Everything new Bucs OC Dave Canales said at his 1st press conference

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers introduced their new offensive coordinator during a press conference Wednesday, as Dave Canales spent more than a half-hour answering a wide range of questions from the media.

Here’s everything he had to say:

Opening statement

“[I’m] really excited to be here, really excited to just bring a new look on what we’re doing. [I’ve] really just been spending the last couple of days shuffling through language, terminology, things like that – just some real basics, you know? One of the things I want to say right off the bat, it was so important to just take my time with this process, to see what we have here. From a football standpoint, they’ve done some great things – a world championship – so I want to respect that and the players that got us to that point, first and foremost. And then there’s just a lot of really awesome people on the staff that I can pull and draw from.”

On the Bucs' interview process

“I think it really started off with questions about Seattle – about what we’ve been able to do. I’ve been there for 13 years, so I like to tell this story: I got the job in 2010 [and] my daughter was born two months into it, so I drove home, brought my wife Lizzy and my daughter Ashby up to Seattle and we’ve been there ever since. I can always tell how old she is based on how long I’ve been in Seattle so it was pretty convenient there.”

“It was about just creating a place where regardless of the ebbs and flows of talent that we had over the years, the ability to build an offense that complemented the defense and the special teams that created winning football – it’s in my DNA. I started with Pete [Carroll] in 2009 so, really, it’s 14 years together and what I saw firsthand – which kind of became engrained in who I am with my football DNA – a real toughness in style of how we play, training the staff, training the players – these are the critical variables that help us win games. Starting from there, those were a lot of the conversations we had.”

“Having the chance to coach against Todd [Bowles] for a couple of years in Arizona and some of the battles we had there – with Bruce [Arians] as well – there was some familiarity. Then, in recent years, [Seahawks offensive coordinator] Shane Waldron came from the Rams and brought a system that was just really revolutionary in the way that we teach it, the way we streamline it, the way we present it using media, using digital, using all types of technological tools for us to make it user friendly for the players. It was a combination of those things.”

On what he's learned for the offensive coordinators he's worked with in the past

“I’ll go back and start with Jeremy [Bates]. Jeremy taught me how to work. He was [in Tampa] as a quality control coach for Jon Gruden and there was a huge level of expectation from a work ethic standpoint, so he brought that to me. [He] was really demanding with me early on in my career. I was just kind of that laid back kid from southern California and spent time at the junior college level and the high school level so when I got to Seattle with Jeremy, that’s where he really taught me how to grind, taught me how to work. Of course, he’s just brilliant in his own right with play calling and just how fluid he was with the calls – setting things up throughout the game and getting back to them, he was really extraordinary with that.”

“Darrell Bevell, the number one thing was, ‘No synonyms’ – let’s use the sane language, let’s teach the coaches the language, let’s teach the players the language and let’s all use the same words. Let’s make everything look the same – the way we lined up, the way we put our inside foot or outside foot back – we got feedback from across the league as we meet people at the combine and they would say, ‘We could never tell what you guys were doing because Marshawn [Lynch]’s feet were always matching the tackles, so it looked like run or pass.’ And then Darrell gave me the pass game – he gave me a great system. We were just situationally sound – third down, red zone, two minute – different situations. He really gave me a nice toolbelt that I’m still using – Geno [Smith] was able to employ some of the same concepts there. Darrell is really humble – he listened, he asked, he took criticism from anybody who was willing and had a backing – ‘Well, show me that.’ So he taught me how to handle himself as a leader that way.”

“‘Schotty’ [Brian Schottenheimer] came in and taught me how to train the quarterback. Darrell was awesome at it as well. Carl Smith – known as ‘Tater’ was one of my mentors – he taught me how to teach winning football to the quarterback. But Brian Schottenheimer – you look at his track record, it’s Philip Rivers, it’s Drew Brees, it’s Mark Sanchez as a young guy, Andrew Luck as a young guy in Indianapolis. When he came into Seattle, he really took my quarterback school to another level with how he presented it, how demanding he was with the footwork and timing. And then of course he was just a really skilled veteran play caller as well. So to sit back and watch him do the same thing I saw the guys before him [do] – in-game adjustments, setting things up – that was a huge impact that he had on me.”

“And then Shane Waldron came in and he came from a system of young offensive head coaches who really didn’t have to answer to anybody, so that’s where you had the think tank, the ‘R and D’ (research and development) – they could do or try anything. And then instead of leaning on the ‘This is just the way that it’s always been done,’ he said ‘That was no longer acceptable – what’s the smartest way to do this? What’s the fastest way to do this? How do we set this up with this type of tempo?’ That’s where a lot of the study across the league, across college really started to come in and really make sense as an offense there. While we’ve been in Seattle for the last two years, that’s where Shane and the staff, we were able to really employ a lot of different offensive personnels to the same principles – to the same system that’s being used across the league. It’s why a lot of us – counting myself in that now – as coordinators and head coaches have been coveted across the league, to be able to bring that system in there.”

On the Bucs' QB situation

“Good question. The way that I’ve been trained is, ‘They’re ours until they’re not.’ So, right now, I’ve got one Buccaneers quarterback – it’s Kyle Trask. I can talk about Kyle for a second here. I really liked him coming out [of college]. If you look at some of the skill position players that he had there: Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney – he had the big return in the Super Bowl – and then you have Dameon Pierce [who] was another guy, right? Well, he was able to distribute.”

“The thing that we’re going to help Kyle continue to build on here is to just be a point guard. Point guards don’t have to be the one to score all the points – you just distribute. Play on time, get the ball out of your hands, life is better that way when you do that. You’ve got these bears chasing you and if you don’t like bears chasing you, get rid of the ham – and that’s the football, right? So just teaching him those principles, allowing him to be a distributor. The other part, too, about quarterback philosophy and play – coming from a junior college background and high school and all that, we really didn’t care if the guy was 5’10” or 6’4”. I had a 6’6” quarterback – the one thing we were looking for is can this guy play catch? ‘Schotty’ [Brian Schottenheimer] called it the ‘me-to-you factor.’ I loved that – it’s just me to this guy.”

“Learning who my skill players are and being able to distribute – he’s already shown he can do that. On top of that, it’s just a really quarterback friendly system because of the balance of the run and the pass. We’re not going to put him in harm’s way a lot, until of course you get into those situations where you’ve got to throw it a little bit – and then we’ll do that as smart of a way as possible.”

On getting the most out of multiple QBs in Seattle

“That’s where the system has proven itself. It’s a style of play. If I go back to ‘SC’ (University of Southern California) for a bit, you just start rattling off the quarterbacks that came out of there – going back to Carson Palmer, you had Matt Leinart, then here comes John David Booty and then Mark Sanchez. Matt Barkley falls into that category, as well. One guy after the other – highly-touted, gets a lot of accolades, when really it’s a system that is friendly for the quarterback. Drilling that timing of getting the ball out and then having the balance of the run game.”

“I heard Sean Payton say this the other day and I thought it was brilliant. He said, ‘You’ve got to take the quarterback off the high dive.’ I thought that was a brilliant way to put it because you can’t be leaning on him to make every single play all of the time. The best way to do it is just to hand it off to your talent in the backfield. Teaching the quarterback how to win was critical. That’s where my training from Carl Smith – I mentioned ‘Tater’ – we call him ‘Tater’ affectionately. He really taught Russell [Wilson] how to win [and] how to manage the game.”

“People can be critical of ‘Russ’ in different areas of his game, but the one thing he has done is he has won. With the exception of this past year, he has won at a really high level. Geno [Smith] spent a couple of years sitting behind that watching it like, ‘I can do that. I can manage that.’ And then Geno allowed us to open up the playbook a little bit with some of our pass stuff that he was a little bit stronger in. So we just tilted it a little bit this way or that way based upon who the quarterback was. We are always trying to look for a way to put the quarterback in his comfort zone and build from there.”

On his own offensive system

“It’s good I just came fresh off of interviews and stuff so I can just rattle this stuff off. Number one, it’s all about the ball. Everything we do with all 11 guys on the offense, it’s going to be about protecting the football. Whether it’s in the run game, pass game or protection, we are going to be crazy about it. One thing that hits my brain really quick…  Skip Peete is going to be our running backs coach – they had zero fumbles lost last year from the running back. He could have started that interview with that, dropped the mic and he would’ve been hired. That’s number one.”

“Number two is focusing on what we control – that is your fundamentals and your attitude. We’re going to be a developmentally-minded staff that’s looking to develop ‘Player A’ to ‘Player Z.’ They are ours until they’re not. There is no catering to this guy or that guy. We want everybody to develop their fundamental skills. Then the attitude – it starts with effort. I go back to Pete [Carroll], from day one – the very first day of spring and the very first day of camp, we critique effort first. We’re looking for people trying really hard. We will get the how to, but we’ve got to get the how much and how fast going before we can really take a step from there.”

“The third thing is the marriage between the run and pass. That is our identity – things that start looking one way, but end up being different. The thing that is going to help us, without getting into too much detail, is that we’re going to do things that are simple in concept but are complex in delivery. What do I mean by that? It’s not going to be a lot of plays. It’s going to be a few plays out of different personnels and different looks so that our execution stays at a high level there.”

“Then we’re going to be situationally aware. We are going to be a very smart football team. We’re going to know what we are looking at and the situations. The play calls are going to come out based on the specific area of the field. The players are going to be aware of, ‘When we get this situation, we should probably only be calling this one or two plays.’ They will be in tune with a lot of that stuff, and then of course ready to adjust. The thing that allows you to adjust is not having so much volume. When you keep the package tight then you’re able to adjust and make little fine-tuning changes within a gameplan so that they can continue to play fast.”

“And the last part that will be our calling card is finish. You’ll see linemen running down the field. You’ll see Geno [Smith] last year chasing Ken Walker down on runs just trying to get his body in the way, in a smart way to keep himself safe. You’re going to see 11 people fly off the ball and really finish – finish drives, finish quarters, finish halves and finish games. It starts in practice. That’s the general philosophy of what we will do.”

On how the Bucs' offense will look different than in the past

“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. 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.”

On his play-calling experience

“Well, I have never called plays at the collegiate or NFL level. I called plays way, way back. I was a head JV coach in 2004-05. That was really fun. I didn’t answer to anybody, so we did all kinds of fun stuff. I didn’t have a head coach knocking on my door saying, ‘Hey, I don’t think that’s something we are going to do.’ Anyway, that’s way back then.”

“But yeah, I’ll touch on that because that was a concern that came up in both interviews with Baltimore and with Todd [Bowles] and Jason [Licht]. I really respect the play-calling position. I respect how hard it is. I respect the skill that the guys that I worked for [have], that they had to have the mastery of the gameplan and the call sheet. I know that I’m going to take some lumps and have to learn my lessons along the way, but I’ll learn quick. I am a quick study.”

“I have guys with play-calling experience on this staff and I’m going to lean on them, bounce ideas off of them and packaging things. I really do respect that part of it. It’s something that I am really excited about. I really have been chomping at the bit just trying to get an opportunity. I’ve called mock games. I would be like the offensive coordinator for the twos. That’s been a lot of fun, especially when I had Geno [Smith] for the last couple years and we would go in and embarrass the ones a little bit. I took a lot of pride in that.”

“I will say though, play-calling is not the hardest part about this job. The hardest part about this job is creating a culture, creating a language, teaching my coaches what the system is so they can give me good information and then teaching them how to communicate it to the players making sure that our language stays consistent. No synonyms, we say it like this. High and tight – that’s how we talk about ball security. And, of course, the game plan aspect of it – those are the most challenging parts of this position.”

“The play-calling is just fun. That is the part that is like the payoff at the end of the week. Just one more point with that… when you are in the quarterback room and you’re the quarterbacks coach or pass game coordinator like I was, you’ve got to know the call sheet cold. You’ve got to know it like the back of your hand. Feeding play ideas for the last three coordinators at different times in my career has allowed me to cut my teeth a little bit on what that looks like. Just having a mastery of the call sheet comes with the role of being the quarterbacks coach, which is why it’s important. Thad Lewis, having a quarterback background, he has called it. He has been in a huddle. He had to look in people’s faces and say things. So, when a guy becomes a quarterbacks coach, it’s so natural to him. He’s the QB of that room.”

On the play call that made him want to do this with this life

“I’ve got a couple but early on in my career it was the conference championship game and we were playing the Packers at home. This is in 2014 before we went to the Super Bowl against the Patriots. They pulled the post safety out and they were playing ‘Cover 0.’ They had a loaded box because Marshawn Lynch and Russell [Wilson] at that time [were] a dynamic duo in the run game. Whenever we got in certain personnels, they pulled the safety and went ‘Cover 0.’ At half, I came to the coordinator and said, ‘They keep pulling it down.’ We had an adjustment – I don’t want to say the word because we’re going to use it – but we had an adjustment to attack ‘Cover 0.’”

“So, we came up with a plan. Will Tukuafu, who is a D-line coach now in Seattle, at the time was a fullback. We are going to motion him out, remove one from the box, max protect it and we throw a post to Jermaine Kearse to win the game. He threw the ball into the [stands], regretted it. He got it back, but anyway, it was that moment. There were other little moments along the way, but at that point I was like, ‘Wow, this is cool to be able to have an impact by making an in-game adjustment.’ It really got me going and encouraged me to keep going.”

On having balance on offense

“First of all, you’ve got to have great players, right? So, I’ll rattle them off – Marshawn Lynch, Thomas Rawls, who was fantastic for a couple of years, Chris Carson came in out of nowhere as a seventh-round pick and just ran like a madman for a couple [of] years – here comes Rashaad Penny. Rashaad has been an explosive play waiting to happen, [and] adding Ken Walker.”

“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. 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. 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.”

On his new offensive coaching staff

“Ok, great, so let’s start up front. First of all, ‘Goodie,’ Harold Goodwin, and Joe Gilbert are here – you talk about world champion offensive line right there. So, I can’t wait to get in there, sit with them, and put a run game that’s really awesome together and build off of the things that they’ve been successful with. They’ve already been so supportive, just wanting to expand with some of the ways that we build formations so it’s not these single things that happen. We can move stuff that’s going to look really hard for the defense but going to be pretty simple for us.”

“John Van Dam, the tight ends coach, is already here [and] he’s got [a] quarterback/O.C. (offensive coordinator) background. So, just having the value of a guy who’s coaching the tight ends with all of that, he really becomes like a bridge, he really becomes the glue. [He] makes me think of our tight ends coach in Seattle, Pat McPherson, who had the same type of background as [the] quarterbacks coach in Denver as well as the tight ends coach. So, he’s been kind of the bridge over the years of whatever our run game is. Man, Pat’s got these keepers and these play actions that really make it come to life. When I was drawing passes, I would always joke, I’d be like, ‘Pat, I’ve been drawing these plays [for] five years and you haven’t brought me a package of it without there being something I haven’t drawn’ and we’re talking about thousands of plays. So that’s what I’m going to be expecting from John as well.”

“Then, Skip Peete, we’ve talked about, [I’m] just fired up to be able to lean on him too just as things get rough at times, somebody who’s been around to be able to calm me down as I can get a little bit excited and I’ve got a lot of bottled-up energy and a bunch of ideas but that will be really helpful.”

“Then Brad Idzik, five years at Stanford as an assistant and then four years in Seattle, quarterbacks and receivers. The thing that I’ll say about Brad, there’s two reasons, really, why I had to have Brad – number one, you look outside after any practice, he’s out there with somebody working, or two or three guys. He was always that safety net just kind of catching guys. If you had 12 guys in a receiver room, he’s working with the bottom half. If we brought a free agent in who needed help transitioning into a new system, Brad’s right there early, [then] afterwards, ‘Here’s the plan, here’s how we package these things, here’s how to block this guy right there.’ That’s going to be really important with Mike [Evans] and with Chris [Godwin].”

“For him to be the bridge for those guys and to this new system. That’s going to be a really important task of Brad’s. He was mentored by Sanjay Lal in the receiver room, some of you might not know him, [but] he’s regarded as one of the best receiver coaches out there. He trained Brad and so Brad’s going to be able to employ some of those study film, different techniques and all that he’ll bring. Probably most importantly he’s my workout partner, so he’s 10 years younger than me and he can go. So like I’m chasing him up and down the gym and it keeps me alive so we’ve spent a lot of good times and a lot of good hours together.”

“And, yes, he knows the area. John and Carol Idzik live not too far from here so it’s just a really cool homecoming for him, too.”

On Kyle Trask's involvement in the run game

“Yeah, so with Kyle. the QB run stuff, QB read stuff won’t be a big feature of what we do. But as far as everything else that we do in terms of the play-actions and the keeper game, he’s plenty athletic enough. He’s got short-space quickness. If you guys remember, his Florida tape, the protection wasn’t always great. And he just had a really gritty, savvy way of moving in tight spaces to get the ball gone to his players. So, he’s got plenty of athleticism to run our system. Jared Goff, right, was in the system. Aaron Rodgers. Russell last year. When Russell was not the young Russ, who was the runner in all that stuff. There’s really no concern for me there with Kyle.”

On Jeremy Bates being a potential conduit with the Bucs

“You know what, I’ve got to ask Todd [Bowles]. I’m not exactly sure how my name came across, but I know my agent was the squeaky wheel. And I got an interview with the Ravens, who found me based off a…some people use a search, like a talent or career search type of committee to look at who would be good people to talk to. Really, Geno [Smith] put me on the map [with] how well he played this year. And then I was able to have that opportunity, then my agent was just kind of like, ‘He’s got an interview. You should talk to him. You should bring him in, you’re going to like him.'”

“And then behind the scenes, I’ve gotten to know Tony Dungy over the last six or seven years and he knows Todd pretty well, so I’m sure a text from Tony goes a long way. And I’m sure there’s a bunch of other people who just [helped]. Everywhere I went, whether it was Baltimore or here, it felt like the people that I’ve worked with…I’m just really appreciative of the people that I work with going to bat and saying, ‘You should talk to him.’ It’s really humbling when you have guys that have done some amazing things in their career to recommend you to their friends.”

On if he's building the offense around Kyle Trask

“That’s a good question. I would say, really right now, the system is the system. It handles any real type of quarterback. So, it’s not so much that we’re going to building it through Kyle, it’s just that as I get to know him and study him, the things we’ll do will be in his wheelhouse. And it’s going to be about our tight ends, it’s going to be about our backs. It’s going to be about Mike [Evans] and Chris [Godwin], Russell [Gage]. It’s really the whole thing. When I say system, it’s not so much the plays that are run but it’s the marriage of the run and pass and it’s the attacking style that we’re going to be in and out of tempos and multiple. So that part, really, you plug and play your talent. The plays become the plays but it’s the system that is flexible.”

On roles for Mike Evans, Chris Godwin

“I would say, specifically, they just do so many good things outside the numbers with the one-on-one matchups. That will definitely be a part of what we do. And then, moving the receivers to gain access – you can release easier if you move your receivers around, so we have a simple system that allows us to be able to do that, to give them access into the secondary. And when you get a big sucker like those guys with a free run, where they’re not having to face press all the time – and they’re both magnificent versus press, that’s the cool part.”

“Anytime you reduce football to just being mano-y-mano ball, it’s just not smart football. 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. And we definitely use our receivers in the run game, so having two big guys who can do that is awesome. And actually Russell [Gage Jr.] is fantastic in there, too. He’s really tough. So that’s another guy we’ll be able to use.”

On Rachaad White

“Oh yeah, what shocked me about that was the toughness in the style that he ran because I saw him as this versatile guy who you could run routes with him out of the backfield, split him out wide and do some things like that, plus the run game. But then you see his attitude in person in Germany, just see the style that he ran downhill, he was aggressive, the violence that he played with and you go, ‘Wow, this guy could be special.’ He’s got some great skillset that really fits into our system.”

Story originally appeared on Buccaneers Wire