Moving The Chains

October 4th, 2023

Potent on third downs.

This shocked Joe. And not many things do when it comes to football.

Generally, Joe thinks of teams that convert third downs as teams with All-Pro quarterbacks who likely will be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. You know, offenses that can strike like lightning and can hurt defenses in a variety of ways.

Well, per noted handicapper turned stathead Warren Sharp, among teams in field goal range this season, (ball inside the opponent’s 35-yard line) only one team is converting more third downs than the Bucs.

And that is the Crows with Lamar Jackson and Todd Monken.

 Your Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the second-best team converting third downs in field goal range, baby. Per Sharp, the Bucs are converting about 59 percent.

Why is Joe shocked by this? Well, Joe isn’t quite ready to anoint Baker Mayfield as an All-Pro quarterback yet, despite his overall greatness on third down.

Also, the Bucs have no running game. Worst in the league. Joe doesn’t normally think of teams with the worst running attack to elite at moving the chains inside field goal range.

This all goes to show the strong job Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales is doing.


22 Responses to “Moving The Chains”

  1. garro Says:

    Makes me wonder how we are stacking up in third and long stats. I think we have been in plenty of those but we may be better than I thought.

    Go Bucs!

  2. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Yikes. Look at the other teams that are in the Top 10. Not sure that stat means anything.

  3. SufferingSince76 Says:

    All that matters is the final score. Everything else is gravy.

  4. ModHairKen Says:

    I saw one fan complaining about a 17 play drive, saying that was too many plays and too many opportunities for a penalty or turnover.

    Whatever, moron.

    I think the Defense does not mind a 17 play drive.

    Canales is really doing a great job. Which means, unless something bizarre happens, he will only be here a season or two.

    I love this style of Offense.

  5. K_bassuka Says:

    Too bad that Canales success will prompt teams to take him away.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    K_bassuka … I think Bucs’ coaches contracts are typically for 2 years, and other teams can’t hire Canales away to be their OC. HC or nada IOW. And since he’s been an assistant for many years, I doubt seriously that any team would take a chance on making someone their HC based on just 1 year of success.

    Of course then again, if someone had hired Byron away from us after we won the SB in 2020, in hindsight I would’ve been ecstatic.

  7. Easy The Great Says:

    Baker is #1 in 3rd down conversions by a quarterback this season so far too….

  8. Obvious Says:

    Yeah, a one year contract was a bad idea no matter how you slice it. For that particular position it seems a 2 year contract would be a minimum…

    It goes to show that neither Licht NOR/OR ownership believed this season would work out like it has with such a short contractual shot at it. A rare bad call in my view.

    You got to ask yourself “if this Does work” and Canales is poached, who’s going to continue to lead the offense with this new styled scheme? I’m sure they’ll come up with someone but…. probably not as well as Canales has if you throw in his success with QB’s these last couple of years. Poor form on the contract this time…

    I suppose the question becomes “when do you go back to the negotiating table without looking foolish” to try to secure Canales for a few more years. Canales “seems” like a strong candidate for a head coach position.
    BUT, maybe Not So Fast…. In a case such as this, better to walk than run. In the spirit of this topic, let’s say he (Canales) continues to excell.

    And actually I believe Canales would be foolish to run straight into a head coaching position without a little more experience under his belt. If he “truly” IS that good, a head coaching job is waiting just as soon as he’s “ready” to go for it.

    Right now he’d be wise to learn the upside and downside, pitfalls and mountains at the expense of another while honing his own skills so that he “truly” starts off on the right foot and then can “maintain success” for a very long and fulfilling career as the Top Dog..

    SO MANY have rushed in for the Golden ring without a clue as how to hold on to that power and Fail Miserably. Look at how many coaches have fallen on their faces coming out of New England for example…. Not enough experience in the fine art of Running the “Whole Show”….

    Canales Doesn’t need to hurry himself out to the ledge and would be a fool if he did. But then again, there’s just Something about that “Precious” Golden Ring that makes fools of us All…..

  9. Lord Cornelius Says:


    I’m not sure how much the contract length matters. If someone wants you as a HC badly and you want to be a HC badly they prob make it happen regardless of contract length.

    I agree it’d be a little crazy to go to a head coaching role after just 1 year as an OC. It could be done but we have no idea what his defensive philosphies are or how he’d run an organization or if he even wants to do all that. It’s a different skill set. A ton of guys are way better at staying in an OC or DC lane vs HC.

  10. Obvious Says:

    @Lord Cornelious

    Exactly. He himself, would be wise to learn the ropes and get a better feel for both sides of the ball before he goes for it.

    As far as whether it matters, O yeah. It certainly does for us. For Instance, him a team is HOT for him and we feel we have our head coach in place already, as well as his successor as OC, then HIS “trade value” becomes a thing of beauty for us…

    I’m sure there’s other ways to skin that cat but that’s a pretty strong point. It cost us a fortune to get Chucky as I recall and the same “could apply” in Canales’ case.

    Just as an example

  11. Obvious Says:

    Sorry, a little embarrassed with the response as I’m loading the car. Try to read between some of those lines.

  12. Wild Bill Says:

    Fun to speculate but only 4 games into a long season it’s way too early to predict career outcomes. And the toughest part of the season is still ahead.

  13. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I see your point – it makes sense

  14. orlbucfan Says:

    Can we kindly get through the season first? BTW, I’m sure Bowles and Canales have talked about Bowles’ nightmarish tenure as a HC with the NY Jets. Canales isn’t going anywhere as he sure isn’t stupid.

  15. Cobraboy Says:

    Nothing is as good or as bad as it seems.

    3-1 is fun, but there is still a lot of football to play, many potential injuries along the way.

    I recall those heady 5-dash-2 days.

    But while the overall base seems strong, I’d wait another four games to make a long-range conclusion. The wheels can still come off, and Canales and Mayfield can still become bums. I hope not and am not predicting it, but I need a larger body of work, and I need to see continued development of the offense.

    Besides, if Canales does well here, and Bowles is the HC going forward, I suspect Licht at the request of the Glazers will figure out a way to keep him around.

    Here is to solid quarter-pole success! May the football gods continue to bless OB Palace.

  16. Craig Says:

    It would not take much to kick the Bucs down that ladder. Most of our third downs have been third and long, and those are always a crap shoot.

    Bucs really need to get more yards in the first and second down area to be safer about converting third down

    As far as Baker is concerned; a good season just kicks the need of trying Trask or drafting a QB down the block. Baker will want a huge, multi-year deal for actually trying to reach his potential this season.

    We don’t know that we won’t be stuck with mediocrity again.

  17. Capt2fish Says:

    That isn’t a very strong list! Makes me wonder the value of that metric.

  18. Obvious Says:


    Considering that the Denver Broncos are #3 on the list it’s hard to argue that the value of the metric is in question. In other words you might be onto something.

    Then again, every team needs something to hang there hat on. Even the Broncos.

  19. JimBobBuc Says:

    I’m with Capt2fish, I don’t think the metric means much. I think a lot of the very best offenses only need two plays to get a first down. Joe has said scoring points is the best metric (I agree) and this 3rd down conversion rate doesn’t correlate to points. To me, we struggle inside the 10 trying to run the ball so our points suffer.

    I would like to see points per possession when a team is in the red zone. The best teams will approach the perfection of 7pts/red zone possession. Poor offenses might be around 3pts/possession. Where do the Bucs stand with this?

  20. Crickett Baker Says:

    I love that pic of Canales. His eyes and little smirk look ominous. He is just learning how to be an OC and a HC position is many years away. If he is offered more money as an OC for another team next year, I doubt strongly he would take it. The Bucs have given him a long-awaited position and put up with his “growing pains”. I know he would have a lot of loyalty to the Bucs after only one year, and I am certain we will pay him.

  21. Dwayne Cone Says:

    Covert 3rd downs all the way to the Red Zone. That’s where the HOF type QB’s get it into the End Zone 80% of the time. Buc Defense is making a few bad teams look even worse allowing only 28% Red Zone Defenses become TD’s.

  22. Bucs Guy Says:

    3rd and 4th Denver and Dallas. We know Denver is terrible and Dallas has struggled inside the 20.