“18” Returns

October 16th, 2023

New Bucs playcaller Dave Canales.

Only the Giants and Falcons score fewer points per game than the Buccaneers in the NFC.

New York has started its backup quarterback because of injury, and the Falcons appear on the brink of turning to theirs because their starting QB is anemic and inexperienced.

As for the Bucs, well, their quarterback is having a good season, yet Tampa Bay is scoring an average of 18 points per game. That’s a half-point less than last season. (Insert Byron Leftwich’s annoying laugh).

Unlike in 2022, the Bucs have solid excuses.

They’ve got a new offensive coordinator, a first-timer to the job. And very inexperienced targets are getting a ton of playing time: Deven Thompkins, Trey Palmer and No. 1 tight end Cade Otton. Two are late-round draft picks and one is undrafted.

Throw in a still jelling offensive line with new parts and a running backs crew that has Joe yearning for the days of Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers, and it’s easy to understand why the Bucs offense is having growing pains.

Still, 18 points per game is unacceptable by any standard, especially when the defense is a top-10 unit and the offense has no signficant injuries.

Chris Godwin failing to find the end zone also is something that cannot continue.

Joe has faith in offensive coordinator Dave Canales, but Joe also is starting to wonder whether NFL defensive coordinators are adjusting to Canales at a faster pace than he’s adjusting to them.

The Bucs have two games (Atlanta and Buffalo) in the next 10 days. Canales has to improve in a hurry.

54 Responses to ““18” Returns”

  1. LVMYBUCS Says:

    Canales is a bad hire in my opinion.

  2. LVMYBUCS Says:

    Canales and Bowles yadda yadda yadda as the commercials goes. Same excuses every year. Bowles go back to being a D coach. Canales, just go away ur play calling sucks dude.

  3. Kenny Says:

    Bowles is the problem. This is simple.
    The QB changed.
    The OC changed.
    Bowles is the only thing that remains the same.
    He is too conservative and his offense is too basic and predictable.
    We look like a team from 1991 out there…. Or the 1998 Bucs with Tony Dungy.
    I feel like Bowles has handcuffed Canales, told him he wants x% running plays, etc….
    Notice how much better this offense works at the end of games when we decide to throw down field to our elite WRs?
    Why do we need to wait until the last 2 drives to do this?
    Why does every first down need to be a run?
    Why does every pass in the first half need to be 4 yards down the field instead of 15 and over the middle?

  4. Swanee22 Says:

    Canales had two weeks to prepare for Lions defense. With all the time, film and knowledge he received a grade of “F”. What the fans in the stands and on TV nationally was an offense that was not prepared . Canales and the offensive players were failures and unacceptable. Canales didn’t prepare properly his offense or he may not have the ability to foresee and prepare correctly. Either way this will loom as a bad hire. Once again, the owners recently are making to many mistakes on their hiring decisions. Changes will have to be made once again, and A second losing season is on the threshold.

  5. adam from ny Says:

    we have a trifecta coming up of: 1 home game – then 2 on the road…

    i say trifecta because the 1 home game then 2 on the road happens 3 times in a row on the schedule…

    that’s the exact sequence in our next 9 upcoming games

  6. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Mayfield missing the more than wide open Evans and tipped ball Int is a 10 point swing. Canales will be fine , but we need a RB with burst and home run capability and there is NO REASON not to bring in ROJO for a work. NONE.

  7. #99 the big fella Says:

    Just two weeks ago you ladies were saying how good canales was doing. Did you think we were going to be undefeated this year? Give this offense a little time to figure it out.. one thing about bucs fans they will jump off the ship really fast.
    Now that being said, we should of signed or traded for a running back. That is on Jason. This is not fair to the defense to be on the field for most of the game.
    With a good running back we should be able to eat up the clock. Let’s see what happens next week.. Atlanta is a physical team with a strong running game.

  8. Manny Says:

    Points don’t matter. Moxie and goosebumps matter.

  9. Lt. Dan Says:

    Welp…at least we get the Falcons Sunday. On a serious note..offenses in the NFL take time to gel. I think it’ll click after a few more games.

  10. Jeff Says:

    Hey Yucs! Thanks for embarrassing us all!

  11. Bucfan Says:

    The play calling is a joke. Whatever happened to game time adjustments? Yes they WANT to run the ball but when you fail 90% of the time, something must change. THROW on first down occasionally and you may get better results. Set up the run with the pass.

    Just look at the Lions. How many times did they throw on 1st down? Don’t need to throw the long ball, just short passes to keep drives alive.

    One positive note – if things do not improve hopefully the Glazers’ will get rid of “Lovie #2” I mean Bowels.

  12. Hodad Says:

    Last year this great Lions team started the season 1-6. We are sitting at 3-2 top the division. Lions are in year three of their rebuild. This is year one for the Bucs.

  13. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Canales is fine. It’s the execution on the players part. Mayfield was bad yesterday. Mike dropped balls. Rachaad White is not even a back up running back in my opinion. The interior line cannot get any push run blocking are all reasons the Bucs lost.

    My big question for Canales is why Chris Godwin was not more involved in the game plan. That’s about it.

  14. #99 the big fella Says:

    Lt Dan, well said! It takes time. New coordinator and new offense

  15. Jack Clark Says:

    We only lost to great teams, Eagles and Lions are ranked top 5 teams according to the official NFL website, and we won against mediocre at best teams like the saints, bears, and vikings. That’s a good thing right? If we keep that up we can be 13-4 at the end of the season and possibly win home playoff game. All hope is not lost yet

  16. HC grover Says:

    And just like that, all the irrational optimism is gone….for a couple days.

  17. K_bassuka Says:

    Stop the bs Joe, our QB is not having a good season, well unless you are talking about missing open receivers. He’s pretty good at that!

  18. Bucs13 Says:

    It’s the “washed QB” fault.

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Yesterday’s game looked like a bad Brady game from last year……slow to no start….3 instead of 7……missed passes…..not converting 3rd downs.

    Canales calls running plays on 2nd down way too much….it puts us in a 3rd and long constantly…..and when we have a 3rd & short we throw it downfield with a low-percentage pass.

  20. Bucs13 Says:

    @Tampabaybucsfan. “Bad Brady game”. Yes, let’s bring back the fans biggest punching bag. This was a typical Mayfield game. By the way, the team averages fewer points this year than last year. You can’t throw the “washed QB” this year and yet you find someway to invoke his name.

  21. Lakeland Steve Says:

    Actually I was hoping we would try a little no huddle in the first half just to change things up and maybe get the Lions defense on their heels. The lack of imagination in the offense yesterday was disturbing. I don’t blame the defense yesterday in the 2’nd half for giving up points. They were on the field forever with all the three and outs.

  22. BucU Says:

    2 weeks to implement a good game plan. And just like last year they embarrassed us coming out of the bye. At least we now know exactly who we are. A middle of the road, average to below average team who can’t compete with the good teams. And such my expectations have changed dramatically for this team.
    What a massive FAIL for Canales and the players. They performed like garbage.
    And lastly throw them creamcycle uniforms in the nearest dumpster. I never want to see them again.

  23. Ed Says:

    Bucs are one of the easier teams for DC’s to prepare for as the dedication to running the ball for 3 yards a carry always leads to a 2nd and 8 or 2nd and 7 down. Its inevitable that on 2nd down the Bucs are going to throw the ball short of the marker.

    The worst call Canales made was the 3rd and 1 throw to Evan which he got called for PI. Evans wasn’t close to being open and the play was doomed from the start.

    That was the down that he can roll out Mayfield with option of running for the first down or throwing into the end zone. When you go from 3rd and 1 to 3rd and 11, 90% of the time you’ve blown a chance at a TD.

    When I hear Bowles talk about “coming out of the bye” as an excuse, thats 100% the wrong way to look at it. The bye got the Bucs stars a rest and a chance to be 100%. Why didn’t they take advantage of that? Why do they continue to choke and play awful in prime time games against good teams.

    Losing to the Lions and Eagles isn’t shameful but playing like they do vs good opponents is indicative of a team that isn’t doing its best to put up points on the scoreboard. Lions and Eagles are 2 of the higher scoring teams in the league and while they do have great defenses the Bucs have enough weapons in the passing game to get some points but the low scoring at home continues.

    The team is like its head coach, passive. That zone defense sucks as while it keeps the other team from scoring, it also allows opponents to convert easy first downs and win the time of possesion by holding the ball way too long for the Bucs defense to get the ball back. #1 priority for this defense has to be to stop giving up 10-11 yard passes off zone defenses on 3rd down.

  24. kgh4life Says:

    Canales hasn’t been perfect, however, against the Lions there were plays to be made. The bucs didn’t execute: Overthrown balls, dropped passes, missed blocks and lack of a competent RB.

  25. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Well, at least the home team won. Sea of blue in the stands which was sad to see when both teams came in with one loss. Yesterday Tampa and Tampa fan lost.

  26. Darin Says:

    Still not sure you think the QB is having a good season. He ain’t turning it over much ill give him that. One game over 500 ok good job. Otherwise he is Baker Mayfield. Might as well change his name to Kicker Mayfield. Every drive ends in a kick.

  27. Since76 Says:

    I think Canales could be calling a good game with a good game plan. I think Mayfield just isn’t getting it done. He isn’t going through his reads and wants to scramble instead of throwing to his outlet. I wanted him to succeed but he is not a good QB. Tipped passes because he telegraphs throws. And he is terrible at the long ball.

  28. Irish Laughter Says:

    Give Baker time. After playing for the many teams in the NFL he has a unique advantage of knowing how defensives work and he will soon dominate. Make no mistake, the Bucs will make it to the Super Bowl and beat KC once again. We just have to be patient with Bowles. With his great coaching, who needs to score points. Go Bucs.

  29. Jack Sparrow Says:

    Bucs offense was awful. No creativity, very vanilla type routes and the WR’s are slow they can’t do any cuts or give themselves any openings. They rely to much on a hope that the refs will throw yellow flags for them. Running game is non-existent since game 1….. it’s just bad…. come on man!

  30. jay adams Says:

    Saw this coming in preseason. Lost Brady, O line went from bad to worse, had to use Bakers legs in rollouts and short passes to move the chain, poor run game.

    Mayfield has never been a top deep route passer. Better play calls would help but also let’s face it the Salary cap has reared it’s ugly head the last 2 yrs. We can beat poor teams but not hopeful we can beat better teams

  31. First Name Greatest Says:

    The insane dedication to a running game that is not good or working is just baffling and seems to be engineered by Bowles.

    Bucs offensive strength is pass blocking and their receivers not their RB or run blocking


  32. rrsrq Says:

    I’m not down on the team, the offense does look different, even though the points are not showing up yet. White needs to become our 3rd down back, I think he did a great job blocking and probably has the hands to be decent (kind of a Charles Sims type, btw is he available). But I would like for once to see our RBs break the line of scrimmage and get to the second level like other teams, is that the RB or is it the offensive line.

  33. MelvinJunior Says:

    JTS is completely, LOST out there when he’s dropping in coverage. That one late 3rd & long play where he ‘allowed’ the receiver (right next to him in the middle of the field) go by him like that (with ZERO instincts or peripheral vision and never even looking at the QB to read his eyes or ANYTHING), while ONLY worrying about and watching/STARING at the RB who was literally, 16+YARDS behind the ‘sticks’ was just absolutely, EMBARRASSING. Just HORRIBLE. Pathetic. Makes NO Sense. It was pure stupidity. He’s just not a very ‘smart guy’ would be THE biggest understatement of the year.

  34. MelvinJunior Says:

    But, those TWO, ‘back-to-back’ RUNS late in the game tho, was the most inexcusable AND STUPID play calls I have EVER seen before. And, I seriously, BELIEVE he did it intentionally, just out of spite. 💯. I truly believe it. There’s NO other explanation for it.

  35. DS Says:

    We need a real RB bad canales is terrible in the red zone man why isn’t Godwin used more ?

  36. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘Unlike in 2022, the Bucs have solid excuses. They’ve got a new offensive coordinator, a first-timer to the job.’

    Gotta needle you on your word selection Joe. ‘A SOLID EXCUSE’? I always thought that REASONS were acceptable, but EXCUSES were just excuses. And using Dave Canales as an ‘excuse’ seems iffy. Last week folks were convinced that he was in-line for a HC vacancy somewhere next year. Now he’s ‘new’ and a ‘first-timer’ and being used as an ‘excuse’? Sorry, but if he can’t run with the big dogs, he needs to get back on the porch.

    What held the parade back yesterday was our mediocre running game AND poor play selection on 3rd downs more than anything else. BOTH teams crapped the bed yesterday in terms of their poor running games (Lions 22 runs for 40 yds and Bucs 16 runs for 46 yds). That means the Lions ran it on 32% of their plays, while the Bucs ran it on 30% of our plays. Very uncharacteristically low for BOTH teams. Why? Both our running games stunk.

    Difference though was that the Lions compensated nicely with their pass playcalls, while the Bucs wasted play after play with poor play selection. Just look through the game play-by-play and you’ll see drive after drive where we blew it on 3rd downs with lots of questionable playcalls (Bucs went 2-for-12 on 3rd down). Lions on the other hand methodically moved the chains … but just barely … time after time on 3rd down (Lions were 9-for-16 on 3rd downs). Both Goff (69.8%) and Mayfield (69.6%) had almost identical completion rates prior to the game, so that can’t be used as an ‘excuse’.

    I’m sure that game will be a good learning experience for Dave Canales. Unfortunately it won’t be a good learning experience for Rachaad White or Ke’Shawn Vaughn because neither have the skillset to be lead dogs. Two weeks left until the trade deadline. Maybe JL needs a daily countdown to motivate him to fix the problem?

  37. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Canales called played yesterday like it was a week 3 pre season game….

    And interestingly enough now folks are catching onto the idea that Racheed White isn’t good (some have been trying to tell you)…. perhaps theres a reason Lefty only used him as a 3rd down back right where he belongs last year?

  38. orlbucfan Says:

    Jack Sparrow Says:
    October 16th, 2023 at 8:53 am
    They rely to much on a hope that the refs will throw yellow flags for them.
    Are you for real?! Cos you’ve got that one backwards, dude. Now, I’m wondering if you are an actual Bucs fan.

  39. EricTheViking Says:

    This was vintage Todd Bowels. Attitude reflects leadership. Look at the Lions head coach and look at the team attitude. A physical hard working team versus a lackluster boring and lazy approach. Only in a moribund division can a team like this survive. Another losing season is on the horizon. We might luck up and get a playoff game, but any team with a physical approach will pound us into the turf. And we’ll be stuck with a lame duck coach for years.

  40. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Relax ladies, the division still stinks and the Bucs are still in 1st place.

  41. Theholiday Says:

    “solid excuse”

    Washington, with a new OC, a 5th round QB, and a patchwork O-Line, put up 31 on the road to the eagles

    The panthers, with a new coach, rookie QB, and a patchwork O-line. put up 24 last week on the road against the Lions

    This offense looks passable against mediocre squads like Chicago. But it’s still a terrible offense altogether

  42. Buc4evr Says:

    Canales called a terrible game. Two back to back runs in the third for no gain? No creativity. He basically took Evan’s and Godwin out of the game. Coupled with a bad O line – terrible offense. Canales should really go back and watch this game because he really screwed up the offense.

  43. It's Corn Says:

    Canales was unproven, and still hasn’t proved very much.

    Remember how everybody was excited about a new zone-blocking scheme and how well Seattle had done things. Still waiting for that payoff.

    2 back to back OC’s who don’t know how to scheme a rushing attack it looks like.

  44. German Buc Says:

    You guys really thought we’d go 17-0 in the regular season?

  45. Oz Len Says:

    I’m not laughing, just smiling a little bit. The Bucs were predicted to be one of if not the worst teams in the league. Currently, they are 3-2. The two losses are to two 5-1 teams, both playoff participants for sure. Mayfield had people in his face all day, he was beat up and some of those bad throws were because he was cramped in space and used all arm to get it down the field. Kyle Trask is less mobile than Mayfield, he would have been sacked multiple times. Mayfield’s biggest mistake was the interception to start the game. Tampa should have started with the run. I wish Tampa would get another running back and maybe a blocking back. They need to open just a little more area for a back to squeeze through. On to Atlanta!

  46. dalvincookrules Says:

    Canales doesn’t do anything particularly wrong but neither does he do anything particularly creative. He has a very below average QB to work with and high school caliber RBs.

    Still, with a terrific receiving corps and good OL, you would expect maybe a little more–and I think you get that against the average NFL defenses. It’s the stellar defenses like Philadelphia, Detroit, etc. that this offense simply will not be able to to do anything against.

  47. Jerry Says:

    Canales has never done playcalling. So it’s on the job training for him for awhile. The creativity won’t come for awhile.

    But the biggest problem for this offense at the moment is the running game. It’s extraordinarily bad. And that failure goes beyond Canales and into the front office, in my opinion.

  48. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Mayfield and Godwin took some real hard hits yesterday. We need them ok if we plan to eat some more W’s, that’s for sure.

  49. StretchOMatic Says:

    Hey Joe,

    “We do what we do!”
    Just kiddin’ LOL

  50. Bucfan37 Says:

    Really, did anyone expect a Bucs win last night? That thought vanished rather quickly early on watching the Lions dismantle the Bucs on defence and offense. May the best team win, they did.

  51. Since76 Says:

    I’ve seen enough of Mayfield to know we will be an average to below average offense this year. It just blows me away because we have two #1 receivers out there. Who cares if white sucks….he does….we get decent pass protection…..use it to get the ball to the best players on offense. That would be ME and CG. I think all the running is just to limit Mayfield because he can’t get it done. Baffling why you don’t use your best weapons when clearly your struggling.

  52. David Says:

    It’s the qb not the OC.

  53. Scott Says:

    Yeah there were guys running wide open and Baker missed them time and time again. Obviously we had to abandon the run but it should never have gotten to that point.

  54. Steelers fan Says:

    The best way to open up running lanes is to be able to pass the ball. Once Baker is out of the lineup and a real QB (Trask) takes over– the running game will come around.