Looking More Like Arizona

October 20th, 2022

Pattern developing?

In January 2019, Byron Leftwich may have had his NFL coaching career saved by his old offensive coordinator, Bucco Bruce Arians.

Leftwich was a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator in Arizona. There his responsibility was to groom rookie first-round draft pick Josh Rosen.

In less than a year, both Rosen and Leftwich were gone. The Cardinals giving up so quickly on a first-round pick of a quarterback was unprecedented.

Weeks after Leftwich was shown the door, Arians opened another.

Now that Arians is up in the front office and most of the time off the sidelines during games, the offensive spotlight is on Leftwich. Unfortunately for the Bucs, the current offense’s lack of production is looking too much like Leftwich’s Arizona offenses.

Granted, Leftwich had a rookie quarterback and when Rosen wasn’t playing, it was Mike Glennon. But Leftwich did have Larry Fitzgerald.

In six games this season without Arians as a sounding board during games,, the Bucs average 20.2 points a game. And that’s with Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Playoff Lenny.

In Arizona with Rosen/Glennon, Fitzgerald and David Johnson, the Cardinals under Leftwich averaged 14.7 points a game.

Leftwich took over as Arizona’s offensive coordinator after Mike McCoy was fired and he ran the Cardinals’ offense through the final nine games of the season.

So far this season, Leftwich has coached the Arians-less offense for six games.

When Leftwich was hired by Arians in Tampa, Joe wondered aloud how much blame Leftwich should have taken for Rosen never making it. You cannot tell Joe that Rosen’s quarterback coach and offensive coordinator share zero blame.

But Leftwich with the Bucs became the only offensive coordinator in NFL history to have two quarterbacks throw for 5,000 yards in a season. Once is extraordinary. Two is a feat.

This year without Arians in Leftwich’s ear in games, the Bucs’ offense has been spiraling downward. It all hit the fan Sunday in Pittsburgh when the Bucs couldn’t even score 20 points despite Pittsburgh’s pass defense on the edge and in the secondary completely decimated by injuries.

It’s becoming more and more clear that Arians had a significantly bigger hand in one of the NFL’s best offenses the past three seasons than the team has let on.

32 Responses to “Looking More Like Arizona”

  1. Hodad Says:

    We’ll add them up at the end, and see where were at. lol

  2. Tap-Out Says:

    During this past off-season …I’m pretty sure opposing DCs were not on Family Vacation!

  3. Onetrickpony Says:

    Leftwich without Ariens having a direct hand on his shoulder is proving he isn’t what was expected, so far.

  4. VATom Says:

    Byron isn’t leaving Tampa unless he gets fired. No one is going to hire him. He has the GOAT, a fantastic receiving core that they’ve been playing Madden with for free agents to keep Brady happy. And still they can’t convert 3 and 1’s. Dude’s here til the whole staff gets fired.

  5. Mike C Says:

    Maybe Bruce wasn’t just an old guy rolling around in a golf cart.

  6. ClwJB Says:

    So if he coached Jameis to 5k yards didnt he also coach him to 30 Ints?

    His resume is going south very quickly

    The Jags passed him over for a retread

    And it looks like a very wise decision right about now….

  7. Beeej Says:

    I’ve yet to see a comment as to why Brady was throwing so many dump offs/ underneath passes. Was no one dow field getting open, or was there not enough time to throw?

  8. Oneilbuc Says:

    So when Brady throws for 350 and 4 touchdowns this sunday I wonder if y’all going to give him credit for that? Because I notice he only gets blame for when Brady is not playing well but never gets credit for when Brady plays well. Sounds like a scapegoat to me.

  9. Bucfan Says:

    Gee,when it is 2nd or 3rd & long, what do you think the Bucs will do? PASS! That is why defences are stopping the pass. Throw on 1st down occasionally. On another not, on 2nd & short – that is a time to take a shot down field. They can always run it on 3rd if the pass fails. MIX IT UP A BIT Lefty!

  10. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Oneilsuckyall, Brady didn’t choose to run against a Pittsburgh D with a depleted secondary. I know Brady didn’t call a drive killing double reverse pass with backups and a run up the middle on 1st & 20 and a run with 30 seconds left that caused Bowles to burn Bucs last TO leaving no TO to discuss the 2 point conversion in GB game. You say you played ball but I doubt that because if you did you would know that’s really bad play calling. The run it until it works mentality only works in pee wee football. I’ve often wrote Oneilsuckyall hates the White man, he hate the White man. Funny, you never disputed that, I wonder why???

  11. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Oneilbuc, you bring absolutely nothing to the conversation. You’ve been Brady bashing since he got here, as if he took your job. Do you have an opinion on anything else non-Brady related?

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘it’s becoming more and more clear that Arians had a significantly bigger hand in one of the NFL’s best offenses the past three seasons than anyone has previously let on’.

    Agreed Joe, that’s becoming quite obvious. Game planning, scheming, play design, play calling … it ALL needs to be improved. BUT even if BA took a bigger role in all those aspects of the game, I’m not sure that things would dramatically improve overnight. We’ve got a whole bunch of new moving parts (Hainsey, Goedeke, White, Otton, Kieft for starters) playing BIG roles on offense with seemingly minimal field leadership right now, and it takes time for all that to come together.

    Brady needs time to work his magic, and he’s not getting it right now. His immobility isn’t helping. Bucs need to figure out how to better protect him & buy him some more time or we’ll keep seeing the same results we’ve been getting lately.

  13. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    It obvious that Tom Brady was all in and lead the offense in 2020 and 2021. Now that he did not get out of the contract to play elsewhere (Miami), he has checked out.

  14. PSL Bob Says:

    I know it’s early in the season, but I think all comes to a head this weekend. We win and the fever breaks. Lose and the tar and feathering crew takes to the streets.

  15. D-Rome Says:

    Leftwich has been getting beat up on this site for the past week, and rightfully so, but if Bruce Arians has been telling the truth then Leftwich has been calling the plays the past two years when the Bucs offense was a juggernaut. It may really be as simple as the Bucs are a different team on offense. It’s possible that between Gronk, AB, Cappa, Marpet, and Jensen (injured) there were able to do things on offense that they can’t do this year.

    Heck, have we all forgotten Ryan Jensen is injured. You know, he does a lot more out there than just snap a football.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    There go our comp picks for another team hiring Leftwich at HC…..what a shame……
    Bowles will get another year…..but I doubt Leftwich does…..

  17. Chuckstutz Says:

    Just what does Arians do these days?

    He’s being paid well to do what exactly?

    He may as well be on his Georgia lake house fishing as far as I can tell.

  18. Beeej Says:

    Point out which video shows that Brady has “checked out” The few passes he completed down field were absolute needle-threaders, where the receiver had at BEST half a step on the defender. There was literally no where for him to throw (at least, within the shorter-than-usual time before they were on him) It’s been days, and I haven’t seen ANY footage of Brady missing wide-ass receivers

  19. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Arians is in hiding because he knows he stuck the Bucs with horrible coaches, HIS buddies.

  20. Sumosam Says:

    This is not Lefty’s fault. He has been directed to run the ball more which they have been trying to do.

  21. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    I am not a Leftwhich fan in the slightest, I refer to him as Brains Leftout and I think he’s the biggest reason we are where are. However, Rosen clearly can’t play or even stick on a roster for that matter, and that isn’t on Leftwhich.

  22. Kentucky Buc Says:

    I believe this is Bowles ball. Trying to play ball control and let the defense win it for you. With that said you could tell from game tape audio that BA was pointing out opposing defensive weaknesses. The most prominent one was the Lenny TD run in the Super Bowl. He went to the coaches and Lenny and told them the bounce outside was there. There’s many more examples if you watch game tapes. BA was very involved in play calling no matter what he or anyone else says.

  23. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    D-Rome Says:
    “Leftwich has been getting beat up on this site for the past week, and rightfully so, but if Bruce Arians has been telling the truth then Leftwich has been calling the plays the past two years when the Bucs offense was a juggernaut. It may really be as simple as the Bucs are a different team on offense.”

    Sure he was calling the plays. With BA probably involved in game planning (at least a little bit), and in his ear on game days.

    There are ways to game plan around a weakness on the o-line. See Cincinnati last year. There are ways to not keep running into the weakest gap in the offensive line. There are ways to not keep running into the run blitz over and over again. There are ways to slow the pass rush. There are ways to scheme wide receivers open.

  24. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    Listnfrmafar Says:
    “Arians is in hiding because he knows he stuck the Bucs with horrible coaches, HIS buddies.”

    Savior-complex Bruce Arrogance (never thought I would use that title) with his hand-picked-and-groomed successors pushed on the Glazers and on the fans.

  25. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    Sumosam Says:
    “This is not Lefty’s fault. He has been directed to run the ball more which they have been trying to do.”

    Funny how the one time that Leftfoot SHOULD have run the ball more, to burn out the clock, he ran not at all. Did someone tell him to do that?

  26. Bucobill99 Says:

    Oneil the baiter

  27. PewterStiffArm Says:

    If the Bucs lose to the Panthers the season is pretty much OVER! If they come home and lay an egg against the Ravens are those grounds for an Arians introduction and a Leftwich demotion from a head coaching gig? How would you even introduce Arians into the equation? Does Tom Brady go rogue on everyone and start calling his own plays?, remember he did in the Superbowl because the offense was on cruise control. Apparently Leftwich was going to call a play that didn’t match up with Toms progressions. the saddest part is we are running out of time as a team. Tom is definitely not coming back and after these next few weeks, hell, he might even accelerate his South Beach retirement. The fans in this city understand that our window is closing. We better be careful our fingers don’t get caught when it slams shut.

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    Listnfrmafar … ‘Arians is in hiding because he knows he stuck the Bucs with horrible coaches, HIS buddies’.

    Ya, those same ‘horrible coaches’ that won the Super Bowl in 2020. The same ones who got this team to the 2021 Divisional Round, only to lose to the eventual Super Bowl champions 30-27. Ya, THOSE same coaches.

    How about looking at Option B since you’re into picking scapegoats Listn. D-Rome told you what the REAL problem is (besides BL’s limitations): ‘Bucs are a different team on offense’. A VERY different team, especially on the OLine. Brady is not the same QB at age 45 without a very strong OLine to protect him & allow time for our receivers to get open. And right now they’re not doing that. Nor are they run-blocking worth a hoot. They obviously miss Jensen, Marpet & Gronk, possibly Cappa too. Not to mention that Donovan, although he’s playing, is kinda banged up (as is our receiving corps). And for TEs we’re down to 2 rookies.

    But ya, press on with your scapegoating. That’ll fix everything.

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    Sumosam … ‘This is not Lefty’s fault. He has been directed to run the ball more which they have been trying to do.’

    In 2020 our run-pass ratio was 36.3% and we won the Super Bowl.

    In 2021 our run-pass ratio was 33.8% (2.5% LESS). We made it to the Divisional Round but lost to the Rams who ran it that season at a 40% clip.

    In 2022 our run-pass ratio has been 34.0%, almost exactly the same as last year and less than in our SB year.

    Please tell me again where you came up with your Leftwich ‘has been directed to run the ball more’ analysis. It might serve your purpose to make Todd Bowles into the scapegoat for our offense’s poor performance to date, but from what I can see, your FACTS don’t hold any water.

  30. Listnfrmafar Says:

    DR, how was his line end of last season? It is clear Bowles is involved in both offense and defense plus I now believe BA took the red pen to BL’s game plan. Brady has won without Gronk & AB so that should not be an excuse, Brady has never had 3 WR’s at the same time that equate to Evan’s, Gage & Godwin, so DR what is the excuse AGAIN? Brady still leads the NFC in passing so it doesn’t seem like he’s slipping. Preparation, game planning, adjustments, motivation and leadership = Coaching, that’s what this team lacks. What have these coaches done without BA? Answer, FAILED!!!

  31. LakelandSteve Says:

    The Bucs offense will be better. 30 points a game, not quite sure but I think all of us would settle on even 25 to 26 points a game right now. Godwin is such a focal point of the offense when he is right and currently he looks like he is still struggling to get on the same page as Brady. If that can happen this offense will start to click.

  32. Bucs Fan Since ‘76 Says:

    It is still too early to render a final judgment on Leftwich. However, no one should’ve bashed Arians or given so much credit to Leftwich the past three seasons either. Arians is a HOF HC and OC. He’s had great success everywhere with an offense he designed and implemented at multiple places with different QB’s, WR’s, TE’s, RB’s and TE’s. He won a Super Bowl with the most talent on offense he ever had, and was one blown defensive play call away from competing for a second one the very next year.

    Now, let’s compare that to Leftwich’s resume…

    The most analogous situation is the Chiefs with Andy Reid and Eric B. Anyone doubt Andy Reid is responsible for their success? Of course not. We should never have doubted our success was due to Bruce Arians.

    We will continue to struggle unless and until Leftwich shows us he’s capable of doing the job at a high level, and Bowles proves he can be a HOF level coach.

    If neither of those things happens, and Brady commits to playing for the Bucs next season, then the Glazers better assert themselves and hire Payton, for if they don’t, we are headed for the next lost decade.