“Ground Zero” Reminder

April 4th, 2024

Opening day is in five months and the Bucs’ offense will be flying high on Day 1. Right?

Todd Bowles threw cold water on that optimism recently with the sober reminder that the Bucs have a brand new offensive coordinator with a new system.  Yeah, folks love saying the concepts Liam Coen brings will be similar to those of departed playcaller Dave Canales, but that’s only in theory. It doesn’t factor in what Coen finds to be the strengths of the Bucs’ attack.

“It’s good we have familiar faces for them to work together but the offensive system is different and regardless whether you bring everybody back or some people back, you have to start from ground zero,” Bowles said.

He added that many players being familiar with each other helps in knowing “some of the buttons to push,” but it’s still a new offense and a new year.

Joe isn’t down about the Bucs needing to adjust to a new coordinator. Joe has a sneaky suspicion that Coen is a significantly more talented and innovative playcaller than Canales.

But is Coen the same kind of leader of men that Canales was? That’s unclear.

30 Responses to ““Ground Zero” Reminder”

  1. Lt. Dan Says:

    Hmm…I read on this here corner of the interwebs, both Coen and Mayfield saying the concepts will be similar to Canales’s, but the verbiage won’t be exactly the same. Additionally, I recall Coen saying he will keep what worked and what the players liked. With all of the offseason to go yet – I can’t see there being a huge learning curve.

  2. matmartin Says:

    A lot will stand and fall with the state of the interior offensive line.

    If that area is not improved, especially in terms of run blocking, Coen can introduce the prettiest most well coordinated scheme in the world. It won’t make a difference.

    The big boys up front have to deliver enough push to make it work and the last two years they didn’t.

  3. HC Grover Says:

    I am waiting for the Super Bowl hype in a couple months.

  4. stpetebucfan Says:

    I liked Canalas. I think he will continue to be a good coach but his success IMO was not based on scheming. He’s an inspirational leader, he’s comfortable in his own skin so he takes input, he’s a decent human being.

    But innovative play designer or playcaller? I just didn’t see it. Somebody please give me some specific examples of Canalas “scheming” guys open? I’m not trying to be nasty but genuinely curious. Canalas brought all the I’s the Intangibles, the ENERGY in spades, the positivity…everything BUT clever play design and calls.

    Coen also seems like a great high energy guy. I hope he’s a far better technician or strategist than Canales.

  5. SlyPirate Says:

    I still marvel at Carolina signing Canales.

    0 Years as Head Coach (any level)
    1 Year OC

    He produced the 19th Ranked Offense with 32nd Ranked Rush. Including a must win, 9-point performance against Carolina in Week 18.

    Why would you sign that guy to be your HC?

    Glad they did.

  6. PSL Bob Says:

    stpetebucfan, I like your perspective. Let’s hope Coen can motivate his players as well as Canales and deliver a more innovative offensive scheme. We’ll be cooking with gas then. Or should I say baking?

  7. unbelievable Says:

    It did seem like many players appreciated that Canales was always positive and basically a motivational speaker.

    If Coen has a very different personality from that, which I’m guessing he does, I just hope that doesn’t turn any players off / lead to them tuning him out. That would be very unfortunate.

  8. heyjude Says:

    It sounds like Todd doesn’t want to over-hype anything yet. Playing it conservatively and then we are all happily surprised. If Coen is more innovative we should see competitive changes for the wins.

  9. Trask To The Future Says:


  10. ATLBUC Says:

    stpetebucfan I will have to disagree with you a bit. I think the receivers, especially Evans, were open a lot more than with Leftwich

  11. Lt. Dan Says:

    @Trask To The Future: that was a moronic statement. I just dropped a G on the over. I’m not really interested in gambling but that seems like a safe bet. I just want enough money for beer and dinner.

  12. Dave Pear Says:

    Earth to Todd – you are the head coach. You have every opportunity to require the offensive players to do extra work, extra studying, extra work-throughs, to learn the system. Take some damn accountability for excellence for once, instead of embracing mediocrity. Jayzus Chreist.

  13. Bucben61 Says:

    Trask To The Future Says:
    April 4th, 2024 at 4:45 pm

    What was your prediction last year…. enough said

  14. Pickgrin Says:

    Carolina hiring Canales after only 1 year as OC of a somewhat floundering offense is definitely a mind twister.

    I guess its indicative of the desperate desire by so many franchises to find the next young, creative offensive mind as your Head Coach.

    I think unfortunately for Carolina, Dave Canales is more Tony Robbins than Andy Reed though.

    And for that reason – I believe we will see more creativity, more clever scheming and a much better overall offense with Liam Coen calling the shots than what we had last year under Canales….

  15. Crickett Baker Says:

    I’m still waiting for Liam to do a press conference. And waiting…
    I want to hear what he has to say.

    I agree with Canals being motivational (et.al.) but he also poached our experienced coaches and probably absorbed much of our strategies. I am worried about the Panthers.

  16. A Bucs Fan Says:

    The Bucs will either break historical trends with a playoff berth this season or return to their historical norm of 3-4 playoff appearances within 5 years with 12-15 years of misery in between.

  17. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Trask To The Future Says:
    April 4th, 2024 at 4:45 pm
    Sorry, I’m not taking advice from someone who loves the backup, and has a loser mentality.

  18. SlyPirate Says:

    Predicting Bucs Win-Loss
    NFCS 6 Games

    Non-Comference Opponents

    Finish 9-7

    Does 9-7 win the NFCS?
    Atlanta doesn’t have the cupcake schedule they had last year, so I think it does.

  19. Pickgrin Says:

    Sly – there’s 17 games now – not 16.

    And yes -10-7 DOES win the NFC South this year.

    But the Bucs are going to win 11 games so it won’t matter….

  20. Buccos Says:

    The Bucs should have more confidence this year having come so close to the NFC Championship game last year.They proved all of their doubters wrong along the way. They know they have a legit QB who plays better in crunch time. The different verbiage in the play calling shouldn’t affect them much. Their window is open, they just have a tougher schedule

  21. BakerFan Says:

    No built in excuses… setting the bar low will not save anyone’s job.

  22. HC Grover Says:

    The Quest for 9-8. That is their goal.

  23. Buc4evr Says:

    I think Coen will look at what Canales did and realize that it won’t work with this team. He needs to be more aggressive in the passing game and take advantage of the opportunities. Canales never schemed against the other team’s defense very well.

    I really believe that if Jason can get a decent center and guard and a few decent edge rushers, this team will be a lot better than last year.

  24. Keepitabean Says:

    Keep it a bean (to be honest) talent at skill positions saved playcalling. We all knew what was coming. Even that 4th and 1 vs. ATL. Think we’ll improve offensively again this year.

  25. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Canalas is going to fail in Carolina, so that will be two good wins for us.

    So far as Liam Coen’s offense…the only reason I can see it being like Canales’ is if Bowels insists on being so commited to the run again…if he insists on a conservative offense…again.

    We’re not going to have a top ten run game, certainly. I don’t think we have since Alstott, and offenses simply are not built the same way anymore.

    And even if we fix the offensive line, it is going to need time to develop and gel. Protecting the QB is a must. Even if the ol starts run blocking well, Mayfield will need to throw the ball.

    I do not buy that Liam Coen will run the same offense. If so, Bowels is an idiot for saying so. It’s the season of lies…not the season of telling opponents they can beat us by watch last season tapes.

  26. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucs goal this season should be to have both our defense AND our offense ranked in the Top-10 for points. Last season every team that had both ranked in the Top-10 made the playoffs … except New Orleans (their offense finished #9 and their defense #8).

    Bucs defense SHOULD be able to finish in the Top-10 once again, but our offense will have to improve quite a bit (we ranked #20 last season, scoring 348 points). Browns & Colts tied for the #10 ranking with 396 points (23.3 PPG). That’s just a tad less than 3 PPG more than we scored in 2023 … 1 measly FG or about 1 more TD every 2 games. Improve our rushing attack a bit and we got this. Super Bowl here we come.

    Hey Rod, out of curiosity, does that qualify for #TEAMPOSITIVE?

  27. Duane in Sanford Says:

    The offense will not start the season at full tilt. Evans, Mayfield, and CG likely will see little of the preseason. Bowles has had success to open the season, and his guys will be fresh. At least its a better question to ask when than it is to ask if like last season.

  28. stpetebucfan Says:


    You’re probably right but that’s kind of like damning Canales with faint praise.

    I think most guys here think Leftwich was shall we say less than a creative OC.

  29. SenileSenior Says:

    Last year doesn’t matter. Where the 2024 team is in December and January is what matters. The current coaches and players are starting from “ground zero” as does the franchise every year.

    Go Bucs!!

  30. JimBobBuc Says:

    Bowles is known for having an understated personality for the press and this public take on the offense is for expectation management. I expect he will push hard in the building with his coaches and players.

    Coen should be a better play caller than Canales, but I’m very interested in the OL staff – Carberry and Picucci. Carberry must have been heavily involved in bringing in Bredeson and Opeta, and he’ll have to quickly develop the rookie IOL coming in. Improvement in the offense needs to come from Carberry’s coaching and Coen’s play calling.