Why Not Byron Leftwich?

July 20th, 2022

“Tommy, I want to leave with another ring, too.”

So Joe thinks is so cool for Bucs fans.

After drinking and eating and drinking and gambling and drinking and gambling and eating and gambling and drinking for five days and nights in Las Vegas, Joe is just about fully back into normal Tampa Bay living mode.

Five nights in Vegas will take a toll. It always does. You almost need two days of R&R just to recover, and that’s provided your airline doesn’t lose a piece of your baggage that just happened to contain your truck and house keys. Yeah, that happened. 🙁

So while Joe was doing Vegas things the crowd at Football Outsiders came out with their Football Outsiders 2022 Almanac and, of course, Joe will bring you snippets of good intel and research in the coming days.

Before Joe got into the meat of the research last night, Joe saw two very interesting things in the introduction of the Bucs’ chapter typed by Bryan Knowles. Joe will save the best for last.

Knowles had probably the coolest reason for Tom Brady ending his retirement after but 40 days. Knowles asked, Do we really believe a glass-eating competitor like Brady was going to call it a career as a loser (the Bucs, you may recall, lost to the Rams in the playoffs) when Peyton Manning and John Elway walked into the sunset as champions?

That’s why Joe thinks this is way cool for Bucs fans: Unless Brady is physically incapable of playing, Brady wants to win a Super Bowl before he calls it a career, wearing a Bucs uniform Joe might add.

Then there is the following: Knowles noted that former Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians wanted to set up one of his coordinators as a head coach, so he handed the keys to Todd Bowles.

Knowles rhetorically asked, why not offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich? It was Leftwich, after all, who ran one of the NFL’s best offenses the past three seasons. Well, Knowles answered his own question.

This desire to help his coordinators out likely also explains why Bowles got tabbed for the top spot rather than offensive coordinator and hot coaching prospect Byron Leftwich; Leftwich will presumably be in the coaching carousel again next season as the market for hotshot young offensive minds is hotter than the one for retread defensive experts.

This makes all the sense in the world. Arians likely thought Leftwich would get hired as a head coach by someone. And it seemed he was a finalist for the gig in Jacksonville. He’s also 16 years younger than Bowles.

Joe doesn’t know if Bowles was a finalist for any job, though he did interview for several. Joe is not saying Bowles is unworthy, but it seems he would have had a tougher time getting a job than Leftwich next season.

At times, it seems Bowles was as almost an afterthought by other teams to comply with the Rooney Rule. That may sound harsh but that’s the impression Joe got, no matter how worthy of a candidate Bowles is.

Now Bowles has his job and a chance to demonstrate he has learned from his Jets experience. Leftwich, it’s hard to envision him not being a head coach somewhere next year, barring a full-blown collapse by the Bucs offense.

27 Responses to “Why Not Byron Leftwich?”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Wow Joe, why open up a can of speculative worms? Todd Bowles got the Bucs’ HC job not because of Bruce Arians & not because of Jason Licht. Nor because of Tom Brady. He got it because the Glazer Boyz chose him. It’s their billion-dollar business & they undoubtedly believe that he’s the best man to lead this team.

    Folks can SPECULATE about what they were looking for in the replacement for BA, but only they know for certain. And their selection was based on POTENTIAL because they were looking towards the future, not the past. Coaching expertise & leadership experience surely had big roles in there, but so did ability to communicate across a broad spectrum of audiences. If I were to SPECULATE, I’d say that Todd kinda came out ahead in all 3 areas.

  2. westernbuc Says:

    Leftwich will be a hot commodity. Bowles has the Jets on his record. BA did him a solid.

  3. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Defense Rules is spot on.

  4. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Tragic news.
    Only one more year of THE MASTERMIND left here in Tampa. I shall savor each and every predictable play call this season.
    Some lucky team is gonna snatch that big talent away from us and we’ll all see the demise of our top-tier offense……

    …….as soon as Brady hangs up the cleats for good.

    Can’t wait to see BL’s pressers too.
    Hopefully he reads up on cliches before then.

  5. Allbuccedup Says:

    3rd round pick!

  6. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Another Great move by BA, appoint a HC wannabe instead of allowing someone with the credentials to actually take this team to a SB? The verdict of BL is still out to see how he can handle a HC position. As for Bowles, wasn’t it him that prepared more for HC interviews rather than a winning game plan against the Rams? Too harsh Joe???

  7. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Maybe BA should of thought to set up the Bucs for future success rather than his hand me down coaching staff. Flores??

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Leftwich will be a favorite candidate to satisfy the Rooney Rule for years to come.

  9. Dooley Says:

    We need this to work as well as Tomlin getting handpicked by the Rooneys’ & Bill Cowher. Bowles has a few years of seniority in the coaching ranks on Leftwich and to be clear, both have been figureheads in relations to turning things around on their respective sides of the ball in their time here. You can be as critical of some of the nuances in how Bowles gets his scheme across all you want, BUT our DVOA has moderately improved on a season to season basis since Bowles became our DC in 2019. Also, let’s be clear none of the HC openings were as good as the opportunity BA provided Leftwich and Bowles.

  10. Idahobucfan4life Says:

    Did Defense Rules forget about the failed Raheem Morris experiment??? The Glazer family is trying to protect their investment, but without a doubt they’re taking advice from insiders too

  11. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Every blog needs it’s troll(s). You fill that role well spouting some crazy spit.

  12. Bojim Says:

    Truck and house keys go in carry on. Anything you can’t afford to be without for a while goes in carry on. 😉

  13. Goatfarmer Says:

    It’s heartwarming that Joe started and ended the Vegas experience with drinking.

  14. SlyPirate Says:

    It would be kind of crazy if BL got a HC gig before Bienemy.

  15. Buc1987 Says:

    TBBF spot on!

  16. Dooley Says:


    I mean, Urban Meyer had no business getting an HC gig before Bienemy

  17. sasquatch Says:

    Arians didn’t pick Bowles. Jason Licht did. Arians endorsed the idea, of course.

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    @Dooley: Bienemy has a massive ton anchor of personal behavioral issues.

    I doubt he will ever be “the face of the franchise” anywhere.

  19. Pickgrin Says:

    Bowles was almost certainly the designated successor to BA from the getgo if he didn’t get a HC job somewhere else before BA retired….

    Leftwich only has 5 years coaching experience total. Bowles has over 25 years coaching experience including previous NFL head coach…

    I still don’t get all the conspiracy theory BS floating around about TB12 “getting rid” of Arians.

    If you think back to when BA was first lured out of retirement by the Bucs – it was pretty well known or assumed then due to his age and health issues that BA was only going to be the HC of the Bucs for 2 or 3 years. And that a succession plan was likely already in place. We got 3 years, a complete “culture change” and a Lombardi trophy out of the BA hire – and he handed the keys to Todd Bowles with the vehicle cleaned, waxed and a full tank of gas.

    Why is that so hard to believe?? BA and Bowles have a relationship that goes back 40 years when BA was HC at Temple and Bowles was his starting CB for 4 years in the early 80s…..

  20. Dooley Says:


    Well aware of his rap sheet and the fact he’s already interviewed with about half the league your probably right about not being the face of any franchise in the short-term, but he’ll keep building his resume and at some point, some franchise *might* take a shot at him. Most likely one of the NYC franchises because they haven’t hit on a coach in either of those franchises in a few years now.


    All those conspiracy theories show you how easy it is to waste the human imagination lol

  21. David Says:

    The only question is –
    Why are your keys packed in checked baggage? Rookie mistake

  22. Melvin Junior Says:

    THE MOST ‘Homer’ Article I Have Seen Written Before, EVER. 💯 absolutely, NOT buying any of this whatsoever, At ALL. Except for, the ‘keys.’ That, I will buy. But, the rest… Hail NAH. 💯

  23. Buczilla Says:

    I’d have preferred Leftwich as our head coach, but I’ll trust in Bowles until he gives me a reason not to.

  24. Lakeland Steve Says:

    I can only assume you were hammered when you packed your bags. So, let me guess you packed your keys in your checked luggage with your typewriter, leisure suit, cell phone and pocket pencil protector. That makes sense Joe. What, did you only have room in your carry on for your beer and porn? Maybe you should check out your neighborhood AA meetings now that your home.

  25. Sammy lee Says:

    Bryan is amazing just needs to get a setup
    He was a buc so why not give him a good name
    Loved him in Jacksonville as qb he was amazing head coach 1 more year and bam sure shot for anybody dude has the talent can’t deny 🤔 love 4 him always

  26. JDStill Says:

    It is interesting that Bruce Arians is still around in a not well defined senior roll,( could he be the “ Break glass in case of emergency”, back up in case things start to go south?).

  27. Listnfrmafar Says:

    JD, you’re reaching. Stpete, what did I write that wasn’t factual?