Louis Riddick Thinks Bucs Failed Byron Leftwich

January 24th, 2023

Disagrees with Bucs’ move.

Joe is a big, big fan of ESPN’s Louis Riddick. He may be one of the smartest guys working as a football analyst. He’s also a cool dude in person.

This week, Joe had a rare disagreement with Riddick, the former Browns defensive back (Nick Saban was his defensive coordinator in Cleveland and Bill Belichick was his coach), and former director of player personnel for Washington and Philadelphia.

After failed Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich got bounced, Joe thought Riddick’s Twitter was off base.

Riddick thought Leftwich got the shaft.

Here we go with the offensive line again. Surely Riddick knows the Bengals were down three starters on their line Sunday, including both tackles. And last year the Bengals were horrible up front.

So what did the Bengals do? They adjusted! Just like good coaches do.

The Bears had a better running game than the Bucs. Da Bears! And if you are trying to tell Joe the Bucs had a worse offensive line than the Bears, then Joe needs to go drinking with you some night.

How often was Leftwich seen employing a wildcat or a pitch out or something different to try to jump-start the Bucs’ run game? Try never.

And hell, Leftwich had an All-Pro right tackle and a fixture at right guard to run behind. How often did he uses those guys in the run game? Obviously not nearly enough.

Riddick is right in that Mike Evans and Chris Godwin aren’t burners. But guess what? Did Leftwich try funky routes or picks to help them get open more often?

Educated observes like Greg Cosell of NFL Films came right out and said the Bucs just ran plain ordinary routes depending on guys to use their physical talents to get open, not creative plays.

Whose job was it to see to it receivers could get open, Kacy Rodgers? The Bucs had a historic dropoff in points scored despite all sorts of talent on offense including Tom Brady. So was that Larry Foote’s fault?

Riddick is right. There is work to do. But to say Leftwich was some sort of martyr is crazy. Leftwich has only Leftwich to blame for being unemployed.

42 Responses to “Louis Riddick Thinks Bucs Failed Byron Leftwich”

  1. Rod Munch Says:

    A lot of national guys who didn’t actually watch the team have some really stupid takes. I get it, they need to fill air time, and they don’t know anything about the team outside of some highlights, but here’s a very very way to explain why Leftwich was hired.

    Go to the Seattle game… the Bucs are moving the ball, and that dummy Leftwich decides to call a trick play. The Seahawks fail to cover Brady on the play, when he’s lined up at WR, something shown on TV, inside the stadium, literally everyone saw it — including the Seahawk coaches. Then, just a few plays later, Leftwich again calls the SAME trick play. Well, this is the NFL, not Madden, and the play ends in a turnover.

    Those two trick plays, called only several plays apart, proves why that moron Leftwich should have been fired sooner.

  2. FortMyersDave Says:

    Rod: the irony of the Seattle game is that the Bucs did enough on offense to make people think they were turning the corner. If they lost 20 to 6, Leftwich probably gets canned during the bye week. Truth is that Seattle was a bad team like the Bucs, a 9 win squad who lost to the ATL and like the Bics had trouble putting the Rams away. Yeah, it is too bad they did not launch Wrongwich during the bye. Perhaps then they beat the Browns and perhaps do not embarrass themselves so badly in the playoffs.

  3. Sailing away Says:

    Leftwich and his agent are doing damage control. They are talking to any NFL media blabberer (Keyshawn) who will listen. Leftwich wants them to blame personnel,Bowles , Brady, ownership anyone but himself. Happens all the time in the NFL media.

  4. westernbuc Says:

    For an old, immobile qb like Brady, we need a great o line. Joe Burrow can still move. But that doesn’t mean Byron shouldn’t have adjusted ie more creative run game

  5. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    Did our receivers all of a sudden get slow? You have to create an offense for the team you have. Other coaches find ways to scheme easy throws to lesser players every week. Call plays to their players strengths. Lefty was a square peg round hole kind of coach

  6. Joe in Michigan Says:

    My questions to Riddick would be how did Leftwich adapt and adjust to situations? When did he use matchups to the Bucs advantage, such as when Pittsburgh had most of their starting DB’s hurt? Good coaches do all of these, I didn’t see Leftwich do any of them.

  7. DungyDance Says:

    Was there more beyond Riddick’s quote above? I don’t use Twitter so I don’t know. But the above quote alone is just him saying they have more work to do. Not seeing where he actually sticks up for Leftwich.

  8. Jeff Says:

    This dawg don’t no sh*t about the Yucs.

  9. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Riddick is right. WR that can fly and decent offensive line should be top two priorities in off season.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Riddick … ‘A LOT more work to do than just firing the OC.’

    THAT’S his bottom line Joe, and he’s spot on. And it’s gonna take some creative management & some top-notch coaching to get this team squared away. It won’t be a 1-year fix, and maybe not even 2 or 3 years; a LOT of major changes ahead. But it’s time to pull the band-aids off & press on.

    Byron got his participation trophy. Good for him. Time for the Bucs to move on.

  11. K_bassuka Says:

    Well the defense sucked too yet we are keeping the incompetent Bowles.

  12. Show Me the TDs Says:

    Jon Gruden is available. Put his name back up and hire him, now!

  13. WillieG Says:

    “And hell, Leftwich had an All-Pro right tackle and a fixture at right guard to run behind. How often did he uses those guys in the run game? Obviously not nearly enough.”

    If BL called running plays just as often, and they went right instead of left, we all wouldn’t be as angry. You have to at least try to run the ball. We all know that. We also know that you don’t have run the ball into the weakest part of the offensive line every damn time.

  14. Roc Says:

    I agree should have fired Bowles Too

    So the Bucs also failed the fans

    Leftwich is horrible

  15. Curse of Gruden Says:

    I be thinkin’ Riddick got a call from Leftwich’s PR team.

  16. Irishmist Says:

    So why did our offense suddenly become great when we went to the no huddle and Brady was calling the plays?

  17. McBucky Says:

    The head coach is the key! As long as the Bucs stay with Bowles, the confidence is gone and the ship is rudderless. The Bucs need a solid HC.

  18. Kgh4life Says:

    With all due respect to Louis Riddick, he’s a national pundit, he’s not watching the film on the Bucs offense. The Bucs oline were very average, had their weaknesses but average. Thr Giants and the Raiders had worst oline’s than the Bucs and yet they were able to run it. Finally the Bucs offense was the least creative and most predictable offense in the NFL, that was reason BL got fired. Without BA by his side BL could not adjust

  19. douglas dallier Says:

    Brady and leftwich were good buds.If Brady was staying he would have defended his friend.THE FITTING ENDING TO A BAD STORY!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. ModHairKen Says:

    So every aspect of the Offense was bad, and that had nothing to do with Leftwich? You call that analysis? I call it homerism. It’s like Romo saying Leslie Frazier deserves another head coach job. Why? He was lousy. I guess some people get a pass. PC NFL. All sports actually.

    Riddick is another in a long line of “I’m woken than you.”

  21. Easy The Great Says:

    Covering for his brotha

  22. Pewter Power Says:

    This is by far the dumbest take I’ve heard yet. So it’s the organization fault they o line had injuries and

    he couldn’t scheme a game plan based on that weakness got it

    Organization he runs the same plays over and over and on the same done and distance check

    It’s the Bucs fault he needs a hall of fame talent to score more than 18 points a game

    Bucs faults his route concepts often ended with receivers ending up in the same area instead of spreading the field

    Who were BA’s weapons when Winston was under center and they scored 30 points a game? He got exposed as a fraud without BA so it’s no wonder the talking can’t work in the nfl we know more even with their inside scoops

  23. Lt. Dan Says:

    Child please!

  24. NEfan Says:

    I don’t care what stats or the media says, any of us that watched more than two games knew exactly what plays were called. The Bucs had 4 better than average starting receivers most teams have two yet they couldn’t get open. BL was lazy or clueless, either way he ran the same game plan for every team they played. The only time Bucs moves the ball was in the no huddle hurry up which he refused to run. Nevertheless, this is on Bowles to release him from his.duties. BL, Walmart is hiring.

  25. Bucs56 Says:

    Pre snap motion. None. Play action. Bottom of the league. That is the OC

  26. Ed Says:

    If you live in Tampa and watch the Bucs every week, your opinion of the offense is an indictment of the slow-motion Leftwich offense. Too lazy to change schemes, put in more crossing routes and feed the ball to Mike Evans, the best receiver that has ever played for the Bucs.

    Byron has no sense of a rhythm offense. When they were having all of those red zone and goal line issues did he ever think of putting in Gabbert as a shotgun QB.

    Nothing wrong with his speed and size to run the ball. He’s a big guy and can run. Poor Tom Brady, never a good runner but always knew how to manuver laterally in the pocket, froze up this year and just dumped off or threw away so many passes.

  27. NEfan Says:

    I’ll add one more point Ed, how many times in the red zone when Brady threw into the end zone the wr’s were bunched up? That’s on Leftnut.

  28. D-Rok Says:

    One of the Joe’s just KEEPS trying to justify and rationalize our poor, substandard OL play this year, and keeps trying to convince us fans it’s all in our minds.

    1) Do you believe a QB with (at start of season) with 22 years of experience knows good vs. poor OL play when he sees it? And,

    2) Assuming that QB knows what he’s doing, in shotgun, WHY would that QB also take 7-step drops IN SHOTGUN?

    Maybe the pocket was being pushed back 5,7,10 yards back into said QB, so an extra drop was needed?

    I saw way too many extra drops out of the shotgun this year to convince me that Brady had much confidence in this line. Extra drops equates to timing and depth being different, leading to more incompletions, IMO. And it wasn’t just the shotgun; indeed, Brady’s drop-back depth, as a general observation, was deeper than the previous 2 years.

    The OL was not the only problem this past year, but it was the most glaring problem, and games cannot be won without good trench play, and I don’t believe we had good play most games, and some games, woefully inadequate play.

  29. Rayjay1122 Says:

    So the same BL who sucked coaching the Cardinals and again sucked coaching the BUCS with TB12 was failed by the BUCS?????? OK, good to know. 😂😂😂

  30. Alanbucsfan Says:

    all sorts of talent on offense
    -False Narrative

  31. Rand Says:

    I believe if they truly wanted Tom Brady to return they would’ve consulted with him on the Leftwich firing. So now, I think because of Brady’s and Leftwich’s seemingly tight relationship, I don’t think Brady will be back.

  32. sasquatch Says:

    So many analysts looking at the Bucs offense noted the lack of creativity and predictable play calling. He failed to implement new ideas to make it harder to defend. A decent offensive coordinator could have gotten a lot more out of the talent. Riddick must not have watched the Bucs’ offense.

  33. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Losing A Brown, Gronk, Jensen and Marpet and replacing them with Gage, Otton, Hainsey and Goedeke/Leverett doesn’t work, period.

  34. BrianBucs Says:

    But still, the O-Line coaches and the run game coordinator didn’t get fired and are still on the Bucs coaching staff.
    Go figure………

  35. cspann Says:

    This is speaking the truth right here!!!!

    Kgh4life Says:
    January 24th, 2023 at 7:45 am
    With all due respect to Louis Riddick, he’s a national pundit, he’s not watching the film on the Bucs offense. The Bucs oline were very average, had their weaknesses but average. Thr Giants and the Raiders had worst oline’s than the Bucs and yet they were able to run it. Finally the Bucs offense was the least creative and most predictable offense in the NFL, that was reason BL got fired. Without BA by his side BL could not adjust

  36. Joe Says:

    Thr Giants and the Raiders had worst oline’s than the Bucs and yet they were able to run it.


  37. Rod Munch Says:

    If people remember back to that Ravens game, Joe posted a clip of the Ravens players saying the Bucs offense was just the same play, over and over again, out of a different formation. They knew what was coming. Everyone did, including the people posting on this site, live, during the game. When fans sitting at home can call out plays before they happen – what are million dollar defensive coordinators doing?

    That was a huge issue the entire year.

    Meanwhile, when the Bucs went to hurry up, and Leftwich was out of the loop, they looked like the 2020 and 2021 offense.

  38. unbelievable Says:

    Joe it’s pretty simple – young mobile QBs can make due with a poor o-line. 45 year old Brady can not.

    Now that does not excuse Leftwich and his inability to adjust and scheme around weaknesses.

    But both things were a problem- Leftwich AND the o-line.

    That’s clear as day to anyone without an agenda.

  39. Bucsfan714 Says:


  40. NEfan Says:

    Unbelievable, reading is fundamental. Brady isn’t a RB dip shat. Oh and the Raiders didn’t make the playoffs. Go get Carr or Jones, they’re available for the taking. Brady wins with Both Giants and Raiders.

  41. MDBucsFan Says:

    I’m still convinced the stagnant, conservative, and predictable play calling was a byproduct of the head coach and his game plan.

    We could see flashes of brilliance any time we needed to score points in bunches or a hurry (i.e. down 2 scores late game)

    And it just further illustrates to me that the play calling was being handcuffed by a head coach that was keeping things conservative.

    Leftwich did not suddenly forget how to call plays. But between the decimated line, injuries to his receivers out the gate and the head coaches game plan I’m convinced he was doomed from the start.

    I hope he goes elsewhere and proves his doubters wrong.

  42. Ed Says:

    About the receivers. I wouldn’t say they got slow, but Godwin clearly wasn’t 100 pct for most of the season, and Gronk and AB we’re both gone. Also, the vets brought in (Gage and Julio) were hampered by injuries So there clearly there was a big drop off. As to why Brady and Evans suddenly seemed out of sync, that one is a mystery.

    However, I agree with Reddick as well. I think it all goes back to the offensive line. Couldn’t get a push for the run game, and allowed Brady to become gunshy in the pocket. In the end, though, it was a total team collapse: coaching, o-line, Brady, running backs. Hell, even the defense was awful at times (e.g. the Dallas playoff game.)