“A Lot Of Empty This Year”

June 12th, 2023

A window into playcaller Dave Canales’ offense has opened.

A very diverse and unpredictable offense seems to be on its way.

Buccaneers No. 1 running back Rachaad White served up a glimpse last week during Fantasy Football Morning on SiriusXM radio.

White talked about working hard this offseason to “take my hands to the next level,” focusing on reactions, hand-eye coordination and more.

Why is that a focus for White? He said a big reason is rooted in the new Canales offense.

“In our new playbook there’s a lot of empty this year,” White said referring to “empty” backfields, meaning no running back behind the quarterback.

“So, we’re going to have a lot of empty. I’m going to have a lot of chance to be spread out and things like that, and run routes and be able to, you know, go up and make plays.”

White went on to talk about his admiration of Le’Veon Bell, the former Steelers, Jets and Bucs running back, who was an all-around superstar in his prime.

Trying to win the trust of quarterbacks and coaches for red zone throws will also be a focus of White this summer, he said. White is confident he can win contested catches in the end zone.

Joe was intrigued to hear White talk about empty sets. That should play to the Bucs’ strengths, if they’re healthy. But that also sort of runs counter to their new focus on being a run-heavy offense.

20 Responses to ““A Lot Of Empty This Year””

  1. sasquatch Says:

    But but but, I thought Bowles hired Canales to run a Stone Age offense!?!? What, you mean all that fearmongering was horsesh!t? That couldn’t be, this is JBF!

  2. sasquatch Says:

    Now apparently in permanent mod for no apparent reason.

  3. SlyPirate Says:

    Love that White keeps talking openly about our new offensive schemes.

    Why would we want an advantage for game 1?

    Loose lips sink ships.

  4. Dooley Says:

    The “predictability” aspect of the game is overblown, the cloak and dagger stuff is cool in theory, but there’s some overlap between every team in terms of what’s in their respective playbooks. Saying we run an empty set isn’t a tip of a hand, because you’d still have to know what route concepts we run, how we line our skill guys up and what we can audible into out of that package.

    NFL teams spend more time studying and gameplanning than they do practice and playing. A team can telegraph what they’re going to do to you, you still have to have the talent, discipline, and ability to stop a given play from beating your guys on a given rep.

  5. Lt. Dan Says:

    @Sly – every team has a strong knowledge of other teams strengths, weaknesses and tendencies. This is professional football and knowledge is king. Nothing personal.

  6. ATLBuc Says:

    Joe!! Just because they’re a run heavy offense does not mean they can’t run some empty sets

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We had empty backfields last year…….but they never seemed to work that well.

  8. Buc4evr Says:

    If you have a dominant O line you don’t have to worry about what other teams know about your offensive scheme.

  9. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    Fun and gun?

    Starting to feel Gatorish around here.

  10. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    What a coincidence, the stands will be Empty as well.

  11. Cobraboy Says:


    Hard to rush the ball with no RB.

    So there’s that.

    What happened to the “power rushing” we were told about? Hard to do out of empty.

  12. Marine Buc Says:

    I said it once and I will say it again…

    There is no way – nooooooo way – this offense could possibly be worse than the horrendous, predictable kindergarten offense we were forced to suffer through last season.

    Byron Leftwhich should get a paid sponsorship from Crayola…

  13. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Cobra

    I agree but… Dalvin Cook?

  14. ModHairKen Says:

    “Love that White keeps talking openly about our new offensive schemes. Why would we want an advantage for game 1? Loose lips sink ships.”

    You cannot be serious.

  15. realistic-optimistic Says:

    I suspect “empty” in Canales’ offense refers to the RB motioning out wide. Empty doesn’t mean 5 WR.

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    SlyPirate … ‘Love that White keeps talking openly about our new offensive schemes.’

    Hmmm, kinda makes you wonder if it’s all just a ruse, doesn’t it.

  17. BillyBucco Says:

    You can still absolutely run the ball out of empty sets.
    Jet sweeps and audibles back behind center.
    Just the prospect of a LB having to cover a RB on a pass route is exciting.

  18. kgh4life Says:


    What secrets did White actually gave away? Every team in the NFL basically runs the same plays and formations, such as empty sets and zone runs which the the Bucs will employ this upcoming season. It’s how the OC set them up and when they are called, that matters.

  19. garro Says:

    Could be Canales is playing to Whites strengh as a pass catcher. Needs to work on pass pro though. I have a feeling we will need it. And yes you can run out of empty…But … Spread offense?

  20. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says:
    “We had empty backfields last year…”

    Leftfoot liked doing that on 3d and short to make the defense one-dimensional.