Dave Canales: Bucs’ Running On First Downs Has Opened Pass Game

October 8th, 2023

Bucs OC Dave Canales.

Though Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canalas has stated he may incorporate more vertical passing because he trusts his pass blocking, that doesn’t mean he wants to abandon the run.

Canales is very much a run-oriented guy. He always talks it. And while numbers suggest otherwise, Canales believes the Bucs’ running has paid off, even if the results aren’t obvious.

The Bucs are the worst running team in the NFL. Just like last year.

While appearing on the “Sick Podcast” with J.C. Allen of SI.com, Allen brought up numbers that the Bucs are a good passing team on first downs and asked Canales if wants to throw on first downs or not.

Canales then said a word ugly word to Joe, “balanced,” referring to using run or pass on first downs. The new Bucs playcaller said he has evidence that running to nowhere can and does pay off.

“We are efficient in the pass game because we run on first down,” Canales said. “So we are very balanced. We just did our self-scout. And we are darn near 50-50.

“Last game I got a little lopsided. In terms of looking at numbers, it’s a really balanced deal. So defenses can’t really say [an offnese is] going to do this or they are going to do that.”

Canalas added he can see how inside linebackers and safeties are creeping deep into the box thinking the Bucs are going to run. That opens up the middle of the field for the passing game, he added.

Running backs need to start finishing better to break some of these runs, Canales indirectly added.

“Where I would like the see the runs be more efficient is when we block it up well and we get the guy to the second level,” Canales said. “Let’s start breaking tackles and making those big chunk plays every once in a while that are going to happen for us I think.”

As Joe has always said when people whine about the offensive line, Joe is very confident Roger Goodell still allows running backs to make guys miss and to break tackles.

22 Responses to “Dave Canales: Bucs’ Running On First Downs Has Opened Pass Game”

  1. Beej Says:

    As long as the defense doesn’t cheat toward the pass the running game is adequate

  2. Statistically Insignificant Reader Says:

    forgotten how interesting it can be listening to an offensive coordinator talk something other than “we do what we do”.

  3. Fred McNeil Says:

    Take what the defense gives you. How something like that, so inherently obvious, is so often overlooked…I will never understand.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    The cardinal rule IMO is ‘Keep em guessin’. We saw far too many times last year what a defense can do to you if they KNOW what’s coming. I pity the poor OLine when they have to pass block in situations where the defense pins their ears back & comes at you full bore, without even worrying about protecting their gaps.

  5. Joe Says:

    forgotten how interesting it can be listening to an offensive coordinator talk something other than “we do what we do”.


  6. PSL Bob Says:

    Love Canales. No wonder the players buy in to his approach. Unpredictable is what he’s preaching. Leftwich was Mr. Predictable. He’s creating a system where the defense has no clue as to what’s coming. I do get frustrated with the lack of production by the RBs, but love the strategy.

  7. orlbucfan Says:

    Defense Rules Says:
    October 8th, 2023 at 10:50 am
    The cardinal rule IMO is ‘Keep em guessin’.
    First Commandment in the NFL. Now, mebbe we FINALLY have players and coaches capable of it! I HATED BL’s constant run-up-the-middle-on-first-down. If I knew it was coming listening on radio, I can only imagine how the players felt.

  8. StickinUp4Centers Says:

    I wanna see a play action bomb to Palmer on a Go route.

  9. BillyBucco Says:

    Somebody tell Rachaad White there are cameras in the Endzone.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Throwing on first downs will also open up the passing game……right away!!!

  11. matthew a veal Says:

    this implies that other than adjustments, and a little better ability to elude the rush, we aren’t that much better than last years playoff team on offense so far. Reversion to the mean in baker’s case is injury risk.

    if the new defensive tackle clancey does well that is another improvement area.

  12. AccrossthePond Says:

    So, if he also believes in run first like last year’s OC, then the main differences is that Canales’ offense features more pre-snap motions that Brady thrived in. Why didn’t they, all of them, do that last year? Was is done on purpose?

  13. JimBobBuc Says:

    Take what they give you on first down. Maybe RPO’s or more audibles?

    Be unpredictable. In predictable running situations our OL just can’t do it. The OL is a little better in pass pro. I’m with Joe, I don’t like the word ‘balanced’. I like low risk, unpredictable until our OL grows up a lot.

    I’m glad Canales said something about the RB’s getting more out of their runs. What’s our longest run this year, 12 yds?

  14. Proudbucsfan Says:

    The whole league knows we run up the gut on first down on first possession of the game. I always see a loaded box and our runner goes nowhere. If Canales play actions on first down then maybe it will open things up for the run game.

  15. Smashsquatch Says:

    Rachaad has regressed. His lack of vision leads to indecision; and as a result, he plays too slow. I need to see something against the Lions. If he can’t channel his inner Rhett in a creamsicle uni, he never will. It’s time to run with your hair on fire Rachaad!

  16. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Love the Rhett reference. A Gator friend said “if you need 5 yards, Rhett will get you 5 yards. If you need 15 yards, Rhett will get you 5 yards”.

  17. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Unfortunately Rachaad White is not the guy. We have to upgrade at RB going into next season. We’re still going to win this subpar division though.

  18. TonySoprano Says:

    While we certainly need better talent at RB, being dead last in running 2 years in a row is a testament to how terrible Hainsey is in the run game. He’s the only constant from last year’s line…but then again you don’t need stats to see how bad he struggles, the eyeball test on him is unfortunately an easy one

  19. Coquiro Says:

    Watching all other games today, we don’t have a speedy runner. White is too slow off the blocks and we don’t give any other running back a chance. Look at all of the teams that found new RB’s that no one believed in.

  20. TDTB Says:

    I’m hoping R. White is watching Alstott video on YouTube during the week off. Anybody else curious to see if Keift can run anything like the A-Train? I am.

  21. garro Says:

    I sure hope he has some evidence to suggest we can actually do that at some point in the near future.

    White has been slow to hit the LOS. I hope he is learning that the dance routine is not gonna work.

    The breaking of tackles and hitting the second level have been missing for the most part thus far. It would go a long way to helping open up the offense on second and third down.

    Go Bucs!

  22. DavetheRave Says:

    Once again, I make the point…running game is necessary, running repeatedly into the heart of a defensive line, to no avail and w limited success is ludicrous. run sweeps, pitch outs, tire the defense out by running them from side to side of the field. That will open up the field and benefit our hesitant running backs.