Byron Leftwich And Running Left

November 17th, 2022

Bucs OC Byron Leftwich.

This has been happening since Week 1 and Joe just does not understand it.

Byron Leftwich, when he played quarterback, was right-handed. But man, the dude sure leans left-handed when it comes to running the ball.

Leftwich has been asked more than once why he loves to run to the left. On face value, it makes no sense. On the right side of the Bucs’ line is All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs. At right guard is long-time veteran Shaq Mason. That’s the strength, no?

Joe knows left tackle Donovan Smith is solid and when he’s having a good game, he’s a monster. Smith is not the issue here. It’s the two interior guys.

Left guard Nick Leverett was a backup when the season started. Robert Hainsey is in his first season starting at center.

So why not run right? When asked, Leftwich often pulls out his stock answer of how he calls plays that he thinks best give the Bucs a chance to win. That’s a generalization and a total dodge to the question why he doesn’t trust his strength on the line, the right side.

Rookie running back Rachaad White had a helluva game Sunday in Munich. But look at the NextGen chart below.

White ran damn near all the time to the left. He never broke five yards running left. He did run up what appears to the be zero-hole between Hainsey and Mason, and once White got past the line of scrimmage he headed left.

Based on what this chart has — and surely the Bucs (Leftwich) had access to this information during the game, Leftwich should have begun running White exclusively behind Mason and Wirfs.

When it comes to the running game, Joe never saw anyone as predictable as Leftwich.

40 Responses to “Byron Leftwich And Running Left”

  1. Bucschamp Says:

    Wirf’s was manhandling anybody in front of him it was a delight. he floored the #10 guy a few times. maybe BL want to strengthen that left side as he knows the right side would be fine. and he have brady to save the day anyway

  2. ModHairKen Says:

    I also want to see the list of the first play call of the game and the second half. I bet it is a run every time this season.

    This is not “giving us the best chance to win.” It is a petulant, stubborn, selfish FU to the media for calling him out on his abysmal play calling. Leftwich is so predictable. And that is the gravest of sins for a play caller.

  3. BucU Says:

    I think we’re back to .500 in spite of Leftwich.
    He’s bad. That stupid trick play last Sunday could’ve cost us dearly. Why are we running trick plays w Brady as the receiver when they were moving the ball at will? He’s been exposed this year and for BA to call out Brady as the early season offensive culprit is outrageous. He needs to go retire TODAY.

  4. Mike C Says:

    Keep it up Joe, hopefully someone at onebuc is smart enough (or has a small enough ego) to let the tail wag the dog.

  5. DungyDance Says:

    That a pretty cool chart, thanks Joe. Whittles a lot of time and explanation down to a 5 second glance in order to get the picture. Sadly the picture is BL. By the way, no more “failing” BL moniker? Noticed that yesterday also.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Love those NextGen charts Joe. Shows pretty definitively which side of our OLine to run behind. Could we get someone to explain to Byron that Green is good, Yellow is not so good, and Red is bad?

  7. Bucsfanman Says:

    Predictability is the nemesis of success in football.

  8. Todd Says:

    The more predictable Leftwich is, the more unpredictable he will become.

    That has to be the lie running through that thick skull of his.

    Otherwise, square this circle please.

  9. Ed Says:

    The reason the Bucs are failing to generate points is due to this prehistoric offense. Leftwich isn’t changing to the Bucs will need to change and jettison him after the season.

    There are some very good players on the Bucs and so many teams with lesser players and lesser quarterback are finding ways to score points.

    Joe’s point about running to the weak side is proof that Leftwich isn’t running the best plays to be successful. With a bye week and after a Thursday night game the Bucs will have had 11 days of recovery time and then after Cleveland game, another 10 days of rest. They should be using their time wisely and if the offense isn’t firing on all cylinders in December, Leftwich is the fall guy.

  10. MRWright88 Says:

    The trick play call wasn’t a bad call, IMO, but the timing was horrific and the execution miserable.

    They had run the same play a few plays earlier with Fournette running around the right end, and Brady was left completely uncovered on the left side. Nobody was within 15-20 yards of him. I’m sure the guys in the booth saw that – Heck, I saw it! – and relayed it to Leftwich.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    “We just want to put our players in a position to be successful and win football games because it’s the game of football”

    Joe…..there’s your answer…….yesterday, today & likely tomorrow.

  12. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Just more proof that Leftwich is either stubborn or stupid. Neither are very flattering.

  13. Beej Says:

    Leftwich is lulling them asleep. When the PLAYOFFS start, hell start running on first down to the RIGHT

  14. Casual Observer Says:

    Joe and commenters are right. Predictability, including “tipping your pitches” (plays) are the nemesis of the running game, at least.

  15. Beej Says:

    Lefty playing the long game here, lulling the enemy asleep. When PLAYoffs start, he’ll start running RIGHT on first down

  16. Kentucky Buc Says:

    A good coordinator would use tipping plays to his advantage. Change the play up out of the same sets. Maybe they did some of that against Seattle . I haven’t watched the All-22 yet so I’m not sure. Smart or stubborn ? The bye week is the perfect time to mess with some D-coordinators heads. Have the changes ready for the stretch run.

  17. JJuice32 Says:

    Remember they don’t look at stats. BL is just terrible no doubt about it.

  18. Statistically Insignificant Reader Says:

    Every game we waste 8-10 plays with Byrons signature play.
    2 yards up the arse. Stubborn, No imagination or Idiot?
    Imagine if we could add 8-10 better designed plays instead>

  19. TombsEN Says:

    I honestly do not think some of you actually know football. Some of you complain about the offense being predictable but then only want us to run on the right side??? What sense does that make? I honestly believe they ran that play to Brady because the first time they ran it he was WIDE open no one even covered him. The arm chair GMs and Coaches who probably couldn’t even coach their way through Madden on rookie mode are so funny.

  20. Statistically Insignificant Reader Says:

    I didn’t play college or professional football as so many herein have. Suffered from LOFT. However I can certainly tell when something is not working.
    Pull a Seinfeld. Do the opposite on the signature up the rear ender.

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    Brady was wide open the first time…..but the Seattle defense covered him up the second time…..Lenny should have never thrown it.

    That’s why Brady hasn’t thrown an int in the red zone and Lenny is 1 for 1..

  22. D-Rok Says:


    Hopefully you are right, and I’ve wondered the same.

    Since BL’s pattern of weak-sided running is equivalent to running into a brick wall, is it POSSIBLE that BL is intentionally toughening up the new guys? Giving them experience for later in the year when it counts? Hmmmm….

    Naw, that would be intelligent, and planned out.

  23. Hodad Says:

    May be it’s in his name . He needs to change it to Rightwich

  24. DoooshLaRue Says:

    I think I know what the problem is…..

    THE MASTERMIND is color blind.
    He only sees more lines going to the left and more means better right?

    True genius.

  25. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Fire Leftwich

  26. LakelandSteve Says:

    I get running left every now and then to keep the defense honest but any moron can look at the Bucs O-line and see that your bread and butter is going to come from running behind Shaq and Wirfs. Also, Ko Kieft is a nasty dude and we seem to run better when he is in the game.

  27. LakelandSteve Says:

    One question Joe. What is the real story on Ryan Jensen and why haven’t the Bucs ever confirmed exactly what the injury is? It’s like it’s the biggest secret since the Manhattan Project.

  28. AKicknTheBucNuts Says:

    If you’re a coach, how can you NOT look at stats to gauge how you’re doing or what you’re doing? And see what is working and what is not working.

    This hard headed, not changing the approach, already has other teams talking and laughing at us about predictability and how they’re ready for the run to the left.

    Good God, Todd. Pull BL aside and read him the riot act that means his job if things don’t change after the bye.

  29. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Why is Joe criticizing Leftwich? Leftwich is beyond reproach. How dare Joe cite these numbers to criticize Leftwich’s play calling. It’s not the coaches fault. It’s the players who aren’t executing. We’ve been dead last in special teams, and it’s not Keith Armstrong’s fault. The coaching is just fine.

  30. Rod Munch Says:

    I think it’s political. Leftwich is full woke, has to run left out of principle.

  31. Buc king Says:

    I appreciate Joe echoing what I been saying all year.
    It’s not so much we should only be running right but we should at least run some right and probable due to personal mostly to the right side.
    When you have 2 right side linemen that are probowl lvl and the other side is well rookies and a lackadaisical d Smith who loafs on plays.
    As Joe pointed out Smith isn’t necessarily the issue in the run game.
    when it comes to his playing he can at time play above average.

    Yes play call is Vanilla – was that due to injury in the wr n olibe room?
    Or is it cause Leftwich not being able to be creative enough to scheme players open.
    I find the need to gut check teams a college football way of thinking and tends to work better when you have dominate gaurds n center which is where we are soft at.

    More outside runs would force the defense to play sideline to sideline and not be so committed to pass protection.

    At the end of the day we are not privy to the game plan or intel the bucs have internally to which Leftwich and offensive coaches develop the game plan with.

    I will say though from a outside looking in perspective I find the team needs to get creative with the run game and open up the passing game.

    Trick plays n wild cat offense is not the solution most people call that style of football either desperate or cute.
    I get they seen bradybwas open 1st time but it was missed n we was driving hard.
    Also the line was winning in the trenches for once no need to get cute.
    I feel like the the wasted runs up the gut can really he linked to the center who typically gets off wrong n looks lost most the time.
    I pray for Jensen return and health.
    White run style is preferable at this point to Lenny’s ineptitude to fund a hole and run into the back of his blocker.

    This team will have to be able to continue running the ball to match up with a lot teams in the nfc and specially the afc.

  32. Ron Potter Says:

    Does it have to do with the ability to pull Mason or Wirfs to the left? Obviously, if they’re running right, maybe Leverette and Smith are less athletic to pull. It would be nice if Joe addressed this in the article.

  33. Vinny from Vermont Says:

    Bruce Arians can shout out support for BL until he’s blue in the face…But,you can’t argue the facts.
    Leftwich’s predictable play calling is now the biggest single factor holding this offense back.
    Bruce Arians support for BL as a HC somewhere is laughable and a sad commentary on the Glazers attempts to elevate this organization to something special.
    What ever happened to accountability?

  34. Goatfarmer Says:

    Stoopid is as stoopid does, Boron.

    He’s and idjut, and so is he.

  35. captivajim Says:

    BA is pushing leftworst to run left so BA’s draft choices can learn on-the-job how to block

  36. NEfan Says:

    I guess stats are informative after all. Brutal. Thanks BA!

  37. Since76 Says:

    We are .500 inspire of having a terrible offensive cooridinator. If we had a mediocre oc we would be so much better. No accountability means he can keep crapping the bed and keep his job. It means run left on first down 9 off 10 times. Its really very ridiculous.

  38. Reach87 Says:

    Keyboard coaches, what were the LBs doing? Was there a safety in the box? Does a cut-off block look better? What did they practice? What did that practice reveal? What about how opponents fared in previous games? I know of only one “fan” on this sight that would invest the mental rigor the coaches/team puts in every week. Without that rigor , you’re just complaining. Go Bucs!

  39. bucs4life Says:

    Frankly, why would he? Why would he bother playing to the teams strenghts when he knows for a fact that any accountability about his playcalling and play designing will just hit the wall of Bruce Arians sugarcoating and shielding from criticism. Arians will ward him off.

  40. OLDE pfart Says:

    That chart tells it all….but how does it compare to the first 6 games? Yes….the right side is the strong side….do not be stupid…..use it……