Canales has a difficult job ahead of him

by Gary Shelton on February 17, 2023

in general

Friday, 4 a.m.

The question is whether you congratulate Dave Canales.

Or do you console him.

Canales continued his climb through the NFL coaching ranks when the former Seattle assistant coach agreed to be the new Bucs' offensive coordinator, which puts him in charge of one of the most uncoordinated offenses in the NFL.

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On one hand, it's a coordinator job, which is going to allow a personal signature on his job. From there, only head coach is a promotion. It pays well. You get your face on TV a lot.

On the other hand, yuck.

There is a reason the Bucs went through so many candidates. Frankly, it's not a very good job.

-- You have one quarterback on your roster, and he's thrown all of nine passes in the NFL.

-- You have the worst running game in the NFL.

-- The best quarterback in NFL history has left the building, which considerably weakens the bright spot of the Bucs -- the wide receivers.

-- The offensive line blocks like The Rolling Stones.

-- The head coach may be on a short-term lease.

-- The team is neither particularly young nor particularly fast.

-- The best thing you can say about the left tackle is that he has quite a pair of hands. That's not a good thing.

-- The general manager has had some successes, but recently, he's brought in Akiem Hicks, Julio Jones and Kyle Rudolph.

-- The last guy was so bad he was canned two years after winning the Super Bowl.

-- The team is so far over the salary cap that the general manager can see his house from there.

-- The team seems to think the "red" in "red zone" means stop.

-- Around here, third-and-one is the Riddle of the Sphinx.

In other words, Canales has a lot of work to do until he has to figure out how to make a first down. The Bucs, sadly, are a team on the way down. Very few players on the roster had a better season in 2022 than they did in 2021.

What Canales can do is try to set a tone, to find an identity for the post-Brady era. He can accent younger, quicker receivers. He can find a diamond in the rough who he believes in. He can be less predictable than Byron Leftwich.

And, slowly, he can rebuild trust.

From here, it seems as if it will take a while.

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