Run to Win

October 3rd, 2023

Will stick to the run game.

Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales has made it clear: He’s not going to scrap the run just because the Bucs can’t run. You must keep at it, he has said.

Monday, Bucs coach Todd Bowles had Canales’ back on that subject.

Bowles, always a fan of the run, told Dan Lucas of WFLA-TV Channel 8 in their weekly sitdown that the Bucs will run the ball. And Bowles believes, like Canales, sooner or later Bucs running backs will pop one.

“You have to keep trying to run the football,” Bowles said. “It’s not about having a success ratio right away. If you can get the volume up, eventually you will start breaking those runs.”

The Bucs are 3-1 as they head to the bye. And Bowles said their record reinforces that their commitment to running the ball is the correct one.

“The main object is, are we running it enough to win games?” Bowles said. “And if you win games, you take it how you can get it. You work on things that you have to work on.”

All of this doesn’t mean Bowles is proud that the Bucs are the worst running team in the league averaging three yards a carry. That’s tied with the rotten Raiders.

“You always want to run the ball better, we want to do a lot of things better,” Bowles said. “It’s a work in progress. I think it is getting better.”

The Bucs did run the ball a little better in the second half of the win over the slimy Saints on Sunday. Baby steps, Joe guesses.

Imagine how good the Bucs would be if they had a reliable guy in the backfield that could average just around 4.5 yards a pop?

25 Responses to “Run to Win”

  1. Beej Says:

    Mauch and Goedeke steadily improving, but as long as running doesn’t depend on Hainsey moving people off their spots we ok

  2. orlbucfan Says:

    Give the OLine some time to jell. Sheesh! White has good hands catching the ball. Let him do it. And how about mixing in some sweeps and screens. Even with future HOFamer ME 13 hurt, there’s Godzilla14, the two young wideouts whose names I keep forgetting, Otton and White. I like the fact that BM is starting to spread the ball around like Brady did.

  3. It's Corn Says:

    working, but against BAD teams… The Saints with Carr playing injured were a bad team, let’s face it.

    Last in the league in yards per carry, and then insisting on continuing to run, in uncreative ways… that is just completely dumb, sorry.

  4. Lord Cornelius Says:

    You’ve got to keep a defense honest to some degree.

    Through 4 games I’d say RB is our weakest position group for sure

  5. StormyInFl Says:

    Don’t think anyone doesn’t want a running game. What is frustrating is not adjusting when it doesn’t work, or becoming way too predictable. That was Leftwich’s biggest flaw (aka ‘we do what we do’).

    What they did against the Saints was perfect. They came out passing to setup the run. Sometimes that’s necessary. Nice to see Bowles/Canales trying to catch them off guard that way.

    They need to screw up the other team’s film study by going against their own tendencies.

    The Lions are a test and running it up the gut behind Hainsey (who can’t move anyone) isn’t going to work.

  6. Wild Bill Says:

    Bucs need a speedy power runner who doesn’t fall down on first contact. Hard to find free agents like that. Top priority in next years draft?


    Vaughn is definitely the weak link of the RB. Hell I would rather see Fournette than him.

  8. A Bucs Fan Says:

    I blame most of the poor inside running success on Hainsey. He can’t get any push and he has missed/ blocked the wrong guy on multiple occasions.

    Now the off tackle running I blame white who hasn’t figured out how to read the play very good. I’ve seen many cases where he chooses a small crease for a two yard dust up when right next to it is a gaping alley way for a 5-10 yard gain. That has been frustrating as a fan to watch.

    If it doesn’t improve the Bucs need to invest in a stronger center regardless but they’ll also need to address RB.

  9. BucU Says:

    Our run blocking pretty much sucks but I get u have to keep D’s honest. If we had a successful run game we’d be really good.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We’ve won these games on the strength of our Defense…..Baker scrambling and our passing game.
    The only way the run game has helped is to somewhat keep the opposing defenses honest…..that’s surely not saying much.

    At some point as with any objective… have to have some success or go to plan B.

  11. Jimmy J Says:

    I’m over White . He is not a number 1 back.

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    I think most JBFers get where Bowles is coming from: the more you work on something, the better you typically get at it. Like he said … ‘You work on things that you have to work on.’

    Like most defensive coaches, he’s a huge believer in the balanced attack. Ya running the ball eats up the clock. Ya it keeps the defense honest. And ya, it wears them down if you do it enough.

    But it also does several other things to a degree. It keeps constant pressure off your QB (ask Tom Brady how much he wished he had a solid running game last year). Although super-star QBs are nice to have, they don’t come along that often, and you can get by running a ‘balanced attack’ with more of a game-manager type (Geno Smith? Jalen Hurts?) who’s also a threat to run the ball.

    But I think more than anything else, running the ball shows a commitment to the big uglies, and it all starts in the trenches. We constantly hear that those bohemeths love to run block, and this gives them their chance to shine. Gotta love it when the beasts take over a game.

  13. JerkingCircleofEpileptics Says:

    A sound running game would take so much more pressure off of Mayfield. He would shine even more.

  14. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    So yes our rush average is bad, but we run for more yards per game than the teams with Josh Jacobs, Joe Mixon, and Najee Harris. Rushing success can be measured in different ways. I don’t think our rushing attack is good at this point, but I don’t really think it’s fair to call it the worst either.

  15. JimBobBuc Says:

    We need to objectively look at our self-scouting during the bye. Objectively, what is working and what isn’t in the run game? Which guys block which plays the best? Sure, we can coach up guys to get better and the Bucs will try to do that, BUT we need to be realistic about our players and call plays that work for them. As people have said here, maybe running behind Hainsey is not a good idea.

    Our short-yardage run game sucks. Let’s coach up the guys to get a better push, but also not call vanilla run plays that haven’t worked.

    I thought our backs ran better, and had better OL blocking, against the Aints. Our backs still aren’t good, and Baker had a better rushing average than White! Maybe we need some SAFE runs for Baker and make sure he doesn’t take any hits! Both White and Sneak got stuffed in the backfield from poor blocking and late in the game even more so. I thought Sneak ran well when he had a little blocking. The place to use Sneak is on swing passes as he’s better at making people miss that White. I was a little surprised that Sneak was elevated to RB2 over Tucker, maybe because Sneak is better in pass pro than Tucker.

    I think that the no-huddle attack combined with a less-vanilla running attack is our sweet spot. I hope the Lions game is a hot day and our OL gets really physical against them so that the heat and no-huddle wear them down.

    Against the Aints, we spread the ball around and I loved it. We need to run more plays where Thompkins and Palmer are set up for big YAC. Baker needs to stop throwing late, down-the-middle, as he’s had some dropped picks. Stop it.

    We need to learn over the bye and make changes. Coaching-up guys is helpful but not the answer.

  16. BUCman Says:

    Ive been saying it since we drafted him. White is average at best. Completely indecisive with the ball and can’t push a pile. He has no special attributes. Same thing with the right side of our line. They drafted average players at best. Poor drafts the past two years will be hard to overcome long term. Hall is still starting on the defense line only because he was a high draft pick. Hall is a complete bust and shouldn’t even make the roster. Best draft pick the past three years is the punter.

  17. garro Says:

    Joe you do realize that 4.5 yards per carry is elite range right? Walter Payton did not make it to 4.5. I would be thrilled of we get near an even 4.0 Joe. Realistically.

    Sometimes I wonder if anyone at One Buc sits down with Todd and listens to his comments with him. Like media relations or PR people? Sometimes he hurts his own cause with his statements.

    His saying “sooner or later” does not instill any confidence in me at all. Makes me think of blind squirrels and acorns.

    I understand what he is saying but it needs to be explained a bit better. Don’t ya think?

    Go Bucs!

  18. Bucs13 Says:

    @DefenseRules. You are so right. Brady didn’t want to throw so much. He’s a true believer in having a solid run game. It goes back to his Patriots. Bowles said before the season last year that Brady and him see the game the same way. He definitely was talking about having the ability to run the ball.

  19. Brandon Says:

    That’s funny that Joe would pick 4.5 yards per carry as his mark of being an effective runner. Ronald Jones averaged EXACTLY 4.5 yards per carry as a Buccaneer and most of you couldn’t wait to see him run out of town. For the record, Jones’s 4.5 yards per carry are second best in team history among players with at least 1000 yards rushing.

  20. TDavis Says:

    This is another common football misconception. Running the ball doesn’t win you games. Teams that win get to run the ball more because they don’t have to throw to catch up.

    BTW, just like you said, the Bucs are the worst running team in the league, yet their record is 3-1, so…

  21. kaimaru69 Says:

    @It’s Corn

    Bad teams? NO was top 5 vs the run before our game and has always been good vs the run

  22. Esteban85 Says:

    RW has shown to have some skill in space, getting that first down prior to the Otten TD was slick. This running game should get better as the season goes on considering Mauch should improve as well as the rest. I hope to see more outside zone runs in the future getting our athletic guard and LT swinging for some home runs.

    If we show we can beat a playoff team will JL go out and find us a complete back or will we make our bets with Edmonds coming back to fill out our RB room?

  23. Crickett Baker Says:

    I don’t believe the Saints are a bad team. We just made them look that way. GO BUCS!

  24. Esteban85 Says:

    If we get a reliable running game, watch out. There is a lot of room for improvement here and sure signs of skill, talent and a solid O line. Do we have a RB that can step up?

  25. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    Our running game is like a boxer’s weak left.jab. It may not be effective, but you keep flicking it out there hoping it might land once in a while but won’t do any damage if it does. At best it keeps the opponent at bay.

    We need better blocking schemes that allow our big, nimble guys to use their mobility to “get in the way” instead of asking them to manhandle guys and a RB who can run with vision and make cuts. It starts with the coaches. Yes, it’s s early in the season but that excuse won’t be any good after another game or two.

    It’s a copy cat league but seems like our coaches are just copying our own run schemes from last year and that’s disappointing