“Ecstatic” About Leftwich’s “Fantastic” Work

November 21st, 2019

Gets props from coach.

In the meter that measures over-the-top hyperbole, this may just fry the needle.

Twice yesterday in two separate speaking appearances, Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians used words to describe his offensive coordinator, Byron Leftwich, as a new Bill Walsh in the making.

Earlier in the day, Arians spoke with the Atlanta pen and mic club as the Bucs prepare to travel to Billy Sherman’s favorite city for this Sunday’s “Battle for the Basement” in the NFC South, played at Artie’s Ark.

Friend of Joe, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution documented Arians’ words about Leftwich’s job performance.

He’s doing fantastic. He’s doing a great, great job. He has a great rapport with our players. He’s an excellent teacher. I think he’s done a great job with Jameis (Winston) especially.

Joe understands there is a segment of Bucs fans that choked on their Wheaties reading that last sentence.

Fast forward a few hours later after practice and Arians stood before the Tampa Bay pen and mic club. There too, Arians was asked about Leftwich. Arians was even more flowery in his feedback.

Arians replied he was “ecstatic” at how well Leftwich has done his job.

Joe certainly hopes Arians was just trying to prop up and old friend who probably has aspirations someday of being a head coach.

To be fair, Leftwich is a mixed bag. His offense doesn’t pass the eye test whatsoever, but he gets results. The Bucs are No. 4 in average yards a game and No. 6 in points per game (27.7).

The constant running of Peyton Barber up the middle, especially on first downs, is beyond head-scratching. It’s not like the guy is Mike Alstott. Although Leftwich snapped at Joe with a one-word answer — “No!” — when Joe asked him if Barber on the field on first down is telegraphing plays, why else would Barber’s numbers continue to plunge?

Barber’s 3.4 yards per attempt is the lowest of his career. You don’t think defenses expect Barber to run up the middle when he’s on the field on first downs? Please. When half the stadium is expecting Barber up the middle, it’s difficult to believe opposing defensive coaches aren’t.

Then there is the fetish for throwing the ball at Scotty Miller and Breshad Perriman when the other options are Pro Bowl-level players including Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard and Cam Brate. Only until this month has Leftwich finally started utilizing his two talented tight ends.

Miller and Perriman have two of the three worst catch percentages in the NFL. But yeah, keep throwing them the ball and expect a different result, though Miller finally caught a bomb last week.

Evans mentioned that the coverage the Saints used on him last Sunday was the same when the two teams faced each other earlier this season. Isn’t Leftwich’s job to come up with a gameplan to find ways to get his star receiver open? Same with Godwin?

Then you look at the numbers and the Bucs are scoring points, which is the ultimate goal for any offense.

Yes, judging Leftwich is a bit complex. He gets his results even though his offense sputters like a car trying to make it to the shop with a clogged fuel filter. This offense has the potential to hang 50 on the scoreboard nearly every week like what happened in Los Angeles.

46 Responses to ““Ecstatic” About Leftwich’s “Fantastic” Work”

  1. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    Just saw where BA was rated 31st out of 32 head coaches this year.

    So is BA doing a “He’s doing fantastic. He’s doing a great, great job” also?

    Are we to believe what comes out of the mouth of the 31st worst ranked coach in the NFL this year?

    BA is “Ecstatic” alright.

    “Ecstatic” about his bank account.

  2. Hodad Says:

    Like what happened in L.A.. Our one big win this season, lets induct it in the ring of honor. If only the season never began, and that was the only, and last game. You hear a lot about the L.A. game, even though it was weeks ago. Hey, we have to hang on to something. It’s good to let that memory stick. We beat a good team that day, it was our season. Be proud Buc fans, maybe next year we can have two big wins.

  3. Clw JB Says:

    BA = Bullspit Artist

  4. Onetrickpony Says:

    What did he just say?
    Liar liar pants on fire

  5. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    More BS from BA

    I hate that this franchise and its fans get their hopes up every year by coaches and players who talk big but don’t produce

  6. Sport Says:

    Oh Joe… you cant use stats to say JW can’t be replaced because he has yards and touchdowns, then rag on Leftwich for not being good.

    Unfortunately, DC coordinators have figured out JW. And with recent comments from coaches about JW, they are teeing up a potential QB change. They are on a long term plan. JW is not.

    Opposing defenses come to JW for a hangover cure. Follow the script and he will throw it to you. They all know it.

    In BA I Trust!

  7. ElBajito43 Says:

    Byron Leftwich offense is really just a lie. It honestly just looks like what we use to do in the street when I was a kid. Everybody just run towards the end zone and try tah get open. Dooooown…… Set Hike

    Move up in the Draft for Chase Young

  8. Todd Says:


    1. practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs. “Bruce Arians exercised nepotism gifting play calling to Byron Leftwich.”

  9. Buc believer Says:

    Of course in Arians eyes he is doing fantastic, Brucie boy doesn’t have to worry about Game days. He has more time to ride around in his golf cart and just take it easy. This guy is a TOTAL failure as our coach and the Glazers got a big time fast one pulled on them by Jason Gump in order to protect his job…… Not that the rich spoiled franchise killers on two continents didn’t have it coming.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Excellent article Joe, but judging Leftwich isn’t complex at all. He’s as inconsistent in his coaching as Jameis is in his performances on the field. And the two are surely related.

    I was ‘ecstatic’ when Bruce Arians was first hired, but soon became less than enthusiastic when I heard that he wouldn’t be calling plays but that Byron Leftwich would. What happened when he was promoted to OC in Arizona was no accident … Leftwich failed there & he’s failing here IMO. And for BA to try to bamboozle fans into believing that he’s ‘ecstatic’ over his performance as OC just causes me to lose more & more respect for him as a HC.

    Football isn’t THAT complicated. Win and everybody loves you; lose and everybody wants you gone. A 3-7 record after 10 games is nothing to be ‘ecstatic’ about. Yes the Bucs’ defense is BAD, but they’re also incredibly young & they WILL improve. Yes the Bucs’ offense has put up 277 points for a #6 ranking (in BOTH Points & Yardage), but it’s INCONSISTENT as all git-out … and THAT’S the kiss of death in the NFL. We put up a LOT of points against meh defenses, and much fewer points against quality defenses. For the most costly NFL offense in terms of average Cap $$$ per player, that’s unacceptable.

    Bucs have now scored 277 points in 10 games. Against the Giants #30 defense we put up 31 points. Against the Seahawks #23 defense we put up 34 points. Against the Cardinals #29 defense we put up 30 points. And against the Rams now #10 defense we put up 55 points, by far our best game of the year (that loss was a wakeup call for the Rams defense BTW … since that game they’ve only given up an average of 15.6 PPG in the 6 games since then. It was also a wakeup call for the Rams’ offense who turned the ball over FOUR times against us … they’ve only had 6 TOs in the 6 games since playing us).

    Subtract those 4 games (150 points scored) and Bucs offense has scored 127 points in the other 6 games. So the Bucs’ offense really produced 37.5 PPG in 4 games (2 wins), yet only 21.2 PPG average in 6 games (5 losses). That’s INCONSISTENCY. And THAT’S nothing to be ecstatic about, because a big reason for those losses can be laid right on the doorstep of COACHING.

  11. TheBucsAnthem Says:


    This right here confirms BRUCIE HAS TO GO!!!!!!

  12. Bucsfanman Says:

    I really don’t know how we can make a fair assessment of the OC when the QB can’t read defenses and makes poor decisions on a consistent basis. It’s not like Evans and Godwin aren’t running routes when Perriman and Miller are on the field. Leftwich does not decide on the field who to throw the ball to.
    I know for a fact that I am not the only one who sees WRs open on plays that the QB doesn’t throw to.
    We’ve been watching this for 5 years now. I think it’s fair to say that there’s a singular common denominator.
    But yeah, lets take the easy way out! It must be Byron’s fault!
    On this, were we wrong about Koetter? It’s a fair question.

  13. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    BTW the way……i’m not haitng…..BUT

    – He doesn’t know how to employ TEs

    – He always runs on 1st downs

    – Where’s the short game?

    – Where’s the creativeness?

  14. Bobby M. Says:

    Our QB doesn’t pass the “eye test”….nor does our o-line….secondary and team in general including the GM. This team is cap strapped and consistently losing while on its 3rd set of coaches in 6 yrs. We should have done what teams like Oakland and Arizona did….be bold and unload.

  15. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ Bobby M.

    What we really need is a Franchise QB

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Here’s some fun facts:

    In Bill Walsh 1st year with 49ers , record was 2-14 with QB Steve DeBerg
    In Bill Walsh 2nd year, 49ers were 3-8 with DeBerg, switched to Joe Montana ,
    and finished rest of season 3-2.
    The next year 49ers won Super Bowl with Montana.
    Yes, there were other players involved (Ronnie Lott, Jack Reynolds), but the QB made a big difference.
    Imagine if Jameis wouldn’t turn it over…

  17. Slugglife Says:

    Yes! BL for OC of the year! If that’s the metric, shouldn’t he also be ecstatic with Todd Bowles?

    They both have sht the bed equally. Why not praise them both for that?

  18. Slugglife Says:

    Maybe JW mistakes Miller for Hump.

  19. Alanbucsfan Says:

    So, the Bucs are scoring more points without the sainted Humphries and OJ having a bad year, and ROJO becoming a decent RB option, and Cappa cementing the RG position and yet Bucs losses are all on Leftwich’s play calling?
    Nice smoke screen job to cover up the turnovers.

  20. John.L Says:

    Blow this bitch up!!

  21. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I like Coach Arians and Coach Leftwich, but let’s be honest.

  22. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Wonder what BA’s answer would be if asked about Todd Bowles?

    In comparison, Leftwich is doing a great job…….we are definitely inconsistent on offense and our turnovers have neutered it significantly.

    All the points are fair…..we are too predictable, especially on 1st downs…..but our Red zone performance seems to be better.

    Jameis simply doesn’t see the field well…..he waits too long to throw…..

    And, I agree that Lefwich doesn’t force Jameis to throw to Perriman & Miller…

    Brate set a record Sunday simply because other receivers weren’t getting open or Jameis didn’t see them.

  23. Allbuccedup Says:

    BS Arians, Toilet Bowles, Byron “we are” Leftwith and Jason “not too very bright” Licht. That says it all.

  24. Jason Says:

    Just curious how many offensive series we’ve had and what our scoring percentage is. I wonder if we are scoring a lot of points because we just have the ball more often because we give up so many points.

    Also, the next time I want to politely tell someone they are full of crap I will say “You are expressing over-the-top hyperbole my good man.”

  25. Barbosa Says:

    7 ranked offense in points. Number 31 ranked offense in points allowed. Horrible defense equals losing. Go see 2018, 2017. Last winning season? 2016 lead by…..the defense. Also in my opinion, we have the number 32 ranked General Manager. With the now complete wash out of the 2016 class, I challenge anyone to find a worse manager. PS Glazers are in a fight for the worst owners with the Browns.

  26. Kobe Faker Says:

    “The Glazer boyband wants to fire him but dont want to pay the rest of the 3 years,

    BS wants to quit but wants the rest of the 3 year contract

    So here Kobe sits”

    Kobe Faker

  27. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    What were BA’s medical issues before he came to town and are they related to the shrink he is sharing with the rest of the team now ?…OMG…this guy is a PR dozy….The Buc Curse has never been this tormenting

  28. down in the dirt doug Says:

    Joe and Defense rules–you guys have summed it up perfectly.Sad to say,but will not be able to trust BA’s remarks in the future.

  29. Ndog Says:

    This is not a Leftwich issue this a offense design issue, which states with Arians. The same old school downfield attack that Koetter ran is what we are running This does not work unless you have an elite oline. This requires the receivers to get open downfield AND the oline to hold up long enough. This requires the QB to hold the ball as well. It simply is a flawed design when you don’t have an elite line. Our players are not being put in a position to succeed period.

  30. Frank Pillow Says:

    I’ll keep on saying it- BA and his entire coaching staff need to be bounced immediately following the last game of the season. Licht’s team too. We’re on a road to nowhere with them. Follow the 49ers model where Kelly was one and done.

  31. Ndog Says:

    There are no easy throws in this offense outside of the quick screens to Godwin. Simply look at when we started running crossing routes/option routes, Brate blew up, Godwin got a TD on a catch and run. I mean it is clear what works we just won’t run that type of offense. It is so frustrating to watch, it should not be this hard with Evans, Godwin, Brate and Jameis on the field.

  32. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    barry melrose 2.0 with a kangol

  33. Kobe Faker Says:

    “No more deep tds for Meme and Godwin

    Dennis Allen gave the blue print to defend our 2 wrs

    Cover 2 with 2 deep safeties and constant blitz with linebackers

    MeMe cant run go routes without the safety waiting at catchpoint

    *lefty is trying to take Miller deep because safety won’t take him serious. Miller is much better than Perriman but still is iffy”

    Kobe Faker

  34. 813bucboi Says:

    BL aint the problem….lol…

    the offense is ranked in the top 10 in yards and points….

    the problem is the QB….

    the playcaller & playbook are handcuffed by the QBs decision making….

    every team in the NFL knows what to do against the bucs….keep the ball in JWs hands and he’ll give you TOs, short fields and extra possessions…..teams load up the box to stop the run and wait for JW to give it up…..and JW always does….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  35. 813bucboi Says:

    so the bucs are #4 in yards and #6 in points behind BL…..

    if BA was calling plays, where would we be ranked with JW as our QB?….#2 in yards and #4 in points?….lol…BS….

    when was the last time we were ranked in the top 10 in yards and points?….never under dirk….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  36. NO FEAR... Says:


  37. Aceofaerospace Says:

    I pray BA is right and Leftwich gets a head coaching gig somewhere else, anywhere else, next year.

  38. Aceofaerospace Says:

    I think the plan was to run Peyton Barber up the middle on first down all season and then, when you get to the super bowl, put Barber in the backfield on first down, fake the handoff up the middle , then hit Scotty Miller flying down the sideline for a game winning touchdown. As stupid as this sounds, it makes more sense than whatever the heck they’re doing.

  39. 813bucboi Says:


    BL took over as OC in ARZ half way thru the year….lol…

    how can you say he failed when he walked into a train wreck…lol…

    would you say mark duffner “failed” after he took over for smitty once he got canned?…..

    ken whisenhunt failed as the OC in ARZ and was canned mid year….and the same thing happened to him again this year with the chargers…..

    and you cant say the “offense” is inconsistent when we have the most inconsistent QB leading the way…..

    those 4 games your talking about(giant, seahawks,cards,rams) JW had 4INTS COMBINED……

    VS- SF,CAR,TEN & NO JW has 14INTS…..and i didnt even count the fumbles…..

    we’re lucky to be ranked in the top 10 in yards and points with that type of inconsistent QB play…..

    BA is right…..BL is dong a great job….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  40. Bobby Says:

    When we play someone like the Saints we get to see actual creative play calling.
    BL is NOT a creative O coordinator. He has the most talented group of receivers in the NFL and he refuses to use his TE’s on crossing routes and pick up first downs. Once you get them respecting the short pass the play action begins to work and they can’t double Evans or Godwin. We try to force the ball down the field way too much and JW holds the ball way too long waiting for something to develop. The defenses just pin their ears back and come after JW. Quick hitters will defeat that but we refuse to get Brate and Howard involved. Granted, Howard doesn’t help his case when he tosses the ball up in the air for an interception but I think he’s shocked when he sees the ball coming his way. We all see what he and Brate can do when they’re targeted. Why not utilize them more. The defenses can’t cover everybody. We have too many weapons. They’re just not being utilized properly. I personally think our play calling is very unimaginative.

  41. Donnie wish we were better Buc fan Says:

    The objectives for an offense is to score as much points as possible??
    That sounds like something Jason Licht would say!
    The objectives if the whole team, including offense, is to WIN THE DAMN GAME!

    This is why fans are so effing pissed right now!

  42. 813bucboi Says:


    so according to you, “unimaginative” play calling has us sitting at #6 in scoring and #4 in yards….lol….

    its not the play calling…its the execution….

    cass in point:
    howards INT….
    perriman running into the RB….
    miller running out of bounds before catching a TD….

    thats execution NOT playcalling….

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  43. unbelievable Says:

    It’s execution AND playcalling imo.

    Some games he’s been good, others have been dreadful.

    Not sure why anyone believes anything that comes out of Bullchit Bruce’s mouth anyways. He’s the definition of coach speak.

  44. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    Byron Sandwich sucks and at fault for this mess. He should be replaced by a good candidate that forces Licht out of the building.

  45. Defense Rules Says:

    813bucboi … Have you taken the time to analyze Arizona’s last 8 games of 2018? They went 2-6 in the first 8 games, then 1-7 in the last 8 games. They scored a grand total of 115 points in those last 8 games … 14.4 PPG. The 1 game they did win was because of their rushing (182 yards). They were kind of in 2 other games that 2nd half (4-12 Oakland but they lost 23-21; and 10-6 Seattle who they lost to 27-24 in the last game of the season).

    Rosen wasn’t great, but he actually played better in some ways (not all) than Jameis has been playing. In those last 8 games he completed 139 for 246 … 56.5% … despite taking a licking (24 sacks or 3 sacks per game). He had 9 INTs & 3 fumbles lost for 12 TOs … 1.5 TO per game. Yet he only threw 8 TDs in those games … 1 TD per game average.

    Bottom line though is that 14.4 PPG is nothing to write home to mama about. Rosen didn’t really do all that bad for a rookie, playing on a team like the Cardinals. And especially after taking so many sacks & hits. Personally I wouldn’t mind having him on the Bucs.

  46. TOM Says:

    BA’s BS goes on and on. He & his prodige BL should just stop talking. Period. The fans in general are all fed up with there BS nonsense. This organization just keeps going from the frying pan into the fire. Sad.