Next Few Weeks Are Big For Byron Leftwich

January 7th, 2022

Spotlight on Bucs OC.

So coach, what do you now have in your bag of tricks?

The Bucs at one point had a wide receiver group that was the envy of the NFL. Now, it is a shambles.

Gone is furniture-tossing, bicycle-winging, tantrum-throwing quitter Antonio Brown. Gone for the season (and maybe for good) is Chris Godwin. Mike Evans is hobbled. The star of the NFC Championship game is AWOL.

It’s so bad for the Bucs that a guy on the practice squad a couple of weeks ago may be their No. 2 receiver.

A mark of a good coach is how he adapts, especially mid-season. Good coaches craft their offense or defense to suit the available talent. Which brings Joe to Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.

Since 2019, he and Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians installed and used a no-risk-it, no-biscuit downfield throwing offense. It worked, largely thanks to the stud collection of wide receivers.

Now? Well, the Bucs have a gnarly offensive line, a crushing blocking tight end and a collection of bruising running backs.

Just judging by the talent, Joe would think Leftwich would incorporate more of a ground-and-pound offense sprinkled with play-actions.

Surely, Leftwich doesn’t expect the immortal Cyril Grayson, as great of a story as he is, to duplicate Brown’s production? Or that Tyler Johnson will match Godwin? If so, that would seem to be playing right into the hands of an opposing defense.

If the Bucs go on a deep playoff run, in part, because Leftwich adapted on the fly, Joe is confident Leftwich will have a head coaching job next year somewhere. That success would demonstrate to an owner that Leftwich can adapt and roll with the punches to get results.

If Leftwich sticks to the same attack strategy and the Bucs’ offense then gets stuck in the mud because, well, Grayson is no Brown and Johnson is no Godwin, then Joe has a hunch Leftwich will be back with Tampa Bay next season.

The next few weeks Leftwich has a chance to demonstrate to the world, and to prospective new bosses, that he can turn a lemon into a honeybell orange.

25 Responses to “Next Few Weeks Are Big For Byron Leftwich”

  1. Robert Says:

    If it’s on BL we are in trouble. Give him a vacation and hand the reins to TB.

  2. Pa Privateer Says:

    3 TE sets. Split OJ out wide.

    I know OJ has never shown much, but “IF” he could, now is the time.

  3. alton d green Says:

    Robert, you nailed it. The Saints game says it all. Been watching NFL for 60 yrs. I think if you gave Tom 3 defensive linemen and made them receivers, he would still score a point. Our receiver corp is in shambles?????? If I had a $300 30-06, I could kill a deer at 100 yards or if i had a $1000 rifle i could do the same. It’s the person pulling the trigger!!! I think they should take BL’s tablet, give him an etcha-sketch and keep him on the bench and stay away from TB

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We may end up playing the Saints again…….BL will have to make a change against that defense……
    I think we can do well by using our TEs more and running…..shorter passes to the WRs with the occasional throw downfield…..
    Joe forgot to mention Perriman….I think he could be a positive factor. He was able to shine when he was called on with Evans & Sodwin down…with America’s Quarterback.

  5. Bucschamp Says:

    Man I need to see a bucs game. So bored of AB stories already

  6. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Ha,ha,ha,ha seriously BL & BA trying to figure this out? They are scratching their heads so hard it looks like someone emptied salt & pepper shakers out on the practice field. Just sit back and let Brady do his best and let the chips fall where they fall.

  7. Go Bucs! Says:

    I believe this team will make us proud after all it has been through. Bucs will leave it all on the field. We have some of the greatest all-time pros and there are inmmense oportunities to be seized by young talented players.

  8. Ed Says:

    Joe is right on “Good coaches craft their offense or defense to suit the available talent”.

    The Bucs know what they have on offense at least with their offensive line and tight ends. They are the same units that entered the season. Play to their strengths.

    You have to run the ball effectively, not by running out of the same formations that tip off defensive coordinators to stop it. Not by running up the gut to begin the game. Save that for later when the defenses are tired.

    Get Mike Evans to help out and do some of the things Godwin did. Instead of using him vertically every route, confuse the opponents by having him shorten up his routes and start getting him the ball over the middle. Mike needs to focus better because he and Brady are not always on the same page. Brady has thrown interceptions because Mike isn’t looking for the ball. It comes quick, be prepared.

    Take shots downfield but stop with the 30 yard lob passes on 3rd and 1 when you are not in field goal range. How many missed passes have we seen in Buc losses when they went long when they should have gone short.

    Leftwich’s offense will have to adapt for the playoffs for the Bucs to move forward.

  9. PassingThru Says:

    I think the impact of Buc running game is being overrated here. It’s above average, but nothing special.

  10. Bruce Blahak Says:

    play to your strengths…lots of 2te brate n gronk sets…play action, yes! no damn empty backfields on 2nd and 2! Vaughn, Vaughn, Gronk=1st down…repeat. Ball control.

  11. Robert Says:

    According to one of the Joe’s, Leftwich will never get a coaching opportunity because of his inability to develop Josh Rosen. He’s destined to be a coordinator forever.

  12. BucsFan 4Ever Says:

    The way in which the Buc”s adapt (or fail to do so) won’t be determined by BL. The strategy will be determined with input by all the key offensive coaches including BA and Tom Moore. BA is an excellent offensive coordinator, but given the situation as it is he’ll need as much help as he can get.

  13. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    This offensive line is made for pass blocking they’re not very strong or physical enough to rely on for run blocking. The way the defense gave up 24 points to the fallen Jets this offense can’t score 24 points relying on the run. We do that we’ll get run in the 1st round.

  14. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    You’re a fool of you think anyone but Tom Brady is in charge of this offense!! I’m sure they get together and go over TOM’S notes… But Tom is the one coaching and calling plays here!! And honestly that needs to stop!! They have lost control of the offense and they do whatever they want… Not a good strategy!!

  15. Ed Says:

    Don’t you think pass blocking is more difficult than run blocking? Edge rushers have speed but most of them can be blocked straight on by a heavier offensive lineman. Run at the edges, Vaughn is better suited to run that way. Fournette isn’t quick and Rojo was no moves.

    Marpet and Smith have shown good run blocking on edge runs. Wirfs is one of the strongest linemen in the league. Jensen and Cappa are average run blockers. That’s why the up the middle running plays only get 2 yards.

    Most of the longer Buc runs go more to right or left of guards.

  16. Ed Says:

    Forgot about Gronk blocking, very good in running game.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    I have no crystal ball as to how the offense will do in the playoffs. However one thing I know without a doubt…. Coach Leftwich has not been given anything from the time he was a player. He has worked and earned every opportunity he has gotten. Critics can credit Brady in an attempt to minimize Coach’s impact, but as soon as they lose those critics don’t blame Brady then it’s poor coaching. Common sense is you can’t have it both ways. If he is the primary architect of their failures then he can’t be some guy doing nothing when they succeed. Lastly he is better qualified to craft a winning NFL offense than anyone criticizing him on a message board.

  18. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Leftwich and Bowles adjusted and adapted well during our playoff stretch last year under Arians’ leadership. I see no reason to expect less this year. If we are going to have a hope and a prayer of getting a second Lombardi all coaches and all of the players must rise to the occasion that presents itself. What else is new?

    Let the postseason coaching and personnel changes fall where they may later. Every game is critical from now on. As Buccaneer fans, how can we be focused on anything but the next game up?

    Go Bucs!

  19. SufferingSince76 Says:

    The frustration with Leftwich is over his predictable and unimaginative play calling. Yes, he’s the OC of the Super Bowl champions, but that also speaks to the quality of the team he has.

  20. PassingThru Says:

    You’re right Ed, run blocking and pass blocking are different disciplines. Most O linemen prefer run blocking. Why? Because when you’re pass blocking you’re getting hit and giving ground in an orderly retreat. Run blocking you’re hitting that D lineman who has been pounding you all game long. The O lineman finally gets to dish out the punishment as an aggressor.

    That being said, the Bucs are a strange team. Near elite level at pass blocking but rather so-so at run blocking. They shouldn’t be so-so, not with the strength and athleticism of that O line, but for some reason they aren’t really that proficient at creating opportunities between the tackles. That’s the responsibility of the O line coach, to coach them up on zone blocking.

  21. SlyPirate Says:

    We like TB12 stats. Someone do some research …

    1. How many OC or offensive coaches has TB12 gotten HC jobs?
    2. How many lasted more than 2-3 seasons?

    I’d bet 4-5 to #1 and 0 to #2.

  22. Listnfrmafar Says:


    Charlie Weiss, Notre Dame
    Bill O’Brien, Houston
    Josh McDaniels, Denver

    Those were the only 3 he’s had except Leftwich.

    He best Leftwiches arse in a playoff game. The Jags had a pretty good offense and the best D in the league that year.

    Why would anyone say Brady couldn’t manage an offense better than BL? How long has BL been an OC, 3 yrs and 2 with Brady and a losing season before that? How does that qualify for a HC position? Brady ain’t going with.him.

  23. sasquatch Says:

    If Leftwich answers interview questions the way he answers questions from the media, he will never be a head coach. He sounds like a moron.

  24. alton d green Says:

    if he needs gas money just let me know

  25. stpetebucsfan Says:

    As long as the OL plays like they did the second half of the Jet’s game and not the first half we’ll be fine.

    So no more bombs to AB or CG…meanwhile if ME13 can’t get open down the sidelines he can at least clear them out for either Playoff Lennie or Bell.

    Bell already has a great reputation for hands out of the backfield but Playoff Lennie is actually just as good. Bell’s lifetime catch % is just under 80%..79.5
    Lennie is 78.4…and Lennie has improved from 76% last year to 82% this year.
    I think he realized with Brady at QB he just needed to focus a little more on that part of his game.

    In effect we have traded two deep threats…players also capable of running screens..for two players who can also run screens as well as catch out of the backfield.

    Watch for one of these two to get open deep down a sideline after sneaking out of the backfield.

    No matter how you slice it or dice it…we get an RB on an LB with Brady putting the ball in perfect spots. Again I like those odds.