Season On The Brink

October 22nd, 2023

Joe just wanted to throw a chair this afternoon with the playcalling.

No, this post is not about the Indiana Hoosiers or its former famous coach Bobby Knight. And it’s not about Joe’s favorite book typed by embedded journalist John Feinstein about the 1986 Hoosiers and how they melted down under the intense pressure of expectations and the boot of their brilliant yet explosive coach.

But parts of this book remind Joe of what fans are witnessing right now with the Bucs.

As predicted on “The Ira Kaufman Podcast” and on this here website, Joe feared that Bowles’ status as Bucs coach will be called into question if the Dixie Chicks somehow won today.

And both happened. Don’t believe Joe? Check Joe’s Twitter timeline. Joe’s even getting memes about Bowles being unemployed.

The types of plays called today left Joe in utter shock. Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales claims he has to be stubborn because soon the players will understand his complex offense and the unit will take off.

Meanwhile, a critical division game was p!ssed away due to this misplaced stubbornness. The Bucs, per the PFF tribe, now have a 40 percent chance of making the playoffs. If the Bucs won, they had a 73 percent chance.

The Bucs could have and should have been leading the NFC South if smarter plays were called.

After recovering a Dixie Chicks fumble on the Bucs-1, it soon became third-and-one. Canales had Mayfield in shotgun. With two of the league’s best receivers to use just to get a short gain, Canales decides to hand off to one of the league’s worst running backs.

From a shotgun on third-and-one!

Of course, White lost a yard.

Does Roger Goodell now forbid quarterbacks to sneak the ball from under center? A quick flip to Evans or Godwin to move the chains? Of all the options, chosen was a guy who should be a backup in the USFL? In what world?

Look, a child playing Madden would know better to get the ball to Evans or Godwin, or hell, even Trey Palmer or Deven Thompkins on a jet sweep. But White?

Can someone explain to Joe exactly what people see in this White as a running back? He’s now played in 24 games and of those games, he’s had one good game. ONE! What does it take, another 30 starts to get the drift that this guy sucks?

White is a misplaced slot receiver, that’s all you need to know.

The longer the game went, the more frustrated Joe got. It seems Canales (Todd Bowles?) wants the offense to run through White. When did this guy become Walter Payton and deserve 15-20 touches a game?

Again, you have Evans and Godwin at your disposal. Get the ball in the hands of your stars. Good things will happen. Canales wants to run the ball as if he thinks the Bucs running backs are Marshawn Lynch clones.

So here the Bucs sit. They threw away a game they could have won and all but owned the division. Now they travel to Buffalo in four days to play the AFC East powerhouse Bills. If the Bucs lose that, the record is 3-4 and the Bucs will have lost three straight. And right around the corner are road games against the surprising Texans and the powerful 49ers.

You see how this season could very quickly be circling the drain?

“Season on the Brink,” indeed!

73 Responses to “Season On The Brink”

  1. Marine Buc Says:

    I’m starting to get 2011 Raheem Morris vibes with this team…

    Slip sliden away.

  2. Breadwinnerbob Says:

    Just keep evans so our round 1 qb has weapons day 1

  3. Crazyhorse54 Says:

    Canalus has lost the offense. Either call what they CAN do or go to a college or high school team.

  4. D-Rome Says:

    Good point on Madden. No 8 year old playing Madden as the Bucs hands off to White in shotgun formation on 3rd and 1. If a kid wouldn’t do it then why should the Bucs?

  5. Miller5252 Says:

    100% agree with it all Joe. They’ve had enough games, and a bye week, to figure out anything 3 and 2 or less the Bucs can’t get there. All last year was the same thing. I like Joes question to Baker about plays and if he can say this doesn’t work and not use it… Baker wouldn’t say anything though. Canales needs to get it together before they lose 6 in a row because the loses will stack quick

  6. Cobraboy Says:

    I stated last week that if this team loses to the Falcons, the wheels could come off.

    I suspect the Bills will dismember the Bucs Thursday night in Buffalo. It’s forecast for 16F at 8 pm.

  7. Tye Says:

    Jim Harbaugh as new BUcs HC 2024, anyone?

  8. AL121976 Says:

    Front said it best “if it wasn’t for the defense creating turnovers in the red zone, this would have been a blowout by atlanta”

  9. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Seriously terrible offense. They are trying to do something that the team is not built for. Today should have been a 400 yard 3 TD passing game…. IF Baker hits the open guy. Which he missed a bunch today.

    This feels like 2017 all over with a defensive head coach.

  10. AL121976 Says:


  11. D-Rome Says:

    Dave Canales’ offense is currently WORSE than Marcus Arroyo’s offense in 2014.

  12. BuxfaninTX Says:

    Joe you piled onto Byron Leftwich for the same thing..
    – Both are morons
    – Both are listening to Todd’s wishes to run first
    – Canales and Leftwich are the reincarnation of Les Steckel and Jeff Jagodzinski

    I pick the second one..

  13. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Tye

    I’m down with that…

  14. Mike S Says:

    Time to start Trask.

    Mayfield is embarrassing us.

  15. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    So you go for it on 4th on our side of the field, but take a knee with 17 seconds and 3 time outs? – someone’s got some splaining to do

  16. Joe Says:


    Thank you!

  17. Jack Clark Says:

    “Joe just wanted to throw a chair this afternoon with the playcalling.”

    Yes Joe, yes… let the hate flow through you and feel our pain 😌. Is it still too early to call Dave Canales a sorry as OC? Or do the players still need more time to learn his offense?

    “Can someone explain to Joe exactly what people see in this White as a running back? He’s now played in 24 games and of those games, he’s had one good game. ONE! What does it take, another 30 starts at running back to get the drift that this guy sucks?”

    Hey Joe, did you see how the Falcons running backs weren’t getting hit before they crossed the LOS? That’s what good run blocking looks like! And how many yards did Ke’Shawn Vaughn when he was running the ball and dropping passes? Now tell me one…JUST ONE… good running back in the NFL who keeps getting hit before he can even cross the friggin’ line of scrimmage. I’ll wait…

  18. Fred McNeil Says:

    Look, the defense played awesome till they tuckered out. Canales…sux.

  19. SB~LV Says:

    I don’t think there’s anything of substance that I can add.
    Other than
    The interior of the OL
    G-C-G are impossible to call run or pass plays with and each week of film is going to make it easier and more confident for DC to unleash their dogs .
    Impossible for those 3 to improve as a unit.
    Mauch will probably become a good NFL guard after a offseason of diet and weight training.
    Mike Evans will thank the Bucs for trading him to a playoff team, he deserves that!

  20. Bubby Says:

    Receivers were wide open all day. Mayfield is exactly the guy we thought he was. ME13 had very bad body language on the field. Defense is good to mediocre.

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This has been going on for 2 years……and the constant is Todd Bowles…..

    I have been more patient with Canales than he deserves…’s time to make the adjustment…….throw the ball early and often.

    We should have Baker rolling out on 3rd, 4h and short…..

    The playcalling was awful today as it was last week.

  22. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Agree with you Joe about White being a misplaced slot receiver.
    He’s got damn good hands and some speed and moves….but goot lawd he do be turrible at RB.

  23. Bucfan37 Says:

    This game was hard to watch to put it mildly. Who to blame… the whole damn team played lousy in crucial situations.

  24. Rod Munch Says:

    “After recovering a Dixie Chicks fumble on the Bucs-1, it soon became third-and-one. Canales had Mayfield in shotgun. With two of the league’s best receivers to use just to get a short gain, Canales decides to hand off to one of the league’s worst running backs.”


    Really? So White was the issue on that play? Not the fact he was literally hit by 8 guys behind the line of scrimmage? If it was Zack Moss back there, he’d have magically transported himself beyond the LOS?

    I get that you’re stuck on the idea that the RB is the issue. I completely disagree. But I don’t know how you take that lesson from that play. It had no chance, no matter if you had White, Emmitt Smith, Jim Brown, even the GOAT Barry Sanders, no one was getting any yards on that play.

  25. SB~LV Says:

    Bills in a few days
    This town is full of Bills fans
    Going to be ugly in the RayJay Thursday night!
    The chair toss is gonna be a theme that sticks this season!

  26. ElioT Says:

    It’s not all on Baker.

    Hope you Trask lovers get your wish because you’ll see.

    This is an assembly of athletes and not a team.

    ******Too many dudes that don’t know where they’ll be next year.*******

    Coaching staff is not top tier. Bowels is in over his head.

    Get ready for a big reset.

  27. LVMYBUCS Says:

    Well we all wanted to know if Tampa was for real or fakes at the beginning of the season well we know now. No way we make it anywhere with Bowles and Canalas calling the plays ever.

  28. Mike S Says:

    Its an away game SB

  29. SlyPirate Says:

    Silver Lining
    It’s simple: You have an OC who doesn’t know what he’s doing and a HC that is a DC and cannot help. This team is cooked. Bowles and Canales will be gone EOY.

    The good news:
    1. We’ll have a Top 10 pick in a really good draft
    2. We’ll see Trask in the next 2-3 games and determine if QB is a need or not
    3. This team is loaded with young talent

  30. Mike S Says:


  31. ElioT Says:


    The game is in Buffalo you dumba**.

  32. Cobraboy Says:

    Cobraboy Says:

    I suspect the Bills will dismember the Bucs Thursday night in Buffalo. It’s forecast for 16F at 8 pm.

    My mistake. Not 16F, but 16C = 61F.

    Weather should be decent.

  33. LVMYBUCS Says:

    @ElioT Says

    I agree completely.

  34. Rod Munch Says:

    BTW, while Mayfield stunk again today – the person who lost the game was once again Ryan Neal, who single handedly lost the Lions game where he was responsible for two huge TDs.

    In this game, before the Lions even got the ball, I wrote that Neal would give up a big play and cost the Bucs the game on that final series, and real shocker, he once again gave up a huge play and lost the game. He needs to cut, he’s awful. Said it all offseason while everyone else was putting Neal in the Pro-Bowl, that teams don’t get rid of good young talent on super cheap contracts. That should have been a giant red flag. No issues with signing him, but he was handed the starting job for some reason, and he’s been terrible since week 1 when he gave up the Vikings only TD on a blown coverage – and every week since then he can be counted on to blow so critical play, or two, or three.

  35. Cobraboy Says:

    RB is just a part of the problem. Can’t run when you are swarmed behind the LoS because the interior OL gets blown up.

  36. Rod Munch Says:

    Mike S Says:
    October 22nd, 2023 at 6:00 pm


    He should be starting for one more week. The last thing any Trask fan should want is to see him play on the road, in Buffalo, on a short week – in particular since the Bills just lost and are going to be really mad and take it out on the Bucs.

  37. I remember 21 Says:

    Bowels has to go. That’s all there is to it. As much as I wanted to get excited about this season, as much as I’m not one to buy in to the “tank for X” talk, my biggest hope for this season was for it to be the last one that Blows coaches the Bucs. Every poll has been “NO confidence” from me. This guy doesn’t have it, has never had it, and it’s to the point his bread and butter defense SUCKS. I’ll bet he wanted to give D White a contract and Licht stopped it. I hope that’s how it played out. Soft zone combined with NO pressure from the front 4 is a recipe for disaster. Our 2 $15M per CBs, drafted & developed in house, same D for years, ZERO picks and ZERO passes defended. The Falcons vaunted D, 8, 8 passes defended!!! Give me a break. Although that’s impacted by Blows not letting them play man, which they’re better at. Neal sucks on steroids, put in Double D. I’m sick of it. All of it. Playing to weaknesses, ignoring strengths. The stubbornness is infuriating. Go away Turd, ya bother me.

  38. Tony Says:

    When will coaches & teams learn to get out of this stupid analytics mindset? If you would’ve just punted the ball in the 1st quarter on 4th & 6 when it was scoreless things might of been a little different, too! Carmarda could’ve pinned them deep. I’d rather have them pin Atlanta deep or have them at least start at the 20 then turn the ball over on downs & throw your D under the bus after that because Atlanta just drove down the field & scored then.

  39. SB~LV Says:

    Well my mistake on game location
    That is a blessing for local fans!

  40. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Cobra, it doesn’t matter. 61 degrees or 16 degrees. Result will be the same, and it won’t be a Bucs upset, that’s for sure.

  41. ElioT Says:

    It’s a collection of players, not a real team.

    Too many guys unsure of where they will be next year.

    Look at the roster and be honest with yourself.

  42. TonySoprano Says:

    Remember in TC when the team was lauding Canales for how his scheme will be so much simpler/easier for the offense line? But now his excuse is the scheme is apparently too complex to learn in 4+ months.

  43. ElioT Says:


    Sorry to call names. That’s my bad. You’re a Bucs fan and I appreciate that.


  44. Lombardi Lenny Says:

    I hate being a Bucs fan. All of this makes me so angry

  45. ElioT Says:

    This was such a huge game for the Bucs to take.

    Major division, conference and coming schedule implications.

    They’re not talented enough.

    They’re not coached well enough.

    They don’t want it enough.

    They couldn’t do it.

  46. SBucs Says:

    Clean house starting with a really bad talent evaluator in Jason Licht…

  47. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Rod

    I agree. You make a good point.

    I would rather let Mayfield play one more week before we switch to Trask.

    Short week – road game in Buffalo… Let Mayfield have his last stand.

  48. David H. Says:

    I agree 100%

  49. Rod Munch Says:

    Marine Buc – yeah, it’s a natural place to make the switch unless Mayfield has the game of his life. I hope the team puts that pressure on him. They say he’s a big time pressure guy, and this is basically his career. So let’s see what he can do. And I say that in only the best way – in that big time players want that pressure, and it brings out the best in them.

    In any case, I do fear that even if he’s awful, Bowles won’t make a switch because the NFC South is so bad, and it won’t be until like week 11 or 13 before we see a switch. That’s what loser headcoaches do, they stick with bad players for way too long. Sort of how they’ll keep rolling Ryan Neal out there despite him again being awful today.

  50. Lombardi Lenny Says:

    Still waiting for it “to click” with the players like Bowles and Canalas keep alluding to after every loss.
    What will click you ask? Who the hell knows but they keep
    saying it like “trust me bro, once these dumb football players learn our secret plan, this team will be heading straight to the Super Bowl”

  51. Antonio Says:

    TODD BOWLS, open your eyes brother. Baker Mayfield is not a starting quarterback. Youre gonna lose your job because of him this year. GIVE KYLE TRASK A SHOT. If you’re gonna go down , go down with a fight There’s no chance with Mayfield…. that defense is good but the secondary is suspect. Winfield is the only bright spot in the secondary, sad day to be a buc fan. #BB# BENCH MAYFIELD!!!

  52. Pittbucfan Says:

    It’s Baker’s fault. Smfh

  53. RGA Says:

    This Joe sure has it out for White and constantly gives the offensive line a pass, I don’t understand that. The offensive line collapsed in the short yardage play in question, the running back was hit in the backfield. No push then no first down. I totally agree with Joe that it was a lousy play call, I don’t agree on the reason it failed.

  54. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Offense did a better job at sustaining drives and helping the D out but still 13 pts come on and yes how that play call to get 1 yard was the stupidest call ever then all the freaking penalties what the heck. Bucs offense shot themselves all game. Than the baker int. That was a Winston throw. Stupid stupid stupid. Otton was on double coverage the worst was white was wide ass open 5 yards down the field and could have gotten a 1st down. These guys are not playing like the 1st 3 games. Defense couldn’t get a stop when we needed but they help strong most of the game. AGAIN I WILL SCREAM IT OVER AND OVER I like BOWLES as a DC head coach not so much

  55. Aubpierce Says:

    I said it a couple of weeks ago. Move White to receiver, as the Dolphins did with Nat Moore, a former running back with the Gators who had much success. White looked good when he had space. I might be wrong, but I thought White started his college career as a receiver. As far as Bowles is concerned, he has zero emotion which reflects on how the team plays with a few exceptions. I don’t want to discuss the offensive line because it is in the bottom five in my uneducated opinion.

  56. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    Well, wasn’t that fun!

    35rd and 1 and just give it to White. WTF!!! Haven’t we seen enough of that. Bad running back or bad OL, it DOESN’T MATTER! We have the worse rushing Attack in the league, regardless of the reason. Key play in the game and….run it up the middle. Clean house! Starting with Bowels.

  57. dbbuc711 Says:

    Not on the brink, over the cliff

  58. Fansince76 Says:

    The season as far as playoff hopes is over.
    Buc’s had to have this one and they spit the bit.
    There done with respect of making the playoffs which sucks arse!

  59. FortMyersDave Says:

    I agree Tye. The only problem is that teams like the Rams and other teams have fans thinking the same thing. The Bucs will have competition for Harbaugh’s services after they fire Bowles when the Bucs finish 6-11 or 7-10…. Just enough wins to miss out on the marquee QBs in the 2024 draft. Its a Buc’s life. At least we got to enjoy 20200 and 2021 until Bowels choked in the Rams game, since then this has been a losing franchise which mirrors its head coach.

  60. Lakeland Steve Says:

    A team tends to play similar to the Head Coach’s temperament. As an example, when Bruce Arians was Head Coach he was fiery, a down the field go for broke kind of coach who the players definitely responded to. The Bucs took to heart his no risk it no biscuit approach. Todd Bowles is a stoic coach who shows no emotion on the field. His players tend to play like him, no emotion, very little fire. The Bucs won the Super Bowl under Arians of course, so far under Bowles they have been inconsistent and have had a losing record. I think we all know how this story ends.

  61. tickrdr Says:

    The most intriguing idea I have seen proffered today is Joe’s idea suggesting that Rachaad White would make a good slot receiver, and NOT an RB1! He was targeted 6 times today with 6 catches, and likely would excel in that role.

    Next, I will prove how very old and out of touch I am with haircut styles, but I think this young man looks absolutely ridiculous with his “dreads”, looking like an old woman, and not running much better (Inverse Samson effect). Perhaps he should try a high fade, and keep the dreads as a ponytail?

    If they move him to slot receiver, then I was hoping the Bucs would bring back Leonard Fournette, but he is apparently making an announcement soon about a potential return, but not to the Bucs unfortunately.


    PS: I bet the 49’ers are soooo glad they never gave Brock Purdy a chance, since he was the 3rd Stringer as well as Mr. Irrelevant in the draft. He just couldn’t be any good! He probably doesn’t have any MOXIE either.

  62. Scott o Says:

    Rachaad White terrible, put in the rookie

  63. Ed Says:

    While there were many runs blown up by the Falcons at LOS there were some runs where White simply couldn’t outrun a db as he tried to bounce outside, he just doesn’t have the speed or wiggle to turn the corner.

    As someone said white would be a good slot receiver, he can catch the ball and in open space he can make someone miss.

    There were a couple of runs that I saw that were well blocked and he had some good cutback lanes but he didn’t explode into the opening and once he gets into a lane he can’t break a tackle and goes down too easily.

    He is fine as a third down back, the Bucs can’t afford to use him in early downs. Vaughn isn’t fast either. There has to someone off the street or on a practice squad to play first team running back.

    Almost forgotten in this debacle is the brilliant idea of doing a toss to a 150 lb man getting the ball with And running into the meat of Falcon defenders and fumbling. Thompkins is the smallest and lightest man on the field. Only a fool would run him into the strong defensive line of Atlanta. They ate him up.

  64. Fred McNeil Says:

    Jack Clark…it ain’t Joe’s fault.

  65. Pewter Power Says:

    Dave Canales is learning on the fly. We all knew there would be an adjustment period and the defense would have to pick up the slack.

    Defense has made splash plays at key moments. Forget the stats because the falcons did whatever they wanted most of the game.

    Why can’t we have just one of those explosives Atlanta had

  66. Mike Johnson Says:

    Our season is not on the brink. Most of us predicted 6 to 7 wins for this team. I see no reason to change that. I told all of you the season is long and plagued with injuries. We do not have a good team. It is a 500 or slightly better team on some given Sundays. Thats it. Our O and D lines are not where they need to be. Just watch the Buffalo game Thursday. You will see.

  67. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    Tye Says:
    October 22nd, 2023 at 5:46 pm
    Jim Harbaugh as new BUcs HC 2024, anyone?

    Our best shot at trying to get Harbaugh would have been the day after BA stepped down last year. If the brass wanted to pursue him, we had Brady to try to sell him on it since they’re “bros” and have a ton of respect for each other.

    That’s not to say he would have left Michigan, having just made a verbal commitment to them, but what little shot we had left with TB12. I personally would have loved that and you never say never. He’s a helluva coach on both sides of the ball and does things the right way.

    Alas, we’re dealt the hand that BA dealt us and now Bowles giving us an OC who’s better suited as a guest speaker at a Tony Robbins “Power of Personal Growth” seminar than he is leading men on a football field.

    But yep. Pay Harbaugh anything he wants. Give him the GM job too (not a slam on Licht, just if Harbaugh wants it, give it to him). The man can put together a top-notch staff as well.

    We can dream

  68. Voice of Truth Says:

    We have the top 4 weakest rooms in the entire league:

    1) RB
    2) TE
    3) QB
    4) OL

    Notice a trend Todd????????

    Bowles blows chunks

  69. Esteban85 Says:

    Well, there’s always next year. I’m having freaking dejavu

  70. RichieRich2 Says:

    Joe is 100% right. Those who blame Mayfield are 100% WRONG. He was pressured all day. The majority of his passes were rushed. Either our offensive line isn’t that good (think of all the penalties)or th Falcons pass rush us that good. It is honestly both. But that isn’t the Real cause of us losing. And they play calling wasn’t great. THE REAL REASON WE LOST IS WE DON’T HAVE ANY REAL RUNNING BACKS! This does fall on Todd Bowles. I remember last year thinking Lenny ans White weren’t that good. Why us it every team we play has running backs that rip off 8-12 yard consistently but we ALWAYS average 2 yards. There were giid running backs we could have gone after but we didn’t. We are a one dimensional team and that is the real problem.

  71. Oneilbuc Says:

    Richie. Joe don’t like Kyle Trask so he would rather the bucs lose than give him a chance. Joe is afraid that Trask might be a good quarterback for the bucs because he was better than Baker Mayfield all training camp. I also know that when Jamies was the quarterback no one ever talked about how bad the running game was or having a 32 ranked defense. Now we have a defense that’s giving up less than 20 points and our offense can’t score because Baker Mayfield is not a good quarterback and teams know it . They are more focused on stopping the run to make Baker Mayfield win the game on offense.

  72. Joe Says:

    Joe don’t like Kyle Trask so he would rather the bucs lose than give him a chance.

    If Joe honestly though Trask is that guy, Joe would be screaming for him to play. Joe is a weirdo. He wants to see excellent play from a QB in practice before Joe believes a guy can get the job done as a starter. Joe hasn’t seen that after three years of training camp practices (though Trask did improve dramatically — not dramatically enough — with Canales).

    Actions speak louder than words: If Todd Bowles really thought he could win with Trask (and save his job), the salary cap-strangled Bucs never would have signed Baker Mayfield.

  73. Carlos P Says:

    Got get rid of proven loosers Bowle and Mayfield, good playera but as a team they suck.
    No leadership and awful play calling