Horrible Streak Must End

May 24th, 2024

Critical objective in 2024.

Joe is confident this ugly offensive streak will come to an end this year. For no other reason than it must.

Last year the Bucs were one of three teams that never scored a touchdown on an opening drive. Never. Not once through 17 games.

When you have receivers like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and an elite pass-catching running back like Rachaad White, how the hell could this happen? Don’t you pretty much have to try not to score with weapons like that?

Yeah, Joe could point to former Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales’ desire to constantly run up the middle. Those types of offenses generally don’t score much, at least not enough to win regularly.

Joe has to ding Canales for game prep during the week if he could never find a way to get the Bucs into the end zone on an opening drive.

The other two scary offenses that never scored an opening drive touchdown last season? The Giants and the Stinking Panthers.

Those two teams combined for an 8-26 record.

If you think about it, it said something about the Bucs that they were able to overcome this detour to win the division and advance to the divisional round.

With the Bucs hiring Liam Coen to run the offense, a Sean McVay disciple, Joe is going to guess that ugly streak will be snapped sometime this fall. The Rams scored six opening-drive touchdowns last year.

It simply must not continue.

31 Responses to “Horrible Streak Must End”

  1. geno711 Says:

    Joe, this also seems to be another indictment on Robert Hainsey.

    Goal line and short yardage situations are clearly in the run blocking prowess of the center and guards. Did Joe ever see a shortage yardage of goal line play that Hainsey won at any time last year.

    If so, I’d like to see that tape.

  2. Dave Pear Says:

    It’s amazing that a team’s head coach would not initiate corrective action for chronic slow, flat starts. Like not scoring a TD on the opening drive. At. All.

    Odds are pretty good that it will continue because 1970s football philosophy says play offense conservatively until you can’t anymore.

    At least the defense gives opening drive scores to the opposition most games so there’s that.

  3. Joe Says:

    Joe, this also seems to be another indictment on Robert Hainsey.

    Oh, GeezHCriminy.

    Maybe the OC — if Hainsey is Garrett Gilkey, Jr. the way many want him to be — should have instead of running up the middle run up the backside of one of his two tackles?

    Or here is a novel idea: Maybe throw to your future Hall of Fame receiver who led the league in TDs or maybe throw to Chris Godwin?

    But yeah, let’s blame Hainsey for never scoring a touchdown in an opening drive. smh

    What next, Hainsey is to blame for the 17+ named tropical storms NOAA expects this hurricane season?

  4. Crickett Baker Says:

    Canals thinks he can delegate plays to the coaches he poached from us. I wish him our best.

  5. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Mayfield may have something to do with that. He pretty much started every game slowly. We’re the opening drives scripted? Maybe Mayfield was not suited to that kind of playcalling and did better when the calls were more random or perhaps adjusted to whatever new situation we were in.

  6. Senor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Thank you Joe. I wanted to respond with something as well. But you said it better than I could ever hope to. The lame blame that gets thrown around on this site is beyond ridiculous.

  7. heyjude Says:

    When you write it that way, it does hit you like a sledgehammer of what was happening in Canales one year as OC. Luckily, because of our players, we did win the division. I am energized that Coen will be a positive change. It will be interesting what Canales does with the Panthers being he was only a OC for one year…

  8. Drunkinybor Says:

    Canalis was a paid intern. It’s easy to br all dmiles, rainbows. And my little pony strawberry glitter fartz. When you walking around with house money. He drove me nuts. Dave Ca.” Hey guys! We made some mistakes but, you know we are learning on the fly.” “Back in Seattle Pete would always say A. B. C. D. E. F. G….and in Seattle we had some.core concepts.” ” LIke running it up the gut over and over and over and over and over it feels.like insanity but Pete would always say B. And G. And in my Seattle days we had some core schematic approaches were trying ro develop” ” It’s the same thing when I was in Seattle we would develop a foundation, then we can slowly build.a house to get to good stuff like Peye uses to always.”

  9. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I must admit, I thought Canales was very good OC, but looking back, I would now say he was just average – nothing special. I think many of us rated him so highly because he was a huge step up from Byron Leftwich.

    I am already impressed with Liam Coen and so far he seems like a big step up from Canales. Let’s hope he is the real deal.

  10. Beeej Says:

    How many corner fades did we throw to SIX FOOT FIVE INCH ME13 ? Every time we got down there I was waiting for it, practically never happened

  11. Bucswin! Says:

    Too many times after a big play that had the stadium buzzing and on their feet. He would call straight up the gut for maybe 1 yard. Buzz gone everyone just sit back down moaning and groaning. Wonder what we averaged per run up the middle 1.5 yards maybe?. Go BUCS

  12. heyjude Says:

    @Beeej – Agreed. And at times Evans was open.

  13. Dude Says:

    “How many corner fades did we throw to SIX FOOT FIVE INCH ME13 ? Every time we got down there I was waiting for it, practically never happened”

    Some will say play calling, others may feel that’s not a throw Bake can make on the regular…who knows?

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Opening drives are scripted plays……doesn’t speak well for the script. Perhaps we should not script plays….can’t do any worse.

  15. Capt.Tim Says:

    It all starts up front. You wanna score on opening drives? You wanna be better than last in Rushing?
    Fix the Offensive line
    Our Tackles are outstanding

    Our Right Guard is Cody Mauch. First year player. Was horrible last year. Graded out as one of the worst guards in the league. Most Rookies make big improvements in Year one.
    Guess we are hoping Mauch does. I think he will.

    Our Center – Graham Barton. Rookie. Rookie linemen need a year to get stronger.
    He played Left Tackle last 2 years. Gotta readjust to center.Hes gonna be great, but hard to imagine he wont struggle this year.

    Left Guard. Unless we bring someone else in, looks like its Sua Opeta or Ben Bredesen. Sua Opeta is a career Backup. Could never crack the Eagles starting line up. They let him walk. Hes strong as a bull, but heavy legged and slow.
    He’ll be a weakness, not a strength.
    Ben Bredesen. Has all the skills. Will never be a decent starter. Not his fault. His arms are to short. 3rd shortest Arms for a linemen ever measured in NFL history.
    This allows defenders to get in to his body, instead of him stearing them away.
    He also would be a weakness, not a strength.

    A first year player, a Rookie, and a career backup up Or Trex.

    There are solutions. Dalton Risner(guard) and Connor Williams(Center) are both quality Starters, still looking to sign. There are others that will be available soon.

    Otherwise, we will do what we’ve don since we lost Cappa,Marpet, and Jensen.
    We’ll try to get by with backups, rookies, and bad players.

    We gotta deal with Bartons growing pains.
    We dont have to risk our Season on Cody Mauch improving. He may not. Gave up 8 sacks last year.
    And we arent going have a great offense, if we keep starting Backups.

    Fix the Left Guard position. If Mauch doesnt look much better- get someone else in here.

  16. Scotty Mack Says:

    While not a great way to start a game, it doesn’t appear to be a stat that is all too indicative of success. The Chiefs only scored three and the Bears matched the Rams with six.

  17. heyjude Says:

    @Dude, I am going with play calling. We have seen Baker throw. He can throw, and I think with the Browns he had a Hail Mary with 70 yards. Unsure of his Buc stats of throws, but from memory I think at least over 50 yards and shorter with TDs.

  18. Dude Says:


    I think it’s a mix of both tbh. If it were a play that the staff & QB were comfortable with it’d be a no brainer, but we finished the season 27th in redzone scoring(TDs ONLY) and there’s next to no film of Mayfield completing back shoulder fades in the NFL. I personally believe his mechanics are reductive to his ability to be accurate & put some touch on the ball, but again my opinion.

  19. heyjude Says:

    Fully understand your opinion as being a mix bag of sorts. There are some mechanics to work out on the field for sure. If it was play calling last season, we should find out as this season plays out. I really like Mayfield and think this season will be even better.

  20. catcard202 Says:

    Knowing the experience Coen has & after watching his work at Kentucky…He will script up explosive opportunities off play-action…If the OFF executes well, the streak will end pretty quickly. (In month of SEP)

    Canales didn’t have his sea legs & looked lost for great stretches during the 2023 season…Coen will not look lost at sea. He has a very good idea on what he wants to accomplish, how to lay out an attack plan & will put people in position to be successful.

    Expect a ton of 11 personnel, bunched sets & pre-snap movement to create mismatches & chunk play chances every drive. (Watch some LAR or 2021/2023 Kentucky highlights to get a good idea of what’s in store for Bucs O in 2024.)

    My only real complaint with Coen is pace-of-play…Expect the OFF to huddle & use every second of play clock available to give the D as much rest as possible between each series…When the Bucs get up on an opponent, it’s a good thing…If they get down 2 scores against a good DEF, it can be a real hinderance to making a second half/4th qtr comeback.

  21. View from 132 Says:

    If coaches change and results stay the same, it is on the players. This year the spotlight is on Baker. He wants to be the man. Fine, go be the man.

  22. Saskbucs Says:

    You can absolutely lay blame at the feet of Hainsey and the rest of the IOL. When it gets tougher to throw in the redzone, you have to get a push and win a couple trench reps. We watched a couple opening drives die inside the 5 because the run game couldn’t get it done. Blame Canales and White as well but that IOL needed to get push and they seldom did.

    You know that Bowles staff is too conservative to throw 3 all the time inside the 10. It’s a turnover waiting to happen.

  23. drdneast Says:

    Good lord, I read in the first post someone actually wanted to blame Robert Hainsey for the Bucs inability to score a TD on their first drive during the entire season. That’s taking having a whipping boy to absurd levels. Next it will be, “Robert Hainsey caused the Co Vid pandemic.”
    Listen Tesla’s, if a team can’t score a TD on an opening drive during the whole season it rests on one persons shoulders and it’s not any players.
    I for one wasn’t to upset when Canales got another job. Was his playing calling better than Lefto’s, yes it was. But so would have been my sisters. To often we would see the same old stubborn run calls as Lefto’s with the same predictable results.

  24. drdneast Says:

    Dude, if you watch the Lions game Baker puts a beautiful back shoulder pass on Evans. Go back to genuflecting to your Trask 8 x 10 photo. The worst thing any Florida team can do is draft a Gator QB with all the delusional Gator fans in this state.

  25. Hodad Says:

    Joe is always whinning for an edge rusher, but this is a bigger problem. Maybe if we got off to some fast starts, scoring early, and often, playing with a lead would help. Maybe if the other team had to play catch up, being more predictable our pass rush would have better results. Get quick, early leads, and pass rush, interceptions will go up without an elite edge rusher.

  26. Dude Says:


    I’m not a FL native, nor did I mention Kyle Trask at all, but I still stand by what I said about Mayfield. Are Buc fans really that triggered by Mayfield criticism that it automatically means whomever is making the critique is automatically a UofF alumni? Is this where we are as Buc fans? Anyway, which Lions game are you referring to? The one we didn’t score a TD in 60 minutes or where or first & last possessions ended with an INT? We lost both those games btw


    “Maybe if the other team had to play catch up, being more predictable our pass rush would have better results. Get quick, early leads, and pass rush, interceptions will go up without an elite edge rusher.”

    Nail on the head, pass rush opportunities are harder to come by when your offense is struggling to put it on the paint. Also, as far as the “elite” pass rusher goes it’s cool for the individual but again last season we had more TEAM sacks then Shaqs’ 19.5 sack yr and his 10 sack yr, I’d rather us shoot for 55-50 sacks as a team than I care for one guys having a quarter of the teams’ sack production.

  27. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    It has to start with the OC, in this case, Canales. You’re running the scripted plays that you and your brain trust around you formulated to have success against a particular opponent. You have at least a week to get it down. Canales was an excuse machine and always blaming it on players “trying to learn his system”, etc.

    After the OC, it comes down to execution, boneheaded penalties that kill drives and, of course, getting into too many 3rd and long situations by trying (and failing) to run up the gut.

    I’m hoping for improvement in all aspects of the offense this year. Even KC, with all their receivers having hands of stone, still scored on 3 opening drives and won the SB as well.

  28. SlyPirate Says:


    If the first play of the season is a vanilla run up the A Gap? You might hear the entire city of Tampa groan.

  29. Noclu4u Says:

    Capt Tim .
    Barton will be top 10 center by week 4 and top 5 by seasons end. . His transition will be seamless. Hes the best interior lineman to come out of the draft since Quentin Nelson . Very athletic for his size . Reminds me of Ali Marpet but stronger and better balance
    As always GO BUCS.

  30. D Cone Says:

    Bucs had 300 1st downs in 2023. Bucs had just under 200 passing attempts on 1st down. Of those passes they had a 66% completion rate. Equal to Tommy Devito and the Giants. One percentage point behind Bryce Young and the Panthers 67%.

    Every third 1st down the Bucs we’re looking at 2nd an 10 from throwing the ball.
    You would think a QB could do a little better job throwing on first down when every opponent is expecting a run up the gut.

    You can blame Canales all you want but he wasn’t the one missing targets, checking down to one yard screens, or dropping catchable balls when the pass gets in the general area.

    Without the runs up the gut, there would not have been any play action for 1st down passes and Mayfield would have been lucky to get 3000 yards.

    Go ahead and hope for the offense to air it out in 2024 but be careful what you wish for. Could be a new member of the 30/30 club.

  31. Capt.Tim Says:

    Bold prediction. Every rookie lineman struggles. They all have to get MUCH stronger, and adjust toa season twice as long.
    Most are outta gas by week 12.

    But Hey, you could be right! I remember that one Rookie O lineline who was a an all pro!
    What was his name?