Byron Leftwich Talks Simple Red-Zone Cleanup

September 22nd, 2022

Byron Leftwich

Joe can’t blame offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich for rookie running back Rachaad White dropping a six-yard pass in the red zone on Sunday.

That’s just one example of little things that have gone wrong for the Bucs near their opponents’ goal line.

As great as the Bucs were in the red zone last year, it’s especially glaring how much they’ve struggled there in Weeks 1 and 2 of this season.

Playing without Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski, and Pro Bowl offensive linemen, are big reasons that Leftwich will not reference in a public forum. But that’s real whether anyone wants to admit it or not.

Leftwich told the Buccaneers Radio Network this week that the Bucs’ red zone woes aren’t really concerning. He said he “liked everything about” Week 1 red zone in Dallas except final execution.

“It’s not big things,” Leftwich said of the red zone failures. He cited pre-snap penalties in general and very minor little miscues hurting the offense.

Leftwich also didn’t discount the communication challenges in the crazy-loud Superdome, “such a fixable thing,” he called it. Of course, that noise distraction disappears Sunday when the Bucs return to The Licht House to face the Packers.

Joe will roll with Leftwich and not be concerned. Fix the red zone on Sunday and it’s all good.

27 Responses to “Byron Leftwich Talks Simple Red-Zone Cleanup”

  1. MonkeyMan Says:

    I could listen to Leftwich talk all day. That laugh of his is the best!

  2. D-Rok Says:

    All will be good, or better than now, when our WR’s and O in general return to health. RZ should be better with time, and guess what? It’s only week 3 and we have time to get it right.

    GO BUCS!!!

  3. Dooley Says:

    First, “The Licht House” is an elite lvl JoeBucs moniker if I ever heard one and second. I’m kind of pumped Ke’Shawn Vaughn got activated, we ran that play he scored on that long run against Carolina last season with Lenny this year @Dallas. Vaughn had Gronk & Howard stacked on the LOS as seal out blockers, but Lenny did just as well with Ko & Cade in their place.

  4. coleB Says:


    I am not to worried about the red zone issues ……….YET. But I ask that you please do not post anything here about the bullcrap Tom Brady ex GF news link I saw on the spun. This CRAP has nothing to do with football and while I admire Tom Brady and what he has done for our team, I DO NOT CARE ABOUT THIS MANS PERSONAL LIFE!!!! And honestly it shouldn’t even be public but I also wish for world peace so……yeah.

  5. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Currently #30rh in the league. There was no secret Godwin would not be ready and Gronk & AB would not be on the team so what changes have Bowles and BL made to compensate for them? I thought Gage could pick up some of the slack. Brate has digressed and the TE are useless unless blocking. This ain’t changing in the near future.

  6. Jack Sparrow Says:

    Maybe BL should first worry more about reaching the Red zone. A run in the middle with 2nd and 10 is more worrisome.

  7. Joe Says:


    If you don’t care, don’t read it. 🤷‍♂️

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    All we have to do is “get on the same page” because if we are on the same page, we will be on the same page and being on the same page is important…, let me repeat…lets get on the same page and stay on the same page.

  9. Redeemer Says:

    It isn’t Brady personal life that’s the problem. It’s a lack of weapons. I don’t think he’s daydreaming about G on third down

  10. captivajim Says:

    I would put Vaughn in on sunday ..he’s a hard runner .. Might also send a message to White that he’s not the “chosen one ” & he better improve his act ; hitting holes quicker and catch passes in the red zone..

  11. D Says:

    Byron should be talking about play calling clean up. Especially in terms of predictability. Of all the Bucs first downs against the Saints, the offense attempted one pass. Unbelievable!

  12. HC Grover Says:

    No worries just run up the gut.

  13. Listnfrmafar Says:

    captivajim@ clap, clap well said.

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    Saving grace for the Bucs’ offense has been the Bucs’ defense generating SIX takeaways in 2 games. Offense has been able to capitalize on most of them:

    o Dallas game Takeaway: Offense was given the ball on the Cowboys 23 yard line & ended up kicking a 29-yard FG.
    o Saints game Takeaway #1: Offense given the ball on the Bucs’ 10 yard line, but ended up punting.
    o Saints game Takeaway #2: Offense given the ball on the Bucs’ 20 yard line, then marched 80 yards for a TD.
    o Saints game Takeaway #3: Offense given the ball on the Bucs’ 29 yard line & ended up kicking a 47-yard FG.
    o Saints game Takeaway #4: Offense given the ball on the Saints’ 43-yard line, but ended up punting.
    o Saints game Takeaway #5: Pick-6 by Edwards.

    So the Bucs’ TEAM has scored HALF of our points scored in 2 games (20 of 39 points) starting from takeaways. Starting field position in each of the 4 cases we scored on was critical. May not have been ‘pretty’ but it’s been fairly effective COMPLEMENTARY FOOTBALL.

  15. DoooshLaRue Says:

    If I know my Bucs, and I think I do, the offense will come to life against the Packers and our defense will suddenly look like garbage.

  16. AbucAway Says:

    Well, I cheered for White as number 2 RB. He has had his @ss handed to him so if Sneak is one of the answers for red zone, then I’m all for it. And we also need Tom to stop being so freaking co dependant and trust what is on the field. I know I saw Gage wide @ss open against th Saints

  17. MadMax Says:

    Take the 3 next time… not bashing. points are points though.

  18. Rod Munch Says:

    Here’s an idea, stop wasting your 1st downs and be more creative. In both games so far there has been zero rhythm to the play calling, no setup plays, generic predictable garbage. It doesn’t help all the issues at WR and on the o-line, but seriously, no traditional RB screens, no slants, just predictable trash calls.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    Rod … ‘stop wasting your 1st downs and be more creative. In both games so far there has been zero rhythm to the play calling, no setup plays, generic predictable garbage’.

    I’ve had a similar criticism of BL’s play-calling on 1st downs in the past Rod, but I’m not so sure that’s been THE problem this year. Only looked at the Dallas game (takes too long to go through each play) but I thought BL’s play-calling (or Tom Brady’s ad-libbing?) was quite good.

    Bucs had 26 first down plays in the Dallas game.
    o We ran on 17 of them: Fournette had 12 runs for 72 yds; White had 3 runs for 8 yds; Julio had 1 run for 12 yds; Brady had 1 kneeldown at EOG.
    o We passed on 9 of them: 6 short (all complete for 68 yds); 3 deep (1 complete for 48 yds; 2 incomplete).

    So Lenny did exceptionally well on his 1st down runs (12 carries for 72 yds rushing … 6.0 YPC); Julio did great (1 run for 12 yds); White struggled (but not just on 1st down). Brady did great passing on 1st down: 7 completions in 9 passes for 116 yds.

    1st down wasn’t our problem; 3rd down was (we were only 5-for-14 there). And unfortunately several of those that we ‘couldn’t close the deal on’ were in the Red Zone.

  20. Dooley Says:


    15 carries on first down against the Saints for 57 yards, and if I’m not mistaken we only ran for a total of 72 yards against New Orleans. I mean, those runs attacking our interior are what veer runs were to Herman Boone. Has been since Leftwich arrived with BA, we’re not changing our bread & butter which sets up a good amount of our playbook run & pass.

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    Dooley … I think the basic problem that the Bucs’ offense has with the Saints is in terms of match-ups. They match up better against us than probably any other team does. It seems likely that BL hasn’t been able to crack the code when it comes to playing the Saints’ defense. We can’t run wide on them; we sputter trying to run between the tackles; we don’t seem to be able to consistently throw deep against them; and it’s hard to sustain drives using nothing but short passes.

    The saving grace in our last 2 victories against them have been takeaways (9 total in those last 2 games). And interestingly, all but 1 of those takeaways came in the 2nd half of those 2 games (and actually 6 of them came in the 4th qtr). If that’s what it takes to beat the Saints though, then that’s what we’ve gotta do.

  22. Listnfrmafar Says:

    DR, if the D is relying on take aways to win games, Bucs are in trouble. I say focus on stopping 5 to 7 yds on first down runs. Now if the philosophy was bend don’t break then it was a success. Bottom line, of Bucs can’t score more.that 13 points on offense they are screwed. Shat, other than Evan’s and Kenny no one is reliable and both of them dropped easy passes Sunday. What was promising was the Oline. In the past the oline was Swiss cheese and Brady was pressured, last Sunday he was barely hit.

  23. Listnfrmafar Says:


  24. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Oh, I would take almost any other OC in the league over BL.

  25. Crickett Baker Says:


  26. Georger Says:

    Joe, could you checked, I think the Bucs scored 10 points more at home.

  27. Cannon Says:

    It could also be that Dallas and the Saints have strong defenses.