Hall Of Fame GM: Change-Embracing Bucs Need A Bellcow Back

February 17th, 2023

Great change is coming to the Buccaneers’ offense.

Whatever Bucco Bruce Arians meant when he said last week that Todd Bowles’ 2022 philosophy “didn’t match,” it’s been magnified by the hiring of a playcaller groomed by the run-first Seahawks.

That playcaller is new offensive coordinator Dave Canales, though he’s never actually called plays.

Arians’ good friend, Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian, said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that the Canales hiring means massive change is coming to One Buc Palace. Polian knows the Arians-Leftwich offense well — Arians worked for him in Indianapolis — and he emphasized how much the Canales-Seattle way will be a much different look and probably more in line with what Bowles wants in Tampa.

Aside from being run, run, run, Polian said fans should expect Canales to want to get his quarterback out of the pocket and be more tight-end oriented.

When Polian’s co-host Bill Lekas asked him if the Bucs are shifting to what Bowles wants desires on his history in New York with the Jets, Polian confidently replied, “Amen, partner.”

Polian added the Bucs should be seeking a pretty dominant bellcow as a running back because he doesn’t feel any of the current Bucs backs “can make things happen on his own.”

Joe can’t argue with adding a significant running back talent in the draft. If you’re going with a run-first offense, then you better have a couple of punishing and dynamic running backs who can combine to log 400 carries a season.

Joe can’t say with certainty the Bucs have two.

65 Responses to “Hall Of Fame GM: Change-Embracing Bucs Need A Bellcow Back”

  1. Tom in MadCity Says:

    What does this say about the future of the offensive line? The strength of the o-line as it is currently constructed is pass blocking, not run blocking. Will we see new players added at LT, LG, and RG?

  2. Andrew Fish Says:

    I don’t mind running more but YPC has to go way up. otherwise what is the point.

  3. Locked In Says:

    3rd and long…punt

  4. Rayjay1122 Says:

    2023 is going to be a snooze fest. Hopefully it will pave the way for something more watchable in 2024.

  5. Joe Says:

    Bijan Robinson, ladies and gentlemen.

    Better learn the words to “Yellow Rose of Texas.”

  6. Bojim Says:

    Well Bowles is getting what he wants. Go Bucs.

  7. Redeemer Says:

    It’s a passing league obviously, but being able to run will help Trask out a ton. I don’t see the ability to do that on this roster though, without major changes. If you wanna run the ball, go get a fullback and plow into people. Zone blocking is incredibly hard to master. It’s almost backwards to what these guys have been taught. Go back to basics, especially with a young and inexperienced QB.

  8. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Need a bellcow running a bellcow quarterback two bellcow defensive backs a bellcow edge rusher and if White don’t answer the bell need a bellcow linebacker. Hopefully we trade Smith and Gage and get a 4th round pick and get one there. We have got a lot of holes to fill for sure.

  9. Infomeplease Says:

    If Bowles wants what he had in NY, he’s got 1 season under his belt!!! As a fan get use to losing!!! This team doesn’t have a dominating O-line. They get pushed around by almost every team!!

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Frankly, I wouldn’t give Bowles anything he wants…..we gave him Brady….he failed…..and we gave Brady Lenny….he failed.

    I can see White as a very good 3rd down back……but Lenny can’t get it done….not with this line….

    If w can somehow get a top RB & TE….that would help..

    But, we will need to replace LVD & Dean in the draft……so many needs.

  11. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Tank Bigsby Auburn RB just the name spells bellcow.

  12. Infomeplease Says:

    Sure, a run game has a big advantage… you keep the other team’s offense off the field!! And you keep your defense fresh! The problem is it’s hard to sustain a running game unless you have a monstrous O-line!! The Bucs do not!! End result… see last season game replays!!!

  13. Power of Pewter Says:

    Camarda will get a workout… might need a second punter to share the workload.

  14. Frank Pillow Says:

    Pretty sure we need “bell cow” OL for that, Bill. Even at the height of our run, this OL was not known for power blocking.

  15. TankforCaleb Says:

    Bowels is never going to to a third season here so what he wants shouldn’t really be a consideration at all.

  16. BucsfanFred Says:

    We need to draft players with good expected longevity first, like Olinemen. RBs don’t last long.

  17. Onetrickpony Says:


  18. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Is Trask capable of 220 yards passing per game with the receivers Bucs have? – I think yes.
    Can Bucs improve their rushing stats to 110 yards per game? – with Jensen back and an upgrade at Guard, I think so.
    That’s enough offense to score 25 points per game.
    Now about that DLine – that is the biggest problem right now on this team.

  19. BucsfanFred Says:

    BTW, Joe, the Woke Police are here for your scalp.

    It’s a capitol offence to say “Ladiex and Gentx.”

    It’s now officially “Menstruating Persons and Wankers.”

    Your penance is say 150 Lord Baracks and 69 hail Fauchis.

  20. Lokog Says:

    This team needs a 15 second DP for each player and coach

  21. Duane Says:

    I get it that a certain crowd wants to pass pass pass and never run, but they’re ignoring some very good offenses that run the ball effectively and a lot.

    Like the NFC champion Eagles who just barely lost to KC in the Super Bowl. The SF 49ers who played in a NFC Championship game and probably could have won if not for losing all their quarterbacks. Also the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills.

    These were all top ten rushing teams, while the Bucs, who only barely won a bad division with the GOAT under center lost in the wild card game to one of those good rushing teams.

    Also, if indeed we don’t have a passing monster under center this upcoming season, a great rushing attack, along with a great offensive line, are the best friends of a quarterback who is brand new. Just ask the 49ers about that.

  22. Redeemer Says:

    Alan, exactly. the aggregate matters. You can’t win consistently with lopsidedness. All the evidence we need is the bucs offense this past season.

  23. Duane Says:

    Alanbucsfan, actually, I disagree with you on one thing: our offensive line still sucks. We still have under contract only three of our offensive linemen from our very good lines of 2020 and 2021, and one of those three had a disastrous, no good, very bad season – Smith. And another one of those three missed alll regular season games and did not play up to his standards in the playoff game that he started. We don’t know how good Jensen will be after his surgery and recovery. So we really have only one dependable lineman on the roster today.

    If we don’t get that fixed, by hook or by crook, our defensive line won’t matter much because our offense will be lucky to score 14 points a game. But if we manage to fix the offensive line, we should be good enough on offense to give the defense a chance to shine.

  24. A Bucs Fan Says:

    I know the Bucs are in for a down season. This has to have always been part of the plan post Brady. I think righting the trenches, running the ball, using play action, and utilizing the TE’s more are all smart decisions as the Bucs transition to life after Tom Brady.

    The hope is that Trask shows some spark and is better many believe here so they can build around him. If he does not play well they can replace him with a high draft pick in 2024.

    Overall, running the ball is not boring, and may prove to be an apt decision considering all the success many offenses had against defenses across the NFL this year.

  25. covertwo22 Says:

    so much incoherent negativity! It’s exactly what this team needs to do. if they go with Trask, (which they should) surround him with a solid run game. You shouldn’t expect anyone to throw as much as Brady did last year.
    I believe this plan lines up well with the two big world class receivers we have.
    If Trask plays well and we have a solid run game, this team will be dangerous.

  26. HC Grover Says:

    This makes no sense. The team was built for Brady pass offense. Brady gone now Bozo want to run with the passing roster of high price old receivers? Beyond goofy. They are over the edge.

  27. HC Grover Says:

    A moron keeps doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. What is Bowles?

  28. Brian Says:

    We need a back like Alstott and Hendon Hooker! Seriously

  29. Cobraboy Says:

    We are in for some boring, loser football in 2023.

  30. Bobby M. Says:

    Good teams would unload Evans….he’s nearing 30, on the last yr of his deal and has played super physical his entire career. Extending him at 31?….makes zero sense, trade him for picks…..Licht is actually decent at drafting WRs. Free up space, add youth. I would send devin white packing as well….somebody will see value in him. He’s good at one thing….can’t pay $20 million a yr for a blitzing LB

  31. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Brian Says:
    February 17th, 2023 at 4:49 pm
    We need a back like Alstott and Hendon Hooker! Seriously

    Are there any thick-necked prostitutes in the draft?

  32. Alanbucsfan Says:

    My thought is Goedeke is a quality Tackle , not a good Guard, and if Wirfs moved to Left Tackle and Bucs upgrade at left guard , they could have an effective running game considering Canales came from an offense that had 2000 yards rushing last year so he must have some decent scheming ideas.

  33. NEfan Says:

    Titans, Indy, Seattle, Pat’s, Pittsburgh, GB, Cleveland, Atlanta, Carolina, Detriot, Jets, Seattle, Giants all run first O’s. Other than Eagles none succeeded. KC, Bill’s, SF, Chargers, Cincy run to set up the pass.

    Good luck with that!!! Bowles is a dinosaur and now it’s official who killed the 2022 season.

  34. kyle Says:

    hopefully we go 0-17 and can start over from the head coach down. A top qb draft pick in 2024 will definitely attract a quality staff.

  35. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I just looked at 2 mock drafts, one had Bijan Robinson going 3rd overall to Arizona, the other had him going 6th overall to Detroit. There’s a long time before the draft though, maybe he’ll fall.

  36. Mike S Says:

    We need a pass rush. That’s Tampa’s highest priority.

    First three picks should be 2 D-Line 1 corner not necessarily in that order. Then BPA. If there is value later in the draft at RB and there is value there then add back.

  37. Cobraboy Says:

    Run-first offenses usually mean the QB is not a significant threat. Look at NEfan’s list.

    Run-first is not run-to-set-up-the-pass. Run-first is supposed to churn clock and rarely score a lot of points.

    Dungy ran-first because he had a stifling defense.

    I suspect in 2023 the Bucs will neither run well nor defend well, so it’s shaping up to be a Bowles Tank.

    Where is Schiano when you need him? At least his team was somewhat disciplined…until he lost the lockerroom.

  38. Stu Says:

    Hope…there is none for this team.

  39. TAMPA BAY DEMON™ Says:

    Power of Pewter Says:
    “might need a second punter to share the workload.”

    Damn dude… .that is a really, REALLY good line.

  40. MadMax Says:

    Zack Evans….figure out how….move up to the top of the 3rd or something…

  41. MadMax Says:

    A FG kicker after that….who can kick 50+ bye Ryan, im sorry man.

  42. MadMax Says:

    nd while im at it….LT Duncan and QB Hooker….the rest are cookies where they crumble

  43. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Gonna be hard to run when the Bucs are behind 3 scores after the first half.

  44. MadMax Says:

    the rest are cookies where they crumble the most….A TE somewhere in there will be nice….some no name not expected, Dalton Kincaid or something like that….its called research people 😉

  45. Jfan Says:

    If Trask is the plan at QB they will have to run much more. Trask ran well in collage and is a bigger dude same size as Josh Allan. I don’t see him having a whole bunch of success being just a pocket passer. The best teams have QB’s that can run. It sounds like that’s the direction we are headed. Go Bucs!

  46. Dooley Says:

    That bellcow sh*t cuts RB careers short, last time we went looking for one we got Perc Martin, before him some of us watched Gruden run Carnell Williams ragged. I could’ve sworn it was long established even with an every down back, you need an spell RB. Some teams have’em some teams choose not to paint themselves into that corner. We’ve got Lenny under contract, ‘Chaad White and a bunch of other holes elsewhere are we really going to create more “what ifs”?

  47. Destinjohnny Says:

    Y we have the worst line in football thanks to bad Drafting

  48. stpetebucfan Says:

    “Joe can’t say with certainty the Bucs have two.”

    But nobody can say with certainty that the Bucs don’t have those two backs.

    If Lennie comes to camp in shape and highly motivated he can be great again.
    White flashed a lot for a rookie and both of these guys can catch it out of the backfield.

    If it’s run…run…run you need two backs in today’s NFL.

    And if it’s run first…as pointed out boring but nice Dungy did it all with defense!
    Bowles is obviously a DC first and if he can produce that kind of D more power to him. He better be drafting a great DB…and some more LB’s and hope that JTS and Logan Hall live up to their draft #’s.

  49. SB Says:

    We could have had Dameon Peirce last yr in the 3rd.

  50. Larrd Says:

    I guess the team’s two potential HOF wideouts are just going to have to deal.

    Bowles seems pretty dumb.

  51. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Canales is coming from a run first team, but I think some of your are getting twisted up for no reason. Fans should expect change to come with the transition of Brady and the coaching staff.

    We don’t know what Trask is yet, but every young QB is benefited by protection and a solid running game.

    And I don’t think I mean look at Seattle last year with 2,500 yards on the ground and they still had two great receivers with over 80 catches 1K and 6+ TD’s each.


  52. ABucAway Says:

    Perhaps this is why I’m not a HOF (anything) GM, but I’d stick with White and Vaughn and worry more about getting the Oline and Defense Buc’ed up. Another RB in the early rounds just to get hit in the backfield due to a bad blocking? No thank you.
    Besides if we do become a run more type offense, I think it’s imperative that the defense get the draft pick love this season.

  53. ABucAway Says:

    And new Line coaches on both sides of the ball.

  54. Joe in Michigan Says:

    SB Says:
    February 17th, 2023 at 6:48 pm
    We could have had Dameon Peirce last yr in the 3rd
    Okay, I’ll play along with your could’ve/would’ve/should’ve game…Pierce gets drafted by the Bucs, splits carries with Fournette, has the same yardage as Rachaad White. White gets drafted by the Texans and has as many yards rushing as Pierce had.
    It’s been ONE YEAR. We don’t know who will have a better NFL career yet. Give it 3 years, and we’ll see if you have a legitimate complaint.

  55. Elita Vita Says:

    Yep a rookie QBs best friend is an excellent running back, as well as a very good tight end and Oline. Now it’s up to Licht to provide the personnel needed. Go Bucs!

  56. Mike Says:

    We have to draft OL and DL as the first priority, followed by CB most likely. I would hope we don’t reach for an RB or WR but if there is someone there who makes sense, go that route and hope the scouts can hit on a mid round OL or DL player. And on top of that, we need LB’s. Heck, we need everything really, so just BPA this thing!

  57. CrackWise Says:

    You have it right in the PIC.

    We have BELL COWS already on the roster.

    HOF Bell Cows at that.

    Lets Roll with ME

  58. Jerry Says:

    Please define a bell cow back because I can’t remember the last real dominant back to win a championship. Even run first teams use multiple situation backs. The buccaneers have 2 championships without a true 3 down back so why pay for that type of player.

  59. steele Says:

    It’s being made absolutely clear that Bowles is going to get everything that he wants. Which is a return to NYJets. BOWLES BALL. He insists on it. Run the ball. Defense. Physical domination. Low turnover, low scoring. Canales is exactly what he wants: a Jeremy Bates disciple who will be replicating the glory years of Jets Bowles Ball, and the Seahawks (conservative run game, short passes, mobile QB). All of this despite a roster not built for any of this, that has to be blown up in order to make it work.

    As for the bellcow back, that has been a huge need for years. Fournette has never been that guy. Rachaad White is not that guy, and is more suited to be a #3 gadget/receiving complement to the currently non-existent bellcow.

    Sure. The roster needs a new Alstott or Beast Mode Lynch. Go get him.

  60. Anonymous Says:

    bowles will be gone after this season.

  61. Bucswin Says:

    Great. In about 3 or 4 seasons coach will have us where he wants us to be. I can’t wait. GO BUCS!!

  62. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … ‘If it’s run…run…run you need two backs in today’s NFL.’

    The NFL, like any business, evolves IMO St Pete. ‘Run-run-run’ implies running on virtually every play, and that’s obviously not the case with any team. Even those teams that emphasize the run will pass roughly as often as they run. Examples last year (almost all sacks are passing attempts as opposed to designed QB runs?):
    o Philly (14-3) – 544 rushes; 536 passes; 44 sacks.
    o Dallas (12-5): 531 rushes; 556 passes; 27 sacks.
    o Baltimore (10-7): 526 rushes; 488 passes; 38 sacks.
    o Tennessee (7-10): 487 rushes; 456 passes; 49 sacks.

    There are more obviously, but when you factor in sacks as predominantly passing attempts, you end up with run-pass ratios of 48%-50%. Nobody ever takes the time to define a ‘ground-and-pound’ attack, but I’d say those 4 teams are pretty close to using that type of an attack … and they pass as often as they run.

    No one in today’s NFL runs the ball more than 50% of the time. Most teams appear to strive for a run-pass ratio percentage of 40%-45%. And that’s what I’d consider to be a BALANCED ATTACK … IF run properly IMO such that you keep your opponents OFF-BALANCE. That’s what we lacked last season (too predictable) and it made us very easy to defend against.

    Seattle’s not a particularly strong team IMO (finished 9-8 with the #9 offense but #25 defense). The QB (Geno Smith) was in his 1st year with them & had had a meh career (12-19 with 3 other teams). And yet, he passed for 69.8% (4282 yards with 30 TDs) and ran 68 times for 366 yards (5.4 YPC) & 1 TD. Seahawks’ run-pass ratio … 40.7% (425 runs; 573 passes; 46 sacks). That IMO is a fairly BALANCED ATTACK.

    And that I think is more inline with what Todd Bowles is looking for (as opposed to the league-low 33.3% run-pass ratio that Bucs had this past season). And I also think that 40%-45% BALANCED ATTACK is what our new OC will strive to deliver. And yes, his experience as Geno Smith’s QB coach & his extensive time with Pete Carroll probably played a big part in him getting hired. He MIGHT be able to do with Kyle Trask what he did with Geno Smith. Time will tell.

  63. NEfan Says:

    Every playoff team threw the ball over 50% of the time, most almost 60% and some 60%+, the Buc obviously led with 67.88%. The teams below 50% did not make the po’s. Chicago was last proceeded by Atlanta.

  64. Cobraboy Says:

    The Bucs need a “bellcow” Head Coach more than RB.

  65. Todd Says:

    If Bowles want to make the Bucs like when he coach the Jets… well how good were the jets , Bowles got fired.