Dave Canales Believes In Matchups

February 24th, 2023

Finding mismatches.

When former failed Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich had full reins of the offense, it didn’t seem like he was a big believer in matchups.

It seemed like Leftwich thought, “Hey, I’ve got Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and Tom Brady and Playoff Lenny. We will do what we want to do. You just try to stop us.”

Well, Joe can type, after hearing new Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales earlier this week, he seems to be a big believer in finding matchups to get the most out of his best players.

Canales admitted the old way of, “We’re going to impose our will on you” is not is his wheelhouse.

“Anytime you reduce football to just being mano-y-mano ball, it’s just not smart football,” Canales said. “So, anything you can do to get a matchup, an advantageous matchup or to move a gain to gain access, we’ll do those things.”

Joe is thinking the best example was this past season when the Bucs traveled to Pittsburgh. The Steelers were reeling and their secondary was decimated by injuries, including to All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.

What the Steelers did do well is defend the run. So what did Leftwich do? He ran right at Steelers All-Pro defensive tackle Cam Heyward and threw short passes.

Joe was at nee-Heinz Field watching from the press box in absolute horror. You had Evans and Godwin going against practice squad dudes, and instead of exploiting that major mismatch, Leftwich was throwing short and running right into the teeth of the Steelers defense.

It was the most irresponsible gameplan Joe had ever seen. And in Joe’s eyes, it was the beginning of the end for Leftwich.

It doesn’t appear Canales will make those kinds of misjudgments.

Ira Kaufman Talks Dave Canales Philosophy, Who Will Choose The Starting QB, Mike Evans Trade Talk And What Drives It, And Says Sources Tell Him Donovan Smith Will Not Return, And More

40 Responses to “Dave Canales Believes In Matchups”

  1. ATLBuc Says:

    I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can do with Trask.

  2. BucBoy Says:

    What I like most about Canales is that he obviously doesn’t pay attention to what some here have said is the dumbest fanbase in the NFL.

  3. Kgh4life Says:

    He also mentioned motion and free- release off the line of scrimmage. What a concept.

  4. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Wasn’t that the first game BA missed due to heart issues this past season too?

    Like BA said: Byron had his plays but NOT his playbook.

  5. WillieG Says:

    Was it really Leftwich’s fault? Or did Bowles sit him down and tell him to run more, even against Pittsburg? I’d love to know what went on behind closed doors and who’s actually to blame for the terrible offense.

  6. JayBuc Says:

    How about that. An OC with common sense! Sounds like someone quick to make in game adjustments and not be stubborn by sticking to a game plan regardless if it’s working or not.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Willie G … ‘Was it really Leftwich’s fault? Or did Bowles sit him down and tell him to run more, even against Pittsburg?’

    Given BL’s history with running planning, why would you even ask that question?

  8. Allbuccedup Says:

    Seattle only gained 82 yards more than the Bucs on total offense, just saying.

  9. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @Allbuccedup – the key is Seattle’s offense scored almost 100 more points (407) than the Bucs (313) did during their season.

  10. LOL Says:

    2022 was a S&^%T show. I forgot about that terrible Pittsburg game for awhile until just now. Thanks Joe. LOL

  11. HC Grover Says:

    Will the patented Bowles prevent game plans allow for this sort of thing or will Bowles ruin Canales too?

  12. JJuice32 Says:

    Tomlin knew all the plays coming in that game, he knew BA’s playbook and knew BL did not have the brains to change any of the concepts. The one word to best describe BL’s play calling “elementary”. I don’t know how DC will end up being as an OC but he sure conveys a sense of confidence more than his predecessor.

  13. Thisisouryear!! Says:

    I can’t help but think the love for trask is a smoke screen. I hope we get a veteran here to compete with him. Super psyched for Canales. I think he I’ll be a breath of fresh air. It would be so nice to isolate our strengths and use them vs what we did last year.

  14. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    I’m so glad we’re not stuck with stupid any longer.

  15. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The Steeler game – true, Evans wasn’t targeted enough and the Bucs didn’t go deep enough- probably because Brady didn’t have time.
    But let’s not forget there were some other key factors in that game – an 89 yard punt return by Steelers and a Bucs’ 4th quarter Defense that could not stop Mitch Trubisky.

  16. Darin Says:

    Usually when a coach gets fired they try to find the opposite kinda coach as the replacement. So yes I had a feeling he was a bright coach who just may try to fool the opposition.

  17. BucsfanFred Says:

    When there’s so many terrible games they kinda blend together. Bowlzo is gonna chug jizz but maybe ‘
    Canales will entertain us .

  18. Duane Says:

    I like Canales as so many others do.

    However, designing and calling plays to produce exactly the desired matchup doesn’t work so good when the offensive line is so bad that the quarterback is running for his like all game long, and thus has by far the shortest release time for his passes … meaning TB-12 never had the luxury of time to go to the ideal matchup …. he only had time to get rid of the ball.

    No amount of game planning and play calling can make up for a horrible O line, which had only one good player all season long – Tristan Wirfs. A single RT cannot constitute an effective five man front, no matter how you design the plays.

    The deal here is that the pressure is on Jason Licht to fix our offensive line. If he doesn’t, our offense will be bad, no matter who is calling the plays or who is under center or who is running the ball.

  19. Steven007 Says:

    By all accounts the offensive line should not be any worse this year, and will likely be better. That is essential. But I agree with Joe, the Pittsburgh game was one of the most frustrating games I watched in a while. I was salivating before the game knowing that 75% of their secondary starters were out. I assumed we’d feast on them via the pass. It was shocking that we didn’t even attempt that. Our o-line play was no worse in that game than it was in the majority of games this past season so that wasn’t an excuse to me.

  20. Marine Buc Says:

    Hey did you guys hear about the awesome new Offensive Coordinator job Byron Leftwhich has been offered?


    Me Neither…

    “You want fries with that?”

  21. ElioT Says:

    Don’t try and start using logic Dave!!!

  22. Craig Says:

    If he can walk and chew gum at the same time he is a better OC already.

    The lack of respecting the other team was the worst offense by Leftie. Not being able to adjust during a game was the second worst, as well as brain dead, offense by Leftie.

    If Canales can stay away from both of those things it will make the Bucs a better team. If Trask can drink the Red Bull flavored Kool-Aid the Bucs offense could win games.

    That is, if Bowles cleaner doesn’t get in the way. He might have been the reason for Leftie’s failure. He admitted that , at tomes, he thought scoring was a bad thing.

  23. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    That’s pretty much football 101 these days. That idea pretty much started in the 80s and has filtered through most good coaches at all levels.

  24. Jeff Says:

    So do the people that call plays in Madden. Let’s not get too excited about the application of some common sense here.

  25. Beej Says:

    If Trask can be even a Mac Jones-ish level qb it would solve SOOOO many problems for the Bucs

  26. Allbuccedup Says:

    Seattle scored almost 100 points more than the Bucs is because Bowles is not the head coach in Seattle.

  27. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    That’s what Mike Smith said when he was hired.

  28. Steven007 Says:

    None of us knows how any of this will turn out until approximately this time next year. But hearing some logic and basics that many of us have been hoping for is much better than the alternative.

  29. Goatfarmer Says:

    I put that Steelers game on the Blowzo just as much if not more than Leftwurst.

    It’s nice to know this Canaries says the right things.

  30. stpetebucfan Says:

    I’m glad Canales is here in time to join the QB debate for next year. We have some misinformed fans here and so the speculation is not all that enlightened.

    When I say misinformed I’m speaking of blaming the OL last year for all of Brady’s problems. Let’s be clear. GOAT is an HISTORICAL term..the Greatest of ALL TIME! Brady will be that for the remainder of my life…unless I make it to 95 and Mahomes or someone, somehow catches him. I remain skeptical.

    But let’s be honest! In 2022 Brady was far from the GRN. Greatest Right Now!
    He was a slow old man with happy feet who was incredibly gunshy!

    And stop with the nonsense that it was the OL’s fault. Even despite injuries to Jensen, Donovan, and for several games Wirfs…the Bucs OL did NOT suck! On the run perhaps but NOT pass pro!

    I’ve read this repeatedly online including no less respected source than JBF!!


    Yes Brady has a quick release, but that’s it!!! He brought nothing to the table to help OL and went fetal position in a New York minute or simply dumped the ball. He was the anti-Mahomes/Burrows/Allen at extending plays.

    Canalas will start fresh and have solid input into who the Bucs end up with. That makes me feel good.

  31. orlbucfan Says:

    Well, now with the fossil gone, we get to see what we have with Bowles and Trask. stpetebucfan, Brady wasn’t worth squat last year. He’s lucky he retired with out being crippled for life. So even with BL, etc. it wasn’t a total horror show. I’m glad Gabbert is gone, too. He stunk!

  32. NEfan Says:

    2 yrs too late. Brady may have worked pretty well with this guy.

  33. Goatfarmer Says:

    If we end up seeing what we have with Trask, I hope fans enjoy watching the football equivalent of spectacular train crash videos, or clips from the special school where Keith Armstrong sends his special teams players for training.

  34. WillieG Says:

    Defense Rules

    Given BL’s history with running planning, why would you even ask that question?

    What? Running planning? Do you mean devising a strategy that involves running? Or do you mean running, as in ongoing, throughout the game?

    BL sucked under Bowles but didn’t suck under BA. He was the only one calling plays for both of them. Brady like BL and they generated awesome offensive numbers when BA was the head coach but not when Bowles was. That’s why I would ask that.

  35. NEfan Says:

    Wille@ DR tends to ignore that FACT!!!

  36. Duane Says:

    Stpetebucfan – the nonsense is all yours. It clearly was the O Line which lost 3 of 5 starters from the great O line of the prior 2 years, and 1 of the two remaining starters played so bad he had to apologize and the coaches excused his horrible play by revealing that he was having “personal issues”. Smith was the most penalized LT in the league with the most LT sacks given up in the league, despite his quarterback having the quickest release of any QB in the league. We were down to the 3rd and 4th string center by thd last month of the season. And the starting RG was so one of the worst in the league.

    Deny those facts and you are admitting you are an idiot.

  37. David Says:

    Good to hear.
    BL was horrendous at it. Heck, John Gruden was very bad at it.
    You need your base offensive system and game plan but, just to throw a number at it, about 20% of a game needs to be getting a good matchup.

    Whether that is a TE on a safety or slow linebacker, or a receiver one on one, or a specific passing or running play against a defensive scheme, it needs to be incorporated.

    Last year it does not seem they did that hardly at all. They also really didn’t have any go to plays other than the wide receiver quick screen.

  38. BillyBucco Says:

    Praise God

  39. stpetebucfan Says:


    “Deny those facts and you are admitting you are an idiot.”

    Nobody’s talking about those “facts”. I’m talking about RESULTS…as they say results speak for themselves! Brady was sacked less than the vast majority of NFL QB’s last year. That is just FACTUALLY TRUE. How do you explain that?

    Are you contending that it was all Brady’s quick release? Perhaps you believe it was his superior mobility? His courage under fire? His amazing speed? His incredible illusive moves in the pocket.

    Analysis and opinion are one thing…SHOW ME THE MONEY…THE #OF SACKS.

  40. steele Says:

    While everyone deserves a chance, you should all be wary of Canales, who will say all the right things, despite no play calling, no real promotion within the Pete Carroll coaching family (and no one in Seattle panicking over his departure). We shall see if he’s genius, or just one of the many young wannabes.

    Why is he being trotted out like a head coach? Looks a lot like a good cop/bad cop PR move from OneBuc. Ultimately what Bowles wants is what the offense does, no matter what Canales says right now.

    Meanwhile, what you will hear from Canales all offseason is collegiate type rah-rah, motivational speaker excitement and catch phrases, all directly from the Pete Carroll method. This type of enthusiasm works if a locker room completely buys into the approach, but it can backfire badly and wear very thin with players. Look at the Seahawks. A couple of hot years, including two Super Bowls, then a poisonous decline and dissension. Ask Richard Sherman and others who got really sick of it.

    And why are the Seahawks some great model? This past season may be a fluke. Prior to it, several years of mediocrity and struggle. Even during the glory years, the offense was a mixed bag.

    Now the Bucs are badly in need of new motivation, especially the jaded veterans. So Canales’ recycled Pete Carroll feelgood may be needed,but it is tough psych job to pull off, especially when Bowles is the boss.