Defending Byron Leftwich

November 9th, 2022

Tampa Bay’s punching bag for the ills of the Bucs offense, playcaller/coordinator Byron Leftwich, has a big-name defender.

Former Bucs guard Ian Beckles, booted temporarily from local radio but still barking on his In The Trenches podcast, has heard enough of the Leftwich bashers.

“I’m actually gonna defend Byron Leftwich a little bit,” Beckles said. “Everybody wants to crucify Byron Leftwich, ‘Fire Byron Leftwich!’ If you fire Byron Leftwich, you still have the same playbook. It’s just somebody else calling plays. Now people will say, ‘Well, Byron Leftwich was good at calling plays last year but not this year.’ Do you see how stupid that sounds? If you can call plays, you can call plays. It’s a rhythmic thing.

“They don’t do anything well. What do you think the Buccaneers are basing their offense around right now? Tom Brady’s arm doesn’t look great getting that ball down the field. It doesn’t. The long ball, I don’t if it’s even a thing anymore, ok, because Tom Brady’s not great at getting that ball down the field. We don’t run the ball worth a darn. We don’t have a tight end.

“And, you know, this whole thing, the media bitching back and forth, ‘Run more play-action, run more play-action.’ We statistically do well in play-action, but play-action is usually good when you run the ball efficiently. And if you ask for the reason why they don’t run more play action, I promise you the reason is that Tom doesn’t like it. … Think about when you run play-action, you’re turning your back to the defense, you’re making yourself very susceptible and very vulnerable, 45-years-old. You don’t want to get hit on the blindside. … Byron can call them all day but Tom doesn’t have to execute it.”

Beckles went on to heap most of the blame for the offense’s struggles on Bucs players, though he acknowledged there’s very little creativity within the offense.

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43 Responses to “Defending Byron Leftwich”

  1. Darin Says:

    Same playbook worked fine last season. Adios

  2. SKBucsFan Says:

    Strange how other teams caught onto it after 3 years. It’s like they want to know what plays we are going to run.

  3. JayBuc Says:

    Predictable run on first down happened last season and the season before. Pass game was better the previous two years which made up for the predictable playing calling. And yes, falling behind and forced to pass in the 2nd half will skew the results so it doesn’t look like they run on first down most all of the time.

  4. Seattle Buc is back in TB Says:

    I hate when we throw short of the sticks on third down. I’ve been seeing that this year here and there. That’s the worst. Agree with the previous article. Try to convert on 2nd down. Enough of this third and manageable

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    BS on play action…..It’ works when you run the ball well…..and it also works when the defense thinks your’re going to run….

    I can guarantee you that we could run play action on 5 straight first downs before a defense even smelled it.

    byron Leftwich is making the wrong playcalls at the wrong time and we are also not executing the right playcalls.

  6. Beej Says:

    I can see Best not wanting to turn his back on this O-line, makes sense

  7. Beej Says:

    Brady (mutter mutter)

  8. D-Rome Says:

    I’ve been saying this for a few weeks now. If you fire Byron Leftwich who do you have on the staff that can do a better job that Leftwich? No one. You’re not going to bring in an outsider to the organization and there’s no one on staff that is going to do better.

    We ALL saw (at least real Bucs fans) what happened when Marcus Arroyo took over for Jeff Tedford in 2014. Most fans on here were like, “hE jUst HaS tO cALL tHe pLaYs” but it’s not so easy. He was a disaster. It would be a disaster for a someone like Harold Goodwin or Kacy Rodgers to take over. Neither are ready.

  9. Chuckstutz Says:

    I enjoy watching creative offenses.

    Ours is not creative or enjoyable to watch.

    Zero creativity. Zero.

    You can fool some of the defenses none of the time.

  10. Jack dos Santos Says:

    it’s not that Tom doesn’t like play action, he loves it! He just doesn’t trust certain players to block effectively.

  11. Will Says:

    As much as we run EVEN though we suck at it I’d bet money IF BL decided to go play action on 1st down we’d have great results because THE ENTIRE FOOTBALL WORLD expects us to run on 1st down..

  12. Dooley Says:

    It’s cause the level of execution has been sh*t more often than not.

  13. ModHairKen Says:

    I read the article twice. Who is the big-name defender?

  14. Beej Says:

    Last year, Brady could stand on his 45 yard line and drop the ball in the end zone, is Beckles saying he can’t do that anymore?

  15. Snoman Says:

    Beckles is an idiot. Brady is throwing downfield just fine when given time and IF receivers actually catch the ball, which they have not done well. Bryon has no sense of rhythm for play calling…none. If Beckles, or any other idiot, can’t tell the difference in offensive success when we go hurry up and Brady calls the plays at the line then they need to see an ophthalmologist.

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    ‘Beckles went on to heap most of the blame for the offense’s struggles on Bucs players, though he acknowledged there’s very little creativity within the offense’.

    So Ian acknowledges that there’s ‘very little creativity’ within the offense (that might fall on the coaches?) AND he’s saying that the offensive players (plural) are struggling.

    So please tell us again Joe … exactly HOW did Ian Beckles defend Byron Leftwich? To be honest, I liked his opening statement though … “I’m actually gonna defend Byron Leftwich A LITTLE BIT.” Not a whole bunch, but just ‘a little bit’. Well, actually not at all. Aahh yes, good job Ian.

  17. AmauryGuzman Says:

    BL stinks. I still have major concerns with this offense going foward with BL at the helm.

  18. JimmyJack Says:

    Maybe Brady cant throw the ball down field no more. All i see on offense is 2 yard passes.

  19. ZZbucs Says:

    Blamming BL is correct, but how can fans not see that TB12 has his responsabilty on this too….
    Who with certain ball experience can imagine that TB12 is not envolved in the game plan ? even on the play calling…..

    I undesrtand he doesn´t trust very much his OL because he gets rid of the ball in 2 seconds……But pass protection hasn´t been that bad….Maybe the OL can´t be good on the running game, but in pass protection they are ok….

    How can a WR or a TE get on agressive positions with the QB holding the ball for just 2 seconds….The result is what you see….bad running game, and short and predictable passes….

    Unless they have 50 seconds on the clock to win the game, they just take risks…..We need to see more of that…..

  20. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Boom. Beckels nailed it. Some of the run plays are deff Byron’s fault he’s bin predictable with them but most of it is execution players not being in the right place or knowing the right play JJ last game looked lost on a few plays missed blocks dropped passes the offense is not playing as a whole. Last year the offense was insync. Bruce n Tom demanded excellence last year players got booted off the practice field if they messed up. Wish they brought BA back

  21. Thisisouryear!!! Says:

    I honestly think the play calling is a selection of plays from Todd Bowles. He said it in the offseason, he’s said it multiple times that he wants to run the ball more. He wants to be physical up front and run over people.

    IMO, good coaching is knowing what you have and using your strengths and hiding your weaknesses. I think we should be a 50% hurry up offense. We should be catching the defense trying to switch out players 2-3 times per game, giving us free plays. We should be tiring out the defense because they can’t get off the field. We should be shotgun, most of the game and we should be using the pass to set up the run. I think our offense would dominate from a shotgun 4 receiver base set.

  22. Ash Says:

    Yeah I didnt see the big name either.

  23. PSL Bob Says:

    Nope! Don’t by it. Although the o-line is clearly not playing as well as our line from the last 2 years, the major problem is the lack of creativity in play calling. Why not install some new plays or put some wrinkles in existing plays? This is on BL.

  24. Boston Says:

    Many studies have shown that play action works even when you are running lousy. It is not a question of how well you run just if you run.

  25. Wokeizdunn Says:

    Who is this man called Ian? Is he a passenger? (Titanic)

    Bucs reflect their coach. If they are lifeless, something is wrong with fire, attitude, etc. That is ALWAYS on the coaching…something they can’t fix or something they ignore. They CAN turn it around, and the first time I saw life out of Bowles this year was last week when HIS offense STUNK. Yeah, pin the BL and the players. But that isn’t the story. Will Glazers ever fire a HC mid-season. Nope. especially not this one, or his OL. Licht can simply keep saying “we need to get better” or something similar, as he rakes it in. Bucs fans suffer. Stop the BS Bucs!

  26. Joe Morello Says:

    I’ll tell you what sounds stupid Mr. Beckles……..when you make an idiotic statement that ” If you fire Byron Leftwich, you still have the same playbook. It’s just somebody else calling plays”….?????? I can see why you’re off the radio, sir…
    While it’s true you still have the same playbook you have to use those plays creatively. Picking the right play for the right situation. In last weeks game BL had one brain fart after another. He used Lenny up the middle on just about every 1st down. Ian should stay off the radio. Do everybody a favor!!!

  27. David Says:

    Well… After nine games you would think they would come to grips with the fact that they are not a running team this year. They must pass pass pass then run a little. And they need to disguise the quick wide receiver screens, and extension of the running game, better. Defenses are sniffing them out lately.

  28. Anonymous Says:

    Most of the run plays Byron is calling are giveaways because they always run with Ko Kieft and godwin blocking… its so easy to read

  29. Bob in valrico Says:

    Imo , there is a bit of truth in what Jimmy Jack is saying. My version would be slightly different. They are often two yards short of the first down marker in tight coverages and all too often to a stationary target or to a location with little chance to advance the ball. these passes are almost as predictable as BL’s run calls.This short passing game is not getting enough first downs and can lead to serious injuries.

  30. PassingThru Says:

    Beckles gave a slightly luke warm endorsement. Big deal, I don’t really take much stock in his opinions anyway. He’s too much a company man.

  31. IE Buc Says:


    I can give you two guys who can do a better job than Leftwich as OC:

    Cylde Christensen and Harold Goodwin.

    Cylde has been in the league for decades and has been OC for multiple teams. Harold Goodwin was OC for Arians when they were in Arizona. Both are on staff and would be instantly better playcallers than BL.

  32. Jerry R Jones Says:

    Beckles just showed how ignorant he is. Play calling does become rhythmic, Beckles, and Leftwich doesn’t have any. I don’t believe Leftwich was calling all the plays last year either; you could tell when BA jumped in, or at the bare minimum gave Leftwich a heads up that what he’s doing wasn’t working.

  33. Bob in valrico Says:

    Agree with IE buc’s take,
    Sit him on the bench for a couple weeks like anybody else that is underperforming. the pass patterns that are being used fail to protect our waking wounded receiver group. But I can’t help but think that is a shared responsibility with TB 12 who has input on gameplan and also in the final analysis makes the decision where to throw the ball during the game.

  34. Bob in valrico Says:

    ^ walking wounded^

  35. Statguy Says:

    Even if you can’t run the ball, how about running a play action on first down instead because everyone knows you are running it

  36. lambeau Says:

    Beckles is wrong. The OL is weak, and Leftwich is not planning around that.
    That linebackers are calling out his playcalls tells you all you need to know.

  37. Buck an ear Says:

    this is great news! I had no idea Ian Beckles was off the air!
    *marked safe from accidentally coming across Ian on the radio dial*

  38. Zoocomics Says:

    Beckles sure can talk, and the Joe’s love adding his contrarian perspective every chance they get. He hated Vita for a while as well. I don’t care that he was a pro and that he’s forgotten more football then any of us know…blah blah blah…

    The fact is, if BL is calling the same plays as last year, than he’s not adjusting to the talent of this year’s team. It’s the difference between guys like Sean Peyton’s play calling and BL… Freaking Sean with a third string QB and inferior talent found a way to beat us when we were at optimal strength.

    What was incredibly frustrating is that we kept running and running and running in the first half, which would’ve set up play action at some point in the second half as we started to pass more and I don’t remember us even using play action, until the final play of the game.

  39. Joe Says:

    He hated Vita for a while as well.

    He never “hated” Vea. Beckles thought Vea should step up his play. So did Joe. The nerve to have high first round draft pick play to his talent level!

    Objective analysis is not “hate.” Please learn the difference.

  40. Goatfarmer Says:

    Goodwin for OC.

    bMoron for a Munich basement.

  41. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Tom is considered one of the best play action QBs ever. You don’t think he wants to run PA? You also don’t have to always turn your back on PA

  42. Mark Reese Says:

    I think Beckles hit the nail on the head… Even if they replace Leftwich the new one is still going to be calling from the same playbook and who is it that came up with that playbook… The head coach.

  43. garro Says:

    Does Beckles have some dirt on you guys?!?
    Every week you guys continue to give this asshat a platform for his nonsense!