Pass To Win

June 7th, 2024

What can we expect?

Let’s see, the Bucs have the worst running attack the past two years yet have a Hall of Fame receiver on one side of the field, a Pro Bowl receiver in the slot, and two young talented receivers to use at No. 3.

What would you do?

Joe thinks it is painfully obvious: Throw the damn ball. But Joe is not Bucs coach Todd Bowles, who wants to run the ball. Joe could bellyache about not throwing enough, but that’s like whining why cornerbacks can’t catch.

If a corner could catch, he’d be a receiver. Duh.

Mike Evans kills single coverage. Overall, the Bucs are damn good against zone defense, too. Per famed handicapper turned stathead Warren Sharp, the Bucs are No. 10 in the NFL if you go by EPA, which is the hot stat all the stat geeks get warm and fuzzy over.

Joe’s a big believer in using your best talent, whatever that is. If the Bucs had Derrick Henry in his prime, of course Joe would pound the football. Instead, the Bucs have a misplaced receiver at running back.

With Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Trey Palmer and Jalen McMillan, plus a solid tight end and perhaps newly acquired veteran receiver Sterling Shepherd (372 career catches), Joe sure wouldn’t have a run-based offense.

But hey, that’s just Joe.

34 Responses to “Pass To Win”

  1. Tbbucs3 Says:

    “Throw the damn ball”…..doesnt always translate to success. You need to establish a run game in the NFL. 2022 Bucs offense Tom Brady lead the league in pass attempts by a mile, yet the offense was dreadful.

    Throwing 50 times a game works in college, not the NFL.

  2. Obvious Says:

    Seems to me they are loading up on receivers. Not so much running backs. At least not going overboard like they are with the receiving corp.

    Obviously they are going to attempt a balanced attack but I think there’s a heavy emphases on going through the air rather than on the ground.

    I’m just going on looks alone but it IS as they say, walking and talking like a duck..

    We might just have a familiar winning formula coming back to Tampa. Maybe Bowles is learning that we SHOULD play to our strengths.


  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Tbbucs3 … “Throw the damn ball”…..doesnt always translate to success. You need to establish a run game in the NFL.’

    EXACTLY. Or at least there has to be the threat of a running game to keep the defense from just teeing off & bringing the house. Becomes even more important IMO against teams with strong defenses AND in the playoffs.

    When Bucs won the Super Bowl in 2020, we ran 369 times during the regular season in 1017 total plays … 36.2% run-pass … for a meh 1519 running yards or 95 YPG average (our running game ranked #28 that year). Yet in the playoffs, Bucs ran it 121 times in 265 total plays … 45.7% run-pass … for 490 total yards or 123 YPG average. We really weren’t any more effective (4.1 YPC in regular season vs 4.0 YPC in playoffs) BUT we were more ‘unpredictable’ in play-calling. Even ‘Bombs Away’ BA knew that against stronger defenses there has to be a better ‘balance’ between the running game & the passing game to keep the opposing defenses ‘off-balance’.

  4. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    It depends on matchup so if you are going up against the famed Tampa 2 lawnchair; where the corners are off 20 yards on one side and in the tunnel on the other; of coarse throwing the ball on quick passes makes perfect logic.

  5. TDTB Says:

    I think RB help is going to come (either this year or next). My guess is they signed Shepard and Wolford to be in position to trade Godwin and/or Trask if they get a good offer (perhaps for a bruising RB). They are both likely gone after this season.

  6. garro Says:

    We run off a SB winning HC and QB. Then immediately insist on going a different direction with a “Run first” offense. Still not sure why. Been told it was because our defense was tired late in games? They still look pretty damn tired to me. All while sporting a decimated O line and replacing two questionable hire OCs? Oh and oddly, the only other guy left from the SB winning staff is 85 year old who’s offense led the league in passing yards and ranked third in total offense with a guy who is now a career backup, Jameis Winston?

    Now we can’t buy a TD in the first quarter for the entire season?

    Sounds kind of dumb when you put it that way…Don’t it?

    Go Bucs!

  7. heyjude Says:

    Looking good this upcoming season, and we are not at the bottom of the best offenses vs zone coverage.

    Agree with Tbbucs3: “Throw the damn ball”…..doesn’t always translate to success. You need to establish a run game in the NFL. Although, there were many times during the game I was begging for them to just throw the ball. Thinking this season we will see positive changes.

    DR always helps puts perspective in plain view with the stats too. Bring back the lawn chairs is correct too, it depends on the match-up. Also, luck, ref calls, et al. TDTB may be correct on the guess about Shepard and Wolford. Both having one-year contracts.

  8. Bucsfan Says:

    Stiff Competition at any position group will produce the best possible group. Bucs are decidedly lacking at RB group competition. That is why ROJO should be signed to a league minimum “prove it deal”. ROJO is a low mileage 26 and the only thing he needed was more maturity , and after eating some humble pie last year with the Cowboys debacle , that he should have. Imagine ROJO running on 1st and 2nd down , then giving way to White on 3rd down. Sign ROJO.

  9. Jp09 Says:

    Bucs Run 43.6% (18th highest percent) – highest is Baltimore @ 52.3%
    Bucs Pass 56.4% (15th highest percent) – highest is Was & 63.9%
    Bucs Total # of plays 1007 (21st) – most plays Cle @ 1142
    Bucs Rush attempts 439 (23rd) – most rush attempts Bal @ 541
    Bucs Pass attempts 568 (19th) – most pass attempts Was @ 636

    The Bucs R/P ratio is fine, the problem is sustained drives and 1st down conversion rate evident by the total # of plays ran. Also, our rush yards per attempt was last in the league due to POOR RUN BLOCKING BY THE IOL and Baker ranked 15th at pass yards per attempt.

  10. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I don’t think Bowles wants to run it in an obsessive way. You just typically can’t win a SB or be an elite offense with the worst run game in the league.

    The year we won a SB, we had a playoff RB averaging 16 carries a game and 4.7 YPC.

    The following year he averaged 4.5 YPC in the regular season and we only lost 4 games.

    We should be a pass first offense with our personnel, but if we can get a more efficient and dangerous run game we would be a way more competitive overall team.

  11. Bucnjim Says:

    Slow starts and playing from behind contributed to the passing percentage I’m sure. Seems as though the Offensive line did much better pass blocking so maybe they are just playing to their strengths as well.

  12. 2023 Surprised the Hell out of me Says:

    Balance,balance and more balance is the recipe….

    and perhaps newly acquired veteran receiver Sterling Shepherd (372 career catches)…. Joe

    Sterling has some serious issues just staying on the field not sure what this signing is all about ??

  13. Bucs Fan since 1996 Says:

    To maximize our chances of winning another Superbowl we need to have an effective running game.

    Would we have gotten to the Super Bowl several years back without Playoff Lenny? BA was running the No-Risk-it-No-Biscuit offense but Lenny still played a key role in the playoffs.

    Defenses love to make opposing offense one-dimensional. But, some of the best offenses have been able to run the ball even when the defense is expecting it

    I have no doubt that our new OC wants to build a great offense, and that includes a dramatic upgrade of the running game. It might take him a second year to do that but I’m confident it will happen.

  14. MelvinJunior Says:

    You can still run the ball (and more effectively), by using the Pass to setup the run instead of vice versa. It does no good to run the ball just for the sake of running the ball (especially on first down every damm time). If you don’t have a Derrick Henry type or a Top-5 running back with a stud OLine, the one thing you cannot be is predictable. You pass first and balance it out with a ‘quick-hitting’ run game & then pound it in the 4th quarter against a worn-out tired Defense. Those holes will start opening up. It makes ZERO sense to continue running into a wall over and over again, just because you stubbornly, insist on establishing a run game FIRST. Especially, when your team make-up and strength is in the passing game. I mean, WHY against a fresh foaming at the mouth defense in the first quarter is beyond me. 3 & Out, Stalled, 3 & Out. It’s Insanity. It’s like banging your head against a wall… It doesn’t work in the NFL. Everyone can stop THAT.

  15. Dave Pear Says:

    Thank the genius masturmind Todd for the turd that is the Bucs offense. Todd said BA’s offense tired out his defense.

    But it’s smarter to posses the ball for 2 minutes by going 3 and out and punt setting the defense up to allow those 8 minute opposing drives with lots of soft zone and coverage busts.

    BA’s offense scored points.

    Todd wants to keep the game close.


  16. teacherman1983 Says:

    With Jensen, Marpet and Cappa we had one of the best interior lines of all time.

    Brady was never rattled or scared.

    Our play action game was sick.

    Our running game was 4 yards a pop.

    We were awesome.

    We lost Jensen, Marpet and Cappa.

    And we have sucked ever since.

    Hainsey is the worst center in the NFL.

    Jensen was a top 5 center/enforcer/leader/bully of all time.

    We were scared of New Orleans before Jensen came to town.

    Barton looks legit. Klein is more my style. Hainsey will get cut.

    And I hope we draft another LG/C in the 2nd round next year.

  17. rrsrq Says:

    Receivers get tired of running routes the entire game, so yeah, you have to have some semblance of running the ball. I saw a picture the other day of John Jefferson, Charlie Joiner, and Kellen Winslow Sr – they were potent, but they also had Chuck Muncie (a decent RB) and Wes Chandler (a really good 3rd receiver), but they did not win much – but they put up stats

  18. Bucben61 Says:

    “Barton looks legit. Klein is more my style. Hainsey will get cut.”

    Hainsey is not getting cut…lmao

  19. stpetebucfan Says:

    I agree with all here who point out the marked improvement in passing game “potential”. The OL should be significantly better, the targets already included a future HOFer and an All Pro guy plus some legitimate depth. RB is probably improved as well.

    But here is where I perhaps am a bit different. I think there are two football seasons. There’s the regular season and the playoffs. They are TOTALLY different animals.

    Lose in the regular season and you survive to play another day. Lose in the playoffs and pack your bags! So I see wisdom in both styles…pass the damn ball or run it and play stifling defense.

    In the regular season it should be bombs away and crush opponents before they figure out what hit them. That can be risky though. If it works 3 out of 4 games fine a .700 plus % is excellent. In the playoffs though that .300 chance of losing calls for more conservative Todd Bowles style.

    In playoff games can and frequently get decided by one or two plays.
    It’s not really the time to get all wild and risky.

  20. SlyPirate Says:


    Jimmy Johnson, The Miami U and Dallas Coach, had an offensive philosophy, “Pass to score. Run to win.” Bowles obviously also subscribes to that philosophy which is why he’s been so adamant about creating a run game. Joe is poking a little fun with “Pass to win.”

    Just a little knowledge share.

  21. JByrd Says:

    The biggest problem with the run game has been the interior oline. Joe apparently doesn’t want to acknowledge this and just wants to crap on RW time after time. Oline has been addressed and should be much improved. Along with hopefully a better playcaller.

  22. bob in valrico Says:

    Agree ST. Pete,
    No better example than the pass happy Chiefs. Isiah Pacheco averaged 20
    carries in the four playoff games last year.

  23. Bobby M. Says:

    Bowles puts up another 9-8 season and the OC is getting interviews, things could get interesting. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what works in modern football and what doesn’t. Offense rules and with $100 million in Baker, you can’t keep playing merry go round with your OC. Dungy got canned after a playoff season, Gruden got canned after a winning season…..Bowles is sitting on a bit of a hot seat. The team hasn’t been able get to double digit wins in two seasons under Bowles in what has been THE weakest division in the NFL. I don’t think he survives another 9-8, one and done season if the OC shows promise.

  24. drdneast Says:

    The Bucs don’t need a top tier running attack to be successful but one ranked in the middle of the pack and able to score in the RedZone would be a vast improvement and improve the effectiveness of the passing game.

  25. 1#bucsfan Says:

    I’ve bin beating this drum for so so so long. Play to your players strengths. We are built on offense to pass and on defense we are built for man vs man coverage. Yet we kept slamming white up the guy for no gains like he was allstott in his prime and got nowhere and on defense we kept playing zone and getting burned so badly yet kept doing it. I just don’t get it. I know biwles wants to be balanced but at some point you need to do what works and there was a few games where we light good defenses up with passing.

  26. Shane Callahan Says:

    With a terrible IOL and Canales calling plays, they could not run. I’m hoping things will change this season and that they will be able to run effectively. Baker can make every throw, but the ability to run the ball is essential.

  27. Dave Pear Says:

    Bobby M is right about Todd on the hot seat.

    He is 18-19 as Bucs head coach after the epic four season losing exhibit with the Jets.

    He needs 10 wins to ensure he’s sporting a winning record as Bucs head coach after this season. The roster has 11 or 12 wins written all over it.

  28. catcard202 Says:

    I think the KISS (Keep it simple, Stupid!”) targets for Coen’s 2024 Bucs Offense are top 4000yds passing / 2000yds rushing / >25ppg…Which will not be so simple to reach, but are thresholds that are easy to understand as a collective TEAM focused approach…& BTW that = a 11-12win Playoff/SB contender (Offensively).

    The OL should be better in 2024 (barring unforeseen injuries) and organizationally it feels like there is firm belief that the Coen / Baker marriage can be highly successful w/ the plethora of skilled position weapons assembled by the FO.

    (I expect the Bucs will still be pass heavy, as the league is…But more towards the 55-45 range, while finding another 30yds a game on the ground.)

    Reach those KISS targets offensively & keep the Bowles DEF baseline = <20ppg…And Tampa will be hosting Playoff games in mid-late JAN 2025.

  29. RustyRhinos Says:

    As always 3 incomplete passes equal a need to punt… We could not waste a second of time off the clock for the other team either… The clock stops when the ball hits the ground for an incomplete pass, whereas the clock runs when you run the ball even after the play is over the clock keeps on ticking. Making the other team need to use their timeouts to stop the clock.

    I am excited to see our RBs this season. White, Irving, Edmonds, Tucker, Williams, Jefferson. All are skilled hard-working, talented players. It should be fun to watch how it all shakes out.

  30. unbelievable Says:

    You HAVE to have the threat of a run game, at minimum, to be respected and keep offenses off balance.

    It’s imperative. Especially once the playoffs start. Or in poor weather (North / northeast in the wintertime…) Anyone who knows anything about football knows this.

    All the Bucs are trying to do is have a respectable ground game.

  31. Dude Says:

    “Yet we kept slamming white up the guy for no gains like he was allstott in his prime and got nowhere and on defense we kept playing zone and getting burned so badly yet kept doing it.”

    I’m starting to think fans that talk like this don’t know how our defense merries zone with its blitz packages, nor do they know that zone is better at stopping the big play and keeping WRs in front of your defenders making it hard to get behind the or create separation. it’s basic football 101 like a rung or two above making sure your cleats are tied and your ankles and wrists are taped properly.

  32. Badbucs Says:

    Our interior offensive line us still a giant question mark. It was “addressed”, and there is potential in Barton and Klein, but the FA’s brought in rank poorly and Mauk was too. Expecting any or all of those three to miraculously become all pro is homer wishful thinking. If, huge if, Barton is the huge upgrade over Hainsey, we will be better. Still much the same at guard. If Mauk, Barton and Klein all wow us we celebrate. Just don’t bet the house.

  33. Dave Pear Says:

    True by bad. The improvement over the interior trio of matadors is yet to be demonstrated. Lets see.

    Also, let’s hope Goedonkey keeps honing his craft of surreptitious holding. I’ve not seen a tackle get away with more than he does. Hey, it’s a results business. If you get away with it it’s not holding.

  34. Daniel Hammond Says:

    I think we’ll have a lot better running this year with new offensive coordinator I like Dave Canal’s but you knew every time they were going to run and if I knew it so did the other team