getting buried all too often. This strategy has given dink-n-dunk a whole new meaning.

    Of course, his WRs, TEs & RBs haven’t been helping him out a whole bunch much if not most of the time. Far too many drops & far too little separation. There has to be more to this story though than what we’re seeing. There always is.

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    Kentucky Buc … ‘Todd is pushing this ground and pound agenda.’

    I know that’s the party line, but it’s wrong. Bucs are running the ball far less under Bowles than they ever did under BA. I’m fully convinced that Bowles is hands-off this offense.

  30. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    Why Is There (Still) Poor Blocking?

    ^ Leftwich is still OC

  31. Buc4evr Says:

    The O line was getting stood up and LBs were filling the gaps faster than Lenny could take two steps. Leverett is bad. What I don’t understand is why the Bucs are not using the pass to set up the run. Leftwich better understand that the Line doesn’t have enough push to help the RBs to get 2 yards on third down.

  32. Uncle Urk Says:

    That’s the sound of the nail being hit on the head. The O line, mostly the LT. The center and new LG are holding up well however have bad blocks here and there. That LT is lazy mixed with hurt. Bad combination. If we run, it’s stopped. If we run up the middle, the DT over the LT wins to the inside and the play is stopped. If we run right, the MLB, strong side LB, and strong safety blows it up because they don’t have to worry about the runner cutting back to the middle or left side. Watch the tape. And everyone in the world knows what down we are going to run.

  33. Browsing from DC Says:

    Watched the Ravens/Saints game last night. Yes, the Ravens have very good o linemen, but they’re blocking schemes are also very good. A lot of pulling guards, motion in the backfield, etc. They get results even with an “ordinary” or “average” RB.

    How many times are the Bucs called for holding on running plays? Madden must be rolling over in his grave. He used to get very animated in the booth. “How do you hold on a running play?” he would say, over and over. “You just smack the guy in the face a push him out of the play”.

    There’s a lot of “choreography” involved and that’s harder with new pieces trying to be in synch but these are big, heavy NFL linemen who are working hard but it seems like the coaching is lacking. Gilbert is a good o-line coach (he’s no Dante Scarnecchia..who is?) but he’s probably hampered by BL’s play calls or maybe it’s his lack of creativity and input when he meets with Bowles and BL? They just don’t “impose their will” on the defense. You know we’re going to run it right now? So what? You ain’t stopping us. This is where we miss Jensen. He has that attitude. We have the RBs. 3 very capable RBs.

  34. Ugotrobbed Says:


  35. Davenport Says:

    Forget running the ball — go no huddle all game and wear out the pass rushers. Brady knows how this works, get out of his way