“It’s A Testament To Byron’s Playcalling…”

January 5th, 2021

Ali Marpet weighs in

A former team captain and one of the most cerebral Buccaneers, left guard Ali Marpet, checked in yesterday with an assessment of why the team isn’t starting slowly any longer.

“Honestly I think it’s a testament to Byron’s playcalling, our ability to execute what’s been called and just like an overall energy,” Marpet said. “I think that it really is a multitude of things and a lot of things have to work in order for you to start fast and continue strong. I mean, it really is a lot of different things and a lot of different guys bringing a lot of energy.”

Marpet went on to say the Bucs’ philosophy change of taking the ball first makes an impact. He said it helps get the offense’s mind right when they get to play immediately, versus getting all jacked up for kickoff and then waiting.

The comments came yesterday on team-sponsored programming airing on WDAE radio.

Joe asked Bucco Bruce Arians yesterday about offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and how he’s improved this year.

Arians replied that Leftwich’s evolution mirrors the Bucs’ explosive success late in the season.

“I think just having a second year,” Arians said. “Another year with another quarterback, the evolvement of the offense – he did a great, great job. I love the way we’re playing right now. It took some time [and] it took a lot of coaching. I think he’s one of the best young coaches in this league – especially play-callers.”

Marpet added that he thinks even a novice football fan can see the Bucs are loaded with offensive talent, and the delay in consistency was nothing more than just needing time to figure it out.

35 Responses to ““It’s A Testament To Byron’s Playcalling…””

  1. zzbuc Says:

    Love this guy!!!! Humble, positive, good attitutde…..More Marpets, more Evans More Cappas, Wirfs, Godwins etc…less Desean Jacksons less J Winsotns, Bakers Mc Coy´s…….. Is so clear to me!!!

  2. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    813, the handle used by BL’s mom, has not posted yet?!! LOL

  3. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Execution .. I am sure that they always game planned to start fast

  4. bucfanforever Says:

    psst: Don’t let the Chargers in on this Leftwich secret.

  5. Hodad Says:

    I get why teams defer, I just never agreed with it. I’d rather start the game with a chance to score, not the other way around. Why take the chance of starting the game 7 nothing?

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Why can’t you people say good things about BL and there should be plenty of apologies given at this time…..I’ll go ahead and do it for you non Lefty believers ….forgive us ..we didn’t know!!

  7. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    813 is not here yet, so I shall say it for him:


    (And yes he is)!

    Return To Glory!

  8. Leighroy Says:

    Listened to this interview live yesterday. He and D Smith cut it well like the buddies they are, and it sure seemed like Ali was flirting hard w Casey Phillips during the interview.

    But the most “important” takeaway I had was that somebody needs to pin Ali down and dress him in some “AB Style” clothes on the flight to DC! 😂

  9. Aaron E May Says:

    I think we just matched up better with the teams we’ve played lately. Going to be interesting what our game plan will look like against a very good Washington D.

    Can we play with some patience? Run, Play-action, screen-game…dink and dunk…? Hold the ball for 7min then score…When we played with some patience against the Rams…we scored…as soon as we felt the need to throw deep…the drive either ended in a punt or turnover.

    Go Bucs!

  10. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    This pretty much tells us that Tom Brady is NOT calling the plays, unless he audibles.
    I guess this is why Brady was caught saying “stupid fuking play” by ESPN after he threw an incomplete pass ?

  11. ClodHopper Says:

    “I mean, it really is a lot of different things and a lot of different guys bringing a lot of energy.”

    Interesting how Leftwich how also used the word energy to describe AB as an energy guy.

    Wouldn’t it be the strangest twist ever if AB made the team a little better through being a good locker room guy? lol

  12. Cobraboy Says:

    @Aaron E Mays: Yes, the FTFKATR defense has strong stats.

    They also feasted in the NFL East.

    That said, a DL like the FTFKATR is made for the playoffs: getting after the QB is the best way to win in the NFL.

    However, there is a caveat: while the FTFKATR spent draft capital in abundance on the DL, behind them the defense is weak.

    All things equal, if the Bucs OL can neutralize or slow the stout FTFKATR DL, they can win. If not, it could be a sad night in DC.

    Ron Rivera is a solid coach, especially on the D side of the ball. He is aggressive, and aggressive is the only way to slow a high-powered O like the Bucs.

  13. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Kind of coincides with Godwin at full speed along with ME and then of course AB coming back to AB form….

  14. 813bucboi Says:

    shall I say more?….lol….


    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  15. SlyPirate Says:

    Seriously? I don’t see it. I see guys executing at a high level but I don’t see great play design or play calling. I still haven’t seen a screen properly executed or a change in direction play. If you want to see great plays and play calling, look at Sean Patton’s offense. That’s the measure of greatness and BL isn’t even close.

  16. bojim Says:

    BL has called more than a few questionable plays. However, he has been pretty damn good most of the time.

  17. Robert Says:

    I’m sorry… I lol’d a little….

  18. D1 Says:


    Peyton, McVay, Bienemy, Shanahan, they’re the ones who set the bar. B.L. just isn’t in the same class. Yet!

    Fans tend to believe that coaches know what they will ever know, the first day on the job. The best guys somehow are gifted with x’s and o’s knowledge thus eliminating the need for experience as a learning tool.

    BL, is a second year oc. Not very much experience in the job. My guess is he’s still learning and improving.

    As far as the offense doing so great and giving the credit to BL, I have to go with the players, this offense is loaded talent wise and yet it DOESN’T look easy to execute.

  19. 813bucboi Says:

    you clowns think you know more about football and whats going on in OBP than marpet and BA….lol….

    obviously, marpet and BA confirmed what only a few knew…..


    GO BUCS!!!!!

  20. Dan Williamson Says:

    What he meant to say is its a testament to improved play calling from the simplistic , predictable play calling when we were starting slow.If he, Leftwiche ,is to be kudized its because of him adjusting and changing how he calls plays. Improving.

  21. 813bucboi Says:


    folks saying they see “guys executing at a high level” but in the next sentence say,”I still haven’t seen a screen properly executed”….

    BL calls the plays…players execute….simple…

    i guess marpet and BA just dont know what their talking about…lol…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  22. stpetebucsfan Says:


    As always excellent post.


    Here’s the money quote that validates your opinion and appreciation of BA being flexible enough to change strategy at the start of the game. And for those who haven’t had to work closely with football coaches, they are not know for flexibility. It’s a strength of BA’s. He has strong opinions based on past success but he can change…dynamite for a guy in his late 60″s

    “He said it helps get the offense’s mind right when they get to play immediately, versus getting all jacked up for kickoff and then waiting.”

    That makes perfect sense to me. These guys play at an incredibly intense level…some are borderline crazy by the time they get on the field. Sitting on your butt after getting all jacked up could certainly be deflating.

  23. Cobraboy Says:

    @SPBF: It works both ways.

    Why has the Bucs D not been all jacked up when they start the game? Why have other teams sliced and diced the Bucs D consistently on the first drive if “intensity” is such a big part (not saying it is not)?

    That said, this defense is not good enough to go out and slam a 3-and-out on the first drive, making a statement like the fearful Bucs D from the past. That, alone, is why the Bucs should take the ball first: their strength and psychological advantage is on offense.

    This O IS good enough to drive and score on the first drive.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Ya what have you done against any top 10 or even top 15 defense or any team that even had a winning record.

    Our OC is the worst play collar in NFL history.

  25. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Point taken! It does work both ways and I agree with your observation.

    If one side is better than the other then they should go first to set the tempo.

    It’s a bit amusing…our SB team was clearly unbalanced to one of the all time great D’s. I think this team has far better balance but with the GOAT at QB…and ME…CG..AG..Gronk…Brate…and a solid OL why not start with the O.

    I think my friend D.R. will get his wish for dominant defense before long. The return of VV…and if we drafted someone like Patrick Surtain JR as a shutdown corner dropping our current DB’s down a notch I’d LOVE OUR D.

    I’m big on lineage and where guys play. Surtain has it all. His father starred in the league and he plays for the NFL pipeline at Alabama.

    Imagine having one of the very best young CB’s combined with Winfield another kid with a pedigree who is just blowing up at safety. VV back…try and retain Suh and JPP…the possibilities are exciting.

  26. Defense Rules Says:

    Lots of good comments here, but most seem to be based on ‘What have you done for me lately?’ Bucs closed out the season STRONG; very strong with 4 straight wins. That’s the preferred way to go into the playoffs … with MOMENTUM.

    But as several have already said, all 4 of those wins were against teams with losing records. And just as importantly, they came against teams with bottom tier defenses … 7-9 Vikings (#29 defense); 4-12 Falcons (#19 defense); 5-11 Lions (#32 defense). We outscored those opponents 148-75 in those 4 games AND only had 1 giveaway versus getting 5 takeaways.

    The 4 games just before that (that started the 2nd half of the season) were probably more representative of the quality of teams we’ll meet in the playoffs. Bucs were still ‘finding their way’ in those games, and we went 1-3 … with all 3 losses coming at home. Bummer. Our only win came against the 5-11 Panthers … with their #18 defense. We lost all 3 games against the 3 teams with winning records … and with Top-10 defenses … 12-4 Saints (#5 defense); 10-6 Rams (#1 defense); and 14-2 Chiefs (#10 defense). We were outscored by our opponents 115-97 in those 4 games, but made 8 giveaways versus getting 6 takeaways.

    Far as I’m concerned, the good news is that the Bucs played everyone EXCEPT the Saints tough in that stretch. Either of those other 2 losses could’ve just as easily been a win. The 8 giveaways in those 4 games obviously had an impact (7 of those giveaways came in our 3 losses), but it looks like we mostly solved that problem in these last 4 games (only 1 giveaway in those 4 wins).

    And yes bucboi, BL has been calling better games in these last 4 games, especially at the start of the games. I suspect that BL & Brady have learned how to work together better, and it took 12 games to get there. Plus the OLine in particular has really stepped up in terms of protecting Brady, and our playmakers have been making big plays. It’s all coming together, just in time for the playoffs.

  27. Cobraboy Says:

    @DR: I think with so many new players, especially at QB & TE, and lack of any sort of offseason program, it took half the season for things to click.

    The weak link is the defense. I am not fearful of the FTFKATR offense for 60 minutes. But after them, the offenses get vastly more efficient.

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete, I would LOVE to see the Bucs draft Patrick Surtain Jr, but ‘it ain’t gonna happen’ as they say. First off, we’ll be drafting #32 and he’ll be long gone by then. And secondly (I bite my lip saying this), we NEED a pass rusher much more than we need a rookie CB. A quality FA veteran CB better be in the cards next year though (I REALLY wanted us to sign one this year, but all the FA money went to offense in signing Gronk, Brown & Fournette.

    And yes, when I look forward to 2022, the Bucs will have no choice but to up the ante for our defense. Guys like Vea & Davis will be up for new contracts & they won’t come cheap. Suh will most likely be retired & possibly JPP too. Quality replacements cost $$$. But that’s tomorrow’s problem. Today’s problem is to beat the Washington Whatevers.

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    Cobraboy … I totally agree with you about it taking the first half of the season for things to click (and maybe more like the first 3 quarters of the season). It hasn’t looked like ‘steady, every game progress’ to me, but rather more ‘herky jerky’. However, that doesn’t matter right now; the playoffs await & we’ve built some pretty good momentum in these last 4 games.

    Agree also about the defense being the ‘weak link’, however my concern focuses more on depth. As in, oh ya, our defense doesn’t have any. If we lose 1 or 2 key starters to injury or COVID, we’ll be in trouble IMO … UNLESS the Bucs’ offense takes command and owns the game.

    BUT … I’ve got a hunch we could say that about any of the playoff teams this year. Whoever stays the healthiest is gonna have the best chance of winning it all.

  30. crazyBucs_CL Says:

    Ali M, great player, great guy, and I hope will be bucs forever. I have to disagree on Leftwich’s merits…Ali M is too nice, almost naive sometimes… BL is not the reason why our offense is shining… very simple: is TB12, ME,CG, Scotty, RG…and the line……with so many talent any OC can do it….

  31. IrishMist Says:

    I read that BL may be up for head coach at Marshall. Wonder if he will take it?

  32. Jackson Says:

    Child please… Marpet is just saying things for public consumption. Leftwich is pretty second rate as an OC. Take a look around the league, there are far better OCs. The Bucs get precious little out of the talent they have on the roster.

  33. geno711 Says:

    SlyPirate Says:
    January 5th, 2021 at 11:27 am
    Seriously? I don’t see it. I see guys executing at a high level but I don’t see great play design or play calling. I still haven’t seen a screen properly executed or a change in direction play. If you want to see great plays and play calling, look at Sean Patton’s offense. That’s the measure of greatness and BL isn’t even close.

    I am a Sean Payton and Andy Reid offensive genius believer. Everyone else is a pretender in my opinion.

    But that being said, few teams run the old screens that you and I grew up with. I am not sure how often any team calls a true screen anymore because it used to be that was the only way you tried to slow a rush. Now with the speed of the lineman, teams just do not run those old screens much.

    What do they do now. Many, many more pass plays behind the line of scrimmage. For instance, last year Winston had 62 completions behind the line of scrimmage. That put him in the middle of the pack but considering we passed more than almost anyone else… It was probably a little light.

    This year, Brady had 80 and Gabbert had 3 — 83 total. That put us in the top 6, slightly behind Green Bay and Pittsburgh, but slightly ahead of KC and New Orleans who had 77 as a team.

    I do not see BL as special but clearly if he was a bad coach, we would not have had this good of a season.

  34. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I agree that it’ll be tough to ever get Surtain Jr and I’m not so sold that I’d trade that far up.

    I agree that you can never have too many pass rushers but given that we have Shaq, JPP, D White and perhaps now some help from Winfield we have SOME potential there.

    After Davis there is nobody who can ever impersonate a cover corner.
    I was jacked about SMB and Dean but so far they have disappointed although SMB did have a great final game.

    I feel sure we agree that our weakness is our pass defense…getting the QB is the best pass D but I’d feel better if we could upgrade our DB’s.

  35. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … Our Secondary has been up-and-down all year, but there’s still a LOT of talent there & our youngsters aren’t doing as poorly as many seem to think IMO.

    Having the #1 ranked run defense is awesome, BUT it comes at a cost: opponents tend to throw more. Much more actually. Our opponents attempted 617 passes this year (we ranked 29th in the NFL) and completed 426 for a 69.0% completion rate. That’s unacceptably high IMO (last year we were at 61.4% with mostly the same Secondary), however, our opponents actually got 377 FEWER passing yards this year even though they completed a much higher percentage. Baffling isn’t it.

    The only thing I can think of is that opponents used a lot more ‘short stuff’ this year that has a higher probability of completion. We held them to fewer 1st downs this year (534 versus 553 last year) and allowed a LOT few points this year (355 pts versus 449 pts last year). Our defense even got almost as many takeaways this year (25 versus 28 last year). Like I said though, I’m baffled.

    Perhaps Todd Bowles borrowed a little from the Monte Kiffin years and decided to ‘bend but not break’ once Vea went down. I think I noticed a change in defensive aggressiveness shortly after that, and that seems to be when we started seeing guys ‘playing off’ by 5-10 yds more often. Gut feel is that ‘something’ was going on that we’re not privy to, and it might have had to do with how ineffective our pass rush had become after Vea went down.

    As far as the individual Secondary guys go, take a close look at their ‘Advanced Defense’ stats on Pro-Football-Reference and I think you’ll be surprised. Best cover CB in terms of lowest allowed completion percentage? Jamel Dean (61.4%) followed closely by Carlton Davis (61.9 %). Best cover safety? Jordan Whitehead (62.9%). Most passing yards given up? You guessed it … SMB (955) followed closely by Carlton Davis (855). Overall though the Secondary helped us improve from a 29th-ranked defense in 2019 to a 8th-ranked defense in 2020. Can’t argue too too much with that kind of improvement.