Phase Three of the offseason workout program is underway and for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, excitement builds for the 2023 slate. From classroom meetings to on-field instruction under the Florida heat, a new offensive system is being installed under the tutelage of Offensive Coordinator Dave Canales. He will be implementing a methodology that complements the run and pass game.
The revitalized system will not be complex in nature, but diverse in delivery. There will be multiple looks from the same concepts, utilizing different personnel to keep defenses off balance. The main component is not the actual plays themselves, but how they will be tied together and designed to put certain players in certain positions to maximize potential and to exploit a defense's weakness. The goal, similar to what Kyle Shanahan has cemented in San Francisco, will be to "make everything look the same."
"The marriage of the run and pass, that is our identity," said Dave Canales. "It is things that start looking one way and end up being different. The way that we are going to do things is use things that are simple in context but complex in delivery. It will not be a lot of plays. It will be a few plays out of different personnel groupings and different looks. We will be very situationally aware…When you don't have as much volume, you can fine-tune and adjust within a gameplan so players can continue to play fast. You are going to see 11 people fly off the ball and finish."
There will be increased movement by the Bucs' offense in 2023 to keep defenses guessing. There will likely be an uptick in bootlegs, misdirection, jet sweeps and wide zone runs which will initiate tells by the defense and foster a quarterback-friendly offense. The added emphasis on establishing the run will force defenses to load the box, giving up something in the passing game. Then, the Bucs will use weapons to make impact plays, whether that is Rachaad White bouncing a run outside, Cade Otton down the seam, Chris Godwin on a jet sweep or an offensive lineman extending a block downfield. The objective is to generate yards after the catch. The threat of a quarterback run off a read-option or a bootleg, puts added stress on a defense, as does multiple tight end sets.
"It is a really good opportunity for us to get the ball into our hands," Cade Otton stated. "Just, easy completions is a big thing in this offense making it easy on the quarterback and then for us as tight ends, getting the ball early on downs and trying to make plays down the field. So, that is a really exciting opportunity for us…In this offense in general there is going to be more bootlegs and that poses different challenges and just getting the ball in different places. So, no matter what, you are still going to have to make plays after the catch and makes plays at the seam. It will come at different spots and different tempos."
In the modern era of play-action and misdirection, bootlegs have become a staple for most offensive playbooks. In 2023, Dave Canales and the Bucs will embrace the evolutionary trends. Moving the pocket and flooding one side of the gridiron limits a defense's pass rush, secondary and stretches it horizontally. As a new system takes shape between the white lines, anticipation grows.
View some of the top photos from Day 1 of the Buccaneers OTAs at the AdventHealth Training Center.