Dave Canales (Again) Takes Blame For Chris Godwin’s Use

December 8th, 2023

Addressing Chris Godwin touches.

Look, Joe likes Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales. Really good dude. And he’s a sneaky good quarterback coach.

(People left Baker Mayfield for dead. He’s OK this year, maybe close to a career year for him. And the progress Kyle Trask made in six weeks between minicamp and training camp was absolutely extraordinary. To this day Joe believes the Bucs kidnapped the real Trask. And Geno Smith has regressed in Seattle without Canales.)

But the thing that drives Joe to chug Big Storm Brewing beers over Canales is his rigid, unshakeable belief that he can force the run game to work. He may be right — after 12 weeks?! — but at what cost? This fetish for running to nowhere may have Pearl Harbored the Bucs this year.

You know, why throw to a Pro Bowl receiver like Chris Godwin when you can run Chase Edmonds between the tackles for three yards?

Canales has been asked repeatedly for months about Godwin and Canales always says he needs to do a better job getting Godwin the ball. In fact, maybe for the first time last week, Canales seemed to get a little frustrated with the subject. Canales ordinarily is a constant ray of sunshine. Dude is high on life.

Yesterday, in the wake of Mariah Godwin unloading on Bucs coach Todd Bowles about her husband’s use, Canales again addressed getting Godwin the ball. The difference was, Canales seemed much more adamant it will be resolved.

“What a huge reminder for me, right?” Canales said about Mariah Godwin’s Instagram stories posts.

“The guy is just magic with the ball. I have to do a better job. I come up here and say it every week – I’m not satisfied with how we’re using Chris in our offense. He’s a huge part of what we do.

“Again, just speaking to that point, a lot of the ways we get the ball [out] quick has been going a lot to Trey [Palmer] and to ‘D.T.’ (Deven Thompkins). Some of those things that are designed to them, Chris [can do].

“He’s averaging about 10 yards when we get him the ball behind the line of scrimmage on things that he’s done well in the past. I’ve got to be more aware of spreading those types of touches out because he does have such a knack with the ball after the catch.”

Here’s the common sense: Godwin is a former Pro Bowl receiver. He has a ring. He knows how to produce. Hell, he may have been Tom Brady’s favorite target. That should tell you something.

Thompkins, nice guy that he is and hard worker — all great for college and high school ball — is a No. 4 receiver (on a 5-7 team) for a reason.

If Godwin can do the same things as Thompkins on certain passes as Canales said, why in the world would anyone prefer a little dude like Thompkins when Godwin is one of the more physical and proven receivers in the game?

Sometimes Joe thinks NFL coaches on both sides of the ball want to try so many things that make them look smarter than the other guy. They overthink things way too much and forget common sense. You know, can’t see the forest for the trees?

Now that the usage of Godwin has boiled over thanks to Mariah Godwin, and Mike Evans has his record of 10 straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons secured, hopefully, a common sense approach to offense returns to the Bucs this Sunday.

38 Responses to “Dave Canales (Again) Takes Blame For Chris Godwin’s Use”

  1. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Canales is a nice guy covering for his starting QB’s failures.

  2. Onetrickpony Says:

    Or covering for his boss

  3. Boss Says:

    We all knew lovie would hire a yes man……

    but dang……this is a whole new level.

  4. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Keep falling on that sword, Canales.

  5. Jack Clark Says:

    Baker Mayfield is a one read quarterback. Mike Evans is his first read. So all Baker throws to is Mike Evans. And if Mike Evan is not open, Baker throws to the running back. That’s why out of Baker’s 29 pass attempts last week, 12 of them went to Mike Evans and 5 of them went Rachaad White. Nobody got more targets than Mike Evans or the running back. In our last 12 games, Baker Mayfield has scored 18 touchdowns and turned the ball over 15 times BECAUSE HE IS AVERAGE AT BEST. We need to start playing Kyle Trask so we have a better chance of making the playoffs.

  6. FortMyersDave Says:

    Canales is taking one for the whole team. Baker is not the solution for the 2023 Bucs but he is also not the problem why the team is losing, it is Bowels and his conservative desire to win games 13-10 with the offense holding the ball on 70 plays eating up 35 minutes so his D does not get exhausted, though the gag job in Houston does show everyone that the D is mega-vulnerable and thus perhaps throwing some points on the board might be preferable to just running clock and hoping the D does not grab its ankles like it did vs the ATL and Houston.

    Anyhow, Baker has recognized that ME13 can score, you can’t knock the guy for going to the well when most of the play calling from Canales is well below average. Nothing against Godwin but push comes to shove, who would you throw the ball to with the game on the line: ME13 or Godwin? Sorry Chris but Mike is the man, you are a very good slot WR who has been misused by a bad coaching staff and ME13 is going to be wearing a gold jacket from Canton one day.

    Anyhow I hope Godwin gets 7 catches, 150 yards and 2 TDs vs the ATL but that will not happen as Bucs on the road since the Saints game has equaled finding a way to lose with Bowels running the show.

  7. bob in valrico Says:

    Canales has admitted what my eye test saw with the third and fourth receiver
    getting targets that could go to Chris. Here’s one I couldn’t believe. Two games ago Ko Keift ran an intermediate pattern downfield early in game. I like the kid
    but I think he is being he is not being used properly. He likes to block, he should be given snaps as H back or fullback and his pass catching needs developing.

  8. Senor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    The real blame here is on Bowles.

    Bowles, the HC, is either ignoring this, or (way more likely) pushing the running agenda. This is no different than when Koetter ignored Mike Smith’s hugely terrible defense. I just do not understand how coaches, that are paid so much money, do not see what everyone else on the friggin planet sees.

  9. WyomingJoe Says:

    It’s quite evident that Trask is not the solution this year and certainly not in the future. If he was then Baker would never have been signed. Joe writes that Trask’s improvement from minicamp to training camp has been “absolutely extraordinary.” Seriously? I think that Joe is either her trying to calm the Cult of Kyle or excite them into becoming more delusional then they already are.

  10. SB~LV Says:

    Blah blah blah …

  11. Allen Lofton Says:

    Sunday will tell the story. Bowles is a run first believer, which continues to be his approach in 2023. If it’s the same old story on Sunday, you have your answer.

    If the Bucs want to change that mentality, they have to fire Todd Bowles and replace him with an Offensive minded coach.

  12. Legendary Scout Says:

    She didn’t unload about Godwin’s use, she was pissed about Bowles straight up lying about him and his snap counts. And she was right and brought the receipts. He either lied or was talking out of his ass. Either case shows that he is a clown who needs to be canned.

  13. realistic-optimistic Says:

    In 84 career games, Baker has thrown for fewer than 250 yards 60 times! Fewer than 200 yards 32 times! But he’s offset that with 11 career 300 yard games. HoF numbers right there.

    45% win rate before Tampa
    42% win rate in Tampa

  14. SB~LV Says:

    Legendary is CORRECT!

  15. stpetebucfan Says:

    I agree with all who think we run it too much with too little firepower in the RB’s and OL. I also agree completely CG14 should get more targets.

    For the few objective (no Trask nuthuggers please) posters here, it seems to me most of CG’s targets have been on outs. I do not recall him going right over the middle like he used to do. Perhaps a conscious decision to save his body by the Buc’s coaching braintrust.

    Whatever…this is all whining about the past and we know about that already!

    But how about going forward? The two so called “crappy” teams in the Buc’s division actually have good defenses. The Panthers are ranked 7th in the league! Of course that had NO bearing on the Bucs difficulty scoring.#BlameitonBaker.

    The Falcons are not far behind in 10th! So while fans here deride Ridder and the Panthers rookie QB they do actually have good defenses!!! For comparison the Bucs are the 27th ranked defense!! The Bucs do have one bright spot. Despite giving up yardage like a Dale Mabry hooker gives up the pooch, they have done a good job in keeping other teams out of the end zone. The Bucs have only given up 25TD’s but the Falcons are good there as well..22 TD’s.

    We can go to the #blameitonbaker right now since the Falcons at home will not give up TD’s easily.

    And so what does all this about CG14 add to the mix? Falcon DC Ryan Nielson can largely ignore runs between the tackles…he will absolutely ACCOUNT for ME13! He’ll be aware of White out of the backfield. And NOW he’s going to know the Bucs are pressured to get CG14 touches! Think with a stud D he’s going to account for that?

    So who will be open? Palmer, Thompkins and Cade Otton. Do we trust them to hang on to the ball. Can we get THEM touches while still targeting ME and CG?
    If we ignore them does that end up with #blameitonbaker required to FORCE the ball to ME and CG? Just asking.

  16. Bobby M. Says:

    He, like Bowles, is in over his head. I knew when established OCs were passing on the job that this would be a problem. I believe Canales was the 12th candidate? He got interviewed by one team….the Bucs. Bowles wanted someone that would follow orders no matter how incompetent the strategy and then conveniently be able to blame the OCs lack of experience. Bowles #1 priority has been job security. With Arians out of the league, Bowles has to make his defense look capable. Ultimately getting rehired as a DC for another coach is how he keeps getting checks. Bowles has never been about winning….he coaches to preserve his defense so it looks way more effective than it actually is.

  17. Cobraboy Says:

    This entire Godwin issue is self-inflicted and a direct result of crap coaching.

    Canales was supposed to be some savant with an other-world way of getting guys open and running the ball in zone schemes.

    He ain’t done crap more than Flat Brim did. Now ~that~ is a felony indictment.

    He’s a bargain-basement hire because the entire NFL knows Bowles was done before this season started, and nobody wanted to sink on that ship with him.

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    @Bobby M: Bowles is not over his head. He’s just a crap HC.

    Thanks, Bruce Arians!

  19. pancake block Says:

    Why throw to Godwin on a quick 10 yard slant or a bubble screen when we can hand off for a no gain scrum?

  20. Jack Sparrow Says:

    It’s hard for the QB to distribute the ball if he is always on his back or being chase by an unblock 250 pounder defensive guy. Fix the OL.

  21. Bosch Says:

    It is time for Canales to put up or shut up.

  22. dmatt Says:

    Godwin had 104 catches and over 1000 yds last year. If it ain’t broken, why meddle with it unless u bring the new (kid) OC on the block in and instruct him to make unnecessary changes. Did Canales mean to say…”I’m not satisfied with how Coach Bowles is using Chris in our offense”. That makes more sense to me.

  23. SB~LV Says:

    If you think that the college football portal system is something
    Just wait and see what happens in the NFL and the unofficial portal system.
    Bob Dylan said it best
    The Times they are a changing!

  24. UKBuccaneer Says:

    Jack Clark Says:
    BECAUSE HE IS AVERAGE AT BEST. We need to start playing Kyle Trask so we have a better chance of making the playoffs.


    If BM is average (and statistically he’s a bit better than that, but we’ll go with it), then we have to assume that half of QB’s abet better than him and half aren’t.

    So where is the evidence that Trask gives us a better chance of making the playoffs?

    I think that even if Trask’s ceiling is higher than BM (and I’m not sure it is), then it’s still asking too much for a guy who’s essentially a rookie to come in and perform above BM’s level off the bat.

  25. First Last Says:


    I think Baker Mayfield will ball out this next game now that Mike got his 1,000 yard. This was needed to get the team fired up in my opinion. Hopefully the team thinks, “wtf are we doing, why aren’t we getting Godwin the ball and why aren’t we winning.” Maybe just maybe that happens and then the Bucs beat the Falcons 34-3. One can hope, but I think this is just the type of thing to get Todd Bowels worked up. TB and DC will have heard so much of this that they will hopefully prove everyone wrong!

  26. Ed McSherry Says:

    Quote- “Sometimes Joe thinks NFL coaches on both sides of the ball want to try so many things that make them look smarter than the other guy. They overthink things way too much and forget common sense. You know, can’t see the forest for the trees?” End Quote

    Yes, without a doubt this is the situation with Bowles/canales, but saying the cause of it is due to “overthinking” seems way beyond being kind.

    It’s due to stupidity.

    I’ve been wondering since Canales has begun whether he even knows the team well enough to be in control of the plays-called. The enthusiasm for this year was primarily based upon the fortunate situation of the Buccaneers having two elite receivers (one at least, HOF) in Mike and Chris.

    So, what could be the explanation for Canales obsession for plays using back-up receivers, especially in critical-play-situations within any given game all year?

    Even if he gave it an “overthought,” not using your best players if your goal is to win games, is spectacularly stupid

    Maybe he doesn’t know who the best players are. For a paid Offensive Coordinator, is that also not pretty stupid?

    Canales answer to this question, that’s finally being asked, clearly shows that he doesn’t know WTF he’s doing.

  27. WiseCrack Says:

    WOW, @stpetebucfan has already laid the framework for the excuses why Baker sucked again this week.

    Everyone needs to take a look at what @realistic-optimistic has been sharing. Those are the FACTs and STATs that a Baker lead team can expect from him.

    Meanwhile. Winston has one season of 30ints while producing nearly 5000 yards of passing a season and he sucks.

    Wait, INTs are what everyone wants to look at. NEWS FLASH, Baker leads the league in INTs since he has been in the league. FACE PALMING FOR REAL.

  28. Jack Clark Says:

    UKBuccaneer Says:
    December 8th, 2023 at 11:18 am
    If BM is average (and statistically he’s a bit better than that, but we’ll go with it), then we have to assume that half of QB’s abet better than him and half aren’t. So where is the evidence that Trask gives us a better chance of making the playoffs? I think that even if Trask’s ceiling is higher than BM (and I’m not sure it is), then it’s still asking too much for a guy who’s essentially a rookie to come in and perform above BM’s level off the bat.

    Well then by your own logic if half the quarterbacks in the league are better than Baker Mayfield then there’s a 50% Trask is better than him too 😂 And you think throwing two touchdowns and one turnover is too much to ask from Kyle Trask? Lmao that’s all Baker Mayfield is doing and why we have a losing record. At least with Kyle Trask there’s a 50/50 chance he can score more points than Baker Mayfield’s sorry as.

    BTW Baker Mayfield statistically is AVERAGE AT BEST because he’s:
    14th in total passing yards, 2790
    14th in total touchdown passes, 18
    14th in total interceptions, 8
    26th in completion percentage, 63.6%
    26th in yards per passing attempt, 6.8
    24th in total wins, 5

  29. BillyBucco Says:

    I noticed in game 1 against the Vikings when Canales tried to throw Ko Kieft 2 balls on the first 3 and out he was going to over think things.
    He uses his players like chess pieces and that doesn’t work. You have to get into a rhythm and STAY ahead to be a good OC.
    Its not like he is gonna figure out something NOBODY else has thought of.
    Im believing more and more he is the perfect YES man for Todd Bowles.
    Nobody on this team outside ME was ever going to have a good year because ME is the #1 read and Baker CANT go through his progressions quickly.
    It’s really pretty simple to say why this team is bad.

  30. David Says:

    I warned you all, Baker is intentionally kissing up to Mike E. and is a lot easier for him to go through his first option than see other reads no matter what. He is a trash.

  31. Duane in Sanford Says:

    Still think its a down year for CG. Now, if we are just going to throw him all the passes that ME13 got, maybe that gets him right, but does it win games if its all about Baker being a one read guy? We got a lot of grown men talking, and still not one of them is producing.

  32. RustyRhinos Says:

    Thank you, Coach Canales. That is what “leaders do” accept accountability for the results accomplished. Whether it is their fault or not. You accept that you are the main person in charge and acknowledge your faults.

    We all know and see daily how our former national Leader the former CIC places blame at anyone else’s feet besides his own. It is always someone else’s fault. That is not “Leadership”. If you are not able to accept the fact you are in charge and that YOU are the main person who has to show leadership responsibility, you are in my humble opinion not a leader.

    GO!!!!! BUCS!!!!!

  33. sasquatch Says:

    Canales was hired to run the ball. He’s doing what Todd wants.

  34. Bee Says:


  35. Ed McSherry Says:

    Just to go over what Canales actually said at the press conference:

    Canales answer to Chris Godwin having no targets (or technically, just one) in this last game is that (paraphrase), he thinks in retrospect that he could have had Chis more involved because he has skills that matched the need for beating the opposition in this particular game.

    That shows that Canales is clueless and just using after-the-fact “weasel-words.”

    Why? because he’s (canales) saying that Chris Godwin’s contributions arenecessarily tied to situational-circustances.

    The reality:
    Chris Godwin is far from a “situational-player;” he’s an elite receiver who obviously should be in action continuously for all circumstances; he’s the #2 receiver who could be the #1 receiver on other teams.

    Canales is either too “under-knowledgeable” too stupid to realize that Chris Godwin is one of the best two receivers on the team, and it’s Palmer and Tomkins who should be used situationally; and those situations should be limited to when the team has a big lead, not in critical plays that can dictate the momentum of the game and affect the chances of winning the game.

  36. steele Says:

    The answer is that Canales, Bowles both are responsible. It’s their game planning.It’s their agreed upon (ineffective and ineffectively executed) run-first emphasis. Also responsible is their emphasis on feeding Evans, thanks in part to Evans grumbling.

    Godwin was the number one WR on this team when Brady was QB, and Godwin showcased the fact that he was one of the best in the game. He has been overtly demoted since injury, and it has not helped that Canales is apparently unfamiliar with the talent on the roster.

  37. Jack Clark Says:

    We only have 85 yards of total offense because Mike Evans is getting double team and Baker Mayfield is a one read quarterback

  38. Jack Clark Says:

    Chris Godwin has the most targets today, 4, so far today because he got his way 😆