Dave Canales’ offensive philosophy should be music to Bucs fans’ ears
On Wednesday, Dave Canales got his first opportunity to speak with the media about his vision as the new offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
What he had to say should have Bucs fans excited for the 2023 season and beyond, especially after what the offense looked like last year.
Despite plenty of talent, Tampa Bay’s offense fell off a cliff last year after putting up big numbers during the previous two years. Injuries played a major part in those struggles, but an outdated scheme that lacked creativity and the ability to make proper adjustments was the biggest problem for a unit that went from averaging 30 points per game for two years to just 18 las season.
Much of what Canales had to say Wednesday signaled a refreshing change from the previous regime.
“A lot more personnels, but then again it’s going to come down to who do we have? Who are our guys? Who are our players? That will give us the flexibility, right? I think as a coordinator, it’s about developing the scope,” Canales said. “As long as you scope [and] what I mean is, how much can this group handle? This is not the Seahawks. This is not the Buccaneers of 2022. This is our new team, what scope can they handle? And then just do a little bit more so that we are not predictable and so that teams cannot just pick us apart.”
One of the biggest criticism of the Bruce Arians/Byron Leftwich scheme was that it relied too much on talented players simply winning their 1-on-1 matchups, and didn’t do enough to help the players out by scheming them open.
It doesn’t sound like that will be a problem under Canales.
“Anytime you reduce football to just being mano-y-mano ball, it’s just not smart football,” Canales said. “So, anything you can do to get a matchup, an advantageous matchup or to move a gain to gain access, we’ll do those things.
Canales stressed the importance of balance, but made it clear they’ll do whatever is necessary to win games, either through the air or on the ground.
“So, then what it comes down to is, you’ve got to have a great system, great coaching upfront to just get the play started, and a lot of what you do with having the play actions, the boots, the keepers [is] it just slows down the backside just enough to give a great player space and then ‘see you later.’ Some of those runs have come off of that but it’s also about the attitude, right? Just knowing when to just pour it up in the dark crease and get that ugly two and three [yards] early on, and that becomes four and five, and then it becomes 12,” Canales said. “Being dogged in your commitment to being able to run the ball in any given situation and any given personnel.”
“That being said, if the runs [are] not working, we’re going to throw it a little bit more, [and] if the pass isn’t working we’re going to run it a little bit more,” Canales continued. “There will be days, [where] if they’re not fitting the runs right, we’ll run the ball 40 times and there will be days where you’ve got a matchup outside with Mike [Evans] or Chris Godwin and we’re blocking them pretty [well] and we can throw for 400-plus yards. That’s happened in our past in Seattle, as well. It’s just like, ‘Do whatever it takes to win and above all, take care of the ball’. So, having that balance is critical and it’s not about establishing the run, it’s about establishing an attacking offense that makes you have to defend the run but also defend the pass. Then that’s when you become dangerous.”
For a complete recap of Canales’ press conference, where he dives even deeper into his offensive philosophy, click here.