Todd Bowles: Can’t Just Play “Smashmouth” In Regular Season

August 13th, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

Boy, Joe still gets the shivers from remembering the Bucs’ opening possession Friday night to open the worthless preseason schedule.

Three runs up the middle and a penalty on fourth down. Same as it ever was.

The Bucs, specifically on third downs and short, seemed to want to be Mike Alstott-like and slam the ball between the tackles. Problem was, Alstott is retired and Sneak Vaughn is no Alstott.

Bowles all but promised that will change when the regular season kicks off.

“The key to getting [short-yardage conversions] is really some kind of variety,” Bowles said. “You try to smashmouth it in preseason, but during the season you’ve got to have some type of variety.

“We know everybody is going to crash the middle and smoke the middle. We’ve got to have certain plays that [are] our bread and butter that we can be good at and know we can gain one yard. We’ll be working on that this week.”

Joe wasn’t aware of this unwritten rule that teams pound the ball up the middle on short yardage in worthless preseason games. This ought to give Bucs fans hope for next month, and put Friday’s painful experience in proper perspective.

Perhaps Bowles is really saying offensive coordinator Dave Canales was running a vanilla offense and won’t tear the gift wrap off the Bucs’ new offense until he sees the Vikings in Minneapolis to begin the 2023 season.

39 Responses to “Todd Bowles: Can’t Just Play “Smashmouth” In Regular Season”

  1. DS Says:

    Everyone knows Leftwich was the fall guy

  2. Infomeplease Says:

    Joe said: “Perhaps Bowles is really saying offensive coordinator Dave Canales was running a vanilla offense and won’t tear the gift wrap off the Bucs’ new offense until he sees the Vikings in Minneapolis to begin the 2023 season.”

    I couldn’t agree more!!! Fix the penalties and OLine and this offense will be fine!!

  3. Beej Says:

    They AREN’T playing these games to win, folks need to be reminded of that every 15 minutes it seems

  4. Infomeplease Says:

    The smashmouth for one yard is more a psychological play ment to deflate the mental state of the defense. ” We can get one yard anytime we want and you can’t stop us!!!!”. Of course after last season and Friday night, let’s hope Bowles has come to the decision that the Bucs need to revert to other options more often!

  5. LVMYBUCS Says:

    Bowles ur a retard if you don’t see the set up ur in.

  6. Pryda…sec147 Says:

    All I can say the 3 runs up the middle to start and the horrid showing of discipline I’d say the seat for bowels jobs turned up another notch

  7. NE Fan Says:

    Deja Vu, am I the only one that has seen this sad show before? He didn’t open it up with Brady, he is changing for Baker and/or Trask? Canalas is just another disposable puppet. This is the Bowles show and it ain’t changing.

  8. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Preseason is essentially the rehearsal before the main event. It’s about laying the groundwork, not revealing your entire game plan. Bowles is a seasoned strategist; he’s not going to telegraph his every move before the season even begins.

    And just like any elite athlete or team, there’s a time to push and a time to hold back. They understand the bigger picture. Bowles and Canales are thinking several moves ahead. So, before we rush to judgments based on a handful of preseason plays – lets see how things play out.

  9. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    Well, I finally saw a replay of the game out here in the west. It looked exactly like the Buc teams of old. Dull, uninspired, and filled with penalties.

    Funny that the Steelers did not give off those same vibs.

    Looks like the defense will have to carry the team this year. If there is not a big improvement against the jets we are in for a long season.

  10. Steelers fan Says:

    You have to remember Baker is to blam he checked to runs coz he dont want to throw INT’s

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We never seem to be able to get the yard…..regardless of the game…opponent….

    I do think White is better at short yardage….

  12. sasquatch Says:

    DS Says:
    August 13th, 2023 at 10:10 am

    Everyone knows Leftwich was the fall guy

    Really? I don’t know that, and most fans seemed to recognize he sucked. Not the fall guy.

  13. Larrd Says:

    It is best to be able to smashmouth for a yard whether they see it coming or not. Probably best to go left, behind Wirfs and Feiler.

  14. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    Our o-line starters (at least the ones listed on the first unofficial depth chart) are more athletic than they are “smash-mouth bulldozers”. Hopefully once the actual playbook comes to light in the regular season, Canales will utilize their strengths (pulling, counters, etc) and let the backs use their vision to find and exploit the holes.

    It was done rarely last year but worked more often than not, then they went right back to “pound it up the gut”. Hopefully Canales will stick to the mantra “we’ll run that play until you prove you can stop it” and not cave to the “play not to lose” mindset.

  15. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    My dream is still to see Vita Vea in the backfield, not to block but to tote the rock, when we’re at goal-to-go from the 1 or 2 yard line. Who’s stopping him when he has a 5 yard running start coming at ya? Fridge play but super-sized. Not up the gut either. Right side behind (or through) Goedeke to make defenders (try to) take a angle on him.

    Our biggest backs are White & Vaughan, both around 214 lbs. Not exactly Alstott, Bettis or Blount. What player would give you the best chance of moving the pile and getting to the promised land, regardless of position? Give me the guy with an extra 150 lbs all day. Lol

  16. Tim Says:

    I understand the whole thing about being vanilla in the preseason, but you’ve still gotta execute the plays that are called.

  17. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    Not much of a life huh

  18. HC Grover Says:

    He likes up the guts to start so they can get ‘warmed up’ ROFL.

  19. BucU Says:

    You can spin the shyt show any way u like but after 12 penalties for over a 120 yards it seems to me that this is just another Todd Bowles coached team.
    Undisciplined to the max. Some things never change.

  20. Mike Johnson Says:

    As a Bucs fan since our teams inception, I feel a really bad season coming on guys. And I do hope I am wrong here. Every single time I have had this feeling.
    we are always below 500. Just be prepared.

  21. Dave Pear Says:

    Todd’s team has not worked on 3rd and short before this week? Man, what a genius he is. Why bother now, Todd? Next thing we know, you’ll suggest working on tackling and blocking. Crazy stuff for a coach to practice.

  22. Just Saying Says:

    Bowels is a genius rather than play how you practice he practices winning football and completely switches it up for the games.

  23. Beej Says:

    I read a detailed analysis of Gedicke on “another site”, the vast majority of his snaps. He actually look pretty good.

    Most offensive linemen look good on most snaps. If a starting O-lineman allows 10 sacks a season, he’s out of the league in a hurry. –Joe
    On one sack, the tight end ran into him, forcing him to miss his block, on another sack, the running back missed his chip and actually shoved the defender further away from him

  24. WyomingJoe Says:

    STEELERS FAN… You hate Mayfield, I get it. But play-action doesn’t work unless the defense has to pay attention your run game. Btw, I hate the Steelers so we’re even. Go Bucs.

  25. Buc4evr Says:

    @Dave Pear, what is this blocking and tackling you speak of? LOL.

  26. View from 132 Says:

    When are you going to start limiting some of these obvious racists on here that just hate Bowles in every comment. He’s the head coach until fired or retired. Give the guy a break people. It gets really old that EVERY post with Bowles is full of clowns saying he’s stupid. He’s stupid enough to be one 32 guys paid a hell of a lot of money to be a head coach. He was also stupid enough to shut down the Chiefs offense, remember?

  27. TonySoprano Says:

    Does Toad ever stop with the excuses? While you might have more variety in the playbook during the regular season, it is still very concerning that your players can’t win simple, man on man battles in those short yardage situations.

    Also, prove it then Toad. Let’s see that variety, because we saw absolutely none of it all season long last year. It seems like offensive playbook was 7 pages long.

  28. Reality BucFan Says:

    No matter how much you wanna Make Excuses….Our Offensive Coordinator Has never in his LIFE been an offensive coordinator or Ever in His life Called Plays..why can’t the world see We are Doomed to fail in since Coach bowls is the supposed to be leader He and the staff will be fired and He can go back to being a Coordinator like he has been most of his Career… Never had a winning record ever.. stop expecting A 100year old man To RUN a 4.4 40Yd dash….call it like it is.. We got bullied and It doesn’t matter who plays QB for the other team rather it’s a Vet or Rookie they always look good against the BUCS or should I say Us… Bunch of sissy fies..

  29. teacherman777 Says:

    I agree with Glass Half Full Guy.

    Direct snap to Vita Vea.

    It would work every time.

    He was a RB in high school.

  30. Mika_Sati Says:

    I feel like it’s weird that everyone’s missing the obvious about smashmouth duo and power in the first game of the preseason. After injuries to Jensen and Stinnie last year in camp there’s gotta be trepidation to really test the play strength of the completely changed O-line. A great man or gap blocking line is gonna get that yard, almost every time. One schemed for outside/mid zone? Maybe not so much. Now the coaching staff have real evidence not just assumptions that that’s not the STRENGTH of the right side. If they do it again against an even better d-line In Jersey, yeah, that’s troubling.

  31. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Have some patience don’t panic yet. Offensive lines need time to “gel”. Now if by week 4 they are struggling that’s a different story. Just remember this is basically an all new offensive line. What is it 4 out of 5 are either playing a different position or new to the team.

  32. Crickett Baker Says:

    So far, to me, Todd still talks and seems to gameplan as if he is playing not to lose–and even failing at that. He even wants to rust (rest?) our number ones. Teams that played today played some starters. Todd is not playing to win. He is playing to evaluate players because he is so damn bad at it.

  33. HC Grover Says:

    The only question I have at this point. Can Bowles equal John McKay’s perfect season with a better roster?

  34. Day 1-76 Says:

    Just more Bowles BS. Pittsburgh mixed it up while still keeping it pretty vanilla.

    How can you have a QB competition without throwing the ball?

    If the games are meaningless then Trask should be the starter because, according to the Joes and several other people, he has had a much better camp.

  35. Toad Bowels Says:

    Correct me, if I’m wrong Joe, The my understanding was that the box did get the one yard on the fourth down (or at least would have) but that play was whistled dead by a penalty to rookie right guard Cody Mauch.

    If that is indeed the case, then the Bucs are penalty away from being able to impose their will on the other team. Hopefully rookie RG Mauch And second year player new RT Goedecke can learn from this game and show improvement in the next games.

    Go Bucs!

  36. TF Says:

    Caleb Williams or Drake Maye!!! That’s the goal! Hopefully Bowles stays the course on how he has performed as a head coach and we end up with the 3 or 4 wins that will be handed to us.

  37. Buddha Says:

    Joe, in franchise history, how many coaches won more games their first year as coach than Todd Bowles. I think it was only Jon Gruden.

  38. garro Says:

    That was Canales seeing what his line can do. Nothing more. This is the first preseason game.

    Go Bucs!

  39. Dave Pear Says:

    Todd’s teams don’t play smash mouth because they suck atbit.