Bucs Offense Opposite Image Of Last Seven Years

August 24th, 2023

“Play-action? I don’t know what you’re talking about. That’s fantasy football. We just do what we do.”

Come Week 1 when the Bucs are battling the Vikings in Minneapolis with the echos of “Skol!” loudly bouncing through the ship-shaped crib, Joe is confident Bucs fans at times will wonder if they turned on the wrong game.

The Bucs, since Dirk Koetter first took over as head coach in 2016, have been a downfield-throwing, highly vertical offense.

No more. Just from what Joe has seen in practices and preseason games, the Bucs offense, if you call Dirk Koetter/Bruce Arians’ offense “vertical,” then new Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales’ offense is horizontal.

Canales likes to make defenses use every inch of grass between the sidelines.

If Koetter/Arians had a north-south offense, Canales’ is east-west.

One thing that made Joe want to slam his head through a wall last year watching offensive coordinator SpongeBob Leftwich was that he all but refused to use play-action, even though Tom Brady was a master with play-action.

When Leftwich would be asked about not using play-action, he would play (?) dumb and act like he was asked about aliens.

Jenna Laine of ESPN notes that folks who wanted to see play-action from Leftwich should see it a lot with Canales.

During the 10 seasons Canales worked with Russell Wilson (2012 to 2021), the Seahawks used the highest rate of play-action in the NFL. Tampa Bay utilized play-action 15.1% of the time last year with Tom Brady, the lowest mark in the NFL.

Times are a changin.’ Get ready to see more movement, more quarterbacks stepping out of the pocket and more creativity.

If anything, it seems Canales has an open mind.

27 Responses to “Bucs Offense Opposite Image Of Last Seven Years”

  1. HC Grover Says:

    Ready for the Vikings Bucs game. Ready to see the product put to a real test.

  2. HC Grover Says:

    Bucs are 1.5 favorites to end the pre season by beating Ravens. Probably because of Trask.

  3. bob in valrico Says:

    A good offensive coordinator, IMO is one that adds plays from offenses that are effective. I am not sure its fair to compare Koetter offense to last years offense.
    Afterall we would never have known how great Evans footwork and sideline catches could be in the four verticals offense. I will say there too many go routes
    with Jameis, whose ball placement wasn’t always the best. Still remember Mike
    running down the field at full speed, with his head bent backwards searching for
    some of Jameis’s passes.

  4. Buc4evr Says:

    I really don’t care whether or not the Bucs play a vertical or horizontal game as long as Canales exploits each defense’s weaknesses . The other thing that the Bucs struggled with is Red zone efficiency. The Bucs need to be scoring TDs not FGs in the Red zone. The key is not to be predictable on offense like last year.

  5. Jeffrey Becker Says:

    are there any good offensive linemen of note, particularly centers or swing linemen, coming available soon? any decent ones on the block?

  6. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Canales runs a modern version of the old west coast offense. Personally I like to spread the defense in all directions, not just east west. Hopefully we will see that. Palmer scored last week on a deep post and there’s a place for that in every offense.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Jack … ‘Personally I like to spread the defense in all directions, not just east west. ‘

    Exactly Jack! WRs like Evans & Palmer represent true deep threats because of their skillsets, and Godwin has one of the best intermediate games in the business IMO. Relegating them to a pure short passing game would be counterproductive in that it doesn’t play to our strengths.

    I believe that the key to any offense is to keep the defense guessing. A great run game gives you flexibility. Play-action also gives you flexibility, as does speed & deeper threats. The key to all that flexibility though is the OLine … it has to block effectively. Last year’s Bucs showed us pretty clearly what happens when it can’t.

    Play design (with solid blocking schemes & to ‘scheme receivers open’) and good play selection will help towards making our offense more unpredictable & keeping defenses off-balance, but our OLinemen still have to win their battles. If they’re getting pushed around, it all collapses just like we’ve seen in the recent past. Pity the poor QB & RBs if that happens. Looking forward to seeing our starters out there on Saturday night against the Ravens.

  8. Gus Says:

    So we’re a dink and dunk offense that requires no arm strength but lots of moxie. Sounds like a winner to me. 😛

  9. Gus Says:

    Jack Burton Mercer Says: “Palmer scored last week on a deep post and there’s a place for that in every offense.”

    Yeah, but Trask threw it. Not Pudgy.

  10. Brandon Says:

    Don’t know where you came up with this indo, but last year’s version threw the ball downfield less than any Bucs offense I’ve ever seen. There were more throws at or behind the line of scrimmage than any I’ve ever seen as well. Run the numbers. Brady sabatoged the success of.the offense with his constant audibles to smoke screens and checking down prematurely. Arians offense left the moment Arians left and would no longer hold Tom accountable.

  11. Gus Says:

    This preseason Mayfield has averaged 7.8 yards per completion and Trask has averaged 12.2 yards per completion. The Bucs picked the right guy for a dink-and-dunk offense. 😛

  12. Voice of Truth Says:

    This is the philosophy of the HC of course.

    I will give Bucs ownership credit for absolute consistency. Jason and the FO work at the behest of the HC – they deliver what the HC wants anywhere and everywhere in and out of the building, roster etc

    Gruden, BA, Dungy made it work, I don’t see Todd on par with any of those 3 as a HC

  13. WyomingJoe Says:

    Gus… give us all a rest with the Mayfield bashing. I’m assuming that you didn’t read about what the Jets organization AND the Bucs hierarchy said to Chris Simms about Baker’s ELITE arm talent compared to Trasks?? ELITE versus not bad! Baker can dink and throw bombs with accuracy and great velocity. Duh!

  14. 813bucboi Says:

    but canales wasnt calling plays lol…he was a

  15. 813bucboi Says:

    qb coach

  16. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Watching the Seahwaks and the Rams offense the past few years, they definitely get the ball down the field. Draw the safeties up with the run and the dink and dunk and then pop it over the top; cannot wait until Sept 10

  17. Buddha Says:

    The QB competition is over. Move on. Live in the moment. Get over it.

  18. William Walls Says:

    I can see horizontal turning vertical quickly, and maybe being used to generate a greater percentage of big-yardage gains. If you can successfully force defenses to cover every blade of grass between the sidelines, what happens when a LB or DB misses a tackle (or a WR, TE, or RB breaks one)? You’re going to have fewer defenders between the ball carrier and the end zone, that’s what, and many of them will be out of the play. I think I’m starting to cotton on to how the philosophy works, and I’m eager to see if it plays out like the image I’m starting to get in my head.

  19. HC Grover Says:

    We should rest Wirfs a lot so he does not get hurt he has a lot of years left. Draft a left tackle first next year after the carnage. We could have a great OL in 3 years to go with the new staff. 4 years to Super Bowl contention.

  20. pepsi Says:

    Play Action, QB rolls out, read is cut down to only half the field, read #1 is a talented WR (Evans or Godwin) read #2 is RB or TE in the flats.. Weve been running that play in practice a lot – its easy on the receivers and the QB, and its efficient. Theres no doubt this offense would do better with a more talented RB though.. were really banking on White being solid.

  21. Lakeland Steve Says:

    Everyone need’s to remember this will be a work in progress. What you see in week one will not be what you see in week 6. So if things aren’t going well offensively in week one don’t got jump off the skyway bridge. It’s going to take time for these guys to gel and run plays efficiently.

  22. Mike S Says:

    Wyoming the conjecture is over.

    We’re all Missouri now – its time to show.

    Its not about media personalities, talking heads and opinions.

    Its about performance on the field.

    Now we find out.

  23. Cobraboy Says:

    “Vikings Ready™” gives me nightmare flashbacks.

  24. SlyPirate Says:

    If this team is so “horizontal” why run up the middle so much?

  25. pepsi Says:

    SlyPirate, i wouldnt judge the offense based on preseason alone. but even what appears to be run up the middle can still have some horizontal concepts to it, which it will in Canales offense. We will be doing a lot of zone blocking, and stretch run plays – our lineman will be moving more horizontally and working there way up to the second level, our RB will have the option to take the inside lane if he sees some daylight to burst through. A couple things to note about this – Rachaade White is a better fit for this than Fournette would have been, basically whoever has the best vision should fit well here.. so Rachaad, Edmonds, that guy Ronnie Brown seems to have solid vision(maybe). and for Olineman the 2 quesitonable starters, Mauch and Goedeke, are great fits on paper.. Wirfs is a good fit. BUT.. Jensen just isnt a good fit at this point. He would be called on to do more movement than hes ever had to do as a Buc as his older age while struggling to keep his knee healthy… I just dont see a future where Jensen is starting for us. We can hope that he gets well enough to be an emergency backup

  26. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    Lakeland Steve – if things don’t go well in week one we will demand Kyle Trask get the ball. If things don’t go well in week two we will demand Kyle Trask gets the ball. Week three, week four…

    We will demand Kyle Trask gets the ball.

    Eventually we will run out of patience and find something else to do if that request in unheeded.

  27. Dave Pear Says:

    Bowles seems to embrace the offensive philosophy that the shortest distance between two points is a point.