Burning Question About Bucs

May 9th, 2024

Chris Simms explains.

If Baker Mayfield was an ETF stock, Chris Simms would be loading up.

Simms, the former Bucs playoff quarterback, fielded a question about the current Bucs playoff quarterback on his podcast “Unbuttoned.” Simms took a question about each team in the NFC and addressed the following Bucs question:

“Does Baker Mayfield keep improving without Dave Canales?”

Of course, Canales, shuffled off in January to Carolina to take over the Stinking Panthers after one year as Bucs offensive coordinator. Canales largely got credit for resurrecting the career of Mayfield, who led the Bucs to the divisional round of the playoffs and followed that up with a Pro Bowl MVP award.

“I feel like it is only going to go up and up with Baker Mayfield and his ability to lead,” Simms said. “Take over that team.

“Dave Canales and that offense? I liked it. They made adjustments. I certainly wasn’t sitting there, going, ‘Oh my gosh, this is the greatest offense I’ve seen in football!’ I will also say I was a little, even, surprised that he got a head coaching job already. I wasn’t expecting that.

“I don’t think there is going to be a huge, huge difference in their football team, I guess is what I am trying to say there.”

Simms expects Mayfield to continue thriving with new offensive coordinator Liam Coen.

Joe is eager to see what Coen does. Granted, it’s early May. It’s way, way too early to make any sort of definitive statement about the 2024 Bucs. Shoot, Joe hasn’t even seen an underwear football practice yet. Offense isn’t allowed now, per league rules, to practice against defense.

But Joe has the sense the offense will be more diverse. That ought to help Rachaad White with running. And it might even help the passing attack, too.

Ira Kaufman Talks Liam Coen’s Harsh Words And Firm Focus, Bucky Irving, Media Disbelief, Thad Lewis Comments, Backup QBs & More

37 Responses to “Burning Question About Bucs”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    ‘Joe is eager to see what Coen does. Joe has the sense the offense will be more diverse.’

    Definitely need more articles like this Joe. We’re all ‘eager to see what Coen does’, but right now I doubt any of us has a clue how this’ll play out. New OC, new OLine coaches, new WR coach, new TE coach, new RB coach … wow, lots of ‘new’. Add in a couple of substantial changes to our OLine, addition of a new RB & WR … that’s also some significant ‘new’. Molding that into 1 finely-tuned offense, given the practice rules that teams have to abide by nowadays, is a monumental challenge IMO.

    Gut feel is that our offense will start slow for the first half or so of the season, especially the first few games, then improve significantly in the 2nd half of the season. Not dissimilar to what we experienced in 2020 (7-5 after 12 games?). It’ll be interesting in any event.

  2. BucU Says:

    I’m seeing another South title here. Kirk Cousins got roughed up by this defense last year before his knee injury. He doesn’t scare the Buc D. Saints are old.
    Carolina is Carolina.

  3. Todd Says:

    Meanwhile, what’s the over/under that Canales’ first run play will be a tailback run behind the left guard/tackle for one yard?

    In Canales head, “That’ll trick ‘em because every pro scout who can fog a mirror will be expecting that!”

    Hashtag BRILLIANT!

    So happy that bubbly stubborn man is “playing for the other team”.

  4. Matt_PcAfee Says:

    The Greatest Show on St. Augustine

  5. Atlbuc28 Says:

    If anyone wants to see what our offense will look like. Break out our 2002 superbowl dvd. Both the bucs and raiders ran it . It only took 20÷ years to bring back Grudens offense….

  6. Beeej Says:

    Todd: I’ve been pondering that very thing: First play: 2 tight end, bunched up, obvious run up the middle. Fake handoff, 50 yarder to Evans. Odds against success, but it would be a nice signal to the long suffering fans

  7. heyjude Says:

    Can’t wait to see what Coen does. Looking forward to it. Baker will be an even stronger leader this season.

  8. Todd Says:

    Beeej, now THAT would be smart…just not creative enough. Canales has war-gamed that out already and since it creatively makes sense, he’ll fake us all out by…handing off to the tailback and running behind the left guard/tackle! And he’ll do the same the entire first half! No one will EVER see it coming! Are you starting to come around to the brilliance of it all?!

    Good thought, though…just not advanced enough enough.

  9. Lt. Dan Says:

    Of course Baker will be better this year. Canales did an ok job but seemed in over his head from time to time – unable to make adjustments on the fly. Coen matches Canales enthusiasm it seems, and is a much more seasoned play caller. Baker will have a better O line and a couple of new playmakers from this past draft.

  10. HC Grover Says:

    Bucs will be in the mix down to the wire again for a playoff game. 50/50 chance.

  11. lambchop Says:


    Thanks to the Flacons GM and Raheem, they brought a whole lot of unnecessary drama into their club by signing Kirk to a 4-year 180M contract w/ a 100M guaranteed and drafting a 1st Rd QB. That locker room will be divided at some point if Kirk struggles, Kirk mopes, Penix plays really good in the preseason. Kirk left the Vikings because they told him they were going to draft a QB in Rd 1.

    It has to be the dumbest thing they could have done. They knew they had the 8th pick, they knew Kirk was coming off injuries, they knew part of the reason why he left the Vikings, and everyone knew Penix would be there at pick 8. The choices made to fulfill their QB spot was so asinine. Worst case scenario is they miss out on Penix’s rookie contract or Kirk’s injury makes him a shell of himself and they locked up a ton of money in him.

    So dumb. I can’t see how anyone puts them as the NFCS favorites after this debacle. Raheem. Some people don’t make good head coaches.

  12. SB~LV Says:

    It’s ALL about the OFFENSIVE LINE

  13. Leighroy Says:

    “ETF Stocks” 🙄

  14. heyjude Says:

    Agree about Cousins/Penix. All the sports media were riding the bandwagon of Cousins coming back, and then a curve-ball happened! Penix is drafted.

  15. Doc Says:

    What is wrong with drafting a Quarterback for competion?

  16. Boss Says:

    We have the players, we just don’t have the coach to get to the big game.

    I have had 3 gripes. resigning bake and mike in leu of spending that money on OL and DL and a different QB….but I think bake is serviceable provided he can look past mike more quickly. Mike is a strong player in his role, but he drops too many key balls and the lesser QB’s use him as a security blanket in leu ofother WR’s who’s routes are over by the time bake looks past mike. Even with the bake/mike love afffair I think we have good players…..so my biggest gripe is tood, the bake/mike thing can be fixed if they want too.

  17. Bucnjim Says:

    What are the chances the Buc’s first game is against the Panthers? The NFL loves matchup drama in week 1 so Canales against his ex-team might be what they are looking for.

  18. Bojim Says:

    Owner of the Panthers gambled big time think that Canales would get their QB moving this year. Interested to see.

  19. Letsbucinggo Says:

    I believe the defense will be better. I am not so sure about Coen. The defense will carry this team to the NFC south division title. The offense will decide how far we advance.

  20. Bucsfan Says:

    A lot of respect for Simms as he was the only talking head in 2018 that predicted Lamar Jackson would be the best QB taken in round one , and he was.

  21. Mark Says:

    “Thriving,” Joe? That’s a stretch based on what Simms said. Never seen a team thrive in the bottom half of the league in yards and scoring.

  22. SB~LV Says:

    Well TOMORROW the rookies show up and start their mini camp so there will be something REAL to talk about.
    Say who were those 2 Panther DL that menaced Simms that hot day in the RayJay and ruptured his spleen?
    I was there that day and it was amazing that he not only got up from the hit even without internal bleeding.
    What were/was that DL name?

  23. Pickgrin Says:

    The Bucs will have a better offense in 2024 – and it all jump-starts with the improvement of the OLine.

    Barton falling to #26 for us was basically heaven sent as Jason Licht alluded.

    Having a talent like that in the middle of the Bucs line is going to make a HUGE difference in offensive capabilities and productivity….

    Plenty to look forward to offensively with improved line play which has seriously hampered Tampa Bay’s ability to score points the last 2 years

    Coen will be an upgrade over Canales. The running game has no where to go but up. Baker is comfortable and confident in year 2 with all his main weapons from last year back and the additions of McMillan and Bucky. Mauch, Goedeke, Otten and White should all be improving and better than last year…. also think Godwin will have a much bigger year than last…..

    I see the Bucs averaging 24-25 points a game in 2024. Which almost guarantees double digit wins if the defense can maintain its top 10ish status.

  24. SB~LV Says:

    Let’s see Cody Mauch !
    A picture will be worth a thousand words!
    The team will be better!

  25. SlyPirate Says:

    I’d like to see 10-11 wins. Bowles needs to show an improved record with an improved team

  26. stpetebucfan Says:


    As usual agree completely with your post. The only thing I might add is that the Bucs are also loading up on some “nasty”. Jensen was the core of the OL “nasty” and when he went down the meanness seemed to depart as well.

    I’m excited that 3 of the guys who are now projected to start are known for “playing to the whistle”. Short for badasss.

    Don’t know how it’ll turn out but I’m excited, I expect to be entertained as well.
    Last year was a refreshing break from the off field drama of the year before.

    I get that everybody is focused on the Falcons and they do have some excellent young talent. Cousins is not that scary but he’s got players around him. And I’m wondering why we’ve written off N.O. Cam and some of the other stars are perhaps getting too old but the Saints have an NFL quality QB and some decent players of their own.

    I’m tired of all the BS about the weakest Division. The Bucs better not buy into that at all or they’ll have their butts handed to them by either the Saints or Falcons or maybe both!

  27. Cobraboy Says:

    I do not expect the O to be as predictable, especially in the run game.

    I expect a vastly improved OL, and a sneaky D.

  28. Buccaneer rick Says:

    10 wins minimum

  29. Buc4evr Says:

    I’m hoping Coen reviews the film and doesn’t make the same bone headed mistakes that Canales made. As far as I am concerned, Baker bailed Canales out last year to I am expecting a lot more out of the offense.

    If Coen can exploit match ups and use the WCO to keep defenses honest, then this team could average 30 points a game. 11 to 12 wins is possible even with the hard schedule. I’m hoping this is the year!

  30. Defense Rules Says:

    Pickgrin … ‘I see the Bucs averaging 24-25 points a game in 2024. Which almost guarantees double digit wins if the defense can maintain its top 10ish status.’

    I like that prediction Pickgrin, and do believe that it’s achievable. Offensively I agree with you; 24-25 PPG is quite attainable since we SHOULD have an improved OLine, more versatility at RB & WR, and this is Baker’s 2nd year here. Went back & relooked at his career, and 2023 here bears a lot of similarity to his 2nd year (2019) up in Cleveland. Of note, Baker’s next year there was his best (and Browns finished 11-5 after being 6-10 the year before that). I anticipate a similar improvement here this year.

    And yes, IF our defense can finish in the Top-10 again we SHOULD finish with double-digit wins (and make the playoffs). That’ll require us to stay healthy though IMO, since our depth on defense still isn’t where I’d like it (especially at ILB & OLB). Todd Bowles always seems to find a way though to keep the Points Allowed manageable & reasonably consistent (Bucs don’t get blown out all that often). That at least gives us a chance to win ballgames.

    One group that no one seems to talk about is Special Teams. With the NFL changes there this year, S/Ts could be HUUUGE. We’ve certainly got an excellent kicker & punter, but I think that coverages are gonna play a much bigger role this year. Hopefully our new S/Ts coach shines from Day One.

  31. David Says:

    I fully expect the Bucs to be much better on offense. The new OC has much better passing attack. The line should be improved, the wide receivers and running backs should have more depth.

    We should expect the offense to be better because last year was pretty atrocious most of the year. Baker had good numbers, but there were weeks on end with the office really didn’t do much.

  32. Let ‘em bake Says:

    To be fair, canales did improve and figured out how to get production from Rashad. He also returned Godwin to the slot. He made critical adjustments at the right time,especially given the sub par ol. Coen gets to come in with a baker solidified, an improved ol, an fewer unknowns to address.

  33. Rod Munch Says:

    Joe is eager to see what Coen does.


    I think that eagerness is going to last until about the 3 series of game one, when we realize that Coen is just an extension of Bowles, and the ‘new’ offense is 1st down, run up the middle, 2nd down, run up the middle, 3rd down, run up the middle, 4th down punt.

  34. BillyBucco Says:

    Munch is such a pleasant guy to be around.
    What an absolute ray of sunshine.
    I think we should all aspire to be like Rod Munch.

  35. Defense Rules Says:

    Rod Munch … ‘when we realize that Coen is just an extension of Bowles, and the ‘new’ offense is 1st down, run up the middle, 2nd down, run up the middle, 3rd down, run up the middle, 4th down punt.’

    I know you have a penchant for exaggeration Rod, but some of your ‘opinions’ border on ludicrous and thus aren’t really worth analyzing. This is one of those exaggerations obviously.

    In his 6 years as a HC, Todd Bowles teams have run the ball on 2,528 plays and passed it on 3,507 plays, for a total of 6,035 plays (roughly 1,000 offensive plays a year?). That means that his teams ran on 41.9% of their plays over that whole 6-year period (and they were actually quite consistent doing so, except for Brady’s last year here).

    Another HC with roughly the same experience is Sean McVay, known as an offensive HC (as opposed to Bowles’ purported defensive mindset). In his 7 years as Rams’ HC, McVay’s teams have run the ball on 3,095 plays and passed it on 4,029 plays, for a total of 7,124 plays (also roughly 1,000 offensive plays a year). That means that McVay’s teams ran the ball on 43.4% of their plays over that whole 7-year period (and like Bowles, were quite consistent doing so).

    So McVay ran the ball 1.5% MORE than Bowles did. Would you make the same statement you made about Sean McVay? I would hope not, because it doesn’t hold water.

  36. Noclu4u Says:

    Defense Rules
    Well done ! Receipts are such a thorn in the side of people that blab without knowing what they are talking about . For some reason I don’t see a rebuttal.
    Bucs appear to have improved significantly with the draft . I think this draft will produce 4 starters in the next 3 seasons.
    Licht absolutely nailed last year’s draft and it looks like he did it again . Diaby will likely have 12-14 sacks this season . Wasn’t he a 3rd round pick? Licht is setting this team up to be in the playoffs mix for years to come .
    As always GO BUCS !!!

  37. garro Says:

    Umm let me check…Yupp
    Still don’t care what Simms has to say about anything.

    Go Bucs!