Strange Words From Leftwich

July 31st, 2019

Odd scapegoating.

Yesterday, Bucs offensive coordinator Bryon Leftwich took to the podium in the media studio at One Buc Palace for his first address to the pen and mic club since underwear football season.

There, Leftwich initially was making sense of how sluggish the Bucs offense was during the first two days of padded practice (the offense looked much better yesterday).

America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, had an awful first day of practice. When the pads came on Sunday and Monday, the offensive line was getting manhandled, specifically Monday (to be fair, starting left tackle Donovan Smith was limited with a nicked Achilles and right tackle Demar Dotson had a veteran’s day off).

Leftwich began saying he and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles collaborated to drum up plays to do whatever they could to foul up the offense. On purpose. To see how they responded.

The offensive line was not “getting their tail whipped,” Leftwich claimed, but making correctable mistakes. (Sure looked like dudes getting worked over by Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea to Joe).

But then Leftwich went off the rails with a weird complaint that offensive linemen cannot block until the pads come on and as a result are somewhat persecuted by the NFL, so that’s why the Bucs’ defense has had the upper hand in the trenches in the early going. Leftwich added things were different when he played.

This is a very interesting claim.

Without detail, Leftwich seemed to be getting his digs in on the NFL/NFLPA collective bargaining agreement that has been in place for nine seasons and restricts hitting in practices, both offseason and through the regular season. This labor pact expires after the 2020 season.

Leftwich’s last two seasons as a Steelers quarterback (2011 and 2012), the final two of his career, were played under these same conditions.

So Leftwich didn’t know there were restricted contact practices for a full two seasons? How could he not, unless he was insinuating the Steelers circumvented NFL rules and had hidden practices that involved hitting? The CBA sure hasn’t changed with regards to hitting since going into effect in 2011.

Leftwich coached in Arizona last year, he wasn’t aware of the limits on hitting?

Leftwich kvetching that his offensive line is getting handled early in training camp partly due to the CBA is so much smokescreen and misdirection Joe cannot begin to explain. It’s a borderline con.

Every team practices under the same rules. Every team has to turn in video of all practices to the league office for monitoring by league officials. And, there are often NFL referees at almost all NFL training camp practices.

Once again, every NFL team practices under the same guidelines. It’s not like the NFL is singling out the Bucs because they are an NFC doormat.

Now if Leftwich used this excuse for a bunch of rookies on the first and second teams, then that makes sense. Many football people claim the NFL’s offensive line crisis is caused by young players not getting enough hitting to develop in due time. But that angle doesn’t square with the Bucs.

Demar Dotson is a veteran. So too is Ryan Jensen. And both Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith are now in their fifth seasons as starters. Hell, even Caleb Benenoch has been around a few years.

And what kind of a message does this send to his offensive linemen? It is OK to suck for a few weeks because the league is out to get offensive linemen?

So Joe has no idea why Leftwich pulled this excuse unless he was trying to shield his players from the very real fact the offensive line has struggled during the first week of Training Camp 2019.

55 Responses to “Strange Words From Leftwich”

  1. gilhealy Says:

    I watched the whole presser. None of it came off like you’re stating. How you can turn everything into a negative is amazing. I’m guessing none of the O lineman are remotely as sensitive as you, Joe. None of them will have the same take you have. None. But, you kept the theme of this blog intact. You should get a few to question Byron’s coaching prowess. Good on ya.

  2. Bobby M. Says:

    You’ll never change the culture at One Buc by constantly protecting players egos. I’d rather hear “we got some work to do” or something along those lines vs always trying to have the players backs. Those linemen have an avg of at least 4 yrs in the league….They show up looking like garbage when they are paid as top tier linemen, somebody needs to fire the cannon right out of the gate and put everyone on public notice things are changing. Either the play on the field or the player.

  3. K2 Says:

    The o-line looked much better yesterday. I was at practice and thought Jameis looked sharp.

  4. Raceto10 Says:

    Lol wow really? It’s kinda pathetic to look that presser over for the most negative spin you could find. So sad joe, I’m sure football looks different to a player than it does a coach I’m really sure it does.

  5. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Let’s just hope they get better. It would be a shame to have all these weapons in place only to be minimized another season by a below average run blocking offensive line. Who is even struggling early on in pass protection as well.

  6. Bird Says:


    All the analysts from different sites said the same thing.
    Jameis had best practice.

    Him and mike Evans in mid season form
    Jameis May have best receiving and tight end group in NfL

  7. Joe Says:

    for the most negative spin you could find.

    Are you suggesting Leftwich never said this? If so you may want to re-watch the video.

    The only one using “spin” would be Leftwich.

  8. Bird Says:

    I love conspiracy theorists

  9. Joe Says:

    Jameis May have best receiving and tight end group in NfL

    “May?” LOL Which team has a better one-two punch at tight end?

  10. Dirty Bucs Says:

    That’s a pretty big assumptive leap you’re making, Joe, vs. what he actually said. You’re reading a bit too much into this. That’s a long article that says nothing. C’mon man.

  11. Joe Says:

    That’s a pretty big assumptive leap you’re making, Joe, vs. what he actually said.


    He *said* it. Came straight out of his mouth. Is Joe supposed to hear German or Polish when people speak English????

  12. JA Says:

    Dissecting football vernacular by “reading between the lines” usually mirrors the personality or the goal of the dissector. In this case, as stirrer of the soup, it’s Joe’s job to create controversy, sometimes out of nothing more than an inane remark or two. Mission accomplished.
    I took Leftwich’s remarks to mean, “geez, I sure wish we could have more contact practices like they did in the old days.”
    Nothing more–nothing less …

  13. BucAllNight Says:

    Its crazy how yall find a way to spin everything for a story.

    Just like Jenna sitting up there asking the same question 20 different ways trying to get a “hot take” B. Left was calm and kept checking her making her look silly and stupid.

    Where were you three when this nonsense was going on?

    Why didnt you ask the man to his face if thats what he meant?


    Go Bucs!!

  14. Bird Says:


    I hear yah. I ll take bucs too

    But Atlanta and Cleveland in the mix. Plus they have the running backs that catch.

  15. Bird Says:

    Julio / Ridley / Sanu

  16. Lol Says:

    Strange article by Joe

  17. Bradentonbuc Says:

    I understand where you are coming from but this seems to be a gripe other coaches have had. Can’t remember if we’ve had them here but the Joe’s should know that the NFL has been in an offensive line crisis for the past several years now – partly due to the way the college game has changed and partly due to lack of physicality in camp. It’s been a huge issue for defense preparedness (Brooks has talked about this many time) and I imagine the same effect is true for or the most physical positions of offense as well

  18. Destinjohnny Says:

    After 6 Jason drafts we have the 28th best offensive line.
    Also good thing we got value of Donavan Smith…..

  19. Destinjohnny Says:


  20. B-Rad Says:

    I guess now that Jameis’ bad play is no longer a story another has to take it’s place. Joes just can’t help themselves..

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I have to take Joe’s side here……the Oline is weak and needs defending……we have an adequate LG…..but all other positions have been playing sub-par. I’m not saying they can’t improve….just need improving.

    Let’s hope these Olinemen aren’t the only ones being beat up by Vea & Suh this year……

  22. idiaznet Says:


    Having coached OL this is a very hard thing to do to not have contact drills. The Communication is the number one issue that I saw last year. Too many times I saw Jensen helping the wrong side only to block no one. I saw the (Rotating RG) blocking the wrong person leaving the inside guy free. Tackles sliding one way and the rest of the line going the other.

    I love that they threw the kitchen sink at the team first week to work on reactions. In game adjustments was something we were awful at last year and this coaching staff will not have that. You can’t simulate that effectively without pads the feel isn’t the same.

    It has always been a problem for this team going against a 3-4 defense since it wasn’t heavily run in the NFL (Not sure now that it is gaining popularity again). With all the confusion it causes will only make them that much better. This was one of the reasons PIT OL was so good for so long, as well as GB. This will make the team better.

    As far as the first week yes OL always look bad the first week since feel is so important to the group working as one. It is the only group that has to have 5 minds as one to look good. One busted assignment even by a back can make the OL look like garbage. If you go to HS games you will see the same thing happen. That was one reason DK didn’t trust rookie RB as much. Pass blocking, but i do see these guys getting better.

    I wish I could be out there to evaluate them like you are though. But I can see where Byron is coming from, to know that these issues are not getting mauled but fixable mistakes. I have told my HC many times this and every time it is true we come back and he will say we are a different line. But I haven’t changed a thing, but communication and fixed mistakes.

    Now if they are not getting any better by next week then we can start to panic. But give the coaches a chance to fix the errors before we start calling for their heads or calling for cover ups please. They clearly have a plan and I like it. We have had too many coaches here really without a complete plan and that is why we have been losing for so long. Dungy and Gruden had complete team plans. You can clearly see that Arians has one as well.

  23. Crack3rK Says:

    Joe, I think you’re outnumbered here….surrender.

  24. Durango 95 Says:

    Went back and read the story a second time. You lost me on this one Joe. It seems you’re taking two separate items (C.B.A restrictions & throwing the kitchen sink at the offense) combining them together and ending in up in a place that I frankly can’t fathom.

  25. D-Rome Says:

    Great work, Joe. I’m surprised at all the comments here. Leftwich’s comments are absurd.

  26. Buc4life24 Says:

    I don’t see the problem…moving along for the next meaningful article.

  27. BigHog Says:

    I believe in Leftwitch….not everyone will, no matter if what he brings to the table!!

  28. gotbbucs Says:

    Exactly what idiaznet said.

    Unless you have an offensive line that has been together and intact for years, the first week of camp is rough. It’s the same way in college and highschool.

    They’re installing a new defense and scripting that side of the ball to win.

    Do we have a killer offensive line? No. We lost out on that opportunity when Winston went off script and won that meaningless Saints game. Quenton Nelson, contrary to Joe’s opinion, would have been a franchise altering pick.

  29. Steven007 Says:

    Joe likely has a self-imposed quota of articles he wants to get out during camp.and while he’s not quote un quote making things up as he often accuses us of accusing him, he is purposefully twisting words to create a click worthy article. Journalism 101. Yes Joe, I know he said what he said. But we’ve all watched the ptesser as well and see it quite differently. But thanks for the reportage.

  30. HowToSpellRhonde Says:

    Joe says he’s “a borderline con”

    Since when has coachspeak not?

    Joe is a full blown sensationalist.

  31. Joe Says:

    Joe says he’s “a borderline con”

    Since when has coachspeak not?

    Well, Joe didn’t call Leftwich “a con.” What Joe referred to as a “borderline con” is selling a nine-year old rule as the root cause of your offensive line getting worked over. That would be like Todd Bowles claiming he can’t coach up defensive backs because of the Mel Blount Rule.

  32. Pickgrin Says:

    Leftwich is right to take a shot at the NFL regarding the forced lack of contact for 6 months under the current labor agreement. Makes it too hard for the linemen to get in actual football shape in just a few weeks. Stymies the development of young linemen in particular.

  33. HowToSpellRhonde Says:

    My bad Joe, you didn’t call him a con personally. Minced words, my point stands.

  34. webster Says:

    Lol Joe you are too funny with this crazy article. You and jenna laine are the comedians of the bucs press conference. I hear how the coaches and players laugh at her questions. Please joe, do not start getting the same reaction. If i were you, i would take this article down. You do realize when leftwich played as a starter in jville the rules were different? Thats why he said “when i played”. Thats why he also said, the defense always has a fast start to camp over the offense. Ian beckles said the same thing on the radio. In fact every nfl player always says the defense looks better the first few days of training camp. Ive heard this every year i have been alive. Why is this so hard to understand? Here is a suggestion…stop thinking you know more than the coaches all the time and maybe you will learn something when they speak as oppose to looking and sounding like jenna laine

  35. Buccaroo Says:

    The linemen are wealthy enough to hire people to give them competition and contact during the offseason to keep tuned up. Other position practice their craft during recess. Besides maybe lifting weights what do you hear that Olineman do to stay sharp? *crickets*

  36. 813bucboi Says:

    you’re reaching joe…….BL wasnt making excuses….

    after the first preseason game, defensive coaches will be saying the same thing regarding tackling because defenders will be arm tackling and grabbing at jerseys until the 3rd PS game….

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  37. 813bucboi Says:

    imo, i rather the oline look horrible on days 1 & 2 and then improve vs looking great on days 1&2 and then taking a step back on days 3&4….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  38. Al da pewter King Says:

    Think you are again reading too much into Leftwhich’s words Joe! Leftwhich wasn’t trying to spin anything. He said that the offense made correctable mistakes.

  39. ncbucsfan Says:

    He did NOT make an excuse whatsoever. He just simply stated a fact!! Referring to “back in his day” doesn’t mean “I NEVER saw this my ENTIRE career”, but it does include when his careeer began, which was pre-CBA. To imply he was purposely stating so is just reaching at it’s best! Leftwich came across as sincere and genuine as I’ve seen in any coach. I didn’t sense any coachspeak on any level. And dissecting his words with a non bias ear…….he made a LOT of sense and seemed very distinct in what he sees and his plan. That’s certainly better than the fake bravada Koetter displayed. That’s what had people (and the Glazers) convinced he knew what he was doing.

  40. Snook Says:

    REACH. Another “article” to generate clicks. Joe writes here about the Bucs, all kinds of opinions born from of a deep passion for the team. If Joe’s primary motivation was “clicks,” then this site would look a lot different. –Joe

  41. Davis auto-world Says:

    I was at the practice and seen the presser, you really miss the mark with this one JOE! Just seems like FAKE NEWS to me.

  42. Snook Says:

    If Joe’s primary motivation was “clicks,” then this site would look a lot different. –Joe
    The primary motivation here is to make money, no? More clicks = more money.
    You’re not running this site for the fun of it, right? The point was that if “clicks” were the only motivation, then Joe would operate a lot differently to generate those clicks. Joe never goes into a day wondering/thinking about what will get a lot of clicks. It’s the same approach here as it was in 2008. These are Joe’s takes on the Bucs and the stuff that moves Joe to type. Thankfully, people enjoy reading them. Never expect anyone to agree, but not a fan of when fans start ascribing motives to what Joe is doing. –Joe

    Its pretty clear what Leftwich meant by his comments. He said its completely different that from when “we played”. And he played from 2003-2012 so for the MAJORITY of his time in the NFL, there weren’t these no contact rules. Yes, two years of those were with the current rules but you know what he meant.

    It also makes pretty good sense that if offensive lineman don’t put on pads until training camp, that the OL group will usually be behind every other position unit.

    By the way – I love the site. I don’t have to agree with everything you say in order for me to like your content. But this particular article was definitely a stretch. He didn’t go “off the rails” or take any “digs”. But the fact of the matter is that until pads go on, offensive lineman are essentially just doing mental reps and walk-throughs in shorts.

  43. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Justifying a bad agreement because its been in place for 9 years is a little
    much for me. They ought to go back to the old training camps where the players get conditioned. It’s just possible they might be able to limit the rash of injuries
    this team suffers. Try it for a year ,all you got to lose is a bunch of injuries.possibly.

  44. TraumaMurse Says:

    Well, umm…ok, cool story bro? I understood these kinds of “stories” in the deadest parts of the sports year…But we made it bro! ‘foosball’ is here and upon us. This is meh…

  45. Yusef Taufiq Says:


    I don’t know what to say anymore, I am a big fan of your journalism, but damn, your reading way to much into every little thing BL was saying, its not that he didn’t say some of those things, but your trying to analyze every damn word, and its too much Joe. I get how it may have come off, but your reading WAY to much into everything. I watched the ENTIRE presser, and nothing was negative, if anything watching it, i have faith in this coaching staff, we haven’t even started the damn season yet….just stop analyzing so much and just have some damn faith Joe….you’ll get plenty of time to criticize and critique come later on if the job doesn’t get done. as of right now, there is nothing to overreact over right now……

  46. Sport Says:

    I love the accountability by this community.

    You do realize, this Joe abandoned most of his journalistic learnings with this site. Can you imagine for a.minute any editor in the country allowing any of his articles to be published?

    He is an opinion blog writer, not a journalist. Pretty sure the Bucs see JBF Press Card as a necessity. No Pub is bad pub, type mentality.

    All that said the constant drip of Bucs Info is addicting. Good job JBF!

    In BA I Trust!

  47. Barbosa Says:

    When the upcoming CBA holdout happens, I hope the following things happen:
    1. Players get guaranteed 2 year contracts.
    2. Padded practice restrictions are lifted.
    3. Targeting rules are eliminated. Safeties can play football again.
    4. Players get health insurance for life.
    5. Roughing the QB rules become more loose. Let a guy get sacked without these silly roughing penalties.
    6. Get rid of instant replay. All of it.
    What say you?

  48. Buccernutter Says:

    Ummmmm what!?


  49. SenileSenior Says:

    When I came to this site a short few years ago I was attracted by the name JoeBucsFan. Naive little me made an assumption without thinking. The Fan part of the name implied to me Buccaneer supporter.

    I believe the Joes are conflicted between being reporters and being labeled “homeys” at times. It is not simplistically because they are intentionally sensationalistic. Rather they have to find something to report several times per day. Some articles stir things up with a contrarian approach.

    I loved seeing contributors jump into the fray with real fan reactions today.

    Personally I liked what I heard from Leftwich and I am not anxious about our our OL … yet!

    Elsewhere, I was encouraged by a comment that the good news has been that Cappa has NOT been noticed by any reporters. He must be doing well because he would not be overlooked if he was showing poorly.
    Go Bucs!!!

  50. Mike Johnson Says:

    Calins or not. The same applies to you Mr. Leftwich. Screw up and these Buc fans are gonna turn on you worst than a Jachsonville Jaguar (your former team). You’d better be ready. No pitty party from Mike Johnson for my franchise. WIN Gotammit!

  51. Nole4JabooANDdBucs Says:

    Saw the presser and only thing it did was confirm, what I thought coaches coach, players play! The Bucs have real coaches now for the first time in along while.

    I will believe my own EYES and EARS!

  52. Nole4JabooANDdBucs Says:

    Saw the presser and only thing it did was confirm, what I thought coaches coach, players play! The Bucs have real coaches now for the first time in along while.

    I will believe my own EYES and EARS!
    GO BUCS!!!

  53. BucsFan727 Says:

    Watched it 3 times Joe. Now that there is plenty of content out there I wont have to come to the Den of Depression to get my Bucs fix. Hey Joe I learned along time ago anyone can twist a story or numbers in there favor to prove a point.

  54. Donovan Says:

    Joe you’re an idiot

  55. BucnJoe500 Says:

    Yo, Joe, just because the rule is 8-9 years old doesn’t mean that it’s not a hindrance. It’s been stated plenty by coaches all over the league that it’s hard to gauge the oline because of the non or limited contact allowed.