“I Know What He’s Thinking”

January 18th, 2019

New Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich talks playcalling and his future

Former Bucs QB Byron Leftwich will now call plays for what Tampa Bay GM Jason Licht calls one the great offenses in NFL history.

Leftwich has a half season of experience at the craft, plus preseason games.

But as Leftwich emphasized today at his One Buc Palace news conference, he knows what his mentor Bruce Arians wants to do. It’s already instinctive.

Joe asked Leftwich about how he’ll be different from Arians.

JoeBucsFan.com: As a playcaller, what do you think your subtle differences are to Bruce Arians the playcaller?

Byron Leftwich: I think each individual playcaller is different. I mean, I learned a lot from Bruce; I know what he’s thinking. Like I said, I’ve been shoulder-to-shoulder with him since I became a coach. Even when I was a player, when I was a backup quarterback in Pittsburgh, I was sitting next to Bruce and we would talk a lot. I’m quite sure there’ll be difference. It’ll still be No Risk It, No Biscuit, (laughs) just Part 2. But the good thing is I’ll always have him there. I’ll always have him there if something is catching me by surprise or anything like that. I always got Bruce right there for me if I ever need him. It’s going to be exciting, man. You guys have no clue how excited we are as coaches to be here.

Well, Joe hopes the coaches are half as excited as the fans. Because this is exciting.

Arians says Leftwich is head coach material. Joe asked Leftwich today if he wants to be a head coach, and Leftwich said he thinks all coaches do. Translation: Yes.

The way the NFL is going with young playcallers getting head coaching gigs, if Leftwich has a great year with the Bucs offense in 2019, he’s going to a hot head coaching candidate. And that will be enhanced if another Arians disciple, Freddie Kitchens, builds on the Browns’ revival.

46 Responses to ““I Know What He’s Thinking””

  1. tmaxcon Says:

    i am a leftwich guy now. hopefully he and B.A. can overcome the glazers.

  2. Buccernutter Says:


    One interview from leftwich and he likes him.

    Multiple pro bowls for GMC and tmax still trashes him daily

    You truly are a great example of a knowledgeable bucs fan.

  3. Pryda..sec147 Says:

    I just want us to be successful!

  4. Kobe Faker Says:

    “No QB can be good with their back is on the ground

    BA and Gary Coleman has to protect JW and give him time

    *Get a duel threat running back. trade 3rd round for 49ers Matt Brieda

    *If we see Celeb Bennoch in the starting Lineup, we know Gump is still in control”

    Kobe Faker

  5. TexBuc Says:

    What Kobe said

  6. miken Says:

    if Byron suited up and played, could we even tell?

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Don’t tell us. Show us.

  8. HeavyE Says:

    I like it! Let’s go Bucs!!! Bucs4Life!!!

  9. onetrickpony Says:

    I’m with you Buccaneer Bonzai ,
    I didn’t drink the Kool Aid at the start of this past season and I’m not this year, either.
    Show us, forget the hype,I’m not buying into it until somebody shows me.

  10. EvolvingBucsfan Says:

    I’ll hold my excitement till we see them face a team.

  11. Season Is Over Says:

    Handing this offense to one of the most inexperienced coaches in the league in Leftwich is just another slap in the face to Buc fans. We are always the test group. Things can never be normal.

  12. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I like Brieda. Jeff Wilson also looked good for the 49ers when he got time.

    Benecoch should just be cut.

    I think this is the most excited I’ve been for a combine lol. I just want to see how the elite talent shakes out. I could see this being similar to last year where there are 3 elite somewhat safe guys in Bosa/Williams/Allen. Unless someone like Oliver or Rashan Gary blows up the testing.

    The Alabama guy sounds like more of a OT/OG hybrid that should be a probowler but he’s not a straight up prototypical LT at all according to what I’ve read. Projects more to OG than LT.

    If he’s going to play OG then target an OG in round 2 not top 5. The only reason you take an OG top 5 is if they are going to be All Pro immediately like Quenton Nelson. Schreff is a top 9 guard. That’s not worth a top 5 pick IMO.

  13. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Actually we should just do what LUV says probably.

    Jeffery Simmons it is lol

  14. RustyRhinos Says:

    I am hoping we do not see the same results Byron Leftwich had his last 3 games as the Cardinals OC. It looked very similar to what we seen around here the past few seasons. 1-10 run up the middle for 0-2 yards 2-8 incomplete pass 3-8 incomplete pass 4-8 punt. Yeah that sounds like a great game plan to put loads of pressure on the Defense. No I am not a QB whisperer or a NFL coach. But I can see with my eyes what plays were called and the results of those called playes. And this was the norm for Byron Leftwich’s OC his last three games. We shall see what the results are here, my hope is we get better than that.
    Go Bucs!

  15. Bucsfanman Says:

    “Gary Coleman”?! That’s funny!

  16. Lord Cornelius Says:

    RustyRhinos do you know anything about the Cardinals?

    FYI they had the worst offensive line in the NFL and a rookie QB.

    FYI when Leftwich came in as OC the team was 0-4 and averaging 9.25 points per game. That isn’t a typo. In those last 3 games you are referring to they averaged closer to 16 PPG.

    Looks bad on the surface but when you realize those 3 games under Leftwich were almost double the scoring output of the first 3 games under Mike McCoy ( a guy who has been given multiple OC jobs) then it’s a different picture…

  17. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Lord C

    You da man. You and D.R. Luv and others bring facts and “logical” opinions to this blog everyday.

    These are only three of about 30 guys I really, really enjoy reading here. Don’t have time or memory to list them all but you know who you are and I thank you.

  18. Bucfan118 Says:

    We had all these same stories 3 years ago, when the last guy took over! I sure hope it’s different this time, I’m getting old and don’t have many seasons left in me.

  19. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Saw your post addressed to me yesterday and I wasn’t ignoring you just reading on a device that doesn’t let me post.

    Let’s start with your fundamental statement….”talent wins championships”. I don’t believe anybody argues with that. But you seem to believe it’s the ONLY thing that matters.

    Secondly of course a team of super talented arseholes will beat a weak team of small guys loaded with character. Who can argue that? The good big guy beats the good little guy.

    But there is a lot in making a simplistic statement that talent wins championships. It’s certainly the easiest starting point. But we’ve all heard stories of great coaches like Saban or Belichek that go…he can take his eleven and beat you…then he could swap and take your eleven and beat you again.

    So the debate will continue to rage on the importance of coaching versus the importance of talent. Obviously I believe they’re both important. JW has talent…he hasn’t really showcased it in a consistent fashion…we’re all hoping that Byron Leftwich can COACH the inconsistency out of him.

    Joe has already made an excellent point…the crappy coaches are already out of the playoffs and the remaining four are considered the cream of the coaching crop. Belichek may be the GOAT….I hate him but I tip my Kangol to Sean Payton…dude DOES have ability…Andy Reid may actually be the best of the group and Sean McVay is probably the best of the up and coming. Lots of talent on their teams for sure….but there is a lot of talent all across the NFL.

    But we and all the guys here could debate coaching versus talent forever…I want BOTH.

    Where you are absolutely WRONG however is you believe you need to be an arsehole to be a good player…baloney.
    So you’ll dig up Warren Sapp, Suh, and others…I can respond with the Bucs SB team…Sapp a MAJOR jerk…but Derrick Brooks? A HOFer who was and remains a class act. Ronde?
    Shelton Quarles…going back was Leroy Selmon a cancer because he might have been the ultimate nice guy?

    And so here is another FACT you cannot deny. The reality in the NFL is the competition is razor sharp. ALL teams have talent…the Bucs could have won more games and made the playoffs if talent ALONE was the determinant. They were “in” many game but the played STUPID…many here would say they had really bad coaches…others would point out they were thin on talent….thin on talent yet could have perhaps made the playoffs…starting the season with your star player…the franchise QB gone for three games was HUGE!!! Even JW admits missing being with the team three weeks messed with his mojo…understandably.

    And so…MY belief…you can play in the league as an absolute arsehole…but you can also play in the league and be a class act.

    CHARACTER…is just another edge a coach can gain on his opponents. Lack of character can absolutely wreck a season.
    See the Bucs 2018 season…players like Grimes and DJAX phoning it in…BOTH have talent…BOTH lack character!!!

    Before moving to Tampa I lived in Cincy..consequently a Bengals fan…and I was upset when Stanley Wilson was suspended the night before the freaking SB for snorting coke! Becoming a Tampa fan I was thrilled in our SB when Barrett Robbins disappeared from the Raiders.

    Bad character IS A LIABILITY!!! You never know when it will surface. Since you can play in this league on just talent without character…OR…be a superstar WITH CHARACTER…and the league is ALWAY looking for an edge…it’s just DUMB to risk your locker room with bad head cases. The Colts Chris Ballard has figured this out.

    It’s obviously not black and white….some coaches would play Jack the Ripper if he was a stud QB….other prefer getting the EDGE that character provides!

  20. tmaxcon Says:

    St Pete

    the point you continually to miss or flat out ignore is, if this mickey mouse franchise had leadership top to bottom versus these choir boy career losers character can be managed. you can’t walk away from a talented player because your organization is incapable of managing personalities of elite athletes. over the years your views on free passes and wealth redistribution on here are well documented so it seems a little out of character to toss everyone aside that does not meet your expectations of what good character is. for example, you think lovie is a man of character yet his ACTIONS prove otherwise, simple as that.

  21. Bucs fan #7423 Says:

    Glazers please trade your first born for Patrick Mahomes!!!!

  22. Dewey Selmon Says:

    That picture makes him look like a 40 year old detective on his 3rd divorce.

  23. Joey bananaz Says:

    Tmax is garbage

  24. Joey bananaz Says:

    T max sucks

  25. Joey bananaz Says:

    Tmax go home

  26. Joey bananaz Says:

    Go home

  27. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … Great post. I particularly enjoyed what I ‘think’ is your bottom line: “But we and all the guys here could debate coaching versus talent forever…I want BOTH.” Me too. It’s not now, nor has it ever been an EITHER/OR situation.

    I’m not one who’s of the opinion that all teams have equal talent. Since all teams operate with essentially the same salary CAP limitation (with a few legal adjustments like carry-over), equal talent should also assume equal GMs and equal ownership. Somehow I doubt that there are too many who are gullible enough to believe that.

    Every element of an NFL team’s organizational structure is vitally important to the success of the TEAM … ownership, management, coaching staff, players, and yes, even the facilities they train & play at. Bad decisions by one element can (and do) have ramifications which snowball.

    For instance, ownership let’s say decides that it (they) want a certain player in the draft & gives ‘orders’ to get git ’em. If that player isn’t the right fit (say he turns out to be Ryan Leaf instead of Manning) then the organization suffers.

    Or say the GM overpays on several big contracts then has to skimp on all the rest that he has to pay out $$$ for. Guess what, the coaching staff is left trying to ‘develop’ players who might possibly be ready in 3-4 years as opposed to 1-2 years. Big difference in today’s NFL.

    Several current NFL organizations intrigue me … the Patriots, the Steelers, the Cowboys and several others (to include the Saints BTW). They seem to make solid decisions at each level, and the year-to-year results show that IMO. Anybody want to say the same thing for the Bucs organization? Hopefully our losing ways change now that Coach Arians has signed on. But I’m admittedly a lot like Bonzai … Don’t keep telling me; SHOW ME.

  28. tmaxcon Says:

    Joey bananaz

    But tmax is always right

  29. JimmyJack Says:

    Defense rules……None of that what you say matters.

    That’s because it’s all Gerald’s fault. Our orginazation cannot function successfully with McCoy on it. Not possible.

  30. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Lovie? Where did that come from? I was never a Lovie fan. Gave him a year to see what he was up to but it was clear early on he wasn’t the man.

    You jump around and toss out all kinds of non sequiturs. The Glazers got us a Super Bowl but their recent teams have been pretty sorry. Sometimes you get the bear sometimes the bear gets you. And the Glazers needed 4-5 years to insure their entire family fortune with ManU. Again as Buc fans that was sorry but who can argue with a family insuring their family…which is large btw. But Management never came into this discussion.

    I honestly do not remember your take when Grimes was re-signed the past two years or the DJAX signing…there are two “character” guys with plenty of talent…especially DJAX…how did that work out for us?


    I suspect I’m probably in agreement with you. I do not believe all 32 teams are equally talented…the salary cap is a double edged sword…gives the “possibility” of equal competition but the Cap itself makes it really difficult to develop way more talent than the rest of the league. Too many good players eventually end up costing too much for the cap and it’s one of the more interesting part of this league to me…creates lots of decisions…as with our post SB Bucs..when do you break up an older expensive team…always a hard call.

    I think my major point about talent is that there are no Alabamas or Clemsons in the NFL…with the possible exception of the Pats but they are a little freaky too in that they have perhaps the GOAT HC combined with the GOAT QB…wicked combo for sure…and I hate the Pats!

    So for sure I agree about the Pats and despite this past disappointing season I agree about the Steelers. Not as excited about the Saints because they’ve had their ups and downs even with the same great QB and the same excellent HC…but as you remind us…it is a team sport and ultimately defense is critical.

    As for “showing me”…LOL…you know me I’m the blog optimist so I ALWAYS assume the best…obviously as a Buc’s fan that leads to some disappointment (gross understatement) but right now I am so pumped I’ve already purchased Kangol!

    I’m the opposite of TMAX though…I love my rose colored glasses I do not come here to show off any football expertise…too many great posters here…it’s not a competition for me. I come to share a love our Bucs.

    BTW when you flew…ever out of Korat or Udorn?

  31. AlteredEgo Says:

    Byron is going to have that expression on his face a lot this year…

  32. BucEmUp Says:

    I am a bit nervous but wil remain cautiously optimistic. I just hope if the offense regresses from how it has been that BA steps in.

  33. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Unless your goal was to score points, we had one of the all time great offenses in history.

  34. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Can’t we all just get along?

    As far as Leftwich….and all the coaches for that matter…..you can be cautiously optimistic…..I too, want to see it on the field.

    I think we will have a good idea after FA & the Draft…….There are some players that shouldn’t make next year’s cut.

    Ryan Smith
    Javien Elliott

    I have mixed feelings about D. Smith and I am hoping something can be done to get Rojo at least to where Charles Sims was.

  35. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … I admit to having ‘rose colored glasses’ too. But through all the years of playing various sports, I still hate to lose. Ooooh, maybe that makes me a ‘hater’.

    I’ve flown into both Korat & Udorn StPete, but first tour was in-country at Cam Ranh Bay with the ‘Sharkbaits’ & second tour was flying out of Ubon with the ‘Night Owls’. And yes, became very familiar with Thailand.

    And BucEmUp, welcome to ‘THE GOOD SHIP CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC’. Hopefully our Bucs make a lot of other teams walk the plank this year.

  36. Defense Rules Says:

    @JimmyJack … “That’s because it’s all Gerald’s fault.” JimmyJack, you been drinking with Tmax again? (I’ll turn my sarcasm font off if you’ll do the same).

  37. Bucsace Says:

    I miss Gary Coleman…….glad he’s back…..but all grown up!!!!

  38. stpetebucsfan Says:


    You da man. A lot braver than me! I’ve turned into a writer since my retirement and my first novel is based in Thailand.

    Three Army buds stationed in Korat head to Thailand to sightsee all day and chase the poontang all night. Something happens to one of them that changes the trip dramatically.

    Ironically the part that worried me the most about the audience were all the military references which you would obviously get and probably enjoy but the main part of the story is about a romance and gets philosophical…not sure you’d be on board with that lol.

  39. HeavyE Says:

    We are about to become Winners! Go Bucs! I Love this Coaching Staff! Bucs4Life!!!!

  40. Caleb Says:


    I have to say, I really enjoyed what you had to say. Maybe because I’m in the same boat as you, an optimistic Bucs fan, unlike many others here. One thing I will say about the group in here is… when things are going good everyone is talking positive and saying that this was “their idea” all along. Then, when things take a turn for thre worst, which seems to be the norm (lol) they talk trash about everyone on the team and act like they have all the answers.

    It’s honestly been a real downer, and usually keeps me from reading most of what people say in here because they are so full of s***. Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is it was nice to read what you had to say about our team. Look forward to the upcoming year to see if we can finally right the ship. Here’s to the 2019 season 🍻.

    Go BUCS!

  41. RustyRhinos Says:

    Hey LC
    Rams game
    1 TD 1 FG
    Cardinals 36 yard field goal Rams 4 yard rush
    Rams 1 yard rush
    Cardinals David Johnson 32 yard pass from Larry Fitzgerald ( kick failed)
    Rams C.J. Anderson 4 yard rush Ram 21 yard field goal
    Rams 39 yard pass

    Seahawks game
    3 FG (2 50+yards) 1 TD 1 ST TD
    Cardinals 36 yard field goal
    Seahawks 29 yard pass
    Seahawks 7 yard rush
    Cardinals 15 yard pass  
    Cardinals 50 yard field goal
    Seahawks 17 yard run
    Cardinals blocked punt recovery in end zone
    Seahawks42 yard field goal
    Cardinals 55 yard field goal
    Seahawks 33 yard field goal

    Falcons game
    2 TD 1 run 1 pass
    Cardinals 1 yard rush
    Falcons 41 yard interception return
    Falcons 22 yard field goal
    Falcons1 yard rush
    Falcons 33 yard field goal
    Falcons 21 yard pass  
    Falcons 43 yard rush
    Falcons 5 yard pass
    Cardinals 7 yard pass from Mike Glennon 

     I see this looks a lot like what we have already seen here in Tampa. Yes the Cardinals are not very good on the Oline and had a rookie QB, I am of the belief that our Oline has not looked very good in awhile either, and our Veteran QBs have had rookie magic and mistakes quarterback play games this season. While these last few cardinals games with our new OC look, like Cardinal Losses. Yes I understand Leftwich was thrown into this and done, okay I guess. By game 9 of him running this Offense, I wish it looked more successful. 2-7 is not. Never scoring more than 25 points in those 9 games. He is our OC I wish him nothing but success here in Tampa with Winston. Success = Wins Missouri here Show Me!

    I will admit I am excited to see if we can have Special Teams play this good in Tampa. A 36 yard FG 2 50 plus FG and a Blocked punt for a TD. In the same game YES!

  42. wombat Says:

    Hope Jenna Laine gets a promotion to NY, getting sick of her stupid questions. 1 in 4 of her questions are downright embarrassing. She needs to learn from Casey Phillips!!

  43. Jean Lafitte Says:

    You can tell by reading the comments that most Buc fans don’t get overly excited at the beginning of the seasons anymore. How many years have we been brought to the church only to be abandoned at the altar? Yes, the presence of Bruce Arians rises the temperature but most veteran fans enter every single season with guarded optimism.


  44. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Glad to know I’m not alone here. LOL From now on I’ll stop calling myself THE Blog optimist since as you correctly point out there are a few of us left here.

  45. tickrdr Says:

    Very nice discussion about talent, character and coaching!
    Overall, talent seems supreme however, because if you are faster, stronger, and more athletic, that should win out most often.
    I agree that character is also important, but not so much on the field (Somebody shoot me now, since I am agreeing with tmaxcon), as much as off the field. The NFL has been littered with talented players whose character prevented them from being team players, or those whose work ethic was so poor they did not maximize their talent level. And you are certainly correct that character concerns are paramount if a player’s behavior on or off the field gets them suspended, arrested or hurt.

    That brings me to another very important factor in my opinion, INTELLIGENCE, and this dovetails into the coaching factor. Like a T-shirt slogan says “I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.” Playing smart is always a winning strategy, but if a player lacks basic intelligence, even excellent coaching and teaching may not be retained and applied when necessary.

    For instance, a few days ago Joe had a picture of Jameis getting his head torn off vs. the Giants. If you look at that picture, you will notice one thing missing from that picture….
    the football. IIRC, that play occurred at the THREE yard line, and the Most NFL-Ready,America’s Quarterback, ProBowler Jameis Winston was carrying the ball in his outstretched LEFT hand, when he fumbled. In an earlier game, another poster took me to task for suggesting that JW3 should have reminded everyone in the huddle that a few seconds on the clock were more important than a few more yards on the field, since ME13 lost valuable time getting tackled in bounds. Unfortunately, there are numerous examples of less than intelligent play.


  46. tickrdr Says:

    Left out one other very important point about character. Without good character, many players lack discipline to study the playbook, maintain their football fitness with proper nutrition and exercise, or ruin their health and availability with alcohol or drug problems.