Pre-Snap Motion

May 26th, 2023

Bucs OC Dave Canales.

This has been a thorn-in-the-side for many Bucs fans since former Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians took over.

The hand-wringing, however, didn’t mean a hill of beans because the Bucs had one of the league’s best offenses. But last year the hand-wringing had substance since the Bucs averaged but 18 points a game under playcaller SpongeBob, which ranked 24th in the NFL.

What was it about Arians’ offense that bothered so many? There wasn’t much pre-snap motion. And the total last year was bad. Only Josh McDaniels and the Raiders used less.

That’s going to change under new offensive coordinator Dave Canales, per Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

“It’s not every play, but we have it in the arsenal probably a little more than last year,” Bowles said. “We can build things off of it.”

A rebuilt offense will be key after it was so flaccid at times last year. First, Baker Mayfield’s skillset is far different than Tom Brady’s, and already Bucs tight end Cade Otton said you will see more bootlegs.

Joe is pretty confident horrible gameplans were a big reason for last year’s struggles. And that should change.

Joe doesn’t believe Canales will be so careless, for example, to pound the ball against a stingy run defense that has dudes off the street playing in the secondary. (See Pittsburgh 2022.)

25 Responses to “Pre-Snap Motion”

  1. PewterStiffArm Says:

    So Joe, you mentioned flaccid in your description of last year’s offense, very good. I have an F word you that can use and capitalize every letter when in use: FLATULENCE, I heard it many times last year over and over again. How we endured the stench of that SpongeBob debacle is beyond me. I also wanted to blow chunks every time we were in the red-zone. Tagamet was used often at my house last year, I purchased stock options. Go Canales.

  2. BillyBucco Says:

    Was talking to a friend yesterday about how Peyton Manning used to call his own plays in the huddle. I’m sure the OC helped him with gameplans and what tendencies and yds and distance should he be in what formations etc, but The offense could go hurry in a flash.
    It almost seems to me that we had a similar situation with Brady and Leftwich would just give some “Options”. I say that because the days if option routes, All The Time gets old against a good defense, even with Brady.
    Now, we will see all 11 men on the same page some runs and screens and yes, hopefully a lot more motion. Throw in personnel changes, but it looks the same almost every play.
    Defenses have a hard time remembering who is good at what and get into the right mindset to play the called defense.
    It’s just smart football, and the statistics back it up.
    Canales is truly a breath of fresh air, and regardless of the record this year, I firmly believe every year will get better until we are in contention again.
    Then, who knows, possibly we do the loose him for Head Coach.

  3. TDTB2022 Says:

    ^ Double BillyBucco!

  4. Dooley Says:

    “Joe is pretty confident horrible gameplans were a big reason for last year’s struggles. And that should change.”

    Nah, the level of play our players attempted to execute any game plan with on offense was trash. I get blaming the design, but if the contractor forgets to put a roof on your new house or leaves tools in the wall, you don’t call the architect up and say “what gives?” I get it though, let’s just keep the scapegoat narrative going because it’s easy and doesn’t take much critical thinking or analysis.

  5. bucnjim Says:

    It was Arians game planning that made the Bucs a success. Unfortunately last year defenses knew what was coming before the ball was even snapped. There were times that there were 8 or even 9 men in the box and we still tried to run the ball. Bowles has to take some responsibility because all he wants to do is stay conservative, but in todays NFL you better be able to throw the ball as well.

  6. Zoocomics Says:

    I’m glad we moved on from Leftwich, but he is getting a ton of blame for much of last years offensive problems, to include his lack of flexibility, SOME of that he does deserve. But really, Brady was a huge part of our problem for us…let me explain. We had a re-tooled Offensive line that was just good enough so that Brady didn’t get killed, but poor enough that we had the worst running offensive in the NFL. Imagine being a defensive coordinator game-planning vs us with our line. I think of facing Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahommes as the types of QBs you lose sleep over as def coordinator. Their abilities to move outside the pocket and/or take-off with the football, opens up phases in an offensive.

    As great as Brady was, he was one dimensional, everything needed to be working in his favor, especially on the offensive line. He didn’t need HoF caliber wide receivers to win games, he just needed time and effective running game. Now on the subject of Pre-snap, or lack there of, I think it was all Brady, I was pissed seeing statistics that we were ranked in the bottom 3 of Pre-snap motion, and yet Tom was the reason for that. I think old school guys, to include coaches see this as a college gimmick. Don’t remember any pre-snap being run New England. It’s important to note that Pre-snap isn’t just about running a bootleg, it’s WRs going in motion, fake hand-offs, basically misdirection, and the Bucs executed a pre-snap motion gameplan almost to perfection and was effective vs one of the best football teams in the NFL last season, the Bengals. Then when the 2nd Half came, Brady would manage to have the worst set of series I’ve ever seen in his career, just awful, and we let the Bengals back into to it and we never saw anymore pre-snap motion from our offensive after that. Faster skill positioned players this season will make this offense interesting. Hopefully Canales turns out to be something special for us and we can at least move the football, back to back three and outs are just dreadful to watch game-in and game-out.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The failures for last year rest with the coaching & Brady…….Bowles was a drag on the team….Leftwich was stubborn and a failure and Brady was inconsistent and playing scared……
    I have zero confidence in Bowles being able to lead us to a winning season.

    I certainly hope I’m wrong.

  8. Mike Says:

    I feel like Cannales and Bowles go together like PB&J! Looking forward to some old fashioned Buc Ball!

  9. ATLBuc Says:

    This is the pro Mayfield Joe.

  10. Voice of Truth Says:

    Play calling is an art. Setting up plays, scheming to strengths and exposing the opponents weaknesses just was something Byron and staff could not do without Bruce around with his red pen

    Pittsburg, Carolina, Cleveland just 3 glaring examples – hey let’s call another WR bubble screen or slam it into the a gap with no lead blocker 15 times a game

    We don’t know anything about the new OC play calling ability but chances are he is light years ahead of the stubborn one….

  11. Doc Says:

    Someone may need to remind this O.C. that these are pros they have seem all that junk before, (Good Luck)

  12. Joe Says:

    Pittsburg, Carolina, Cleveland just 3 glaring examples

    Joe would have canned Leftwich after that debacle in Pittsburgh. Surely after the Carolina game (first play, run up the middle as if Leftwich was flipping Bucs fans the bird).

    Cleveland game is on Bowles. He took the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands because he was scared Brady (who had two picks all season at the time) *might* throw an interception.

  13. Dwayne Cone Says:

    You’ll see more motion and selective QB runs. Nothing like Fields because it is necessary but Selective for sure. Gino Smith SEA ranked 8th in QB Rushing last year. Average of 4 Rushes per game for 21 yards at 5.5 per carry and played every game. Mahommes finished 9th.

    Just the threat helps to keep the defense on their heals. Making the decision to run early helps also.

    Had Brady been 25 and not 45 he may have been in the top 10 because he had lots of reasons to take off and run last season. May have even led TB in Rushing for one game before someone broke him in two.

  14. Brandon Says:

    Funny how the playbook can open up when there are QBs on the field that aren’t complete statues and will actually challenge a defense down the field. We can blame Leftwich all we want but it wasn’t Leftwich that was throwing the ball constantly at or behind the line of scrimmage. Those plays are often sight audibles that the QB checks into… that ultra conservative playcalling… all on Brady. Sure, Leftwich wasn’t great… but he was the man at the controls from 2019-2021 when the Bucs offense was one of the best in the league. Having Arians would have helped from the aspect of not being afraid to call Brady out on his nutless performances.

  15. Craig Says:

    I think Canales can come up with a game plan creative enough to rival the best sandlot plays.

    The question is if the Bowles cleaner will squelch it until the vanilla runs out of it.

    He did keep throwing sand into the works last season. Some of his plays approaching halftime and the end game will go down as some of the worst calls ever made.

    Will he screw it up again or has he stepped back from being stoopid?

  16. MX buc fan Says:

    HC has to make sure the game plan is ready and if is not working during the game he need to adjust, so… Bowles has the blame there, i do think that BL was exposed without BA and the fact that Brady was scare didnt help (considering his age, the line situation and the fact that BL didnt know how to run the ball, people need to understand that part), but from the feedback of the players and media, i do think that Canales is an upgrade to the OC (even without experience just by the system he is trying to install) that will benefit all, better for the line situation on the right side of it, more time to rest for (in my opinion) a defense that will be in the top this season, again, ceiling is high for this team even with all the “experts” saying TB is one of the worst teams in the league…

  17. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Sure, Leftwich wasn’t great… but he was the man at the controls from 2019-2021 when the Bucs offense was one of the best in the league.

    You are on some very good meds if you really believe this. During Arians’ tenure Lefty was essentially a veteran backup QB. He held the clipboard and chatted with the starter between plays. Basically he was Gabbert in street clothes.

  18. Sly Pirate Says:

    Leftwhich game plans were non-existent. Literally the same script week to week. Still not sure why he didn’t get canned at the bye.

  19. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Brady struggled last year. I’m still convinced that game 3 rotator cuff injury nagged him all season. Brady played scared behind that offensive line. Probably because he was already injured and one hit away from being sidelined for the season. We all saw it, his accuracy was off so he dumped the ball to the outlet. Instead of the open man downfield . So I think Leftwhich did his best to remove pressure off Brady’s throwing arm by running the ball. Which didn’t work. Leftwhich’s running attacks were unbelievably predictable. Who’s knows if the running games failures are scheme or just poor run blocking? Probably both but Leftwhich gets the blame because he didn’t adjust. He didn’t try anything new. Thats the offensive coordinators job. When something doesn’t work either because your players are simply getting beat. Or the defense figured out how to stop what your doing. You adjust. Leftwhich was just to stubborn.

  20. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    “We do what we do.” Yeah everyone knows that Byron – especially the other team’s D.

  21. Mike Says:

    Bucs couldn’t run the ball against ANYONE; including teams with a poor run D and front 4. Defenses knew we couldn’t run against even 6 guys in the box so they would sit back in various pass defenses. Normally you “run” teams out of those but we couldn’t. I don’t think it was lack of offensive variation but a VERY bad Offensive line that couldn’t pass block well and was worse at stopping penetration into the backfield (let alone opening holes). It wouldn’t have mattered a lick if the ran motion plays; the defenses were in zone coverage to stop the pass (Cover-2, Cover 3 and man-under zones). Setting up mismatches doesn’t happen if the defense is sitting in zones with enough players to cover everything b/c they only need 4 lineman and 1-2 linebackers to stop the run

  22. Mike Says:

    Correction: when the defense can stop your running game with their front 4 only. Bucs couldn’t get an RB through the line all season against a 4-man front

  23. Mike Says:

    “We do what we do”. Lol
    That’s the old 70’s mentality: “I don’t care if they play 8 men in the box, we are pounding the ball down their throat…’cause that’s what we do”…instead of “put 8 men in the box and Brady will orchestrate a prison yard beating on your secondary

  24. steele Says:

    It’s very simple,guys. Look at game tapes of the Seahawks. That’s what Canales is and that is what he will do. Or try to do.

  25. David Says:

    I do not expect improvement when you lose Tom Brady, have 60% of your O line new, have no depth at DB or LB, aren’t sure what you have at WR beyond the top 3, have questions at RB & TE, and have no idea what to expect from the D line other than your potential all pro (VEA) only playing 60% of the snaps…..

    All that said , unless the OC is completely incompetent, it’s almost impossible to do worse in today’s NFL.
    Last year’s game plan against the Steelers was beyond incompetent, it was criminal