It’s A Balancing Act

September 15th, 2022

Two different guys; two different voices; two most important people on the Bucs offense. And apparently two slightly different messages.

That’s what happened today when Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and Tom Brady spoke in their league-mandated weekly press conferences.

(Some players and coaches enjoy interacting with the Fourth Estate. Others, like Leftwich and Brady, consider such obligations a hair above getting a series of shots for rabies — and it shows in their drab, clipped or clichéd answers.)

There are actually folks who walk among us that believe, no matter what, come hell or high water, you have a lousy offense unless an offense evenly splits the run and the pass. Yet most good offenses aren’t remotely balanced (2021 Bucs offense being Exhibit-A).

As offensive innovator Mike Leach famously said, “There’s nothing balanced about 50 percent run, 50 percent pass, because that’s 50 percent stupid.”

After being asked today about a balanced offense, Leftwich gave a rare insightful answer explaining an offense should have to ability to run or pass but it should lean on what’s working, not an inflexible and calculated script hammered out prior to a game.

“I see it as prepare and be multiple[-faceted],” Leftwich said. “And do whatever you need to do to win the game that day. That’s kind of how I view it.

“I don’t look at the game of football and say, ‘You have to be balanced, that you have to run it 50 times and you have to throw it 50 times.’ I don’t view the game that way.

“I think you want to be multiple[-faceted] and whatever is required to win that football game that day, are you good enough to get that done? Are you capable of getting that accomplished? That’s what we practice.”

Brady had a different response about balance. Perhaps he was distracted from Leftwich’s comments by texts from Hanoi Jane.

“You have to stay really balanced against these guys,” Brady said of the slimy Saints. “I don’t think you can turn this into a pass-a-thon. Stay balanced and be efficient.”

The only time the Bucs beat the slimy Saints in the Brady Era was in the 2020 divisional playoff round. The Bucs’ offense day was almost perfectly balanced. Brady handed the ball off 35 times that day, and put the ball in the air 33 times.

So maybe that is the way to go? At least if the Bucs hope to finally break this seven-game, regular-season losing streak to the slimy Saints.

18 Responses to “It’s A Balancing Act”

  1. Mort Says:

    They didn’t disagree at all. Brady was talking about this game and Lefty was talking about his general philosophy. His last sentence drives that point home.

  2. William Walls Says:

    Buffalo Bill says, “It puts the ball in the end zone.”

  3. geno711 Says:

    Agree with Mort.

  4. Goatfarmer Says:

    William Walls – LOL.

  5. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Exactly, Mort. The media twisting words as usual. It was obvious what Brady meant when he said the game can’t turn into a shootout. One of the reasons Brady loves Leftwich is because he handles the media well. He says a lot without saying much. He’s the complete opposite of BA who had no problem mouthing out, and throwing his players under the bus. Bowles is also completely different than BA in how he handles the media. He’s calm and gives measured answers. He’s not trying to be a good quote for the media.

  6. Pat Says:

    You’re reaching with this comparison.

  7. Jason Says:

    Well said Mort.

  8. Jerry R Jones Says:

    You’re absolutely reaching with this article.

  9. Rod Munch Says:

    How about just being less predictable. You don’t need to change the balance of what you’re calling, just the order, so the other team isn’t putting 8 men run blitzing up the middle on nearly every 1st down.

  10. Alvafan Says:

    The heck with balance! Get turnovers, lots of them and I ain’t talking apple, cherry and blueberry!

  11. ocala Says:

    Analysts love to say teams need to be balanced, but I agree with Byron Leftwich. You have to do what is going to win you the game. I am sure there are going to be games where the Bucs need to pass it 50 times and other times where they run it 40 times.

  12. CrackWise Says:

    Well, if you consider that you don’t GAME PLAN one way or another then what Byron is say is 100 from a coach’s perspective. You game plan to attack a team in several different ways. Then you see what the give you during the game. The Balance comes from knowing when to adjust and how often to adjust. This is done via running and or passing.

    That said, Brady, a QB. Wants to run as much as he passes because it gives him a chance to read and relax.

    So, in theory. They are both right based on their perspective of the game. Thats why coaches coach and players play.

    50/50 balance relates to the two of them and how they want to attack. The numbers just the end result.

    My point, run run run, pass pass pass. Whatever works. Right now, you have to go with what works. AND right now, THAT IS, your OL and TEs are Smash Mouth BIG ARSE MoFos.

  13. unbelievable Says:

    These aren’t really different answers though.

    Leftwich was talking about the offense in general, whereas Brady was specifically talking about the Saints. And he’s right. 4 out of our last 5 games against them we completely abandoned the run, became 1-dimensional, and their D-line tee’d off on our offense and we couldn’t do squat against them.

    If we make that mistake yet again, we will surely lose again.

  14. SlyPirate Says:


    Mixing things up keeps the opposition’s defense off balance but mixing it up isn’t just run-pass-run-pass. You can also mix in hurry up offense (pace), draw plays, and screens. The Bucs offense is fairly vanilla. I’d like to see more variety from the Bucs vs the Saints.

  15. JimmyJack Says:

    Doesnt sound like they answered the same Question.

    Bryron gave an answer of a general offisive philosphy and Brady gave a specific answer reguarding offensive gameplanning against the Saints.

  16. Brandon Says:

    In a two game stretch last year against the Bills and Saints, the Bucs went pass happy for seven quarters and managed all of 6 points. They didn’t run the ball in quarters number one in both games… and scored a grand total of the 6 points in the last three quarters against the Bills (the OT TD) and all four quarters against the Saints. This was a case of the offense’s ego being bigger than their will to win.

  17. CrackWise Says:


    Good stuff…. LGB!!!

    Might be too deep for most to understand however!!!

  18. Wes Says:

    I thought the Chargers/Chiefs game last night was a perfect example of 2 teams who don’t respect the running game at all, and heavily rely on their star QB to run the show. And I think the result was there was a clear weakness in their offenses. Very 1 dimensional. And it hurt both teams at times.