Running Game Identity Is New Mantra At One Buc

April 17th, 2023

The Free Ke’Shawn Vaughn/Draft Bijan Robinson movements will love this.

Many Bucs players returned to work today, Day 1 of the formal offseason conditioning program.

Joe doesn’t care about guys doing squats and running sprints, but Joe is very interested in the messaging from first-year, first-time offensive coordinator Dave Canales.

The message was clear, Pro Bowl right tackle Tristan Wirfs told media today. Canales says the team identity will be its running game, and everything on offense will flow from that.

That’s quite a radical change for the NFL’s worst rushing attack in 2022.

None of this is a surprise, but today Canales officially got to start hammering in the edict. Wirfs said it felt great.

“I think it’s going to be great. I’m really excited,” Wirfs said. “The O-line is really excited to get cracking on the playbook. … I think all offensive linemen want to run the ball. And a guy comes in and says, ‘This is what we’re going to do; this is going to be our identity. We’re going to base things off the run game and get our explosives off of that. It’s going to be good. I’m excited. We got like a little taste of it today. You know, I don’t even know anything and I’m excited. I just saw the philosophy and I was ready to go.”

Joe’s all for pounding the rock, but Mike Evans and Chris Godwin remain the clear strengths of the Bucs offense until proven otherwise.

Ira Kaufman Reads Between Jason Licht’s Lines, Explores Todd Bowles’ Development Record, Talks The Cam Jordan Mess, Drafting Wide Receiver, And Much More

46 Responses to “Running Game Identity Is New Mantra At One Buc”

  1. pewter941 Says:

    So do we make an elite line with good runningbacks, or get an elite running back (Bijan) with a good line?

  2. Dew Says:

    Leaves little doubt a RB will be drafred early. I support that.

  3. MadMax Says:

    If we miss out on TE D. Washington, I hope we can snag Avilla and then grab Achane. We’ll be well on our way with that set up!

  4. Geno711 Says:

    I think this is a passing league more than a running league.

    Last four Super Bowl champs won by being elite passing the ball.

    It is not the only way to get there. So, you can be elite running and mediocre passing the ball. But I think the easier method is to be elite passing.

  5. ElioT Says:

    Imagine what a competent running game could do to open up with passing game and slow down the pass rush?

    Go Bucs!

  6. AtlBuc Says:

    A good running scheme makes the line better. A better line makes the running backs better. Better running backs makes the passing game better.

  7. Dooley Says:

    Football 101: Running the ball effectively on offense is the first step in imposing your will on an opposing defense. Doesn’t mean “run heavy” doesn’t mean “run most of the time” it’s just simply being able to do it well and how that blends with the rest of your playbook. Too many people took the “Canales wants to run the ball better” as being some antiquated approach and it’s clearly a new OC literally building his playbook from the ground up.

  8. robert Says:

    yeah. 2 yards and cloud of dust, followed by another then 3rd and long…….INTERCEPTION by bake mayfield. Defense on the field yet again.

    The only reason this O line is still standing upright was Brady got the ball out quick. They will look like hot garbage. just because they commit to running does not mean they can. and White is a damn good back if given a lane!!

  9. Goatfarmer Says:

    Must have effective run blocking – statement of the obvious. Last year I don’t think the cloned hybrid of Jim Brown and Barry Sanders would have been able to average more than 4 ypc behind Leftwurst’s run blocking “scheme.”

    Beef up the offensive trench. Then teach them how to coordinate their blocking, and for chrissakes make sure they know their damn assignments (Toad).

    Trenches trenches trenches .

  10. Goatfarmer Says:

    PS – MadMax, with you in Achane. He’s the man.

  11. Bucsfan13 Says:

    So now some fans want the team to run the ball effectively, and most importantly efficiently? Where was this energy last year? The Bucs have never been a top running team, but at least there was a threat of the run. I’ve been saying the game is won and lost in the trenches. A good running game does open up the pass game, but once again, where was this energy last year when people were ragging on the pass game. I rather build a team with a great OL before a QB. Losing Ali was a bigger loss than Gronk. I miss Ali so much. I watched his growth, and was damn proud when he made it to the Pro Bowl last year.

  12. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I have a feeling that Licht is going to draft two OL maulers, along with a hard hitting RB.

  13. Beej Says:

    “The O-line is really excited to get cracking on the playbook. …”

    Understatement of the year

  14. Allbuccedup Says:

    If the running game is going to be your identity then Robinson or Gibbs is a must.

  15. Rod Munch Says:

    YES, we must emulate the best rushing team in the NFL! That’s how you win in 2023.

    Now lets go back and look up who was the best rushing team in the NFL last year….

    Oh, coming in at #3 – the Falcons… humm, well, I’m sure the list gets better.

    Coming in at #2 – the Ravens. humm, well, they made the playoffs I guess.

    And the #1 team in rushing in 2022 – THE CHICAGO BEARS, who were picking #1 overall. So that’s TWO #1s for one team, so that’s amazing!

    YES, Lovie, I mean Bowles, has his new matra, you run the ball to win games, and this list proves it!

  16. Crickett Baker Says:

    Yikes, Rod.

  17. Infomeplease Says:

    Seems to me Bowles put an emphasis on running last year! When the opposition fills the box with 7 or 8 defenders your run game will be in trouble! I sure hope Canales has some answers for that!

  18. Goatfarmer Says:

    Rod, applause. In 2021, the Bucs ran the ball very well, but not a lot. It made the play action game lethal even though Leftwurst didn’t call it enough. But Brady went ape and should have been league MCP. Throwing the ball extremely well even without his A-list receivers.

    It’s a trench thing. Without Brady we better be able to get more out of the run blocking.

    Running well does not mean running a lot. The implication is, Bloweszo wants to run it a lot.

  19. Bucsfan13 Says:

    White didn’t impress me at all last year. True, the OL was hot garbage, but I just didn’t see the it factor with White. I wish the fans would stop treating him as the next Roger Craig. He’s not a true RB1. He can’t carry a full load.

  20. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    Yay popgun offense

  21. chark Says:

    lets go Bijan !!
    Bijan Robinson
    RB | Texas
    Isaiah Foskey
    EDGE | Notre Dame
    Matthew Bergeron
    OT | Syracuse
    Colby Wooden
    DL | Auburn
    Jarrett Patterson
    IOL | Notre Dame
    Mekhi Garner
    CB | LSU
    Brandon Joseph
    S | Notre Dame
    Tre Tucker
    WR | Cincinnati
    Viliami Fehoko
    EDGE | San Jose State
    Marte Mapu
    LB | Sacramento State

  22. Rod Munch Says:

    Bucsfan13 – If you think Roger Craig, or Warrick Dunn, or Mike Alstott, or Emmitt Smith would have done anything last year in that offense with that idiot calling plays, you’re clueless and have no idea what you’re watching.

  23. Pewter Power Says:

    Of you can’t run the ball it makes it easier to cover our guys so let’s hope that changes because if defenses have to commit to the run then Godwin and Evans should a monster season

  24. ModHairKen Says:

    A run-oriented Offense can still work. But not if the Defense can’t hold other teams down. Unless this team can rush the passer, it will not be able to run the ball effectively. There will still be 4,000 yards of passing to spread around.

    Devin White is now a distraction. He’s gone after next year anyhow. So get what you can for him.

  25. Larrd Says:

    Good guy, I guess, but Bowles sucks and so does his plan, sadly. Even Jameis’s 30 INT season was fun and competitive.

  26. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    It would be nice, if we could snap our fingers and claim a new mantra.

    Unless the Bucs get some real “Dawgs” on the o-line, what’s going to change with the offense? Talk is cheap. I can talk all day long.

    We’ve all seen the varied results of the Bucs offense, over the last few years.
    It’s been obvious, the main factor, was the o-line.
    Unless, you’ve been living under a rock.

  27. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Great news: Bucs claim a “new mantra”

  28. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    So we’re effed. Good to know.

  29. sasquatch Says:

    Infomeplease Says:
    April 17th, 2023 at 3:18 pm

    Seems to me Bowles put an emphasis on running last year!

    In theory… and yet they led the league in pass attempts! Bowles wanted to run better and run more, but they sucked, so they didn’t.

    There’s nothing wrong with running the ball effectively and building an offense around that, if it works, and if you don’t handicap the passing game.

    Bowles isn’t wrong that they need to run it better.

  30. steele Says:

    Rah Rah Canales wants smashmouth Marshawn Lynch. Fine. The problem is, the roster has to be reworked in order to make such a thing possible. It ain’t gonna work when you have #3 and #4 types (Ke, Rachaad) pushed into #1, when they aren’t qualified. In other words, they need to sign and/or draft two legit bigtime running backs who can actually dominate games for four quarters, and a greatly enhanced OL that is road grader/smashmouth.

    Good luck with that.

  31. HC Grover Says:


  32. GBuc62 Says:

    Fix two of your mistakes in one move Licht. Devin White for Dalvin Cook, straight up trade. Get it done.

  33. AnonymousBuc76 Says:

    If Bijan Robinson is there at 19 we have to take imo…

    Assuming he isn’t 🙏 take the best offensive lineman available….

  34. NEfan Says:

    Poof from 32nd to 1st, this OC that NEVER called one NFL play has all the answers. Tell me the last team to win a SB that wasn’t a pass first offense? 3 top tier receivers and your focus is run first. Yes you have to be able to run the ball but have we not learned anything from the Titans, Indy, Bears and especially 2022 Bucs??

  35. Buccos Says:

    Imposing your will on the other team is never boring. I actually believe we have the maulers in house. We should draft another one but if Jensen is back at full strength we should be good. Some of our lineman just needed some more experience. I would draft mainly defense. Edge rusher, inside linebacker, safety. All 3 levels. Throw an OL and a back in for good measure and wala, Superbowl

  36. Posey99 Says:

    Do the 49ers run the ball? Pretty sure that’s what he’s going for, balance with Run being a primary function. Quick passes and tempo, talented backs with speed. And WR’s on lots of slant type routes. It will definitely look different. May be a great thing.

  37. Goatfarmer Says:

    Just Leave Trask At Home Says:
    April 17th, 2023 at 6:26 pm
    So we’re effed because my boo is conspired against. Good to know.


    Just love your photos of him harder, sport!

  38. Vancouver Buc Says:

    Rod, u nailed it…will be along season

  39. garro Says:

    You do understand that most offensive linemen would rather run block anyway. right?

    Whether our guys are gonna be any better at blocking this new scheme is a whole other story. Call me doubtful!

    Rah Rah phrases are fine but they don’t make it happen. See Tennessee Ready. Rah Rah Rah! Siege the Day!

  40. garro Says:

    1977 John McKay offense! Ricky Bell left, Ricky Bell right, Sack, Punt. 🙂

  41. garro Says:

    Sounds like they are gonna get Evans and Godwin killed.

  42. D-Rok Says:

    At least SOMEBODY, on Day 1, said, THIS IS OUR IDENTITY. I’m all for concise Mission Statements from employers. So, yay!

    We do not have the players, currently, to run the ball efficiently nor effectively. (Not talking about you, Tristan – you’re good bro). We need different OL to accomplish this team goal. We got that Feiler guy, now what does the draft bring to the O-line? Will we draft a stud RB? OK, so we do draft OL and RB, perhaps earlier, but then what about the defensive needs?

    As others have said, without a pass rush, a good running game won’t be enough to offset points given up and TOP given up.

    My point? The identity thing is good, but I question whether it can or will be realized this season. Perhaps after this and next draft, if we get the right blockers of men on the line.

    Still not sold (yet) we will be competitive for the division title. Way too many unknowns, compared with 2022, when we brought back the ENTIRE SB – winning squad – everyone and they Mama knew what that team could do. This team? So many questions…

  43. TampabayDJ Says:

    Our new OC, Canales, said in his introduction meeting and all other meetings with the media that he wants to run a “Balanced offense where the run sets up the pass and the pass sets up the run . More of a 50/50 approach. And if the run isn’t working that game, then we pass more, and visa versa ” those were his exact words. So please chill out everyone. First of all do you really think he’s going to let anyone outside the team know what they are going to do ? They have the advantage of teams not knowing what to expect. Oh , by the way. He also said Chris Godwin and Mike Evans are going to be a big part of how the offense works . Go Bucs

  44. BucsNoles Says:

    If you dont get ME another K that’s a crime

  45. doolnutts Says:

    Bowles is lovie smith 2.0. These coaches are literally stuck in 1996… Why try to replicate how we won the super bowl? It’s so bizarre to me that Todd Bowles acts like he wasn’t apart of our championship team. The guy is defining what it means to reinvent the wheel.

  46. BUCFAN_3 Says:

    If your identity is running the ball its nice having receivers that aren’t afraid to block to create those 20 plus gains!!!!!