The Bucs And Offensive Efficiency

October 9th, 2023

Bucs OC Dave Canales.

Joe is pretty sure this is a favorite quote of former NFL suit Michael Lombardi, one that fits the NFL so well:

“The best way to convert third downs is to avoid third downs.”

In essence, Lombardi says the best offenses play with a CFL mentality (three downs per possession). They convert on first or second downs.

The Bucs under Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians were excellent at this. This year’s Bucs? Not so much. You can see how Rich Hribar of Sharp Football Analysis, by way of TruMedia, charted offensive efficiency below.

The Bucs want to be a running team. That’s great if you have the horses. It doesn’t appear the Bucs do. Or the horses are hiding in the corner of the stable with their feedbags.

In recent media availabilities, Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales has suggested he sees sufficient run blocking to have a better running attack.

While he hasn’t really criticized Bucs running backs (Canales believes in the power of positive persuasion), Canales has said the running backs seem to be a missed tackle or a read here or there from busting big runs.

To be fair, it’s hard to convert on first or second downs running the ball. So naturally, the Bucs won’t be up there with Miami or San Francisco. Yes, Joe knows the 49ers are explosive with a run game. That can happen when you have the league’s best runner.

13 Responses to “The Bucs And Offensive Efficiency”

  1. SlyPirate Says:

    Statistic of the Day: 3-1

  2. SufferingSince76 Says:

    The Bucs are the dogs next Sunday at home. Time to knock Detroit down a peg. There’s still too many unbelievers out there.

  3. Erik The Viking Says:

    At some point the lack of a running game will stall our success. I fear it could be this game if we get exposed and go one sided on offense. The very fact that we have a good O-Line proves what the problem is, lack of quality RB’s. You can’t scheme your way out of so much suck. We need a true RB1 badly.

  4. D1 Says:

    Mccaffery is a gimmick player Joe. Go read your notes: too small and injury prone.

  5. stpetebucfan Says:

    If you go back and view the N.O. highlights you’ll see the OL open some holes and Rachaad take advantage of them. It’s only a start but there is promise.

    But again Rachaad is not Mike Alstott! He’s not a PHYSICAL RB. That doesn’t mean he can’t get the job done with proper blocking and scheming.

  6. JimBobBuc Says:

    I was curious about the quickness/speed of our backs. Combine or workout 40 times: White: 4.48 Sneak 4.51 Tucker 4.33 I would have expected Sneak to be a little quicker than White since Sneak had so many long runs at Vandy. I hope we can get Tucker and Sneak the ball in space as they’re more elusive than White.

    In the N.O. game, both backs had some decent runs when they had blocking. The problem was some Aints lineman shot the gap between Hainsey and Mauch too often, blowing up runs in the backfield. I’m sure the Lions saw that tape and will try to take advantage.

  7. Lakeland Steve Says:

    The Lions are very good and playing well right now. The Bucs will have to be able to make there offense one dimensional hopefully by stopping the run. Our offense will need to score touchdowns and not field goals and not have any turnovers. It would be great to get up on the Lions and make them play from behind, however Goff is playing well right now and making good decisions. The Bucs can win this game but it won’t be easy.

  8. Bojim Says:

    Start against the Lions would be great. 😁

  9. unbelievable Says:

    Lol D1.

    I will personally and humbly admit I was dead wrong about CMC. Thought he’d be a gadget player who couldn’t take the punishment of the NFL long terms. Dude is a straight up MONSTER.

  10. D1 Says:


    You’re a man of integrity! And yeah that dude is a monster. I saw him at a bowl game and thought wow ! the narrative of him is way off. He is way bigger than alstott. Not weight wise, just size.

    Stanford used him creatively and that’s imo what threw people off. He didn’t seem to be a traditional RB. Now with shanahan he’s a weapon!

  11. BillyBucco Says:

    That graph shows the good and bad teams perfectly.
    You should send that to Canales, because it’s the one area where his HOPE seems to be lacking. Hoping, through repetition these RBs learn how to run, is a pipe dream IMO. It’s not like these guys haven’t run through holes all through college. Sean Tucker LOOKED like the next Priest Holmes in college, but in the NFL, you just can’t outflank these guys. Basically the same thing with White and Vaughn. All of our running backs Can make guys miss in the 2nd level, but they NEVER get there. Any word on Edmonds?
    I just think we HAVE to go get a guy that wants to run HARD, AND is a power back. Strong legs that keep churning and hopefully a lower center of gravity than White. I just don’t think we are gonna reach our potential with this group.
    I admit I was excited about zone runs, and I will gladly eat crow if I’m wrong, but it WILL be our achilles heal this year. Different coach, different scheme, different O Line, same results. Last in the league.
    Now I know this article wasn’t about running the ball specifically, but all the teams up top, run it extremely well, and the 2 team’s leading it, have a RB with 7 rushing TDs, the most n the league.
    Running the ball well sets up play action so I believe in the correlation specifically.
    Please for the love of GOD, recognize this Bowles and Canales and KNOW that we have a special team that can contend, with one simple trade or quality signing from a practice squad. Make it happen ASAP.

  12. garro Says:

    Oh goody!
    Stat nerds rejoice!

    Go Bucs!

  13. rrsrq Says:

    that little burst Chase Edmonds showed was a lil promising, what is his status