Incapable Of A Clean Up-tempo Offense?

October 28th, 2023

Buds coach Todd Bowles

The (3-4) record says the Bucs are a bad team, and Joe’s writing since Thursday night’s loss has backed that up.

Do you see good teams pulling the stunts and stepping on rakes the way the Bucs do? Of course you don’t.

Yesterday in his day-after presser, Bucs head coach Todd Bowles offered something rather revealing. Bowles was asked why his team didn’t seem to include the best receiver in franchise history, Mike Evans, into the gameplan sooner. Or at least give the appearance that Evans was involved.

Granted, Buffalo’s goal was to take out Evans and Chris Godwin. Before Evans caught his 24-yard touchdown pass with less than three minutes left in the game, Evans had two catches — two! That was borderline criminal.

One way to get Evans more involved is to quicken the pace of the offense. Quicker can mean more plays which, in theory, means more opportunities to target Evans.

Bowles said one reason the Bucs didn’t flip into an up-tempo pace was because when the Bucs did step on the gas, the game turned into a flagfest.

“There’s always thought in doing tempo more, but when we did tempo more in the pass, that’s where a lot more penalties occurred,” Bowles said. “They’re occurring without the tempo. We’ll look into getting back into it.”

So that explains the glacial pace of the possession that ended with Evans’ touchdown in the fourth quarter. It ate up well over seven minutes.

This is a glaring example of a bad team. The next time the Bucs take the field it will be well into November. And with seven games under their belts, the Bucs can’t work quicker on offense because penalties would pile up.

Bad teams are unable to adjust when needed in the middle of a game. Good teams don’t have to worry about players shatting themselves because they can’t play cleanly.

Seven games in and they can’t work quickly without committing penalties? That is a pretty substantial issue with fundamentals.

66 Responses to “Incapable Of A Clean Up-tempo Offense?”

  1. Buccos Says:

    You funnel in crowd noise at practice.You do whatever it takes to be prepared for the conditions

  2. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:


  3. TonySoprano Says:

    This guy always has an excuse or a reason why something can’t work, but seems very short on resolutions.

  4. JimBobBuc Says:

    The up-tempo working in the Vikings game and we also had a lower amount of penalties in that game, so the OL has regressed in that area with up-tempo penalties? I need to watch the game again as I don’t remember penalties increasing with up-tempo.

    I saw some good things with the OL against a good Bills front. Obviously, Goedeke struggled with procedures, but Wirfs gutted it out and stayed in the game and it was good to see his OL team-mates supporting him on the sideline. Most of the successful runs were on the left side of our line behind Wirfs and Stinnie. I didn’t key on Stinnie, but he seems to be an upgrade over Fieler. Let’s keep Stinnie for next week. I also saw Hainsey involved downfield with some good hustle and effective downfield blocking.

  5. Go Bucs Says:

    More Play Action might be necessary!

  6. HC Grover Says:

    Get him out as HC and hire one with a brain.

  7. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Those long snap-counts are just begging for false starts.
    Those long snap counts are the fault of the QB’s inability or indecision to quickly read a defense, and get the ball snapped, before an eternity.

    I read Matt Rhule’s lips the other day, pointing and hollering at his QB after a false start at Nebraska…. “that’s your fault”

  8. Duane in Sanford Says:

    Good point on the snap counts. I cant tell if the delay is for Baker to read a tell or if Hainsey isnt getting it off soon enough. Definitely needs to be cleaned up.

  9. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    These o-linemen down in their stance are antsy as hell, wanting to get off quick.

  10. Jack Clark Says:

    So can we start calling Dave Canales a failed offensive coordinator now? Or is it still too early?

  11. Texasbucsfan Says:

    Excuses, excuses and more excuses.

  12. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    I don’t know Todd Bowles definition of up-tempo, but I don’t recall seeing up-tempo yet. Maybe I was in the bathroom and missed it.

    All I’ve seen, was slow to pathetic.

  13. Bucswin Says:

    Dead coach walking. GO BUCS!

  14. Mike S Says:

    Bucs had 302 total yards of offense in Buffalo.

    Baker is the problem.

  15. McBucky Says:

    Too slow, too conservative NO vision. Bottom line – no risk it, no biscuit.

  16. Sly Pirate Says:

    This crew has no idea what they are doing on offense. They thought Canales could bring in a fresh run-first design, but he’s clueless. Bowles cannot assist Canales because he’s clueless on offense. They’re both going down together.

  17. Marine Buc Says:

    I wouldn’t say the Bucs are a bad team right now. Probably more of a mediocre team like last season.

    Our defense is pretty solid but our offense is bad. QB can’t throw longer than 12 yards down the field… It won’t belong before we see a mutiny on offense if Mayfield stays at QB.

    I predicted 7-8 wins. So this isn’t much of a surprise to me.

  18. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Looking at the schedule, I see 4 more wins. And that’s giving them a freebie.
    One those odd-ball games they play well.

  19. Hodad Says:

    Evan’s was open. Happy feet Midget Mayfield can’t see him behind those big linemen. Baker gets more balls batted then a porn star!

  20. HC Grover Says:

    HC KuKu

  21. BuxfaninTX Says:

    Canales is in over his head…. Or is Todd Bowles styfling the OVs the last two years.?
    And thanks Bruce for being part of this mess..

  22. HC Grover Says:

    Embrace the suck. They are not going to make any kine changes this year. None, zero zip. I doubt they even make any relevent trades.

  23. David Says:

    Toilet Bowl is clueless in offense but he is good at defense but you can’t have up tempo offense when you qb is not accurate and too short to see over DL.
    Demot HC and bench the trash Baker, before this ship completely sinks.

  24. Bill in Seminole Says:

    Just what is the problem with the Bucs run game? The Oline? The RB’s? Both? In other words, how do the Bucs fix this glaring problem? And give some help to Baker, since the entire offense is on his shoulders, unfairly so.

  25. Tony Marks Says:

    Pay attention To Bowles –

    He has been dropping hints all this week. Hints of not having a WR3 one day, another day hints his players can’t play man, and now hints he doesn’t have the team that can play up tempo.

    It all spells out why a good chunk of the fan base is in panic and the coaching staff is not in panic mode and why what the fans want now doesn’t concern them ( because they know its unrealistic). It even explains why they haven’t given up the run game project.

    They never believed the team was ready after preseason. They still are working toward the team they envision and they probably already know it has to come by growing the players week to week or even month to month because the organization will be making no significant moves before trade deadline passes.

    If they can manage a wild card berth and it takes all of November to gel they can more than live with that. Fans can whine and complain until then.

  26. Mike Johnson Says:

    Fall to 3-5 against the Texans and we are toast. Forever in catch up mode. And them Texans are in upstart mode just like the Lions. They are balling and seem to have found a QB who will be there forever. Better be ready Bucs.

  27. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    To burden “Street Ball Baker” with running the Bucs offense, seems “unfair”

    Maybe the Bucs would find more success, burdening a different QB?

    I think it’s worth a shot.


  28. Defense Rules Says:

    Flagfest? Hmmm, looked at who commits the most penalties in the NFL, and the Bucs have the most penalties/game (7.1) tied with the 49ers. I’m sure the 49ers get flagged a lot because they play some quality smashmouth football. But the Bucs? Ours isn’t exactly a rip-your-face-off football team.

    Bucs have been penalized 50 times on the year. Of those, we’ve got 13 False Starts, 9 Offensive Holding & 8 Defensive Holding. So a minimum of 60% of our penalties can be reduced substantially by improved coaching (we easily lead the league in those 3 combined penalties BTW).

    Interestingly, the Bucs have ZERO Personal Foul penalties, ZERO Unsportsmanlike Conduct, ZERO Illegal Contact, ONE Personal Foul, ONE Roughing the Passer and only ONE Unnecessary Roughness calls against them. Apparently we’re a very polite (non aggressive?) team. Lordy I miss Ndamukong Suh & Ryan Jensen to put some fire into this team.

  29. Mike S Says:

    Tony hard to make the playoffs when you’re losing games. 3 in a row and 4 of 5.

    Bucs are 26th in the league in PPG. That’s bad.

    22nd in the league in YPG with 298. Again pretty bad.

    Consider that these numbers have been inflated by the Bucs leading the league in turnover margin at +8, playing from behind in 4th quarters against prevent defenses and the 3 early offensive games they had before opposing defenses figured out press in base defense stops Baker cold.

    You think the Bucs will make the playoffs my dude?

    After tomorrow they’ll be out of the final wildcard spot. No playoffs. November is next week. Are they going to gel against San Francisco?

    Continuing to send Mayfield out is coaching malfeasance. People were asking why did the Bucs run on 1st and 2nd downs through most of the second half deep in their zone? Its because they’re coaching scared. Can’t have a pick six there. Not when your offense stinks. They aren’t attacking. Baker isn’t attacking. We all saw the tap dance in the pocket. Usually when you see that bad things are soon to follow.

    The game plan is up the gut and short passing to try to control the clock and wait on a defensive big play.

    Something else to consider… Bucs are 7th worst in the league giving up yards. They live off of turnovers and red zone defense. I’m thinking that’s not sustainable.

    Baker is a game manager. His job is to not turn the ball over. To his credit he’s been OK at that, but being a scrambling moxie guy doesn’t win games. You need explosive plays via the QB’s arm.

  30. David Says:

    Bucs with Baker will not be able to defeat Texans with CJ Stroud. Uh wait wait Texans should have started Case Keenum instead he had more experience. That is the garbage reason Bucs used to start Baker over Trask.

  31. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    “Baker needs help from a run-game”

    Baker had one of the best back-fields in football, up in Cleveland.
    The Browns problem wasn’t their run-game.

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    Tony Marks … ‘They never believed the team was ready after preseason. They still are working toward the team they envision and they probably already know it has to come by growing the players’.

    I think you’re probably right Tony. Of course, most of the fans didn’t believe this team was ready after preseason either. Far too many inexperienced youngsters, most of whom were ‘projects’ when we signed them (that’s what you get when you go cheap?). Guys like JTS … project. Hall … project. Mauch … project. Oh wait, those are our high Round draft picks.

    Fact is we’ve got a lot of players logging snaps who should be riding the bench (or be on the Practice Squad). They’re not ready for Prime Time. We went cheap because that’s all we could afford, and this is the predictable result. None of them have really been big-play makers (like Winfield is); they’re just in an On-The-Job training program right now. Come to think of it, so is Dave Canales (by his own admission).

  33. Marine Buc Says:

    @ DR

    I agree.

    Penalties are drive killers… This offense isn’t good enough to overcome a 5 yard penalty on a regular basis.

    Why are we getting so many false starts on offense?

    I understand playing on the road can cause issues but most other teams seem to get it figured out somehow.

    Watching the game in Buffalo there were several occasions when I was saying “hike the ball already” – and sure enough there was a false start on those plays.

    Hainsey seems to be hesitating after the guard taps him for some reason. The timing seems off.

    Better get this figured out asap.

  34. captivajim Says:

    In ’20 we had an O-Line that included Jensen , Cappa & Marpet & BA was HC
    In ’21-we had the same O-Line & same HC & but for bowles defense who couldn’t hold LA for 25 seconds-we missed going to a follow up SB
    In ’22 ,we no longer had Jensen,Marpet & Cappa , nor did we have BA. We had new HC -Bowles.. We posted a losing record & lost in wildcard round 1.

    We still have NOT replaced Jensen , Cappa & marpet with like caliber/quality players.
    And we have still not replaced bowles !

  35. Rich Says:

    A couple things…play action is only effective when you actually have a running game the D respects. Secondly, Bowles had a 37% winning percentage as a head coach previously. The Arians nepotism, aka loyalty to a fault…is directly responsible for this team. Oh yeah, last year too. The team has the personality of its coach which is always the case. They are not nearly as aggressive as the other team on a weekly basis. They are excuse driven…gotta block better, gotta execute better etc. They are afraid to use their young talent…too much concentration on veteran players…if you draft them, play them especially on offense. They are totally bland offensively….it goes on and on. A mistake driven team coached by Bowles…NOT A SHOCKER!

  36. AKicknTheBucNuts Says:

    Sinking Ship.

  37. Crickett Baker Says:

    Interesting penalty post, DefR. That took some research.

    Todd has shown me that he is not good at evaluating players. Now it just seems like he is giving bad ones more chances to play in the hopes that they get better with more snaps. That is semi-disgusting to me because it is no way to win games, and his time management has not improved since the middle of last year. From what he says, those are his decisions NOT Canales’s.

  38. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    We lack urgency…how many 7-8-9 minute drives do we have in the 4th quarter and behind?

    Its starts at JL then TB and filters down from there.

    AT 3-5 we can all agree the season is over and it will be time to see what we have in Trask.


  39. Tony Marks Says:

    Mike S Says:
    October 28th, 2023 at 2:37 pm
    Tony hard to make the playoffs when you’re losing games. 3 in a row and 4 of 5.

    — the problem with your reasoning is that 2 out of those three NO ONE PROJECTED A WIN. After all of the losing three in a row tantrums its one game off what anyone on either side – Baker or Trask projected. The difference was the solitary ATL game.

    I have no idea whether they will make the playoffs because right now I think the defense is nowhere near good as advertised ( or the OL). They stiffen in the red zone well but they sure do make people march down to the red zone pretty easily.

    My last post was more about How Bowles sees it and that yep – one game off is not the time to pronounce the season is over and we missed the playoffs. Thats obvious. Whiners on your side have us losing every game going forward ( Maybe except Panthers) and other in the divisions winning all the games they are favored in – Its silly. Games aren’t played on Paper.

  40. BOAT Says:

    This is Bowles’ preferred “offensive system”. He wants to play every game with a score of 14-10 or 17-14. It’s how he was in 4 years with the Jets, and last year and this year with the Bucs. He WANTS the team to fail to score 20 points. That’s his entire coaching “philosophy”.

    It’s a indictment on the Bucs management and ownership that he was not been fired yet.

    Todd Bowles’ NFL head coaching record (regular season & playoffs):

    New York Jets 24-40
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11-14

    Career 37-55

    37-55 career head coaching record…………there isn’t another NFL team that would even consider hiring him to be their head coach.

  41. Defense Rules Says:

    Marine Buc … As the season rolls along, good teams get better. Bad teams get worse. I’ve long believed that coaching is a big part of that progression (or lack thereof), but talent is an even bigger part. Bucs have a lot of high character, blue collar, take-your-lunchpail-to-work types who we all want to root for, but fact is that the majority of those aren’t starter-quality.

    Example: I’m liking Luke Goedeke more and more at RT, but he had no business starting at LG last year & it hurt the team. Not only was he out of position, but he hadn’t had time to put on the necessary beef to play OLine at the NFL level. I’m seeing the same thing in what we’re doing to Cody Mauch. If they’re projecting him as a center, train him as a center, but as #2 on the depth chart. And Hainsey is only starting because Jensen is on IR. He’s not a starter-quality Center, but he’s turning into a quality backup. Very few come in NFL-ready like Wirfs did IOW.

  42. Ed Says:

    Bowles is failing miserably and if he was a good coach he would find a way to get the balls to his best players. When you watch a Rams game everyone knows that Cooper Kupp will get 10-12 targets. When you watch the Eagles AJ Brown is getting plenty of balls.

    Loser Bowles can’t even copy other offensive schemes to get the ball to the best WR who ever played with the Bucs.

    It is the most boring offense in football

  43. Defense Rules Says:

    Marine Buc … BTW I wasn’t intentionally picking on the OLine. Could have said the same thing about our TEs, our WRs (after the Dynamic Duo), our QBs, our DLine, our LBs and oh ya, our Secondary. We lack depth, and we’ve got too many guys logging field time who should really be down the depth chart being developed on the practice fields (or on the Practice Squad).

    And yes I intentionally left out Camarda & McLaughlin. They’re earning their keep.

  44. Rod Munch Says:

    God, what a loser coach.

    You’ve lost 4 of your last 5, your offense is complete trash, and you’re saying maybe you’ll consider snapping the ball with 6 seconds left instead of 1 second.

    Yeah, that’s going to fix everything.

    BTW, just an FYI, football is LITERALLY entertainment. It serves no other purpose than to entertain people and to get eyeballs on TV and in the seats of stadiums. Now, not only are the Bucs a bad team, they’re also extremely boring to watch.

    Might as well start looking at mock drafts — which makes things even worse, since the Bucs won’t be bad enough to get a top QB in the draft.

  45. Rod Munch Says:

    Here’s a mock draft for you… Pick 11. Well, that will change, I think we’ll end up closer to pick 7.

    Most-picked player: QB Bo Nix, Oregon (19.8%)
    Second choice: QB Michael Penix Jr., Washington (15.3%)
    There is no long-term love for Baker Mayfield from Buccaneers fans and general mock draft users, as both of Tampa’s most selected prospects are quarterbacks we project as mid-to-late first-round guys.

  46. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Rod, I agree. I really hope the new QB next year doesn’t have to walk onto a team coached by Bowles. This team will never go anywhere under his leadership. I kinda feel for the guy. Trying to win with 75 mil in dead cap is not ideal, but his teams are always low-scoring, flat, and soft. We need a reset at HC, and all the old Arians staff need to go too.

  47. HC Grover Says:

    Nix sounds better than Penix

  48. Bobby Says:

    Bet the Glazers start over with a new QB and new HC this off-season

  49. Defense Rules Says:

    Crickett Baker … There’s an excellent website called ‘The Football DataBase’ that makes it easy & does all the work for you. In terms of penalties, you can get info by team, by player, even Penalty Differential. Bucs for instance have only gotten penalized 25 more yards than our opponents. Compare that to the Miami Dolphins who’ve gotten penalized 140 more yards than their opponents yet have 5 fewer penalties than we do (I’m guessing that the Dolphins are playing a lot more aggressive football).

  50. George Lapp Says:

    He should never gotten head coach job. Horrible defense, pathetic offense. Season is already gone,fire him now

  51. TonySoprano Says:

    When the coaching staff proclaimed in the offseason that the winner of the QB battle would be the one that turned the ball over the least, we should have all seen this would be a scared, risk-averse, flat, boring offense. Actually scoring points is like 5th on Toad’s priority list. He’s truly a dinosaur in todays NFL.

  52. Mike S Says:

    Cowherd: Cinderella season over:

    [Thank you. — Joe]

  53. Rod Munch Says:

    George Lapp Says:
    October 28th, 2023 at 5:35 pm
    He should never gotten head coach job. Horrible defense


    Terrible head coach, yes. But the defense has played quite well. In 2023, you need an offense that can score more than 18-points a game, and when down by two touchdowns with 9 minutes left, doesn’t use 17-plays and 7 minutes of clock to get a lucky bounce fluke TD.

    What stinks about Bowles getting the HC deal, is that he could have been a long term DC like Monte Kiffin and been here until he retired. But now, because you’re not allowed to demote anyone for whatever unwritten reason, he will get fired after the season, and then its starting over again on defense.

  54. optimisticbucsfan Says:


  55. ScottyMack Says:

    Once again, I see delusional people thinking the Bucs are going to use their round one pick on a QB when practically everyone agrees that the Bucs’ biggest problems are O-line (particularly Center) and no pass rush.

    If the Bucs draft a QB before round 4, I would be shocked!

  56. WyomingJoe Says:

    Just heard this from a friend I have in the Bears organization. Trask will be traded “straight up” for a running back. This is scheduled to happen Monday by 4pm. There is also news of an offensive lineman coming to the Bucs from of all places the Cleveland Browns. You just can’t make this stuff up!

  57. Voice of Truth Says:

    Todd is incapable of being a successful HC in the NFL much less fix this anemic offense

    Where is the wide zone run scheme? Where is the every blade of grass passing game? Where is the imagination in setting up plays with sharp play calling?

    It looks a lot like Byron with a qb that can actually get away from pressure….

    Wonder if they both had/have far more hand holding than they will admit

    I mean it sure as heck looks that way to me

  58. steele Says:

    If WyomingJoe’s friend’s inside scoops prove correct, yeesh. The Bears don’t have any great running backs. My wild guess would be Travis Homer, former Seahawk, someone Canales knows well. Sounds like something he’d do. As for the Browns sending an O lineman, they have some talent there, it would depend on who. Shall we try for yet another former Seahawk and Canales associate, Ethan Pocic?

    Set your clocks, boys. See if Canales is true to form….

  59. WyomingJoe Says:

    I don’t think there’s anything terribly wrong with the coaching staff, but most of the Bucs fans on this site are quitting when their team is 3-4. The usuals, of course, led by Mike S and the infamous Cap’n Munch. I can’t quite decide whether you guys are just sad or pathetically sad. Oh, Mike S, Tony Marks is kicking your butt, over and over again lol! Fun to watch.

  60. gp Says:

    Seven games in and they can’t work quickly without committing penalties? That is a pretty substantial issue with fundamentals.


  61. gp Says:

    Rod Munch Says:
    What stinks about Bowles getting the HC deal, is that he could have been a long term DC like Monte Kiffin and been here until he retired. But now, because you’re not allowed to demote anyone for whatever unwritten reason, he will get fired after the season, and then its starting over again on defense.

    While I’d really like to agree with you on this, I’m afraid I can’t.

    It seems to me that our defense is just as predictable as our offense right now. That’s why our defense can’t seem to get off the field on third downs so much anymore.
    Sure, our redzone defense is statistically one of the best in the league. But a big part of our problem is that our opponents aren’t waiting to get to the redzone to score!

  62. gp Says:

    Defense Rules Says:
    Crickett Baker … There’s an excellent website called ‘The Football DataBase’

    Does that database also point out how many of those penalties froze up the drive? OR extended the drive of our opponent?
    Just asking

    It seems that the timing of a penalty can be far more important than the ‘yardage’ sometimes.
    I don’t think anyone knows this better than the ref’s

  63. Todd Feury Says:

    It is coaching … it is all just bad coaching.

  64. gp Says:

    Sorry DR
    I was reading the posts from back to front and responded before seeing earlier posts with Marine and Tony.
    Regarding rookie projects, I think , with rare exception, that all rookies are projects, even most first rounders. By definition, projects take time to develop.
    The coach has to play the cards he’s dealt. If he can’t manage to put them in position to do the most good, it’s either really bad cards, or he doesn’t know how to play them.
    I don’t see us having really bad cards/players. I do see them being misused.
    They don’t quite fit his scheme, and so, can’t perform at the level needed.
    You can’t swap card decks midseason, but you CAN change your scheme/game plan.
    Until our coach figures this truth out, we will continue to be the most predictable and easy to ‘game plan for’ team in the league.

    I want Bowles to figure this out. I want him to learn a lesson that will make him one of the great head coaches. Because that will mean long term success for my Bucs.
    I’m afraid he’s quickly running out of time.

  65. ErikTheViking Says:

    Season is over. It’s circle the drain time.

    All I can hope is that teams are desperate for spare parts and we get a Kings ransom for a few key pieces.

    Let’s rebuild by solidifying the trenches first. Then get the talent around the foundation.

    Tank now and get a QB early. Bowels is toast.

  66. adam from ny Says:

    you gotta be kidding me…

    you call a time out, gather the entire f’in offense together on the sidelines and yell at the top of your lungs: “no more f’in penalties!…you hear me mudderfuggers!…no more f’in penalties!”

    then you throw your hat on the floor and kick it around like billy martin used to do back in the days with the yankees…

    meanwhile, coach should have a wild look in his eyes, be frothing at the mouth, and anyone within arms reach without a helmet on should be wiping “say it don’t spray it” spit and saliva off their grills…coach needed to throw a mantrum, not a tantrum…a mantrum !