First Possession Blues: A Bucs Story

July 11th, 2024

Offensive coordinator Liam Coen.

If the Bucs can only improve their first-half offense, it ought to go a long way to scoring more points and, hopefully, winning more games.

Joe has often referenced this offseason how the Bucs never scored a touchdown on their first possession last year. What’s weird is the Bucs moved the ball in the first half, despite never scoring a touchdown.

This week the Sharp Football Analysis 2024 Football Preview came out with a deeper-than-deep dive statistically into each NFL team and the league as a whole.

The Bucs had the fifth-best mark in the league for fewest three-and-out drives — in the first halves of games. The Bucs also had the fifth-most offensive plays in the first half.

For Joe, that demonstrates two things: The Bucs were able to move the ball in the first half and former offensive coordinator Dave Canales was able to quickly adjust after the opening drive.

It seems Canales, for reasons unknown, was stumped by scripting plays. This makes Joe wonder what Canales was researching when he was watching tape. Either that, or Canales didn’t know how to anticipate defensive preparation until he had a feel for the flow of the game.

If new Bucs offensive coordinator Liam Coen can figure out this mystery of opening drives, maybe that should result in an extra win or two.

15 Responses to “First Possession Blues: A Bucs Story”

  1. Pickgrin Says:

    It wasn’t just the 1st drives.

    Canales had a general problem scheming his offense into the end zone and it lasted pretty much all season. Evidenced by 20.5 ppg average

    Perhaps great scheming wasn’t even necessary with the talent on hand. I mean – how many back corner end zone fades were thrown to Evans last year? 1? 2? whatever the # – it wasn’t nearly enough. Regardless of who the CB is – those are not 50/50 balls – those are 80/20 balls if the QB throws it where Mike can get his hands on it…. Smilin’ Dave apparently never figured that out….

  2. Bucswin! Says:

    When I pick up my phone. One of the first three apps (website) I open is Joes. I’m a multiple daily visitor. I appreciate the constant articles. Even in the list season the slowest part of the year you guys just keep producing. Really looking forward to this season. Time to watch the two Superbowl wins that a third of the league can’t do…. Less that two weeks to go.. Goooooooo BUCS!

  3. Joe Says:


    Thanks for the kind words. Really appreciate your support! 🙂

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    I see Joe that you took advantage of the Early Bird Special for the ‘Sharp Football Analysis 2024 Football Preview’ that just came out. Particularly like the endorsement he received from Matthew Holt, the President of U.S. Integrity LLC.

    Of course, I didn’t know that integrity had now been incorporated, nor that it had ‘Limited Liability’. Nonetheless, kudos to Matthew for grabbing that bull by the horn & making it his own.

  5. Hodad Says:

    Canalas problem was he’d run when he should’ve passed most times. I want my QB to have more then one opportunity to throw a TD on first, and goal inside the ten. Dave to many times would run on 1st, and 2nd giving Baker only 3rd, and goal to make a play. The good news is I watched Kentucky, Clemsen’s bowl game, and inside the ten on first down Coen ran a play action roll out for a wide open TD. When to run, when to pass is key to scoring, and Canalas wasn’t very good at that.

  6. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Canalas was stubborn or a fool to think that we needed to establish a running game in the first drive. When he failed and realized that his offense sucked at running the ball, he finally opened up the passing game.

  7. Fan of the South Says:

    There is more than one way to skin a Cat.
    In 7 seasons with the Rams McVey has a .609 Win rate
    In 14 seasons with the Seahawks Carroll was .606.

    Both have different styles but got good results.

    What it comes down to is Execution or the lack there of.

  8. bucnjim Says:

    If I remember correctly we didn’t seem to open things up until we were losing. Don’t think we had the lead very often so it makes sense. Not sure though whether playing it conservative was a factor in falling behind early.

  9. SlyPirate Says:

    If we’re going nitpick Canales, I would say his main problem is he didn’t understand offense. Once he overcomes that little problem, he’ll be a good coach.

  10. Dave Pear Says:

    Canalwater is now the HC of the league’s worst franchise. He’s supposed to fix Bryce, jump start a dead offense with no weapons, and be the top dog accountable for everything, all while reporting to the maniac Tepper.

    Good luck Dave! Hahahahaaaaa.

    Meanwhile, mr mac’n’cheese going to the size thing for QBs. The all lower case handle would imply a preference for small size. Probably too small to have ever heard about Drew Brees.

  11. Dave Pear Says:

    How many seasons did Brees play, midget?

  12. Dave Pear Says:

    I forgot, midgets can’t read or research.

    Brees played 20 seasons. He didn’t throw for 5000 until his eighth season, by then having been in the same system for four years.

    Baker, who midgets hate, has 6 seasons so far. He’s thrown for over 20,000 yards. After Bree’s’ 6th season, he’d thrown for 16,000 yards.

    Single issue midgets are cute, but dumb.

  13. Please Says:

    Dave, Time to turn of your cable TV and plug in your flip phone and head to bed. Skip reading your periodicals tonight and get some sleep.

  14. Dude Says:

    “Canales had a general problem scheming his offense into the end zone and it lasted pretty much all season. Evidenced by 20.5 ppg average”

    This statement makes 0 sense. You could theoretically score on ANY play, but if you’re 11 guys aren’t sharp, playing as one, and executing at a high level you get games where you have to settle FGs because you don’t have the juice to go and get 6.

    IDK, what “scheming” your offense into the endzone even means, but in real world application, it sounds like you’d expect the tower bell or spire of a church to be on the building as soon as the architects and engineers put their pencils down. Players play at a high enough level they EARN 6 no OC says “these are plays just for scoring” lol

  15. garro Says:

    No more Stat boy please.

    Go Bucs!