Rams East

June 20th, 2024


It saddens Joe that it seems, at times, folks appear to be piling on former Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales.

Was Canales’ offense perfect? No. He was far too in love with running up the middle. What Joe doesn’t know is how much he was ordered to run.

With the talent in the passing game on the Bucs roster, Joe hoped Canales would open up the offense more. When he did, this Bucs offense hummed.

Too many guys had career years or near-career years under Canales to dismiss all of it as a coincidence. Joe doesn’t believe in coincidences, especially when it comes to football.

The biggest example of Canales getting a lot out of his players (not named “Chris Godwin”) was, of course, Baker Mayfield. Last year Mayfield had a career year and was a big reason the Bucs scared the hell out of the Lions in the divisional round on the road.

But sometimes-humorist Adam Rank of NFL.com believes folks should not forget or dismiss new Bucs offensive coordinator Liam Coen’s role in rescuing Mayfield’s career.

A lot of credit for the success of Baker Mayfield last season (and Geno Smith the previous year in Seattle) has been attributed to former Seahawks QB coach and Bucs OC Dave Canales, who is now the head man in Carolina. Coen was the Rams’ offensive coordinator in 2022, where he did work with Baker for a minute. Experiences with the Rams will clearly have an influence on this offense.

Joe agrees with Rank here. Mayfield hit rock bottom when he asked for his release from the Stinking Panthers. The turnaround of his career began with Coen and the Rams. Canales just advanced that.

So Joe likes that Coen and Mayfield not only have a bond and trust, but Coen seems to understand what makes Mayfield tick on the football field.

28 Responses to “Rams East”

  1. Leopold Stotch Says:

    I’m very excited for this season. There may be some bumps in the road, but it should be more diverse and exciting. My only hope is that Coen stays on for more than a year, some continuity would pay dividends for us.

  2. bob in valrico Says:

    IMO, Canales was pretty good in the passing game. However his play selection, suspect
    blocking, and inability make the best use of White’s abilities till late in the season were the main reasons for poor running game. Trying to turn White into
    a bell cow RB when he was more of a finesse runner coming out of college. It’s unclear who was most responsible for that. But I believe with the proper coaching he will be an improved RB this year.

  3. Senor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    I do not “pile on” Canales. I think his play calling sucked, especially on 1st down. Running the ball about 65% on 1st down is not strategic. But Canales helped recover 2 QBs, so I give him credit there. But putting Baker constantly in 3rd in long situations, and Baker did well with a lot of conversions. But who gets credit for that? Baker or Canales?

    It will be interesting to see what Canales does this year in Carolina. I think he wasn’t ready to be a HC. But when the money is offered, you darn sure take it.

    How well will Baker do with Coen? I think Bake will be fine.

    How well will Canales do as HC for a team that lacks talent? Not sure that is all that important – patience is required. But how well he does with Bryce Young is critical. And unfortunately for Canales, I do not believe Young is close to being Baker.

  4. stpetebucfan Says:

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?

    I do not believe the question of who made whom last year on the Buc’s O is as confounding. IMHO Mayfield made Canales not the other way around.

    In fact a case could be made that Mayfield was all the more amazing to have survived Canales poor game planning and atrocious play calling. He fooled nobody.

    Valid excuses could be made for both guys when you consider the weak OL. This year should be different!

  5. Dude Says:

    It’s easy to scapegoat Canales because he’s well spoken, upbeat, and what I’ve learned in life is those are usually the people less upbeat people dislike the most because they have an exuberance for existence everybody cannot find.

    For all we know Tepper was at that final Bucs-Panthers game, watched Mayfield go 20-32 137, NO tuds, and thought to himself “If this guy can win with a back-up caliber QB like Baker, then I know he can get Bryce Young on track he’s like 2 times the athlete with better mechanics”

    Canales basically got the most out of 2 backup QBs in the last 2 seasons that’s the truth, and at no point ever in his time in the NFL has Baker got anybody promoted or a better gig, stop.

    First year OC, dealing with a QB who’s been in the league since 2018 and he’s got to emphasize not holding onto the ball and foot mechanics even with Baker having >50 starts under his belt when he left. That’s not normal.

  6. Irishmist Says:

    After next season, we’ll know for sure how good Canales is. If he can turn Bryce Young into anything resembling a decent QB, then he deserves to be called a genius.

  7. heyjude Says:

    I liked Canales, but he wasn’t the OC fit for the Bucs. Unsure how he will do with the Panthers. I think that owner is expecting miracles. Definitely not the place for Baker either. I do like the majority of what I read about Coen. He is familiar with both Mayfield and Wolford. Unsure how that goes with Trask as the main backup QB. Either way, we will be winning!

  8. heyjude Says:

    By the way, liking the pics of Coen without the water bottle. 😊💧

  9. Fred McNeil Says:

    I believe Canales was just suffering rookie like inexperience as a coordinator. I wish him well with the Panthers.

  10. Buchen61 Says:

    “What Joe doesn’t know is how much he was ordered to run.”

    And one wonders why such ignorance is posted here…Joe makes the assumption that Bowles tells his oc how to run the ball…

  11. Hearty Dikerson Says:

    “The turnaround in his career began with Coen”

    You mean those 5 games where Baker went 2-3, averaging 170 yds and .8 TDs a game?

  12. Allbuccedup Says:

    As an offensive coordinator for the Rams in 2022 the Rams offense was 32nd in the league. As offensive coordinator for Kentucky his offensive ranked 11th out of 14 teams. Just saying.

  13. Dude Says:


    That’s why I’m trying to wait and see. Overhyping Coen & Mayfield “reuniting” or romanticizing their time on a team that went 5-12 which led to Coen going back to the NCAA is just going to make it easier for the masses to turn on him. I can guarantee you if things go awry in the first month of he season, people will be giving Coen the Canales treatment cause “it can’t be Baker” to some of our fellow fans.

  14. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Everyone should watch the video of Baker seeing Coen in the parking lot for the first time. You can tell they are excited to be working together again. Barring injury we win the division again. Bucs over, Falcons under….easy money

  15. Jake been there since the beginning Says:

    Yeah Dude says, I like that. A match made in heaven it may not be. And the season after a Superbowl isn’t always followed with another one very often, the Rams were without Stafford in 22. I hope for the best this year as well as every year, if Coen can call up the right plays consistently and the online gels, all could go very well. Love the way that the Glazers finally came to reality a few seasons ago. Money talks and BS walks. Tom Brady may have taught them a thing or two as well, like the whole team as well. You have to put in the real work to get to the Top. Go Bucs!!!!

  16. Crickett Baker Says:

    How can anyone wish money-grabbing Canals well with the Stinking Panties? He has our playbook. He has two of our long-term coaches. He even poached one of our good players! I wish him Hell.

  17. WiscoJoe Says:

    I feel like what doesn’t get talked about enough is that Coen has called plays before and Canales did not. Once this offense gets learned I think we’ll be an absolute force.

    I could see this season playing out offensively how it did during the Super Bowl run… struggling at first and towards the middle of the year it’ll click and hum.

  18. Buc4evr Says:

    I wish Canales good luck with the Panthers as he will need it. lol. I don’t have anything against the guy, he just was a bad play caller and didn’t use the weapons the Bucs had to the fullest. He should have never been made an OC with this team. I don’t know how patient the owner of the Panthers is going to be.

  19. Joe Says:

    You sure it wasn’t Bowles having his foot on Canales’ neck? Which is why Canales left?

    Well, Canales was offered a head coaching job. Kinda think making many millions a year to coach your own team was more of an incentive than Todd Bowles wanting to run the ball, but Joe does get your point.

  20. SlyPirate Says:

    Sorry your feelings are hurt, Joe. Canales sucked. Canales SUCKED! If you are comparing him to Leftwich, he’s maybe marginally better.

    “My offense is just so complicated.” Remember that line of BS?

    In 24 months, Canales will be exposed as a coaching fraud. He’ll be fired and you’ll be referring to Canales’ 32nd ranked rush like Mike Smith’s defense.

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘What Joe doesn’t know is how much he was ordered to run.’

    And there it is, the innuendo that Todd Bowles ‘ordered’ Canales to run the ball up the middle. And I’m certain now that Bowles also ‘ordered’ Leftwich to only run on 33% of the Bucs’ plays in 2022, because everyone knows that Bowles prefers the pass. Oh wait.

    I used to think that the best waffles were served at IHop, but now it appears that JBF is giving them a run for their money. Instead of rampant speculating for years on end, why don’t you journalists ASK Bowles & Leftwich & Canales straight out what was going on? Get it on the record.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    Crickett Baker … ‘Money grabbing Canales’? Aw come on, you wouldn’t take a job that was a major step UP & paid you 5 or 10 times as much as what you were making? And he doesn’t have OUR playbook; he has HIS playbook. Coen won’t be running anywhere near the same offense that Canales ran. Canales’ offense finished #20 last season; wait, Coen will better that by quite a bit.

    The only 2 coaches who went with Canales to Carolina were Harold Goodwin (who’s now the Panthers’ run game coordinator & asst HC), and Joe Gilbert (who’s now the Panthers’ OLine coach). Didn’t we have trouble with our Oline & running game last year? Not sure how big a loss that is. And the only player who went over to Carolina was WR Dave Moore as I recall. I really like the guy, but I’ve got a hunch that McMillan will do just fine as a replacement.

  23. D Cone Says:

    Senor Harry in Costa Rica Says:
    June 20th, 2024 at 6:32 am
    I do not “pile on” Canales. I think his play calling sucked, especially on 1st down. Running the ball about 65% on 1st down is not strategic

    First down Run Pass Splits for 2023 had every playoff team rushing more on First Down than the Bucs. Bucs were 37% Run / 62% Pass. Forty Niners ran the ball the most at 45% of the time on first down.

    For comparison Bucs 2019 33%, 2020 34%, 2021 31%, 2022 31% running on first down. 2021 and 2022 a run may have been called but didn’t end up that way based on how the defense lined up.

    Although Canales did run it more than previous years as is far from the amount you are imagining. Perhaps that is because Mayfield was restricted in his options. This year he may have to go ahead and change plays. Good Luck with that one.

  24. Dave Pear Says:

    The Italian Dessert is now the enemy. Division opponent. Screw him.

    That’s what I say.

    Arrow pointing up.


  25. GoneGator Says:

    Very excited to see Coens offense. Hopefully not an exact clone of L. A. ‘s offense. Didn’t we poach a new pass game coach from Miami ?

    Coen should be looking to prove himself and that’s a good thing. This coach and this team are a match made in heaven. I think he truly is psyched to have Baker as his QB and he’s got to be chomping at the bit looking at all the skill players at his disposal.

    Judging him harshly for his previous teams (yea, with defenses contributions or lack thereof too) records is probably not a fair criteria without considering additional factors like these… The Rams were absolutely decimated by injuries during his time calling plays there and Kentucky plays in the friggin S. E. C. where they can’t compete because they can’t recruit against Ala, Ga, LSU, Fla etc..

    I’m just worried he’s going to be so good we’ll have trouble keeping him for a 2nd season.

  26. geno711 Says:

    Really, I do not mind running up the middle. Personally, I believe that teams like San Fran, Baltimore, LA Rams, and Philadelphia run a large amount of their plays up the middle.

    I just think those teams just have better interior offensive line play.

    The worst telling stat on the Bucs running last year was 79 rushing 1st downs. 2nd worst in the league and just 8 rushing TDs (4th worst) and only 6 by a running back (2nd worst).

  27. BillyBucco Says:

    Amazes me that a QB coach, then an Offensive Coordinator and finally a HEAD COACH are all being compared. LMFAO.
    Do you really think Canales DID EVERYTHING for Geno AND THEN Baker and finally Bryce Young. Let’s compare apples to apples here and not pears.
    Why isn’t Thad Lewis getting credit for Baker?
    Far too much credit for Canalysis with Baker IMO
    Coen’s offense will be way friendlier for him and we will see him truly shine.
    Then you can give Coen all the credit you want. Multiple calls at LOS, more motion, quicker passes and check downs, more screens, more TRICK TYPE plays.
    Coen will get the credit Bad or Good.

  28. CallTheSaltTruck Says:

    >>>Canales basically got the most out of 2 backup QBs in the last 2 seasons that’s the truth, and at no point ever in his time in the NFL has Baker got anybody promoted or a better gig, stop.

    What? He literally got Freddy Kitchens a head coaching job purely by playing well and breaking the Rookie TD record in 13.5 games under the insanely underwhelming combination of Hue Jackson and Gregg Williams as HC.

    He got Kevin Steffanski his first coach of the year trophy by dragging the 2020 Browns to the playoffs despite covid and a truly horrific Joe Woods defense, among other issues. He then won a playoff game Steffanski wasn’t even present for. His reward was getting hung out to dry by Steffanski the next season after getting hurt.

    Dude’s helped plenty of coaches out, don’t sell him short.