Sitting at 3-3 and battling through three straight as the NFC South champions, the Buccaneers are working through some trials and tribulations that their offensive coordinator doesn’t believe will shape up any time soon.
“No quick fixes for where we’re going — just a lot of the same conversations,” said first-year OC Dave Canales. “I hate to sound like a broken record, but basic execution … I thought [running] quarterbacks ran more this week – we had some opportunities there. Again, just kind of getting grooved in the system.
“Still, it would be nice to be able to drive the ball consistently and do that. Maybe it’s just me being able to call more of those runs in different situations. But yeah, gotta get better.”
Perhaps because of the pressure, Mayfield has thrown a shutout in four straight games after going scoreless in his first two games this season.
“We try to throw the ball more in certain situations,” Canales said. “He’d love to have a few of those back.” The interceptions that were intercepted this week, they are going to happen. The one on Sunday there, if he gets the ball to Rachaad [White], we get a lot of benefits. He knows. He knows that. At the same time, coach [Todd Bowles] has asked us to go and play our best to try and win the game. He really means it. For us, that means going for it. That means finding those opportunities to be able to stretch the field when we can. Being smart about it, of course, [but] trying to attack the coverage in the right way. I love this. The boys love it. We have this free period to just go and try to do our best. In the process, man, I’d love to get that run game going, for sure.”
There are a lot of questions facing the Bucs on Thursday regarding the quarterback, the running game and the offense as a whole.
While Canales believes there are no easy solutions ahead, Mayfield believes they haven’t been that far from success in recent weeks. It’s just about putting it together – unfortunately for them in a short week.
“We’re just so close,” Mayfield said. “I’m tired of saying this but it’s the truth when you go back and look [the film]. It’s one play here or there that’s going to make the difference in us continuing to keep drives going, or the big plays over the top to make those explosive plays. We are close.”
So that’s Week 8’s kickoff, with the Buccaneers (3-3) taking on the Bills (4-3) Thursday night at 8:15 PM ET on Prime Video.