Running Game Darts At Dave Canales

May 7th, 2024

Former offensive coordinator Dave Canales.

The Bucs’ running game was worst-in-the-NFL bad in 2022, and then it happened again in 2023 with a new offensive coordinator.

The newest Bucs playcaller didn’t hesitate to explain why yesterday.

Some in Liam Coen’s shoes might have danced around a question about a previous offensive coordinator decisions and tactics.

Coen ran hard up the middle when asked about the run game fixes. Specifically, he was asked what’s held back the rushing attack. And he wasn’t talking about players executing.

“Some diversity in terms of giving these guys different ways of hitting blocks, whether it’s the mid-zone, the wide one, the tight zone, duo, gap with pullers, perimeter runs — defenses are too good to say that, ‘We’re just going to line up and run a few runs,'” Coen said. “We have to give these guys a toolbox, and also, that goes along with giving them multiple plays in the huddle. “


That sounds like Coen studied the film and saw a painfully predictable rushing attack, as well as an offense not maximizing its talent.

Current Panthers head coach Dave Canales was the Bucs’ offensive architect last season.

The Bucs run game did improve late last season and while Joe won’t call it a weapon, it went from being a weakness to decent with a few big moments.

Coen also talked about establishing options at the line of scrimmage in the run game. “Let’s change the math and run away from numbers,” he said.

Joe likes how confident Coen is in his ability to craft an effective run game.

Every team runs the ball. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin can’t run 60 routes a week. It’s high time the Bucs’ figure out how to be at least average at something they’re doing 20-plus times a game.

40 Responses to “Running Game Darts At Dave Canales”

  1. Statisticly Insignificant Reader Says:

    Can’t wait to see how this season plays out. ON paper improvements are everywhere. Expectations will be higher from everyone.

  2. Todd Says:

    Peter Principle, meet Dave. Dave, meet Peter.

  3. Jerseybuc Says:

    Duh right?! I mean why would you lose down after down with predictable runs up the middle over n over

  4. Rod Munch Says:

    Here’s an idea… it’s 2024 and you won the SB by throwing the ball a few years ago, and the team was built to throw the ball.

    Literally, how stupid do you have to be to ignore that, and to say, my middle school coach in 1970 said you win by running it up the middle, so we’re going to run it up the middle.

  5. Bobby M. Says:

    Canales was not a great OC…..wasn’t using Godwin in the slot where he was a stud and blocks well. Run game was a joke, it was as predictable as Leftwich. I think the offense takes a big step forward with Coen, hopefully we can keep him around longer than a yr.

  6. Durango 95 Says:

    Well, you know, it’s Canales. Guy likes philosophy over personal. Take it with a grain of salt.

  7. Boss Says:


    the one common is todd….we’;; see the same from coen I am sure

    although I do think he has a point with his blocking comments….either way, they know todd……it will be a run…, then a screen, then bake stiff arming LB’s until mike seperates and drops it.

    tune in for the unexpected

  8. SB~LV Says:

    Coen is tap dancing like Rachad White behind last year’s OL before Bowles called him out and told him to hit the hole in the play design whether you think it is open or not!
    Really unfair questions for Coen

  9. Durango 95 Says:

    * personnel.

  10. unbelievable Says:


    Coen has eyeballs just like the rest of us.

  11. Crickett Baker Says:

    The old adage. “Actions speak louder than words”. We shall see. Coen has more offensive experience than Todd and Dave. He could coach a difference.

  12. J Says:

    IF, our run game takes a turn for the better, and all signs are pointing towards true improvement, then yes our receivers might have a very special year. All remains to be seen. Go Bucs.

  13. BucVoyager Says:

    I loved hearing Coen up at the podium. I heard plenty music to my ears. The part about having 2 or 3 plays at the line of scrimmage and alerting to the right play just made sense.

    We as fans all knew when the run up the gut on 1st down was coming.

  14. LetsBucs Says:

    Canales philosphy was being STUBBORN with the Run Game.

    He’s going to carry that into Carolina. We have chosen another path and that’s very likely why we didn’t go for a power back and instead for Bucky.

    Run Game and Red Zone Canales was horrible at. He did show a lot of promise in the pass game towards the end of the year especially (Packers, Jags, Eagles, Lions).

    I wouldn’t have minded him keep developing with us, but I’m more than happy with Coen. For his sake I hope he takes a step back with the Panthers and focuses on delegating tasks. He’s someone that needs development himself and Head Coach Duties + Play-Calling + trying to QB coach Bryce will overwhelm him fast.

  15. J Says:

    @Unbelievable… that was actually funny.

  16. Buddha Says:

    Canales Overrated! Smooth talker. Personable. Lacking experience. Way not ready to be a head coach.

  17. D Cone Says:

    Let’s see. Coen ranked 91st in Total Rushing Yards and 97th in Yards per Game in his Final Season @ UK. What in the world about that makes him qualified to say what was wrong with someone else’s offense? Gimme a Break.

    McVey certainly wasn’t ringing his phone off the hook. He’s lucky Bowles called early so he didn’t have to face getting fired by Kentucky.

  18. Boss Says:

    Canales is gonna kick a$$ in NC.

    Is this not what we have OL coaches for?

    Just another scapegoat for the real man in charge. thats why canales did the smart thing and bolted. We have seen todd’s best.

    and now..our 2 biggest players just got huge contracts……. I just hope they tell em’ at the all you can eat buffet “you so fat”-“you go now!”

  19. gp Says:

    By taking the HC job in Carolina, Canales broke the mold and became the first OC that Bowles hasn’t fired at the end of the season.
    Just something to think about.
    I’m willing to bet that his game planning will look just a little bit different in Carolina.

  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Byron “We be the worst running team when I be there” “we be the worst running team when he be there” “Maybe we be better when Liam be there”

  21. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Boss Hog likes him some Can Do Canales…which is all we need to know. Canales is a bit of a con-man…fraudulent. Don’t believe me? Check out the book he wrote at the point of his wife’s bayonet. Something about cheating, porn addiction, boozin’ but I’m better now cause I was caught. Of course I’m paraphrasing a bit here…but still somewhat accurate.

  22. D-Rok Says:

    “Coen also talked about establishing options at the line of scrimmage in the run game. “Let’s change the math and run away from numbers,” he said.”

    Well, that’s an intriguing philosophy, perhaps unique.

    “Hey guys, let’s try pulling 3 linemen to the right for a 28 sweep! It’s gonna be awesome, BABYYYYYY!”

    Who’d a thunk it?

  23. Scott Says:

    Dave had a darn good passing game last year. Some of the plays were good play calls too. He has no experience with the run game probably and it showed.

  24. D-Rok Says:

    And when one says, “Dave,” I assume they are discussing Van Halen.

  25. Saskbucs Says:

    Canales did not improve the run game at all but he was still better than Byron and for that evidence look no further than the routes Evans was running. Canales could scheme open WRs at least. Now hopefully Coen can do that while making the running game better. Those are nice words so far, mixing up the blocking schemes and being prepared with audibles to take advantage of looks. More pre snap motion… all this stuff seems pretty obvious. Obviously easier said than done in the NFL but for all the recent success it is amazing how vanilla our offense has looked for the last 3 years. Not all the time but most. At least Canales gave us a couple games like the Packers game last season where the pass was lighting it up. I liked Dave, too stubborn with the run but not much else bad to say. Lots of bad to say about Byron. Hopefully Coen is all gold stars on his report card.

  26. Eckwood Says:

    Give them the tools !! Lots to like about someone recognizing that tools/ techniques/ slightly different execution / utilizing options that may fit better …………. Are not being Utilized ?? ………. Normally that is from experienced people seeing very clearly some differences that can/ should help ,, But if white can’t hit a hole it won’t matter and it appears if he keeps Hesitating under the new tool box regimen , his ass will be 12 snaps or less a game !! Prob the worst at the line of scrimmage runner I have ever seen but he blocks ok , pretty good in the open field and has very good hands and good routes……………… White Does Not trust his instincts at the line At All , he has to have a clear open path and needs space to move . Lagarette Blount was a tall guy that could really get skinny he would move 6 inches in the hole even as a big guy and that’s what Liam just drafted ; a guy that can move in or just out of the hole and go forward , not allowing a clean shot !! A Lil guy like Dunn but Liam wants a back to get them to 2 nd 8 not 2 nd and 12 ………. Make the small move and go forward a yard or two here and there really Opens Up a play book . 2 nd and 10 , 2 nd and 12 shuts down a play book ……….. I am confident that LC like to shit himself when he saw the amount of plays White misses at the line or in space that would limit His Play Book . Hell he just told ya so ,,, not looking for the 80 yarder but dam it get me the two or three yards that can be had so I can Use My Tool Box !! Rashad you can get stronger , faster, block better but if you aren’t good in close space , Well your going to the bench . Liam Wants To Use His Tool Box and He needs more 2 nd and 7 s ,,not 2 and 11 s .

  27. Hodad Says:

    Barton, Mauch, Klein will be a big difference in the run game. A real #2 back in Bucky will go a long way too.

  28. Buc4evr Says:

    Canales was all smoke and mirrors. He had no idea what he was doing and should not have been the OC. His offense was predictable and at times simply stupid. I think he had about three running plays in the playbook? lol. I expect him to do just as bad as HC of the kitties. 🐈‍⬛

  29. Esteban85 Says:

    I’m glad Cohen came out and said it. Our former offensive coordinator was predictable and we all could see it. It’s kinda a no shît comment. I think we leveled up as far as coordinators are concerned. We will be thanking the hapless panthers for years to come. Just hoping Cohen isn’t one and done. He’s gonna be so much better specifically because of experience and his coaching tree he came from. I like Pete Carrol but I like what Sean McVay has done more than old man Petey. At least Cohen is amenable to running outside as Canales seemed closed minded to the issue, which is not a great trait for a coach.

  30. Bucnjim Says:

    This goes back to the direct quote “We aren’t able to out physical anyone” The only choice they had was to outsmart or even trickery. I’m sure this is harder than it sounds with an offensive line, but teams have been able to have success with average offensive lines. Looking forward to it!

  31. stpetebucfan Says:


    “Here’s an idea… it’s 2024 and you won the SB by throwing the ball a few years ago, and the team was built to throw the ball.”

    Here’s an idea, every NFL team strives for balance and utilizing the players they have. The SB “team built to pass” still managed to average 4.1 YPC their opponents just 3.6. Gee you mean the D has something to do with this.

    Last year the Bucs averaged 3.4 YPC more than a half yard LESS than the team built to pass while giving up 3.8 YPC to opponents almost a half yard less than they produced!!

    Nobody including Coen is talking about running it up the middle time after time.
    That was Canales rookie OC, Coen is talking about IMPROVING the running game. Virtually all NFL “experts” believe the team needs to improve their running game to be truly competitive.

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    Boss … ‘either way, they know todd……it will be a run…, then a screen, then bake stiff arming LB’s until mike seperates and drops it.’

    And yet, the Bucs’ 2023 stats don’t support that conclusion Boss. The Bucs ran only 79 times on their 1st downs … the 2nd LOWEST number of attempts in the entire NFL. We passed on 188 1st downs, well over twice as often as we ran it on 1st down.

    The simple fact is that we were BAD at running the ball, but for a variety of reasons IMO. Our OLine was meh & our blocking schemes didn’t fare too well without 5 beasts in the trenches. Our primary RB didn’t hit the holes (when they were there) with authority. And our OC wasn’t very imaginative in his run play design or play-calling. It doesn’t matter a lick what the HC WANTED to do, we just sucked at running the ball. The fact that we got marginally better rushing near the end of the season is probably more due to the OLine working better together due to so much time spent playing together last year.

  33. SlyPirate Says:

    OMG! I literally LOL.

    Canales read that quote and had to start Googling those terms. He has no idea what Coen just said.

    And with the first pick in the 2025 NFL Draft the Carolina Panthers select …

  34. unbelievable Says:

    Thanks @J

  35. Rod Munch Says:

    LetsBucs Says:
    May 7th, 2024 at 4:40 pm
    Canales philosphy was being STUBBORN with the Run Game.



    Wow, that could be the most clueless take ever.

    Bowles WANTS to do nothing but run the football, and wouldn’t even call a single pass if it was purely up to him.

    This year we will see more and more and more running, regardless of results, because that’s what Bowles middle school coach taught him in 1970.

  36. BillyBucco Says:

    Coen is already a better OC.
    Been there done that.
    Not trying to win a philosophy contest.
    Let’s just do THIS until we get better at it. LMAO.
    What a joke. Liked the MAN, Hated the COACH.
    Carolina is gonna be prim and proper.
    Bucs are gonna be like that bumper sticker that said, “My kid beat the sh!t out of your straight A student”!!!

  37. TampabayDJ Says:

    @ BOSS – Why do you even comment on here ? You know nothing

  38. Drunkinybor Says:

    I hated Dave. Baker got him that head coaching job. Dave reminds me of that life coach swindler dude. Reality is not reality if you have a great attitude and admit your clueless. Happy thoughts and nice smiles make a hard day mild. If it’s and buts were candy and nuts everyday would be Christmas. Thank Sapp for that last one

  39. David Says:

    WOW. That absolutely is a shot at the run game calling of Canales
    Still, the interior Oline execution needed to be addressed and was

  40. Babygrace Says:

    Canales in some ways is getting a bad rap. Our interior OL was horrible! Just look what what the powers that be did in signing free agents (2 OG’S) Drafted (2 OG’S). I don’t care who the coach is if you can’t win the line of scrimmage and we couldn’t you aren’t going to be a very good running the football!