Has Dave Canales Broken The Baker Mayfield Code?

October 5th, 2023

Unlocking Baker Mayfield.

Interesting observation from a national NFL stenographer who believes he has determined why Baker Mayfield is playing some of his best ball.

Simply put, this would not be happening if SpongeBob Leftwich was still the Bucs’ offensive coordinator.

Leftwich is the fool who had one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history at murdering defenses with the play-action pass, but Leftwich rarely used it.

When asked about this (often) in his weekly lying sessions press conferences, Leftwich would play (?) dumb and claim he had no idea what reporters were asking and would prattle something largely unintelligible like “we do what we do” or mock reporters for asking “fantasy football” questions.

What a dunce.

It seems from research unearthed by Robert Mays of The Athletic, the Bucs now use play-action passes more than most teams. The result? Well, Mayfield is completing 69 percent of his passes. Did anyone expect this?

In fact, Mays noted the Bucs rank second in the NFL in using play-action passes on early downs.

This leads Joe to two points:

* As Joe has said on the “Ira Kaufman Podcast,” a team does not have to be successful in the run game to make a play-action work. It’s just the threat of running the ball that gives a quarterback an advantage.

* The long-held belief that you must run the ball effectively to set up play-action is a wives’ tale. Sure, it’s always better when plays gain yards and a run game sometimes makes play-action slightly more effective, but there is all sorts of statistical evidence showing you don’t need a run game to execute play-action passes effectively.

And Lord knows the Bucs don’t have a run game.

44 Responses to “Has Dave Canales Broken The Baker Mayfield Code?”

  1. A Bucs Fan Says:

    This is why Canales professes their commitment to the run. It helps their PA game to be effective. Now when they get a RB that can read the hole and break some tackles they’ll really be able to open up the offense.

  2. garro Says:

    We are…finally… using more play action. Hurrah!

    It looked very sloppy at times Sunday but it is a start. If we can improve the run game and clean up the timing and execution of those play actions, it is sure to help pop someone open for that big time play.

    Go Bucs!

  3. Hodad Says:

    This offense with play action is right in Baker’s wheelhouse, he’s really good at it. We have the right skill guys, and with rollouts added with our tackles we’re hard to deal with. I said before the season Baker will start, but will he finish? That’s my biggest worry with him is right now, staying healthy. He does take some shots. Sometime this season I think Trask might end up playing some.

  4. Duane Says:

    The “Dunce” won a Super Bowl and the first NFC South division championship in more than a decade, produced the no. 2 offense in the league both of those seasons.

    What a Dunce!

    The Dunces are the stupid media writers and stupid fans.

  5. Buc50 Says:

    There aren’t many holes to find. That’s on the OL. No OC can fix non-existint holes.

  6. BucU Says:

    Duane you are riding solo with that one. Lol.

  7. Salary Cap Hell Says:

    Dave Canales is underated …. he has learned alot in 13 NFL years … and continues to learn and grow I hope the Bucs lock him up somehow.

  8. HC Grover Says:

    I do not get the empty backfield plays. Make them guess.

  9. Dooley Says:

    It’s the “spread” aspect of the offense, we’ve got sweeps we’ve run out of empty sets not to mention pre-snap it makes things easier for Mayfield to read the D, sniff out the coverage all while keeping the box light.

  10. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @Buc50 maybe inside, but there have been plenty of off tackle lanes that a RB could walk through for a minimum 5-7 yards that White seems to miss every game.

  11. BillyBucco Says:

    Wow Duane are you seriously a Lefty FAN.
    YOU CANNOT say he DID anything that wasn’t BA still and/or Brady.
    He was a tag along and being jobless proves it.
    He was stupid enough to require a GM change and thank God Jacksonville didn’t or they would still suck.
    He probably wanted a GM change because the current one would spot his weaknesses. That guy just LOOKS dumb.

  12. geno711 Says:

    Byron Leftwich knows NFL schemes better than the typical fan on Joebucsfan.

    However, he had BA and his Red Pen to absolutely make the most key calls, when necessary, during the game. He also had Tom Brady to get him out of a half dozen to dozen weak play calls a game.

    Let’s remember, he not only got exposed after Arians left Tampa, but he also got exposed when Arians left Arizona.

    Canales much better than Leftwich.

  13. Allen Lofton Says:

    People like Leftwich who are weak minded, can’t handle criticism, in over their head, respond like Leftwich with sarcasm and distain to cover up their weaknesses. I blame coach AB for letting it go on – he knew better than to let it go on because the end results hurt the Bucs team.

  14. Deadwood South Dakota Says:

    Regardless of our stats . That was painful to watch last year.. everytime I see I wide receiver screen pass I get anxiety .. as I have posted many times during the off season.. baker is a great fit for our team.. we have a bunch of don’t f@@k with me players who will wreck your day if u do.
    I will post it again
    Baker comeback player of the year/ RUNNING for MVP
    BUCS win division and go to conference championship
    OK Here is the fan in me
    Win conference and
    Let’s Go Bucs!

  15. Lord Cornelius Says:

    The play calling and offensive system has been awesome. Unpredictable / lots of movement and attacking all areas of the field

  16. orlbucfan Says:

    We’ve got a lot of receivers with good hands. Canales is figuring that out. I like his moxie and calling the trick plays. First, with GodzillaCG14, next with Camarda–that one is coming. Go Bucs!!

  17. gotbbucs Says:

    If he goes to Godwin on that play it might be a catch and go TD.

  18. EternalSon Says:

    Good eye, GotBucs

  19. Danny Husak Says:

    Baker is getting back to being Baker. The Brown’s “Brain Trust-Ivy-School” know it all, changed his drop steps. He’z throwing a little high. Doesn’t have his follow through corrected as of yet. Once he gets it back…….. LOOK OUT !! He can carry the whole state of Florida on his back !!!!!!!!!!

    Danny Baker Buc Esq.

  20. Since76 Says:

    Duane…..leftwich clearly was being guided by Arians. He was absolutely lost post Arians. Lost and clueless. Too bad for him and especially Brady.

  21. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    Lol I love that Boron Leftwich still reads JoeBucsFan and posts as “Duane”. He must be very bored in his involuntary retirement. Go Canales, Go BUCS!!

  22. JoeDawg Says:

    Baker was great in playaction with the Browns and then Stafanski went away from it because defenses were scheming for it. How long before they start doing it again only time will tell

  23. infomeplease Says:

    DC,BM6, and the rest of the offense are working together as a team!! So is TB and the defense!! Throw in very strong special teams play!! End result equals 3W-1L!!! Great start to a fun season!!

  24. Citrus County Says:

    Since76 Says: Duane…..leftwich clearly was being guided by Arians. He was absolutely lost post Arians. Lost and clueless. Too bad for him and especially Brady.

    Thanks for reinforcing my conspiracy theory. If Leftnut needed Kangol Hat’s help so much why did the Hat let him fail so badly. I’m beginning to believe the rumors of Brady getting BA fired may be at the root of all last year. Was the Hat seeking revenge on TB12 by making him look bad in his final year ?

  25. Citrus County Says:

    After torturing myself for months trying to figure out what happened, the most simple explanation seems to best fit. Occam’s razor always works.

    Brady got the Hat moved out and the Hat got his revenge. Simple. The Hat keeps his reputation, Byron takes the fall and TB12 is denied a fitting exit. That would explain Byron’s strange behavior at press conferences. The Kangol Hat seems to have betrayed his own favored protege.

    Deviousness to the “n’th” degree. AND, the Glazer’s allowed it all to happen.

    Et tu, Brute ?

  26. Citrus County Says:

    That would also explain Brady’s “distant love for the Bucs team” and the “perspective” remark. That is what happens when you have enough power to get an NFL head coach fired.

  27. Citrus County Says:

    I now regret referring to Byron as Lef….

  28. Citrus County Says:

    SO, there was a conspiracy. How could all of that happen without Mr. Coach Bowles and Byron and the Glazers not being involved ? Oh my goodness, that opens up the window for even more speculation.

  29. Bucfan1988 Says:

    We seeing TWO things more this year and it’s common sense OC stuff.

    1) MORE WR MOTION AT PRESNAP!!! Just doing that, you can determine if a teams D is playing man or zone coverage.


    Who woulda thunk it…
    Definitely not Leftwich.

    Byron, how’s that coaching job going this year? 🤦🏻‍♂️…

  30. Allbuccedup Says:

    All those years with Pete Carroll are showing in him. He was an excellent choice for OC. Hopefully a 10 or 11 win season will result. Think about we only need to go 7-6 for the rest of the season with 5 of those games in our division it should be a breeze.

  31. Citrus County Says:

    So, maybe the Bucs were hoping Brady would retire after the SB. If his contract wasn’t guaranteed money they wouldn’t have to pay him. The Hat loves Baker and he would be available. BUT, Brady had it in his mind that he would play till age 45 and wouldn’t leave. WOW ! That messed up everything but there was nothing that could be done about it. Maybe the Bucs asked Brady to retire while he was “on top” but TB12’s EGO (after all he was the GOAT) got in the way. My suspicion meter needle has swung around 180 degrees.

  32. Crickett Baker Says:

    I have tried to find any details about Canales’ contract. Was it for more than one year? Did it have incentives? I can find nothing. Does anybody know?

  33. Buccos Says:

    Why haven’t the Bucs signed a running back. This is going to be our downfall in the playoffs. What we have now is not good. Please sign Jonathan Taylor. For the love of God… please

  34. Stanglassman Says:

    Jacksonville would still be paying him for another two years after letting him go after 14-15 games. They really got lucky and dodged a bullet even if it meant sticking with a crappy GM.

  35. Citrus County Says:

    So the Bucs were stuck with an aging QB that wouldn’t leave and a young team losing confidence in the “old man”. BA loved Baker and he would have been available so deals had to be made to ensure Baker would end up with the Bucs in one or two years after TB12 left. Brady and BA got into a tug of war but Brady had a contract. Brady wanted BA gone and BA was fed up and didn’t need the stress. I offer my apologies to the Glazers, Arians, Licht and most especially Byron Leftwich. If Brady had only taken his perfect swan song and retired after the SB win none of this would have happened. The positive I take from all this is that Dave Canales is here as the OC. Canales has a Bucs connection through a friend (name escapes me at the moment). Deals must have been made to ensure Mayfield would end up here and by circumstance he managed to get a crash course in McVays offense and Canales became available. So paid the most in all this ? Byron Leftwich it would appear. But why didn’t word get out to save his reputation ? If Brady had retired maybe his marriage could have been saved. I hate it when my brain is compelled to solve a problem when I don’t know all the facts. Perhaps Belechick had the same problem with Brady wanting to play till 45 but was having none of it and slammed the door. It seems having a superstar QB is both a blessing and curse ie. Rodgers, Farve, Manning, Montana, and Brady should have made note of how Elway handled it.

  36. Esteban85 Says:

    Yeah Byron is such a good O coordinator, that’s why he’s coaching at the most prestigious… oh wait, that’s right, he’s turrible and unemployed.

    Good job Bowels and Licht on finding a coach who actually thinks and is no doubt smart. The ego on Byron was the worst. Someone who couldn’t and wouldn’t admit he was wrong. Just kept trying to jam a square peg in a round hole

  37. bucsfan951 Says:

    imagine if the bucs actually had a rb that was an actual threat. this offense would get some better rhythm to start the games.

    the bucs have a total of 6 points in the first quarter. the bucs stout defense has only allowed 13 points in the first quarter of the 4 games played. simply put, this offense really needs to get going fast out of the gate by establishing an actual run game but they simply cannot due to ineffective running backs.

    points by quarter is:

    1st: 6
    2nd: 34
    3rd: 14
    4th: 30

    once this offense warms up, they can produce. i would love to know the pass to run ratio for each quarter but i simply dont have time for all of that.

  38. captivajim Says:

    @ Duane is out on a limb on leftwich.. reason we won Super Bowl & had great yr in ’21 was BA’s red pen..

  39. steele Says:

    Left’s non-use of play action itself cost the Bucs one, possibly two runs at another SB. Almost by itself, wasted two seasons of GOAT Brady. Add to that all of the other nonsense. No all-in with rosters. Bad offensive play calling, Bowles self-destructive predictable D (Rams loss will never be forgotten) and poor head coaching, bad chemistry between Brady and everyone else. Injuries, JAGs, locker room. Just a pitiful end.

    Any improvement, such as now, feels ecstatic by comparison, coming off low base and low expectations. It’s not greatness, it’s just improvement.

    Mayfield has already exceeded disaster expectations by being acceptable. Same with Canales. Bottom line, this is still a Bowles team.

  40. unbelievable Says:

    The only point your 2 points are missing is:

    – Even if the runs are only gaining 3 yards on average, you still have to TRY to run the ball often enough to make defense believe the run is a possibility, which is what then in turn makes the play action work effectively.

    Which is what we’ve seen this year.

  41. BAKERSBucs Says:

    Baker this baker that bout his foot work has changed under browns over throwing high etc 1 sure thing I have seen is his ability to escape & trick out of trouble I don’t know what u call that ability but I don’t think he just figured this stuff out I wud like to say Canales has helped him get his confidence & the rest of Mr. Escape artist is his all natural #1 Heisman God given ability!! IMHO

  42. BAKERSBucs Says:

    U know much of commentary & conspiracy bout leftnut & BA & especially Brady getting BA fired this is most likely true brady was nothing but a cry baby little batch & of course a proven cheater.t c hen screws the bucs fan out of all the trade money needed to keep this team in a good position what a greedy dirtbag bradcy is getting paid millions & not playing witg a new 100 million dollar yacht.yet everyone calls him goat

  43. BDub Says:

    I don’t no why we are still stuck on leftwich he’s long gone. What I remember hearing last year is that Brady was over ruling a lot of the plays. After the Eagles game a week ago a lot of folks was ready to throw canales under the bus. Now he’s a genius,but I digress y’all carry on..

  44. Steve in Mad Beach Says:

    That pass should’ve gone to Godwin, he might still be running!