Bad Call By Dave Canales?

September 26th, 2023

Offensive coordinator Dave Canales.

Joe thought new playcaller Dave Canales made a significant mistake last night but Joe wants to hear from readers on this one.

Tampa Bay was trailing 20-3 and had just benefitted from an athletic, raw-hustle interception by backup cornerback Dee Delaney at the Bucs’ half-yard line. Extraordinary play.

First down Buccaneers! The Bucs faithful enjoyed a jolt of life with just under 4 minutes remaning in the third quarter.

Do the Bucs throw a quick out or receiver screen to Mike Evans or Chris Godwin to get breathing room? Nope. It’s a run up the gut on handoff to Rachaad White.

Prior to that play the Bucs had registered 2 negative runs on 12 handoffs to running backs, and one of those 12 was a no-gain by White.

What really deflated Joe’s balloon was the Bucs didn’t line up any receivers wide on the play. Backup receiver Rakim Jarrett was lined up in the backfield as an extra blocker.

Given the beastly Eagles’ defensive line, it was as if the Bucs were begging to be buried by a safety. And that’s what happened.

Wrong call? Ugly execution? Both?

101 Responses to “Bad Call By Dave Canales?”

  1. pewter941 Says:

    run to the left, the right, a roll out, do anything but run it up the middle

  2. Rmbuc585 Says:

    Definitely bad call, should have tried the quick out like most teams would do. It would have been somewhat of a better call if we had D.Henry or D.Swift out there. But we had Mr. Interview King out there

  3. Drew Says:

    I agree Joe… Very bad call.

    Off subject… Did any of the Bucs tell Philly we’ll be back like Brooks?

  4. Boss Says:

    at that point ME had caught like 1 ball and dropped 3.

    so, very justifiable to not put him out there. And the OL was not good….so in that case I have no problem with the call.

    better than a safety.

    They started ok….until ME locked the game up for the igles going into the 1/2.

    after that the “playing not to lose” mentallity was on full display

  5. JAB Says:

    Where was the WR screen game last night?

  6. BucU Says:

    Canales ought to be embarrassed by the gameplan he drew up. It was garbage. The coaches failed miserably in this one. Add the brittle players getting hurt constantly and this is what u get.

  7. Beej Says:

    I was wondering if the bucs were trying to do a safety on purpose. They might as well have had Baker take a knee in the end zone by running that play

  8. SB~LV Says:

    The call that resulted in a safety was not smart. The RB was deep in the backfield against a superior defensive line that had been giving the Bucs OL big problems.
    It was a very slow play.

  9. DBS Says:

    I agree. Very bad call. Roll out to Evans or Godwin but any run was going to fail.

  10. Viktor Saint Claire Says:

    Just like the McKay days… Student body right, Student body left, run up the middle… punt….

  11. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Bad coaching…..what else is new in since Bowles to over as HC.

    Look…..I like Bowles as a DC……but NOT as a HC!!!!!

    ……….Bowles has proven from the Jets and now the Bucs that he is not HC material……

    ….liken him to Norv Turner

  12. Bucfan Says:

    Damn near a repeat of the Dallas playoff game. I know nothing about football but ANY fool has to realize running up the middle just does NOT work for the yucks! Bowles has Canales’ ear by insisting ‘ up the gut’ will solve the bucs running woes. Same problem last season. Another game or two like last night and prehaps the real problem will be gone next season!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. BucU Says:

    The funniest part of this is all the talk in the off-season about how Canales offense is a breath of fresh air with all these moving parts and scheming to put his players in position to succeed. Remember that? That game was called like a Byron Leftwich clone. What a joke.

  14. DJB Says:

    That call was straight out of Lefty’s playbook. Just ridiculous, it looked as if the Eagles’ defense were the ones running the ball, all the movement towards the endzone. We have no run blockers. Oh wait, we do have Rakim Jarrett.

  15. kgh4life Says:

    It was definitely a bad call, a bad game plan overall. The bucs were outmatched on the interior.

  16. zzbucs Says:

    Most definitely both, poor call and poor excecution.

    Looking thing in perspective, The Bucs are 2-1, and in better place than everybody expected.

    We aren´t a great team, but we aren´t as vad as the so called experts predicted, next week we could be 3-1….

    After 3 games, IMO, Canales needs to be more agressive and let Baker bake…Playing a conservative offense in not the way, we have a problem running the ball, and trageting CG14 just three times is not the answer.

  17. Rick Says:

    funny… the Eagles can run for a yard or two on command yet we can’t? and we wonder why we lost. We got dominated in the trenches by a better and more complete team. It’s just a bad matchup for us. Maybe you roll baker right and try to slip out a tight end for a few yards, but even then you risk a safety or holding in the end zone.

  18. DBS Says:

    Sorry. I must agree. It did look like Leftnut was back here calling plays again.

  19. Jeff Says:

    Nah, scheme was fine. Bucs didn’t execute because they faced the best d line in football. More trouble next week in New Orleans. Another stout D line. But not Philly good.

  20. Why Bowles? Says:

    Right call but should have disguised it better. They also should have had Kieft lead blocking. You have to get it out of there and give Baker some room. I think you he dropped back to pass you would have seen the same results. Eagles called a delayed run blitz and the safety had an open gap. Great D call. I did notice there were times the WR’s were lined up outside the tackles which rarely happened last season. If Canalas spread it out a little more maybe White gets back to at least the line of scrimmage. A VERY deflating moment in the game for sure.

  21. Buddha Says:

    Bad call and not the only one. Why was Godwin not targeted more than three times? He catches everything thrown to him. The game plan was to stop Hurt, which they did. Except for one throw, he was awful. It is a long season. Eagles had three extra days of practice and they looked fresher. Special teams coverage was awful.

  22. ElioT Says:

    Bad play call + horrible execution.

    Such a disappointing game overall.

    I guess there were several Eagles playing through illness as well?

    Bucs have a long way to go.

  23. BucsFaninTN Says:

    It was especially bad with White as the RB. He almost never breaks a tackle. I could live with it if we had a consistent bruiser who gets 1 to 2 yards on every play. But they knew we were running and they sold out to stop it. And they did not have to worry about a pass because of the formation.

  24. Casual Observer Says:

    Bad call. I also wondered about if the INT should have been ruled a touchback. His second foot came down in the end zone. ?

  25. Infomeplease Says:

    I always like a play action or play action roll out in this situation. I’m sure DC wants to re think that call. The run game, to that point in the game, was poor at best.

  26. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    Bad call. Everyone on the planet except Canales knew that wasn’t going to work.

  27. Bucs13 Says:

    Lol. It’s so funny that some of you were asking for WR screens when you hated when we threw them last year. Like I’ve always said, we threw screens to complement a awful run game. Palmer would’ve gained more yards on screens than our RB

  28. RagingBrisket Says:

    Shtee oline blows up whatever play was called. Stop ignoring the elephant in the room

  29. Rich Says:

    Experts are right….Bucs are not a top shelf team

  30. Buc Fan in CO Says:

    Both. The call was awful and the execution was worse.

    Why do we continue to open games/drives with the same run straight up the gut so often?

  31. pewter941 Says:

    We faced a better team last, their dline and oline are better than ours. We had to have a perfect game to win. Evans had to many drops, and Devin White not being able to run after the int was big. Thats not Canales fault. If anything maybe he should have started throwing earlier, but you know Bowles was probably telling him to run the ball.

  32. gotbbucs Says:

    Against that defensive line? Throw, throw, throw, punt.

  33. Upstate NY BUC Says:

    JONATHAN TAYLOR on LINE 1 Jason!!!!

  34. Crazyhorse54 Says:

    Remember, this is in the job training for Canales. He’s never done this before. There will be plenty of mistakes. His eyes are bigger than his team’s ability.

  35. The Dave Says:

    A Heavy formation with play-action, looking for a seam route to Otton or a slant to Evans. FSU did this all the time back in the Bowden days. If there’s nothing dump the ball and try again on 2nd down.

  36. doolnutts Says:

    I think he and the rest of the staff have more confidence in our OL than the rest of us do lol… We are very young or very average along the OL outside of Wirfs. The LG is an average at best journeyman, the C is fine but isn’t going to move anyone around and our RG was playing against D1AA type teams this time last year.

    I think if Baker keeps playing well see resign him and draft OL & DL all throughout the draft next year. The eagles have this exact model seems to be working well.

    I still think the OL group together is solid I just think the Eagles are the team to beat right now along the NFC and maybe the entire NFL. We should still have a great season.

  37. DS Says:

    Would have been better off attacking that team they have a weak secondary. What’s the point of going after a their strength with our weakness (running game)

  38. SB~LV Says:

    The better team won .. accept that!

  39. Smashsquatch Says:

    Bad call

  40. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Terrible call. Looks like a little Todd rubbed off on Dave.

  41. Jack Clark Says:

    Dave Canales stuck with his philosophy of being patient, balanced, and not giving up on the run. So I respect him for that. I’m more upset over the run blocking than the actual play call. Our running backs can’t even get to the line of scrimmage before being hit! If Todd Bowles wants a run first offense then he needs to FIX THE FRIGGIN RUN BLOCKING for once in his life. Rachaad White is good when he sees daylight. And Baker Mayfield needs to stop holding on to the ball for longer than 2.7 seconds because his chances of getting sacked and turning the ball over greatly increases. Oh and did I mention Mike Evans keeps dropping passes?? How the hell can we win a Super Bowl playing like that?

  42. larrd Says:

    I don’t even see the sense of a yard or two of breathing room. That was the moment they should have started the hurry up, roll out offense that seems to light a fire in Baker. They marched right down the field once they did.

  43. DBS Says:

    That did not seem to be a problem when they rolled Baker out and he hit Palmer and Godwin. That was working. They went back to the run run drop and punt. then run run etc punt.

  44. Captain Dan Lawrence Says:

    Terrible call!

  45. Jimmy J Says:

    I thought when Canales was hired in his press conference said he would attack other teams weakness’ and put our players in best position to win. Trying to force the run when it wasn’t working is not doing that. I thought Canales was exposed and why do we still have the same special teams coach ? They were a disaster yesterday.

  46. Durango 95 Says:

    It would easily win the award for what play has the greatest chance of failure from its inception. Probably his worst play call Canales has made all year.

  47. Jeffrey Becker Says:

    i said the same thing as they were running the play. mental lapse, unless they were considering taking the safety intentionally

  48. Jerseybuc Says:

    Def. A terrible call they can’t run the ball! Sorry but hainsey is not good lack’s power no push. Jensen being out killed this line

  49. Bucsalltheway Says:

    Could have done anything but run with white you pass and it’s incomplete you get another crack at it but to run a weak runner was downright irresponsible Canales got a f grade for that move. Mike only scored in garbage time which started early for us. Went in digged up came out banged up. Lavonte David has heart. Logan hall is growing on me his hustle on the Christian izien whiff during contain proved Warren sapp sinteniment of him. Devin white is selfish if your not healthy sit down stop making it about you and your contract. White will get worst past this week he needs to sit.

  50. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Canales is learning on the job but he shouldn’t have chanelled Leftwich on that call. Bucs Oline is soft at best.

  51. RumDude Says:

    Terrible call. It should have been Otton on a quick slant over the middle for some breathing room like Gronk was famous for.

  52. Watch More ALL22 Before Commenting Says:

    Joebucs working hard to find the lone bad pic of Canales. Well played.
    JoeBucsFan has an array of Canales photos from the legendary JoeBucsFan photographer. Joe didn’t have to work hard. The frowny/frustration face fits Canales here considering the discussion is of a failed play. –Joe

  53. Nprbuc Says:

    Sticking to your game plan is admirable- IF it is working or at least show signs of breaking out. Last night was a return to last year. Knowing in advance that what you are calling will NOT work and then run it anyway- because that’s what your “ plan” was? So much for being flexible in your thinking and exploiting other teams weaknesses. Best team in the NFL in stopping the run so we game plan a running attack against them? I don’t care that Canales has never been a play caller before! A high school coach would have used an air attack against these guys! Absolutely no defense for Bowles and Canales calling the crap game they did. WTH is going on with this team?

  54. MiamiBuc Says:

    The Bucs are balancing on one hand the desire to win and on the other hand the need to protect Mayfield’s stat line to justify handing him the job. No way the Bucs were going to risk Mayfield throwing a Pick 6 like Justin Fields did last week. It’s all about selling the con.

  55. chris l Says:

    i said right away it is a bad call. If anything, have mayfield fall forward to a sneak to get some positive yards. it was so likely white who dances around in the backfield would get hit beyond the LOS. it always happens because of his terrible running style. the guy flat out sucks. i am so done

  56. Bucamania Says:

    Hainsey, Mauch, and Goedeke got destroyed on that safety. Watch it again. So bad. Jalen Carter took Mauch and Goedeke into the endzone.

  57. Michael Says:

    I thought Leftwich was calling plays for a second

  58. J Says:

    Why call a play to our largest weakness in the most delicate area of the field? It just doesn’t make sense. Unless Canales identifies as Byron Leftwich.

  59. J Says:

    Yeah, now the tuxedos look a little fu@ked up.

  60. Red Skeleton Says:

    Bad call because there was no threat of a pass with that alignment. We were man handled all night by both lines. The O line was pushed back all night. Maybe with a threat of the possibility of a pass would lighten the stacked line but the entire defensive line was already a yard and a half before white got the ball in his hands.

  61. Dwayne Cone Says:

    Where was the Roll Out in the 1st Quarter?

    Eagles were driving and interception came on 1st down. Bucs surrendered 2 and gave up a FG on the next drive after the free kick. Don’t make the Pick and Eagles take it in and it’s 27-3 or 23-3 not 25-3. At that point what does it matter? Still down 3 scores.

    Only thing more dismal than the 2.4 yards per Rush was the 1.0 Points per Quarter thru 3.

    Bury the game ball and start prepping for Week 4.

  62. Nunya Says:

    What’s the dumbest thing I can call? Oh yea, run when we can’t find a hole. EVERYONE knew it was coming! Dumbest call of the year so far right there! That was Lovi Smith stupid. It was Raheem Morris stupid. It was Byron Leftwich stupid. Get better, Dave.

  63. Fansince76 Says:

    I was disappointed in the call as well.
    Pre-snap the philly D was set to stop the run and thats just what they did and then some!

  64. Mike C Says:

    Bad call, hopefully he learned a lesson in a game that was out of hand by then anyway….

  65. Pryda…sec147 Says:

    Remember Lenny and Gronk 🥲

  66. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    I know the team “Wants” to be a team that can line up and get 1 yards against anyone at anytime. (See the eagles and that a sneak scrum) we are NOT that team yet. We need to remake this o line into big bruisers if that is the team we want to be. I get wanting to play football a certain way, but real coaching is getting the best out of what your team CAN do.

  67. Jack Sparrow Says:

    Bottom Line: it was really a bad call, bad decision by Canales. Whole night we cannot run the ball and yet he decided this is the best time and spot to use Rachel White…. what a joke!

  68. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    Canales was exposed…white is bleh…Bowles is the same stubborn guy he has always been. It wasn’t a close game at all. Total blow out. If we win 7 games I will be surprised. The team is bottom 3rd at best

  69. Aubpierce Says:

    The play should have been a fake hand off and roll out to the right with either a run,pass or a throw away. Stupid play calling all night.

  70. Power Of Pewter Says:

    Runs up the gut had already failed several times, what in the world made Canales think it would work that time? Especially since the entire stadium and television audience knew what the play was, not to mention the Eagles defense. Really dumb play call.

  71. SlyPirate Says:


    No joke. Everyone in the sports bar I was at said during the commercial break before the offense took over agreed, “The Bucs are going to try and run up the middle and they’ll get a safety.” Sad.

  72. Beejezus-belt Says:

    Maybe Canales was sending message to Bowles, if we are going to pound the rock we need to get that can pound the rock and the defense if there are no holes or gaps. I would have liked to seen them air it out, if you turn the ball over on deep play it isn’t as detrimental.

  73. Obvious Says:

    What an embarrassment. Does Canales have any clue of how to call plays, adjust, stunts, screens, just ANYTHING? Talk about EYE OPENING!

    I’ll just sum it up… PUKE!

    I SURE HOPE he learned something very special. I’m guessing he learned in the neighborhood of 50 lessons but was there ANYTHING SPECIAL he took away from that arse whipping??

  74. PSL Bob Says:

    STUPID CALL. As I watched the situation unfold, I was saying, do not run it up the middle. At least if you’re going to run, he should have had the WR spread out so they couldn’t stack the box. And what ever happened to not being predictable? Jeez, terrible call and formation.

  75. VATom Says:

    I think it’s the smart call in nearly any NFL city. However, Canales hasn’t aparently familiarized himself with the last 5 yrs of Bucs history. The line doesn’t run block short yardage at all. Hasn’t shown they can do it, evidently aren’t built for it. Was it a bad call? For the Bucs, yes. But the guy has to build a run. Might as well see where his strengths are. I’ve been impressed with Canales so far. Evans had some bad drops. Mayfield was being careful. Godwin was taken out of the game as an escape valve. You might as well show your team you EXPECT them to run block…and to get positive yards. No other way to do it than to do it and see what happens. If he was SURPRISED…that’s a different story.

    Should he have shown some flexibility with the formation? Yeah, that wouldn’t have been a bad idea. But if theyd broken a run for 3 or 5 it would’a been a non issue. Hated to see Delaneys best play become -9.

  76. Oz Len Says:

    Traditionally that’s the right call. Run out of the end zone, and get a little breathing room for your offense. Passing from the end zone always invites an interception. Canales has shown he is dedicated to a run-pass offense. So it is not a surprise he did that. Obviously, in hindsight, the pass is the correct call but Canales doesn’t see into the future when calling plays.

  77. T Says:

    They flooded the line with players , I would have aired it out and caught Philly off guard.

  78. Capt Kidd Says:

    Idiot call, I was screaming at the TV.

  79. Pops Malone Says:

    Horrid play call!

  80. Mike Johnson Says:

    Defense not being healthy is a very big problem. Yes, the Saints can beat us with Jay-miss. We need to heal up this week or go 2-2.

  81. MelvinJunior Says:

    Could see it all unfold right before your own eyes, from the start. Had NO chance. KNEW-IT. 💯. Hell, I believe that EVERYONE knew-it… Everyone, in the stands and everyone sitting at home watching on tv. There was never a more obvious, and predictable outcome EVER, in the history of ‘play-calls’ than that one right THERE!!!! Could see it coming from a THOUSAND miles away LoL.

  82. Fishhawkbuc Says:

    It’s going to be a rough season fellas. Do keep in mind, that the two teams that we did beat are a combined 0-6.

  83. Let ‘em bake Says:

    If there is a “ great” loss.. this is it. Think of all the learning canales gleans from it. It came early in season. No great player lost to injury. A top tier opponent test. Clarity of what our o line capable of. Loss doesn’t hurt our division position . A realistic goal is our division this year. Give oc time to grow and learn.

  84. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Horrible situation to be in. First thought after the INT was “Damn, why couldn’t that be a touchback?” Better a safety than a pick 6, no really good options

  85. Miller5252 Says:

    Soon as they lined up I said a run is coming and it’ll be a safety. It was a horrible call! Best D line in football and in the last 2 years the worst short yard team in the Bucs. The game could have been a lot different if a few things went the Bucs way.

  86. Tye Says:

    White was going no where all game… Eagles where going to come after Baker regardless…. Qb sneak to get at least a yard or 2 away from the endzone to attempt a run!

    White constantly stutter steps like he is dancing around even before he get to the line which halts ALL momentum… NEED to go get a wrecking ball on a back!

  87. Dwayne Cone Says:

    According to Canales Baker has seen every kind of defense. I’ve seen Mayfield change the play at the 20 if the Defense has the play sniffed out. Is he in charge on the field or not?

    At the very minimum you hard count, take a time out, and go to the sideline and tell them they are Fricking Nuts. I would call that Moxie. Instead run the play as called and avoid sticking out your neck.

  88. Rod Munch Says:

    This is Todd Bowles hand picked stooge, and if Bowles says you’re going to run the ball no matter what, he’s going to do what Bowles told him to do.

  89. Ed Says:

    Bucs offense was pitiful. They just don’t attack. More passing is needed to get this offense in sync. The running game with White isn’t going to get much better. He is hesitant, not willing to take on the contact and doesn’t have any explosiveness. The only thing he does well is catch the ball and he is big enough to stay in as a blocker to protect the QB. But damn, they need the right kind of running back. His 6’2 lean frame is not the physical type of body to run after contact.

    Its been a really long, long time since the Bucs have had a good running back. I think the only full time great running back the Bucs have ever developed was James Wilder and that is a half century ago nearly. Dunn was good and so was Allstott but Wilder was the best they ever had. I would gladly take Michael Pittman over White or Thomas Jones over White. Bucs are awful at developing running backs.

  90. Ben Harvey Says:

    It’s easy to fault the call when we all saw it didn’t work. However, given the way the run game has struggled, I probably wouldn’t have called thar play. If anything, I would have called a sneak to get a little more room. Sidd note this O line needs to go. While Mauch is a rookie and we still dont know what we have, I’m tired of watch Hainsey get his sh$t blown back on most run plays. Feiler is meh as well. Need bigger, badder O linemen in there.

  91. Day 1-76 Says:

    Brutal call, but the worst one was not running out the clock after a sack at the end of the first half.

  92. Nick2 Says:

    Wrong call the safety alll but doomed us.

  93. Old School Bucs Says:

    As Joe said last week, Mayfield and Canales figured it out. Something Brady and BL couldn’t. As if they were the problem and ignoring everything else that was wrong particularly the two most important things that win games. A Oline that blocks and a defense that makes stops. But dont panick folks, Sniper Mayfield and Canales got this. No need to look at anything else from last nights game. Focus only on the greatest QB to ever play for the Bucs, Mayfield, and the greatest O coordinator to stand on the Bucs Sidelines, Canales.

  94. LoveMeSomeBucs Says:

    BucU….you say the game plan was bad ?? Do you think Canales planned for Otton to drop a screen pass that would have gained some good yards…do you think Canales planned for Evans to turn into stone hands and drop pass after pass…do you think Canales wanted the O line to completely suck ? When the O line can’t run block or pass block then what kind of game plan can you come up with…a peaceful surrender ?

  95. firethecannons Says:

    Run the ball on other teams that dont have as stout a d-line as Eagles. The game was time to unleash our passing attack. Run against the saints as their secondary is outstanding

  96. Minnesota Buc Says:

    These problems go back to January when the whole offensive staff wasn’t fired, we have a young coordinator who will make mistakes young players who need coaching. I look back to when BA arrived and the defense started to improve immediately. The offense needs time the coordinator needs experience baker needs to put the ball in better position to be caught

  97. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    I don’t think Canales thought it would be a jail break for a safety. I think he outsmarted himself. I’m betting he thought the Eagles would be ready and looking for a quick throw to the sideline. So he would try it up the middle first. Honestly the way the Eagles front 7 were playing I’m not sure there was a right call in that situation.

  98. steele Says:

    Bad game plan by Canales, whose inexperience as a playcaller and tactician was pretty glaring. But that one call, as bad as it was, did not alter the course of a game that was already decided early on.

  99. David G Says:

    Was a Sh#t call , but overall I like what he is doing! I think we will be fine nobaoby thought we were going to win that game and we hung with them for a while

  100. fred Says:

    It didn’t matter what he called the whole Offensive line caved in that play didn’t stand a chance they got over powered so I say bad execution

  101. Peter Thomson Says:

    Haven’t read many comments on this stream, but what if a screen or a rollout or a down field pass were called: maybe a successful attenpt for a first down. More than likely, a 4th down punt if any of the prevoius downs did not succeed or, worse, backfired (interception – Baker is so, so bad (sarcasm), a fumble). A greater chance to give up 7 or 8 points with repeated 3 downs. Trying up the middle was the safest possible attenpt against such a fierce opponent, and if it did not work, only 2 points were given up. Considering the field placement, time, I think this was the best, the safest of calls. I guess you could have tried to punt back to the Eagles, but, again, the punts were long, not high, so a significant return was possible. Just saying. Not a bad decision by Canales.