“That Can Also Be A Bonus”

April 3rd, 2023

“Nothing, crusty, old school or predictable about this guy, Jason. Dennis Allen will have night sweats.”

Joe already shared the declaration, “I love Russell Gage,” from new Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales.

Turns out it was part of his overall sales pitch from Day 1 at One Buc Palace.

Joe sat down with 10th-year Bucs general manager Jason Licht in Phoenix last week and had a chat about receivers. For those unaware, the Bucs have Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage, a receivers trio the vast majority of NFL teams would kill to have.

Gage is often an afterthought for fans and media after his mediocre showing last season, but Licht told Joe that Canales talked about plans for Gage “extensively” during his interview for the OC job. And it’s not just because Gage can block in the run game.

Licht says he’s not sitting in offseason meetings with offensive coaches to study the install of the offense, but Licht said he has had many deep conversations with Canales about how the offense will evolve.

Count on Gage to be a key component, Licht said, adding that the Bucs hope the run and the passing feed off each other more this season.

And Licht said he and Todd Bowles increasingly like how the flexibility and open-mindedness of the first-time offensive coordinator will make the offense unpredictable and possibly more dangourous.

“Yes, he’s never called plays before, but that can also be a bonus to where he is evolving all the time and is willing to do things differently, and change on the fly instead of being stuck in his way,” Licht said.

Joe also sees the Canales offense as a complete mystery to defensive coordinators, which should be an advantage early in the season.

The Bucs have a lot of weapons, and just imagine if they add one of the stud tight ends in this draft.

31 Responses to ““That Can Also Be A Bonus””

  1. Dooley Says:

    “change on the fly instead of being stuck in his way”


  2. Dre bucs fan Says:

    Shots fired at Byron L. lol it’s time to evolve into new age football! Baker could be perfect in the play action given his mobility, im leaning into drafting TOP OT with out first pick best available safety with second. And just be competitive this upcoming year. Don’t see a superbowl coming but a playoff win would be lovely for first year OC Dave

  3. The Truth be Told Says:

    Football is the ultimate Team Game. However-QB is the most important position as is a Goalie in Hockey or a Pitcher in BBall or an Offensive Scoring Machine in Basketball are to a team’s game by game chance for success. Baker Mayfield is competent. The Bucs Defense is decent enough to keep them in games. If they can find a consistent running game they may actually be a better team than last year’s one-dimensional punishing to watch offense that had no rhythm and every 3rd and 1 was never converted it seemed. Let’s get Physical again. You are not a physical team if you can not run the ball. And if you are not a physical team you will not succeed in the end.

  4. gbobucsfan Says:

    10 years for Mr. Licht….wow, time flies.

  5. Smashsquatch Says:

    “instead of being stuck in his way” says it all. It was so obvious to everyone on the planet that Byron was in over his head. Too bad Jason didn’t step in mid-season and make a change. What a waste. Canales will be light years ahead of Leftwich. Biggest offseason improvement by far.

  6. jimmy Says:

    >>> And it’s not just because Gage can block in the run game. <<<

    This guy is a hurt Michael Clayton II.

  7. Letsbucinggo Says:

    The two bellies in charge!

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    “he don’t be stuck in his way”

    Don’t be one bit surprised if we select an OT & TE in the first two rounds….

  9. Marine Buc Says:

    I love Russell Gage… when he is healthy.


  10. Aceofaerospace Says:

    Anything will be better than the Blairwich Project of last season.

  11. Buc4evr Says:

    Agree, need a blocking TE in the draft as well as LT and big guard for depth. Maybe a RB later in the draft. The only way Mayfield will survive is max protect and a decent running game.

  12. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Gage showed a lot of heart and grit playing for the Bucs last year. I respect his game! His hamstring was never healthy last year and he played through many injuries. Hopefully he heals up this offseason and shows out this year!

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    Everyone keeps talking about what the offense needs (and we do NEED a starting Tackle to replace Donnie, a starting TE to replace Brate, and could use another RB), but look at our DEFENSE. It’s been decimated, and we have LOTS of needs right now for starters AND for key rotational players. We slid some in the quality of our defense in 2022 because we lost several key players to free agency (Suh, JPP, Whitehead, McLendon, Minter, etc) and tried to replace them with lesser talents & newbies. This season we’ve lost even more (LOTS more), and thus far have only a few replacements onboard (Dean, Gaines, LVD, Nelson, Delaney) plus several others who saw very little field time last year (Gill, O’Connor, Senat).

    I’m HOPING that 3 things happen between now & Game 1 … (1) JTS, Hall, McCollum stay healthy & make some HUGE strides in performance; (2) we strike gold in the draft with 5 ‘keepers’ (DT, DE/OLB, ILB, CB, S); and (3) we’re able to fill the remaining starter holes with relatively inexpensive but TALENTED veterans. Since I’m still dreaming, might as well throw in that we also have an injury-free year.

  14. Crickett Baker Says:

    I just love the way Joe is releasing tidbits from the Phoenix meeting into many interesting stories in an otherwise dearth of news time. How smart, progressive, and obviously hard work!

    I sure hope Licht is right and Canales’ lack of experience doesn’t go the other way. This season is so far pretty darn exciting to me.

  15. Goatfarmer Says:

    Music to our ears, and not having a washed (Julio) or insane (AB) receiver to keep happy helps. And someone like Thompkins can get on the field more and shouldn’t be slept on, either.

    Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand, so show us. Results, you know.

  16. K2 Says:

    People are quick to point to no Brady as the reason that the team is in decline. I believe that a huge offset to that will be no Leftwich and the addition of Canales. I found it painful to watch the Bucs play calling last year. Further, I can’t imagine a decline in that category.

  17. Go Bucs Says:

    I’m excited for Canals. I think Leftwich was good but the problem was he only knew BAs way and if it didn’t work BA would fix it during the game so when it wasn’t working during the game he didn’t know anything else and just kept it. It will be good for a new style but I did like BAs offense

  18. PSL Bob Says:

    We could be difficult to beat early in the season. Unpredictability will be refreshing, as long as the run game gets rolling and the man under center does a decent job.

  19. Goatfarmer Says:

    I like the idea of RUTM, RUTM, 3rd and 11, throw the 5 yard pass and hope the defender falls down. Punt.

    The old Mike Glennon days.

    No I’m sure Canales will bring some much needed creativity. An astute poster, I think it was Redeemer, wrote that all Leftwurst knew was what BA taught him, he couldn’t and/or didn’t grow beyond that, when last season that was absolutely necessary. A fresh look, with freedom from Bloweszo, might just help the offense not be a major problem. It will be the defense that kills the Bloweszo, even though it’s supposedly his specialty.

  20. Rand Says:

    Then he gets hurt first game and is out indefinitely just to wear a floppy hat.

    Sound familiar?

  21. Cobraboy Says:

    Bowles allowed Leftwich to be “stuck in his ways.”

  22. Goatfarmer Says:

    Bowels is the one who is stuck in his ways, fancying himself a genius because everyone said he was on. The NFL has him figured out, anyone that is a decent offensive coordinator skewers him, and the Bucs.

  23. Rod Munch Says:

    If he is actually unpredictable and doesn’t get stuck in stupid patterns (like running up the middle on every 1st down), then fantastic. I just hope he’s willing to mix things up and actually coach to the strengths of the offense, instead of stupidly trying to make his players fit his scheme.

    In any case all he has to do, is do better than Leftwich, which is about the lowest bar you can have. Again, I remember everyone, of that time that Leftwich, who was the dumbest OC in football, literally ran the same trick play, a few plays apart, in London, because on the big screen he saw Tom Brady was uncovered and thought the Seahawks were as dumb as he was and wouldn’t make any adjustments. That series of plays should have got Leftwich fired during the season. I said it at the time and 100% meant it, that was the dumbest series of plays I’ve ever seen at any level.

    So all Canales has to do is not be as stupid as that.

    Can he do it? We shall find out.

  24. TDTB2022 Says:


    I’m glad Todd did that with Byron. I like where we are at this year with Canales as OC.

  25. Ontario Mike Says:

    Hope the new OC remembers how to say play action from time to time to buy time for Baker to see the play unfolding and for the receivers to run routes of more than 5 yds on 3rd and 10 !

  26. R0n@Tampa Says:

    Love this team and love this offense. You will not find a better #1, #2, #3 WR in Evans, Godwin, and Gage in all of foootball.

  27. Buccos Says:

    The Bucs need to structure their offens around the strengths of Baker Mayfield. They need to get him outside the pocket where he can see well and a lot of play action and bootlegs. If they are smart and play to their strengths, they should have a 50-50 pass to run ratio and one should play off of the other, I believe Canales is a New Age offensive coordinator, but he understands that the running game is the foundation on which you build. Mayfield could definitely succeed in this type of offense with a strong running game

  28. R0n@Tampa Says:

    Agreed with the weapons in place the Bucs can average 31.2 points a game.

  29. Goatfarmer Says:

    Too bad the defense will give up 32.1 ppl.

  30. steele Says:

    Like his mentor Pete Carroll, Canales loves everyone. Everyone. You won’t hear anything different. Positivity, hyper positivity. Don’t even bother to interpret.

  31. TampabayDJ Says:

    How about we move on from last year ? Nothing more to say that hasn’t already been said or done. Let’s just hope for a division title and anything can happen once you get to the playoffs. Go Bucs
    P.S. Our Bucs will be out of cap hell next year. So let’s build off this season and go from there