Liam Coen: Running Game “Is Priority No. 1”

February 6th, 2024

Todd Bowles

Todd Bowles is saluting his new offensive coordinator today.

Liam Coen sang Bowles’ favorite song.

The chorus goes like this, Run the ball. Run the ball. Oh, my, let’s run the ball. Run it if it works. Run it if it don’t. Run the ball.

Coen was asked about reviving the Tampa Bay rushing attack on WDAE radio today. Hosts Jay Recher and Zac Blobner were kind enough not to remind him that the 2023 Bucs were the first team since the 2006 Cardinals to have consecutive seasons ranking last in yards per carry.

“It’s Priority No. 1. It’s always been Priority No. 1 at every stop I’ve been,” Coen said of running the football.

“You go back to [the University of] Maine, we had a freshman [that] led the country in rushing, Josh Mack. And then you go to Kentucky and we’re second in the SEC in rushing in 2021. We want to run the ball. It’s about balance. We want to be explosive in both the run and the pass. But hey, how do we get running into better looks? How do we change the math on the defense? Put ourselves in advantageous spots to be able to, you know, maybe it’s one or two playcalls that we’re calling that we can end up in good positions to run the football. … It’ll be a huge focus point when we get here all together.”

Obviously, running the ball well is a great thing. Teams can’t pass every down or wide receivers would get worn out and lose effectiveness. Joe is sure Mike Evans doesn’t want to run 60 sprints a game.

Joe is not anti-run, but this Buccaneers team as constructed is built to pass.

Now if the Bucs’ new offensive line coach gets Tristan Wirfs run blocking like he did early in his career, and the Bucs add an impressive running back and better run scheming, then Joe will be all in favor of making running the ball “Priority No. 1.”

For now, Joe prefers it as Priority No. 2

33 Responses to “Liam Coen: Running Game “Is Priority No. 1””

  1. Ethan Says:

    There goes Baker.

  2. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Who cares????

    Let Baker walk and get paid


  3. sasquatch Says:

    He talks about getting the ball into the hands of his playmakers. He knows who those guys are. I expect this version of the offense to be less predictable, but people are going to complain any time they run on 1st down.

  4. Popcorn Mike Says:

    I listened to Coen today and to me he didn’t say run run it was more of we will run the ball but the offense will be 50/50 run pass. One other thing I got from him today was, he wants to build the offense around what his play makers do best and that’s individually for Evans, Godwin, Mayfield and White. Also sounds like he gonna try to keep the offense from being predictable at all time

  5. SB~LV Says:

    So… a new center

  6. FrontFour Says:

    Like it. Run baby run!

  7. All_da_way Says:

    Bucs need a new C, new LG, new TE and that should be enough with new run blocking scheme to improve. Add another RB to pair with White too.

    Bucs need to throw all their marbles to improve every aspect of the running game this off season.

  8. adam from ny Says:

    so 1,500 yards for rachaad next season…?

    i would think so…….maybe more…

    watch out mccaffery

  9. adam from ny Says:

    i’d like to see them hang onto edmonds in the room as well…

    he was kind of reliable when called on, and a bit of a change of pace from rb1

  10. Curse of Gruden Says:

    As long as they run it up the middle on first down, we should be fine.

  11. gp Says:

    Shore would be nice to have a big bruising full back in the stable for White to run behind.
    300+lbs of quick, agile, able to catch, with some experience running it too.
    Now where could we find someone like that?

  12. Tye Says:

    Its a double edge sword….
    If Bowels run philosophy fails (which much of this season it did), we will FINALLY be free of this failed HC and the Bucs will finally be in position to go get a quality/winning HC!

    If he can somehow produce a successful Offense, the the Bucs should at least stay above water and get .500 or better…

    Although, Worst case scenario, be another season like this one: just good enough so you can’t justify firing Bowles but bad enough you know the Bucs can’t be more than mediocre with him running things!

  13. Murph Says:

    Why almost every thread is used by posters to wish for the failure of the head coach is mind boggling. They should turn their misplaced and juvenile hatred towards someone into a more positive outlook.

  14. RiggedNFL Says:

    Running the ball effectively sets up the play action pass.

    Unfortunately you need a QB that is accurate beyond 20 yards.

  15. Pickgrin Says:

    Bucs need better players at Center and LG as well as a TE who is very good at blocking.

    THEN we could be a good running team.

    Even stellar Xs and Os have a hard time overcoming a lack of Jimmys and Joes….

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    gp- Read my mind! Give me a FB!

  17. stpetebucfan Says:

    Different ways can work in the NFL

    3 of the 5 top rushing teams…Baltimore, SF, and Detroit made the final four. One is in the SB.

    OTOH the Chiefs were 19th. Bills 7th Eagles 8th.

    Some teams that ran were stinkers…Bears 2nd place Cardinals 4th.

    Running is no guarantee of success, but more of the successful teams had top run games than did not. The exception of course is KC at 19th. Can you say Mahomes?

    It’s not about running. Its about running well! The Bucs SUCKED…LAST FREAKING PLACE! Coen has nowhere to go but up.

  18. HC Grover Says:

    Dust off Ray Perkins playbook for some good plays to call.

  19. Dave Pear Says:

    Interested to see who our new OL coaches are, who the new O-linemen will be, and who we can get to be the thunder to Rachaad’s Lightning.

  20. Heath Hunt Says:

    There is already enough in place on the OL for the running game to be successful. Most good running teams are not based on 5 dominant run blocking lineman. It’s timing, execution, play selection etc. If the best player on the board is an IOL in Round 1 or 2 by all means take him but it’s not a must have that early.

  21. beeej Says:

    “HC Grover Says:
    February 6th, 2024 at 10:32 pm
    Dust off Ray Perkins playbook for some good plays to call.”

    I remember that (season?) We started out hot, running traps with Gary Anderson. Sadly, they all figured it out

  22. Jack Clark Says:

    No! Bowles has already corrupted our new OC 😩

  23. Bucfan79 Says:

    LoL, this is not a run the ball type league anymore. And proof again Bowles, wants to prioritize running the ball when the BUCS don’t have the O-line or RB’s that are capable of producing in this league. Not to mention the BUCS were dead last in rushing. But yeah let’s keep beating that dead horse running game. Maybe they’ll be 30th next season.

  24. garro Says:

    OHH NOO!

    More “Balance” BS. How about we score more points than the other guys? No matter how we do it.

    Go Bucs!

  25. SlyPirate Says:

    He should try running up the middle every 1st down. It works great.

  26. BucU Says:

    “”As long as they run it up the middle on first down, we should be fine.””

    Hahaha that was a good one bro!

  27. Marky Mark Says:

    Draft the all american RB out of Missouri

  28. Jeffs grandpa Says:

    Fantasy land gp

  29. Bucfan Says:

    Sounds like Bowles will STILL be calling the plays.

  30. Marky Mark Says:

    Name dropping the Maine Black Bears is not helpfull unless you coached the Hockey team

  31. Davenport Says:

    Welcome to the 3rd Todd Bowles puppet.
    Passing is the strength of this team – the playmakers. But let’s continue to push the weakness.

    On to 2025….

  32. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    TheBucsAnthem Says:
    February 6th, 2024 at 7:54 pm

    “Who cares????

    Let Baker walk and get paid


    The above is presented as the idiocy post of the day. New OL post degenerates into a Trask (who?) fantasy.

  33. D Cone Says:

    Run the Ball isn’t a Bowles thing.

    Of the 4 teams in Championship Games

    Baltimore passed 50.08 % and ranked 32nd (fewest passes) 1st in Rushing
    S.F. 51.82& and ranked 30th 3rd in Rushing
    Lions 56.55 and ranked 21st 5th in Rushing
    K.C. 60.24 and ranked 7th 19th in Rushing

    Of the top 10 pass heavy teams only KC made the playoffs and Maholmes has dominated in the Screen pass game since 2018. Mostly by drawing the rush deep into the backfield and buying time to have secondary’s get farther down field.

    Bucs were ranked 14th and barely made the playoffs. 32nd in Rushing

    Folks that are down on Bowles because he hires coaches that want to be proficient at running the ball helps me understand their desire to keep Mayfield. Box of Rocks.