“We’re Kind Of Learning We Are Not Going To Be A Run-First Team”

October 24th, 2023

Diversifying offense?

So has there been an epiphany at One Buc Palace that maybe, just maybe, the light bulb went on for shot-callers and the team realized it has many, many more weapons in the passing game and none in the run game?

Sure sounds like that may be happening.

And the intel came from none other than Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield.

The Bucs were horrible running the ball last year. Worst in the NFL. This year with a new offensive coordinator, new quarterback, new running backs coach and virtually a new offensive line, the Bucs are even worse. The guy someone at One Buc Palace thoroughly misjudged thinking he is an RB1, Rachaad White, is really a misplaced slot receiver.

White’s vision is so bad that in one arm he needs to carry the ball and in the other arm he needs to tote a white cane.

After running for an atrocious 1.9 yards a carry Sunday in an embarrassing loss to Atlanta, it appears someone in authority at One Buc Palace has seen enough. Finally!

Consider what Mayfield told the local pen and mic club today about running the ball.

“Being able to run the ball efficiently definitely helps,” Mayfield said. “We’ve talked about how we all need to be better. We all know that.

“It’s just little things here or there. Like we had a run that was called back on a holding call. We’re kind of learning that we are not going to be a run-first team. But we are still going to do it when we need to.”

Who could have imagined? A team with a possible Hall of Fame receiver on one side of the ball, another Pro Bowl receiver on the other side and a speed demon No. 3 receiver and the Bucs actually thought they’d be more productive feeding one of the worst running backs in the NFL?

The question Joe has is what took so friggin’ long? Did it really take a ghastly loss to the Dixie Chicks for someone to wake up and say, “Enough!”

If so, why so long?

Mayfield didn’t say the Bucs were going to go full-blown Air Raid. But it seems the days of run, run, run to nowhere are coming to a halt.

The Bucs’ running game this season, to date, is a “Talking Heads” video.

45 Responses to ““We’re Kind Of Learning We Are Not Going To Be A Run-First Team””

  1. Jack Sparrow Says:

    so now, the bills know that they just have to drop back their secondaries and rush 4…. looks like it’s going to be a horror night for the Bucs.

  2. Beej Says:

    Do a draw once in a while to punish them for cheating into pass coverage. Aside from that, short little flare passes are just as good (in OUR case, BETTER) than runs

  3. Lombardi Lenny Says:

    Its like an addiction for them. They cant help but call run plays. They’re chasing that Playoff Lenny high still and badly need their fix.

    I’ll be honest though, the thought of Bake Daddy throwing 40+ times a game scared the crap out of me.

  4. Jack Clark Says:

    Todd Bowles demise as a head coach is not adapting his offense to what his players do best. He single handedly ruined our Super Bowl winning, Top 5 scoring, no risk it no biscuit offense and sent us back to the stone age!

  5. Rod Munch Says:

    If the Bucs had just hired me as a consultant, I could have saved them a lot of trouble, since I could have told them this back in March, April, May, June, July, August, week 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

    Literally any time, all they had to do was lock me up with a multi-year seven figure deal and they could have all my opinions, which turn out to be right about 99.65% of the time.

    Or if they want to be cheap, they could just read the comments here, and find out the same info. But don’t do that. If you pay me, I’ll even do a spell and grammar check, something I don’t bother with in comments.

  6. Irish Laughter Says:

    Pretty amazing that the Bucs were as successful as they were the past three years with a one dimensional offense led by a 45 year old QB. The way it looks this year, Baker should use his legs to complement the lack of a running attack. The Bucs will finish 12-5 and make the playoffs. GOOOOOO Bucs

  7. NE Fan Says:

    So Bowles plan is an air attack against the Bill’s. I know where my money is going. What’s his plan to stop Allen drop Vea into the D backfield?

  8. Rod Munch Says:

    Irish Laughter Says:
    October 24th, 2023 at 4:27 pm
    Pretty amazing that the Bucs were as successful as they were the past three years with a one dimensional offense led by a 45 year old QB.


    Well it turns out that in the NFL you win by scoring more points than the opponent, and you get ZERO points for being balanced.

    Glad I could help educate you.

    That’s the kind of expert advice I could bring the Buccaneers if they want to lock me up on a big deal.

  9. McBucky Says:

    Bowles has no vision. He may be able to coach but that doesn’t mean he can lead. When we had real leaders with vison we won. When we didn’t, we didn’t.

  10. Mike Johnson Says:

    My poor Bucs. I’m getting snockered before the game Thursday. This way I can be comfortably numb.

  11. SlyPirate Says:


    These aren’t adjustments adept teams/coaches make by game 7. These are adjustments teams/coaches make during a single game.

  12. David Says:

    Bills will blow away Bucs if Toilet Bowl decides to let Baker throw more passes. Baker will throw at least two picks they limit the running game. Baker should be benched in second half of the Thursday night game if he has a similar game to (Eagles, Lions, Falcons).

  13. Jack Clark Says:

    NE Fan Says:
    October 24th, 2023 at 4:28 pm
    So Bowles plan is an air attack against the Bill’s. I know where my money is going. What’s his plan to stop Allen drop Vea into the D backfield?

    Why are you still here? Did the real New England fans reject you too? 😂😂

  14. NE Fan Says:

    Irish, could it be because the one dimentional 45 yr old QB has done nothing but win his entire career? If Mahomes had the same results the fans like you would be coming up an negative excuse for him. Did you really believe bringing in Mayfield and a OC that hadn’t schemed schemed or called a NFL play in his career was going to take you to the promise land? Brady was top 1 to3 passing leaders in 2020 & 2021 and top 5 in 2022, not that easy to replace.

  15. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Dink and dunk never looked so good.

  16. NE Fan Says:

    Jack I’m a nomad, confused which shatty team is more interesting to follow. Both teams are drama filled.

  17. HC Grover Says:

    Next year and the year after. As for now….Ebhoy rge SUCK

  18. HC Grover Says:

    Bills are sucking air…Bucs could win this game if they blunder less than them.

  19. sasquatch Says:

    Hope they are able to identify and remedy all the failing elements in the running game in the offseason. They aren’t going anywhere this year.

  20. hammerhead Says:

    This is really a brilliant move from Bowles. Let the Bills THINK we will change our strategy from a run first to a pass first offense and then stick with the same old game plan to try and get the running game out of the doldrums. Send Mayfield out and drop this bomb. Brilliant!

  21. K_bassuka Says:

    Barker is not a franchise QB therefore he shouldn’t be playing. He is wasting the team talent looking for a payday.

  22. Beej Says:

    Baker certainly isn’t vintage Brady, but he’s in the top half of starting qb’s

  23. ATLBuc Says:

    Having a primary running scheme was the main reason for Starting Baker. If we’re switching to primary passing attack Trask should start

  24. Voice of Truth Says:

    Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while….

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘Rachaad White is really a misplaced slot receiver.’

    YES! Good hands, decent in the open field. Just catch the ball and run to daylight. (Not unlike the Mark Barron thing where he stunk as a safety with us, but did quite well as a LB with the Rams).

    BTW, Dave Canales was hired because of his extensive background with Seattle’s mostly ‘balanced’ attack, because that’s what Todd Bowles wanted to achieve here. Seattle was real heavy (greater than 50%) on the rushing side of the house during Russell Wilson’s early years (and did quite well then BTW), but they’ve tempered that in recent years (more towards 40%-45% rushing representing a more ‘balanced attack’).

    It seems obvious that’s what Canales has been trying to achieve here, even though we don’t really have the horses (RBs or interior OLine) to support a true rushing attack (balanced or otherwise).

    o In our 3 wins, Bucs ran 100 times for 307 yds (3.1 YPC). We had 203 plays total, so we ran on 49.3% of our plays (our opponents had 175 plays in comparison). Bucs scored 73 points in those 3 wins (24.3 PPG). Our opponents only scored 43 points in comparison (14.3 PPG).

    o In our 3 losses, Bucs ran only 53 times for 160 yds (3.0 YPC). We had 163 total plays, so we ran on only 32.5% of our plays (our opponents had 211 plays in comparison). Bucs scored 30 points in those 3 losses (10.0 PPG). Our opponents scored 61 points in comparison (20.3 PPG).

    Big difference between the wins & the losses obviously. Certainly the quality of the opponents was different, but that’s only a part of the story IMO. Kept looking at the poor performance of our offense as being the biggest issue, but our rushing attack was fairly consistently bad in both wins & losses.

    But in reality our defense didn’t do all that sterling against the Eagles, Lions & Falcons either. The dramatic difference in plays in our losses (MINUS 48 differential) versus our wins (PLUS 28) isn’t just on the offense; the defense gave up far too many big plays & all too often couldn’t get off the field. We’ve got a lot to work on for the remainder of this season it appears.

  26. PewterStiffArm Says:

    In between closeness there are things called wins. If we can’t get some wins sprinkled among our short-comings it’s going to be a long season. A season of hope followed by a deep sense of depression. I love my Bucs but we need to show that we have some cojones for the rest of the season, especially at RayJay where we stink.

  27. Marine Buc Says:

    Thank you Captain Obvious!!!!

  28. Hodad Says:

    Good luck depending on Mayfield to carry the team with his arm. last three games he’s thrown more picks then TD’s. Yeah, lets open it up .

  29. Bucs since 76 Says:

    The Bucs don’t have TE(s) or guards or a center that can run block. Also, our running backs do not run to daylight. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know the the only way we can run is to spread out the offensive formations to get the defense to stop putting 8 in the box. However, it took our brilliant coaches 6 games to figure that out. Wow!!!

  30. Duane in Sanford Says:

    They should strongly consider a no risk it offense. I thought passing to set up the run would be the way to go, but dink and dunk is too many passing attempts. Instead of wide sweeps or reverses to Thompkins, it really should be all go routes until he cant run anymore. Scooter changed the game with just one big play. I think Thompkins can make the catch and stay on his feet for the score.

  31. Defense Rules Says:

    Hodad … ‘Good luck depending on Mayfield to carry the team with his arm. last three games he’s thrown more picks then TD’s. Yeah, lets open it up.’

    I feel exactly the same way Hodad. I think Mayfield could’ve done Ok if supported by a strong defense & strong running game, but when those 2 falter, he doesn’t seem to be able to lift the team to victory. Not at all sure that Trask would do any better under these circumstances, but he did seem capable of executing the intermediate & deep passing game somewhat better than Mayfield, and if Baker gets buffaloed in Buffalo I’d prefer to see us give Kyle a shot in the next 4 games against the Texans, Titans, 49ers & Colts. If he doesn’t do any better, heck give Wolford a shot for the rest of the games.

  32. Canabuc Says:

    Screens toss sweeps
    These are the things we need to to get our runners in space since we can’t make holes for them.

  33. Bobby Says:

    Bowles and Baker are on the hotseats.

  34. Swanee22 Says:

    Bucs are a poorly managed team. Only delaying the inevitable…. After the Bills handily defeat buccaneers Thursday night, then Traske should be leading this team the remainder of the season. Do not resign Mike Evan’s and receive no less than a number 2 and number 3 draft pick. Build through high draft picks and clear the books of the numerous over compensated players. 6-11 this season , and 8-9 next season. By 2025 season the team will be projected to have 10 wins.

  35. SB~LV Says:

    The season started with a square peg and a round hole, the peg is nearly round now

  36. Joe Says:

    Its like an addiction for them. They cant help but call run plays.

    You may be closer than you think with this observation.

  37. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    Jason Licht owns the RBs and o line and the QB and Neal and all of it.

    The good-bye Todd and Jason parade is coming soon!

  38. David Says:

    Baker you are a trash qb. Please stop all these excuses for your poor performances with three losses at home. Please some one bench this pack of garbage.

  39. D Cone Says:

    If Baker was capable of going 35 of 45 for 378 and 2 TD’s I would be all for a pass first offense but you still have to attempt to run the ball. Oh yeah that’s 378 without his Number 1 Receiver.

    If Bucs go to a pass first offense INT’s and TD’s will be 1 to 1 within weeks. Vikings are now 3-4 and will be a Wild Card if not Division Champs. Start experimenting and not allow the offense to run it’s course and Bucs might end up clearing out the locker room early.

  40. RGA Says:

    A pass first team needs a passer. Mayfield ain’t it.

  41. Jeff Says:

    The Bucs have two weapons on offense. That’s it. One is aging out and the other has never been the same since a devastating injury two years ago. This is a garbage team that should be rebuilding.

  42. garro Says:

    Geez…Ya think?

    Question is can Baker carry tis team with his arm? Not with Canales calling the plays that he has benn. No way! Baker needs to start hitting open recievers as well.

    Go Bucs!

  43. BucU Says:

    Maybe they should try playing pissed off?
    Oh wait. They’ve tried that. Back to the drawing board.

  44. Tampa2ATL Says:

    “a white cane in the other arm.” – best line of the year so far

  45. Daniel Z Says:

    Sticking to a running game isn’t the problem, it’s sticking to THIS running game. Mostly interior runs with a tight defensive box, typically on 1st down. Way too predictable, and one of the buggest issues from last year. They need to keep defenses off balance and prevent them from stacking into a tight box on obvious run plays. Open defensive fronts with motion and spread sets, and use counters or screens to punish defenders for over-committing. If they don’t have to worry about losing containment because you never run outside, edge defenders will feast on those interior runs.