2 In A Row For Nick Leverett

October 29th, 2022

Joe is giving left guard Nick Leverett a solid B+ grade for his first career start Thursday night.

And perhaps the Bucs have found a spark.

Yeah, Joe’s reaching on the Leverett sparking the offense, but Joe went back and watched every snap and Leverett played well. Perhaps that will give Tom Brady more confidence in the pocket?

Leverett allowed a little push that led to a pass getting batted down early in the game, but it wasn’t much. It wasn’t until the Bucs’ final drive that he had his first pass-blocking loss. Justin Houston got a roughing the passer penalty on the play. Later in that drive Houston spun away from Leverett for a sack, but that was after Tom Brady held the ball for four seconds, so Joe can’t hang that on Leverett.

Prior to the game on the Buccaneers Radio Network, general manager Jason Licht said Leverett is well loved in the locker room and “one thing he brings is a lot of energy.”

Licht added that Leverett played well in his first duty of the season Sunday against Carolina while rotating with injured rookie guard Luke Goedeke. And Licht said last year Leverett “held his own against DeForest Buckner,” the Colts’ Pro Bowl defensive tackle.

Leverett, 25, was undrafted out of Rice University in 2022. The Bucs put him on their practice squad that season and it’s clear they’ve done a solid job developing him.

Between Leverett looking good and Julio Jones surviving a full game and scoring a touchdown, Joe can’t say it was 100 percent awful on Thursday night — even if it feels that way.

29 Responses to “2 In A Row For Nick Leverett”

  1. tampabuscsbro Says:

    unfortunately, him playing well isn’t going to get Byron to do his job.

    I hope some very serious conversations are happening before monday.

  2. Greg Says:

    “unfortunately, him playing well isn’t going to get Byron to do his job.

    I hope some very serious conversations are happening before monday.”

    No joke. The Glazers got sold a bill of goods with this whole coaching change. I don’t know what was happening behind the scenes, but the only way I see this playing out positively is two ways:

    1: Brady goes next level GOATastic and takes it over ala’ Peyton Manning.

    2: The Glazers come out with a “Just kidding” and put Arians back in charge.

  3. Wild Bill Says:

    Clearly Byron needs to go. Mr run it up the gut sucks, but being black has nothing to do with it. Bowles defense has usually played quite well in the first half. Much better than the offense. As the games go on, the offense sputters and the defense tires and/or mentally gets frustrated with the lack of offense. You win as a team and clearly the Bucs have had very little offensive production. In the second half the defense drops off. A majority of the players are black. To blame the results on the color of the coaches is ignorant. Byron needs to go based on his mind dumbing play calling. Brady needs to get his head back in the game not his wife issues. He also needs to be at every practice!!! He has been a part time team member this season and it shows. Bowles defense has kept us in most of the games until collapsing in the second half. And there has been lots of injuries. It all adds up to losing!

  4. BUCkleup Says:

    What they said. Leverett calling any plays? Nope.

    We have not been a good running team no matter what this current narrative is saying we need to get “back to”.

    We were 29 in attempts and yards the year we won.

    Get creative and go downfield. Stop those WR screens every play. Good once in a while but you can’t even call the same play in damn Madden half as much Byron.

  5. Marine Buc Says:

    When you have been eating stale saltine crackers all season and someone hands you a fresh Ritz cracker it tastes amazing…

    Go Bucs!

  6. JimmyJack Says:

    Bucs have zero 20 yard runs this season. That stat almost doesnt sound believable.

    As much as we sungle out the OL, have to share the blame with the RBs………We should be bad enough to give Vaugh a few carries. Last time i seen him he showed he can break a long one.

  7. steele Says:

    Just because Leverett has played slightly better than Goedeke does not make him reliable, solid or worthy of starting on an OL in front of Tom Brady. Leverett was awful in camp and preseason. There is a reason he wasn’t the starter to begin the season. Like Dev White, he is good at woofing and “showing energy” but it is a low bar to do better than Goedeke on a bad day.

    Why do you excuse the Justin Houston sacks, Joe? There should be no sacks. None. Those were on Leverett. He is not the savior. Especially after two weeks (one, actually, since he was inserted mid-game the game before). Although withing OneBuc, he’s a god right now, the savior of their “in-house investing” (aka we won’t sign anyone good) agenda.

    This OL will not return to respectability until and unless Jensen is back full strength. If he is still limping and in a cast, forget it. (Nice job, Logan Hall and Aaron Stinnie. Impact play.)

    Jensen back at C. Someone else at LG. And have to worry about LT also, if D Smith is injured.

  8. Mike Johnson Says:

    I knew maybe within 2 or 3 years I was going to be saying, My Bucs Suck. But I did not expect it to be this soon. Goes to show you nothin is certain in this life. Poor Brady. he is probably going to end up being carted off the field. He should have bowed out gracefully and stayed retired.

  9. Winny Testaverde Says:

    He showed some fire…I liked it. A lot of O-Line play is “want to” and attitude. Goedeke ain’t ready…Licht wanted to show off his small school o-line drafting acumen. It hasn’t been pretty. Sometimes undrafted free agents are battle tested.

  10. Rod Munch Says:

    Wait, all the dopes in here told me that just starting him would fix the run game! What happened! LOL!

    Also, I’d give him a probably a B, I didn’t really notice him that much, which is what you want from a guy playing early. He is, however, not a magic cure all. After the opening two series, which clearly Arians came up, once it was back on Leftwich the moron was running up the middle on 1st down with ZERO success. Turns out it’s not the players, it’s the idiot calling plays that is killing the run game. When the idiot Leftwich didn’t run on 1st down up the gut, it generally got good results – just like it has for the rest of the year.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Leverett’s certainly playing a lot better than Goedeke was. But then again, Luke is a rookie & he didn’t play Guard in college, so safe to say that folks were expecting way too much out of him this early in his career.

    Looking back at the offense & defense performances since 2019 when both Bowles & Leftwich arrived, several things really jump out. On the defensive side (comparing 2022 to 2021 & 2020) …

    o Yards per Play Allowed: 2022 – 5.1 … 2021 – 5.2 … 2020 – 5.1
    o Rushing Yards per Play: 2022 – 4.8 … 2021 – 4.3 … 2020 – 3.6
    o Passing Yards per Play: 2022 – 5.3 … 2021 – 5.6 … 2020 – 5.9
    o 1st Downs Allowed per Game: 2022 – 18.3 … 2021 – 20.2 … 2020 – 19.9
    o 3rd/4th Down Conv Percentage: 2022 – 41.9% …2021 – 39.4% …2020 – 41.7%
    o Red Zone Scoring Percentage: 2022 – 69.6% … 2021 – 52.5% … 2020 – 62.7%

    Our defensive yards allowed per play has held steady. Our rushing defense has obviously gone to pot, but our pass defense has actually improved somewhat. Our 1st Downs Allowed per Game is down also, but our 3rd/4th down conversion rate is back up to where it was in 2020. Red Zone Scoring Percentage Allowed is way up; not good. Our overall #8 ranking after 8 games isn’t all that terrible considering our record and how much trouble we’ve had stopping the run. Not sure what those folks wanting to fire Todd Bowles are expecting, but given the level of talent (or lack thereof) that we’re all seeing, might want to re-evaluate your expectations.

    On the offensive side of the ball things are looking considerably grimmer. Comparing 2022 to 2021 & 2020 …

    o Average Yards per Play: 2022 – 5.2 … 2021 – 6.1 … 2020 – 6.0
    o Rushing Yards per Play: 2022 – 3.0 … 2021 – 4.3 … 2020 – 4.1
    o Passing Yards per Play: 2022 – 6.1 … 2021 – 6.9 … 2020 – 7.1
    o 1st Downs per Game: 2022 – 20.0 … 2021 – 23.8 … 2020 – 22.8
    o 3rd/4th Down Conv Percentage: 2022 – 36.2% …2021 – 47.7% …2020 – 44.4%
    o Red Zone Scoring Percentage: 2022 – 45.8% … 2021 – 66.2% … 2020 – 68.9%

    One thing jumps out: offensive production is way down in each and every category listed. Not a little bit; a LOT. Same OC, same QB, pretty much the same RBs & WRs. Major changes in OLinemen & TEs. BL isn’t helping fix this offense, but anyone who thinks that firing him will magically turn things around might want to re-evaluate their expectations also.

  12. Rod Munch Says:

    Defense Rules : BL isn’t helping fix this offense, but anyone who thinks that firing him will magically turn things around might want to re-evaluate their expectations also.


    I point you to your own stats…
    o Red Zone Scoring Percentage: 2022 – 45.8% … 2021 – 66.2% … 2020 – 68.9%

    If the Bucs red zone scoring was up around 60%, the team would probably at least 5-3 right now. As you’ve seen in the games, the red zone play calling has been horrifically bad. On that opening series, which I believe was created by Arians, the Bucs mixed up the playcalling, had the Ravens off balance. Later in the game, in the red zone, look at what they were doing. Everyone was in close, running crossing routes, repeat. No attempts at misdirection, nothing creative, not that wasn’t completely predictable.

    Obviously missing Gronk is huge, but we have other guys, and there’s nothing being done from the coaching side that is helping.

    I guarantee you if Arians was up in the booth, calling the plays, we don’t have a 45.8% redzone TD percentage, it’s going to be much higher, and that alone, would in fact, mostly fix the offense.

    Just look at Brady’s pace, right now it’s something like 4900 yards, 18 TDs, 2 INTs. Brady’s pace should be much higher, around 40 TDs, the other two numbers look great. That’s telling you, along with just watching the games, that the red zone is, right now, killing the team, and a good coach makes all the difference in the world.

    The downside is, I don’t see Arians being willing to call plays. The other downside is that the next logical person to replace Leftwich is Cyle Christensen, the guy who was such a bad OC he got Dungy fired. Yes, that was 20 years ago, but I’m known to hold a grudge.

  13. PassingThru Says:

    You shouldn’t be excusing 4 seconds Joe. While not horrible, it’s still plain awful. Those 4 seconds still limit that ability for the WRs to run late-developing routes.

  14. BelleGladeBuc Says:


    Scoring more than your opponent is how you win in football. Stopping your opponent from scoring more than you is how you win in football.

    Bucs Super Bowl Championship Season 2020:

    Bucs Score in Red Zone: 68.9%-League Rank 7
    Opponents Score Red Zone: 62.7%-League Rank 20


    Bucs Score in Red Zone: 45.8%-League Rank 29
    Opponents Score Red Zone: 69.6%-League Rank 29

    Bucs Super Bowl Championship Season is 2002:

    Bucs Score in Red Zone: 45.1%-League Rank 28
    Opponents Score Red Zone: 34.3%-League Rank 1

    Red Zone production on offense for the Bucs is atrocious this year.

    You need a historically great defense like the Bucs 2002 #1 ranked defense with red zone stats like the Bucs offense has this year if you want to win a Super Bowl.

    The Bucs offense and defense are atrocious in the red zone. Only 3 teams are worse than the Bucs in the Red Zone on offense and defense.

    That’s a massive reason why the Bucs are a bad team right now.

  15. PassingThru Says:

    This team was constructed with so many flaws. Too many key parts from the 2020 team are gone, and they’ve been replaced by old, injured, or marginally incompetent players.

  16. Tap-Out Says:

    This is what you get when #12 is not all in!…ie:vacation in the middle of camp!

  17. bucs4life Says:

    Absolutely, Joe. You hit the nail on the head.

  18. Adrnagy Says:

    We will win the division. And be in playoff. Once in you never know !

    You about to witness a brady lead team to 7-2 the next 9 weeks.

  19. BucsfanFred Says:

    Leveret is obviously better

  20. Crickett Baker Says:

    Wow. Nice to have so many well-researched and thoughtful posts! Pictures are painted. BTW, as to some thinking that Arians will return–if they found him a flying golf cart with a built-in beer cooler, maybe……

  21. Posey99 Says:

    Glad to see people are waking up on NickL. Go back and watch him vs Von Miller last year.

  22. DungyDance Says:

    Rod – “After the opening two series, which clearly Arians came up, once it was back on Leftwich the moron was running up the middle on 1st down with ZERO success.” …

    That’s really interesting, I had that same hot take right after the game. Specifically the first 2 drives. Almost like they intentionally wanted to create proof, a point of comparison, to prove what things could look like without BL. Anyway, I don’t think it’s too much to ask Arians to do something to help, even if it’s not putting on a headset. Can’t we ask him to help draw up plays? In other words, be a consultant?

  23. Caleb Says:

    Coaching staff is clueless having Luke start over him. Zero confidence in their player evaluation.

  24. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Marine Buc,

    Appreciate the cracker analogy but you failed to include oyster crackers and captains wafers……..and now I feel triggered.

  25. lambchop Says:


    My exact thoughts. I’m shocked they got OL wrong though. It’s usually their bread and butter.

    But, honestly, with Ryan Jensen playing, Goedeke’s deficiencies get covered up a lot. Hainsey himself is starting for the first time at a position he is still learning.

  26. Eli Says:

    Lenny needs to stop imitating Michael Pittman who would run up to the line, hesitate, tribble his feet as if he can’t decide which way to run and get stopped every time. Lenny is doing the same thing. Hit the line and power through. Be decisive and don’t hesitate. Super bowl year you were a force to contend with. Granted, the line is not 2020 calibre, but deal with it. And Sandwich needs to stop calling up the gut runs. Let Lenny roll out and get a head start down the field. This season is painful, the only thing missing from the 80 teams is the creme sickle uniforms.

  27. Lap Says:

    What’s different this year is not the play calling, but execution and BA getting in Brady’s ass. He decided to come back after the coach change but may not have realized how that straight shot from the coach helped to keep him on point. He can still whip it and he is getting the ball out quickly…so those things haven’t changed. This is the first time in Brady’s career that he hasn’t someone he respected that could crack the whip and motivate/irritate him(whatever you want to call it). I don’t buy the off field stuff as a distraction, but if that’s the case I don’t trust that Bowles has the bark to get Brady refocused. Also missing veteran voices on the D-line where our run defense is based.

  28. Chris Says:

    Let Tom Brady call the offensive plays for at least the next couple of games, and see if things improve. They couldn’t get any worse!

  29. CasinoKen Says:

    They need someone to replaced that WORTHLESS Donavan Smith, For such a BIG Man He is useless as a blocker and ALWAYS draws a penalty at the WORST time to kill a drive…