So That’s A Balanced Offense

December 17th, 2023

Mike Leach and Todd Bowles.

In Joe’s mind, one of the laziest if not empty-headed football axioms is, “We want a balanced attack.”

No! You do not want a balanced attack. You want an aggressive attack that scores points. If that means running the ball, good. If that means passing the ball, good. Whatever works, you lean on that until the defense demonstrates it can stop you.

It fries Joe’s mind why any coach would want to go away from something that is working just because you haven’t run the ball enough (or passed the ball enough.) This “balanced offense” drives Joe wild. It makes Joe want to clothesline a coach.

That brings Joe to a story that involves Todd Bowles and Mike Leach. The two couldn’t be more different. Bowles mostly is a play-it-safe, run-the-ball defensive-minded coach.

Leach, who passed away last December, was a maverick with an outgoing personality and a guy who seemed allergic to running the ball.

Leach’s offenses were legendary, and it’s no exaggeration to say Leach changed the game. His influence with his “Air Raid” offense can be felt throughout the NFL even though he never coached in the NFL.

One of Joe’s favorite football quotes came from Leach about balanced offenses.

“There’s nothing balanced about 50 percent run, 50 percent pass, because that’s 50 percent stupid,” Leach groaned.  “Now, what is balanced is when you have five skill positions … if all five of them are contributing to the offensive effort in a somewhat equal fashion, then that’s balanced.”

That brings Joe to Bowles and the Bucs.

Joe remembers back at the combine in February when Bucs coach Todd Bowles appeared on the “Ira Kaufman Podcast.” Joe asked him about a balanced offense and Leach’s take: That a balanced offense was not 50 percent run and 50 percent pass, but dishing the ball equally to your playmakers.

Bowles fully agreed with Leach (which frankly shocked Joe). Today was a perfect example of what Leach preached and Bowles defended.

Chris Godwin seemed to agree as well.

“Dave was calling some good plays,” Godwin said of his offensive coordinator, Dave Canales. “The ball was going all over the place. A lot of guys popped up that made a lot of plays for us.”

It’s hard to argue with Godwin. When is the last time the Bucs had so many key plays from so many players on offense? The Super Bowl win over the Chiefs, maybe? Mike Evans, David Moore (David Moore?!), Rachaad White, Trey Palmer, Cade Otton, Ko Kieft, Godwin — that’s what you call spreading the ball around.

Somewhere in football heaven, if there is such a thing, Leach is smiling down on what Bowles’ Bucs did on offense today.

16 Responses to “So That’s A Balanced Offense”

  1. realistic-optimistic Says:

    The goal is to keep the other team off-balance. That makes it much easier to move the chains, and score points.

  2. Zzbucs Says:

    Stupid debate period

  3. Truth5 Says:

    AMEN! Again please be the new normal. Please for the love of God be the new normal.

  4. Tye Says:

    MEGA KUDOS to Canales and the offense for this win!

    Next week will be interesting…
    Saints play Rams Thursday night so if the Saints lose, no pressure on the Bucs Sunday…
    Falcons play the Colts at 12 and if they lose, the Bucs position will improve before they even play the game…

    Bucs play the Jags at 3 which is a possible win for the Bucs and if the other 2 teams have lost their games (which I predict) the Bucs take sole place in the NFCS division…

  5. Jack Clark Says:

    *Bows down and kisses Baker Mayfield’s feet for throwing 4 touchdown passes today*

    I’m sorry for disrespecting you your highness 😂

  6. ElioT Says:

    Stupid article. WTH are you talking about?

    Drink some water and get some sleep.

  7. ElioT Says:

    We know which J put together this road Apple of an article.

  8. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Mayfield was terrific today- other than his 1st quarter holding the ball too long gaffe, his decisions and accuracy were great

  9. Irishmist Says:

    It felt good to see Ko get that TD, he’s been having a rough year. You could tell how happy he was. I think FB is more his position than TE.

  10. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    RIP Mike Leach. One of my favorite college football coaches of all time. He loved his kids and he always had an incredibly innovative offense.

  11. D Cone Says:

    Before today 2934 Passing with 1476 of those YAC. More than 50% yards come after the catch.
    1458/274 Comp. Is Average pass of 5.3.and that’s with a few real long passes figured in.
    Bucs have lived and will die due to the screens and short passes in front of the linebackers.
    Best game as a Unit today and they proved that they can win more than 6.5 games this season.

  12. orlbucfan Says:

    The usual bunch of negative yahoos, This was a decisive win, too.

  13. gotbbucs Says:

    The only problem with scoring enough points to get a two score lead with Bowles calling the defense is that on the ensuing series he immediately drops his corners off nine yards and goes into turtle mode.
    Today was finally a game we’re we had a decent lead and we could have pinned our ears back and gone after the QB, and instead he starts dropping Diaby and Nelson into zone flat coverage. He just can’t get out of his own way and let these guys turn up the heat.

  14. Beeej Says:

    I’m starting to get that vibe that we had post bye-week of Super Bowl season

  15. BelleGladeBuc Says:


    Mike Leach is one of the greatest offensive minds in the history of football alongside Mumme, and his impact on all levels of football is gigantic.

    Mesh/God’s play, Shallow, 6, 8. Larry/Randy and Lisa/Rita just to name a few of his favorite plays.

    Leach believed that you “Swing Your Sword” by calling plays that get the ball to your best players in a way that sets them up to do what they do best.

    That philosophy is what every OC should follow.

    Thank you for mentioning Mike Leach @Joe, and God rest his soul.

  16. Joe Says:


    You are welcome and totally agree!