Todd Bowles Explains Hands-Off-Dave-Canales Policy

September 27th, 2023

Todd Bowels talks about being the boss of his new playcaller.

It seems Todd Bowles’ 11th commandment is to not micromanage his coaches.

The head coach gave a passionate address about it today at One Buc Palace.

So how involved are on game days with the offenses, Coach?

Bowles made it clear that he’s no overlord pulling strings and pulling plugs on his offensive coorinator.

“I’m not going to sit there and be Big Brother over Dave [Canales] and be an offensive coordinator. That’s not who I am; that’s not what I do,” Bowles said decisively. “I’ll be crazy if I sat up here and told you I was. Do I know offenses? Yeah. Do I know defenses and how they defend? Yes. But you let your guys do their thing and coach football. We all get paid to do a job. Dave is very good at his job; I trust him completely. And we let him go. If we need to talk about timeouts and going for it on fourth down and things like that, we talk about it.

“But I’m not going to sit there and say, ‘Run. Pass. Pass. Run. Run.’ That’s not football. We let him coach. And we let those guys work together and we get it done.”

Joe gets the Bowles approach, but it must be flexible. If something is broken, the head coach should step in and fix it without question.

What’s somewhat ironic about what Bowles said is that Canales has been quick to say Bowles has a distinct offensive style he desires.

Hopefully, Bowles never gets to a point with Canales where there’s a question about whether the head coach should step in. Joe doesn’t want to rehash the ugly Leftwich-Brady offense of 2022, but Bowles didn’t demand in-season changes and the results didn’t support Bowles’ hands-off approach.

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41 Responses to “Todd Bowles Explains Hands-Off-Dave-Canales Policy”

  1. Hunter Says:

    Totally get what Todd is saying but when it comes down to moments like the run that ended in a safety, you HAVE to step in and make sure we throw the ball.

    Do whatever pass you think is best, but pass the damn ball.

    I’m sure I wasn’t the only Bucs fan screaming at my TV for over 2 minutes before that play saying “Please don’t run the ball. Please don’t run the ball. Please don’t run the ball…”

    I love Canales but that playcall made me question everything. Hopefully games like this well help us in the long run to make less dumb decisions.

  2. Boss Says:

    @ the end of the day bowels is HC. He damn well should have a say in the offense. If he doesn’t it is only so he can say it was not his fault.

    Canales seems “ok” so far…except for those stupid runs up the gut for no yards.

    If they actually did a play fake on that they could probably drop get 7 points on the 1st play…provided mike catches the ball.

    but you know the D would not see it coming. come to think of it..they have gone deep to mike early and he flat dropped it. still, I bet they would have an easy deep pass.

  3. Infomeplease Says:

    I believe TB needs to be discussing time outs way more, since he wasted most of the last nine minutes of the game. Even with ‘3 minutes left you are only 1 big play away from a one score game!! He did this or do I mean didn’t manage the clock to well last year too. Just an observation!!

  4. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist and Founder of Says:

    I feel like if Bowles stepped in on that play call on the 1-yd line, Bowles would call for a run in that situation too. In hindsight, obviously not. But in the moment, that dude Bowles would live and die by the run in that 99x out of 100.

    Worst play call of the season by far, but hopefully it’s a freakin learning experience for Canales.

  5. unbelievable Says:

    What’s somewhat ironic about what Bowles said is that Canales has been quick to say Bowles has a distinct offensive style he desires.

    I don’t think that’s ironic at all, as both things can be true.

    Bowles has a vision for the offense (wants to be balanced, move the chains, chew clock etc.), and he wants Canales to execute that overall philosophy. That’s very different from Bowles standing over his shoulder and saying “call a run play now, now call a pass play” etc…

  6. unbelievable Says:

    @Erik – totally agree. It was so obvious that the Bucs were going to call a run, and even more obvious that the Eagles were going to stuff it and get a safety.

    Hopefully Canales learned from that big mistake.

  7. ModHairKen Says:

    Nope. I support Big Balls totally on this. Stay out of it. Gently guide. Let them do their jobs.

    I think Canales will be 100% better this week having gone through last.


    Hainsey. Dean. Rachaad. Mauch. They have now seen the film. They know what they did. And what they didn’t.


  8. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Canales commitment to sticking with a run game that doesn’t work is puzzling to say the least

    At least Leftwhich last year recognized when the Bucs run game was useless and moved more into the screen and short pass game, hence, the Bucs leading the league in pass attempts by a mile in 2022.

  9. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Agree with ModHairKen-
    Bucs issues Monday night were mostly execution and injuries on Defensive side.

  10. Cousin Eddy Says:

    Bowles senses that the offense is the weak link in this team and is covering his ass for when we end up with a losing season.

  11. RagingBrisket Says:

    The oline is completely broken. Who is fixing that?

  12. Cousin Eddy Says:


    Totally agree that Bowles should have used the 2 timeouts we had at the end. He just up and quit.

  13. Kgh4life Says:

    The approach of being balanced has held back the offense, especially in the Monday night game. Going forward they have to figure out how to score points.

  14. David Says:

    Toilet Bowls have no clue what this offense is about. He just blindly hired a new OC to change into a new system than what BA ran. As they say;

    If you fail to plan, you plan to fail=New system+ New Inexperience OC+ Repelled QB

  15. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    In 2022 there were no in-season changes to be made. There simply was no fixing Leftwich.

  16. unbelievable Says:

    @Hunter – I said the same exact thing to my buddy long before they even lined up:

    “Whatever you do, don’t run it or they’ll get a safety, guaranteed”

  17. fred Says:

    The offense is not broken after 1 L Joe

  18. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Hunter Says
    “Totally get what Todd is saying but when it comes down to moments like the run that ended in a safety, you HAVE to step in and make sure we throw the ball.”

    I get that…but glass half full. At least it wasn’t 6 more points.

  19. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    And you gotta be careful with Mayfield. You can see that his accuracy is not great. In games, sometimes the receiver has to make the great catch, and sometimes the QB has to make the perfect throw. With Mayfield it is more of the former; with Brady the latter was more common.

    That great catch Godwin made against the Vikings did not have to be a great catch. He was wide open and a better throw would have been a routine and unspectacular first down.

    So in the end I can certainly see the emphasis on being successful with the run. We need to be given Mayfield’s limitations. The problem is we are not successful with the run. Both White and the line are to blame. Canales shares some too. We need to practice running better. It is very, very, very clear that the Eagles run the ball well because they practice it well. We need that kind of commitment on Mondays thru Saturdays to do it on Sundays.

  20. vadertime Says:

    Firstly, Todd Bowles needs to go. He is not a capable leader who can take the Bucs to the promised land, again. Secondly, Canales was pathetically bad at managing the offense – run, run, run, pass for pitiful yardage and becoming completely predictable for the Eagles. This team cannot run the ball. They couldn’t run the ball when they had the Goat here for the past 3 years and he single-handedly carried Tampa on his shoulders into the Superbowl and won. That era will probably never happen again in my lifetime. Baker Mayfield is decent, mid-tier QB, who is capable of managing the game. Throw those short passes and those screens just to get the ball rolling and consistently getting first downs. Then next year in the draft, we can get a QB in waiting and a RB in the later rounds. Maybe we can get the Goat to come back to Tampa in either a coaching capacity or as a part-owner of the Bucs. I would love to see the Brady back on the sidelines screaming his lungs out at the players. However, the Glazers need to fire Bowles at the end of the season – he cannot lead the team nor can he lift them to the next level. Only the Goat could do that. Peace out.

  21. Zoocomics Says:

    What’s frustrating as that we’ve implemented a new offensive scheme, and yet we have the same results, averaging 17/game and still no running game. Oline is still the main problem, but also, we need our stars to stop dropping CATCHABLE footballs. Who knows what happens with a new series of downs and/or a score. Unfortunately given this teams zero room for error situation, EVERY play and catch seems to matter.

  22. Bucs'n'Bucks Says:

    I have to say that the fault on the safety has to go a little toward Mayfield. I love Baker and think he’s going to lead us to the playoffs. But when you look up and see 11 green helmets in front of the center, you have to chant the play. Even if the coach won’t let you.

  23. Lakeland Steve Says:

    It’s one freaking game folks. Did the Bucs play bad? Yes, but the team played poorly. Except for Lavonte Davis, it seemed everyone on defense got pushed around. Especially our defensive line. Our offensive and defensive lines got manhandled, simple as that. I’m sure if Baker stepped back to throw from our own one and got sacked for a safety everyone would be screaming. Why didn’t we run the ball. Let’s face it, our interior of our offensive line was punked on National television. You think the Saints were paying attention?

  24. Lakeland Steve Says:

    Well it seems we don’t have a Lavonte Davis on the team, only Lavonte David. Sorry Lavonte

  25. EcoBoost Says:

    This team was never going to beat the eagles, they beat up on two cream puffs, out quest in every area.

  26. EcoBoost Says:

    This team beat up on two cream puffs it was never going to beat the eagles, how classed in every area.

  27. Bill in Seminole Says:

    Uh, when you have no run attack, and it’s first down on your own one year line, and when the opposition is the Eagles defense, and they know it’s a run play, and you call for a run, doesn’t the coach step in and say, “No, Dave, try a short screen pass, three times. If those don’t work we kick it back to them”.

  28. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist and Founder of Says:

    Haha! Ecoboost can’t post his trolling insult without typo. You suck!

  29. orlbucfan Says:

    Hey joes, you’ve had a temporary tech glitch. I posted a long comment. It was not censored, and just vanished.

  30. UKBuccaneer Says:

    Now I’m no OC or HC, I’m a fan like everybody else here – but I wanna see more no-huddle uptempo offense. It looks great whenever we’ve used it. Im certain Baker is smart enough to run that offense,

  31. Allwright Says:

    Preach it UK!

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    Jack Burton Merecer … ‘The problem is we are not successful with the run. Both White and the line are to blame. Canales shares some too. We need to practice running better.’

    Can’t really disagree with that analysis Jack, but sometimes you just don’t have the horses to pull the big wagon, so you settle for a smaller wagon. Bucs may WANT to run the ball a bunch to eat the clock, but they also have to be able to do it at least moderately successfully to make it worthwhile.

    Stubbornly running on 50% of your plays doesn’t make your attack ‘balanced’ when your Yards per Run Play average is way down at 2.8 YPP and your Yards per Pass Play average is up at 6.7 YPP. It just means that you’re running to burn the clock.

    Bucs have run on 46.7% of our 180 plays this season, and we’ve gotten 29 of our 90 first downs via the run (32%). Last year we ran on 33.3% of our 1159 plays, and got 240 of our 665 first downs via the run (36%). As bad as our rushing game was last year (worst in the league), it still significantly outperformed this year’s rushing attack IMO in terms of the money down (getting 1st downs). Much smaller sample this year I know, but our rushing attack simply isn’t getting it done.

    Practicing more & harder won’t make OLinemen stronger or make RBs better; they’ve all been doing this for a long time already. Changing our ‘approach’ would probably help (running between the guards doesn’t seem to be working for us so MAYBE we should not do it so much?). Using the pass to set up the run MIGHT also help more (to at least keep the defense guessing more). More rollouts & RPOs MAY also help. But I think the biggest help would be to find us a stud RB capable of making something out of nothing. I’d even settle for bringing back Lenny or RoJo at this point.

  33. SlyPirate Says:

    RagingBrisket Says:
    The oline is completely broken. Who is fixing that?


    That might be overexaggerating things. The week before 0 sacks, 1 QB hit. The truth is somewhere in the middle. The Saints have a good DL. Let’s see how much they improve.

  34. ChiBuc Says:

    “But in the moment, that dude Bowles would live and die by the run in that 99x out of 100.”

    I agree with Erik Hesson’s statement above, which is problematic for a HC. It truly undermines Bowles comment…”Do I know offenses? Yeah. Do I know defenses and how they defend? Yes” because every person watching that KNEW exactly what play was coming when Leverett entered as an eligible receiver and their intuition confirmed with that no WR formation, INCLUDING the eagles. Once the HC saw how the eagles defense lined up to defend the play, a responsible HC needs to call a timeout to discuss with his OC/QB. It is weird to justify a lackadaisical management style after that trainwreck play call, especially with comment that undermines your football knowledge.

  35. LoveMeSomeBucs Says:

    The way these people on here speak about Bowles I’m surprised they want him to make any type of decision. Todd Bowles is doing what any manager would do…delegate to other managers and let them do their job…After the game during the next week then you address issues.

  36. Voice of Truth Says:

    No one thinks he is making play calls for the OC but he very, very clearly stated he wants a conservative and methodical approach to the O so his blitzing D can stay fresh and not get worn out by “scoring too

    Funny, all those runs up the middle look eerily familiar- the formation, the blocking assignments etc

    What happened to the zone scheme????

  37. Brandon Says:

    Jack Burton Mercer Says:
    September 27th, 2023 at 2:30 pm
    In 2022 there were no in-season changes to be made. There simply was no fixing BRADY.


    Fixed it for you. You’re welcome.

  38. Rod Munch Says:

    There is no way that Canales looked at the NFL defensive rankings, and saw the Eagles were the #1 run defense, and thought, yeah, this is the week to establish the run. No way that didn’t come directly from Bowles.

  39. BucU Says:

    I remember in training camp everybody was saying wait till u see this offense with all the moving parts, using every blade of grass to stretch defenses and scheming to get your playmakers open?
    All bull$hit. We’ve done none of that. My sky high Canales optimism has been flushed down the toilet.

  40. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    I see Bowles’ point in being “hands off” but when a HC sees the wheels coming off during the game, he needs to step in and get someone to tighten the lug nuts.

    Coaching “philosophies” don’t win games. Calling the right plays and then getting the players to execute them properly does. You prepare for your upcoming opponent not to “be the kind of team you want to be”. You can still run the ball against a top run defense but you can’t run straight into the teeth of their strength, which is between the tackles for most top run Ds.

    Canales, Joe Gilbert (O-line coach), Skip Peete (RB coach) and Harold Goodwin (run game coordinator) need to prepare a better plan and coach these guys up to execute it. And they need to be flexible and adapt in-game if they see a defense figuring them out and if Bowles doesn’t see Canales doing that, he needs to step in.

    Canales is a big talker, but I don’t see him as the Alpha Dog in the room with the above named coaches, regardless of his title. That would seem to be Goodwin and it seems Canales has a “hands off approach” with him considering the run game looks exactly the same as last year.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a bit of a power conflict considering Goodwin was a Bruce Arians guy for 11 years prior to coming here. Not saying they don’t get along but maybe Goodwin’s experience is viewed as equal to or greater than Canales’ and Goodwin imposes his will on the new whiz kid. Whatever the dynamic is, it’s not working and certainly not with the players we have. They aren’t the 90’s Cowboys o-line or the 80’s Hawgs of Washington. Our guys need more “finesse” rather than a brute force approach.

    Bowles may want to keep his “hands off” so they’re clean when something doesn’t work but a HC needs to get his hands dirty or at least tell his assistants to get theirs dirty, grab a lug wrench and tighten those lug nuts.

    Losing to Philly was neither shocking nor a season-killer. But it should be a wake-up call for the coaches because watching it unfold was frustrating as hell. I was hoping to at least see Baker audible to a flea-flicker when they stacked the box. At least entertain us ffs. Lol

  41. garro Says:

    So who is ultimately responsible at One Buc?

    Weak Coach Bowles.

    Go Bucs!