Moving On

January 8th, 2023

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Todd Bowles will soon be looking for a new offensive coordinator. It’s foolish to debate the point.

Despite a full year from Tom Brady and a decent defense, the Bucs find themselves 8-8 heading into Atlanta for the regular-season finale.

Tampa Bay made the playoffs again, but the Glazers won’t be fooled again.

Ira Kaufman’s sounds the firing bell for Byron Leftwich.

Ownership realizes that in any other NFC division, the Bucs would be at least four games out of first place.

It is what it is — and what it is isn’t particularly pretty.

Somebody has to take the fall for mediocrity … and it figures to be Byron Leftwich. For too much of this season, the offense has been abysmal. Even in recent wins, the Bucs struggle to score points until a sense of urgency kicks in and Brady pulls off another late comeback.

From the time Bruce Arians took a backseat and handed all the offensive keys to Leftwich, this pewter vehicle has been stuck in neutral. For thousands of Buc fans, the chant “fire the cannons” has been replaced by “fire the offensive coordinator.”

Leftwich hasn’t helped himself at the podium, where he consistently fails to take responsibility for Tampa Bay’s offensive woes. He keeps reminding everyone the only thing that matters is points.

He’s correct, of course, but that assertion isn’t helping his cause.

Let’s compare the 2022 Bucs with another team that will likely be seeking an OC replacement.

Brady has taken every snap through 16 games while the Patriots counter with Mac Jones and rookie Bailey Zappe under center. New England’s primary targets are Jakobi Meyers, DeVante Parker, Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.

You see any names there that keep opponents up at night?

Yet the Patriots, who are 8-8 in a much better division, have scored 45 more points than the Bucs. To be fair, New England has returned five interceptions for touchdowns. Still, the point total between these two franchises shouldn’t be close.


The talk up in New England is that Bill Belichick is focused on bringing Bill O’Brien back to his offensive staff. O’Brien did a nice job in Foxboro working with Brady and he likely would like to return to the NFL. One of my co-workers on this ultimate Buc website has been touting O’Brien for months as a smart replacement for Leftwich in 2023.

Somehow, someway, the Bucs need more help orchestrating this offense than the Patriots. New England has scored more than 20 points 10 times this season, compared to only six times for Tampa Bay. The Pats average more yards per snap than the Bucs.

That’s crazy. That’s unacceptable.

Remember that scene toward the end of “The Godfather,” when Michael Corleone gives the death stare and tells Carlo, “You have to answer for Santino?” Leftwich will soon have to answer for an offense averaging 18.5 points and a team that has needed four fourth-quarter comebacks just to reach .500 in a dreadful division.

Glazer trust has been eroded, says Ira.

It’s not personal, Byron, it’s business.

If Brady returns next fall, he’s not going to want Leftwich calling the shots. And if Brady retires or moves on as a free agent, the Glazers won’t trust Leftwich working with a new quarterback.

Bruce Arians won’t be happy to see Leftwich depart — unless it’s for an NFL head coaching job. That’s not going to happen at this point. Leftwich’s reputation in league circles has taken a major hit.

Perhaps he’ll have an opportunity to reinvent himself, but it won’t be at One Buc Place.

So, so many great offers now at Bill Currie Ford, home of the nationwide lifetime warranty on new and used vehicles. Start shopping!

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Ira drives a 2020 Ford Escape (cherry red).

Ira with his good friend and draft guru Sean Sullivan, general manager of Bill Currie Ford and host of the Best In Class podcast. Sean will help you personally in any way he can. Just ask!!!

33 Responses to “Moving On”

  1. 99 55 47 20 Says:

    Blah blah blah blah blah

  2. ‘79 Defense Says:

    Unless I’m missing something, from the looks of things, Brady still seems to like Leftwich? If not, he hides it well. —As a side note, as a fan of the game since the 70s, it’s interesting to see how the media (of all types) has really turned up the heat on these coaches and players. I never knew there were so many people out there with regular day jobs who had as much football knowledge as the people who do it for a living.

  3. DoooshLaRue Says:

    I hope you’re right Ira.

  4. AbucAway Says:

    The Bucs will be better without him, imo.

  5. Onetrickpony Says:

    Bowles is a zombie who shows no emotion, and
    Leftwich is an idiot.
    I don’t trust neither one of them.
    And who knows what the owners are really thinking?
    Time will tell all.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Ira … ‘If Brady returns next fall, he’s not going to want Leftwich calling the shots. And if Brady retires or moves on as a free agent, the Glazers won’t trust Leftwich working with a new quarterback.’


  7. Bucswin Says:

    If anyone has a plug into the Glazers, it’s Ira. So chances are this is fact and where the situation stands.

    Great article, Ira!

  8. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    I hope so but I will believe it when I see it. I’d like to get Todd Monken back. If he can win championships with Bennett, think what he could do with Brady.

  9. Hodad Says:

    Leftwich ain’t the only coach who needs replacing, see special teams. I don’t think Bowles fires anyone. He’s just as loyal as Arains.

  10. FortMyersDave Says:

    Too bad the Jags did not hire him and go 4-13 and then a 9-8 Titan team would be the worst team to make the playoffs, insted of the Bucs or Jaguars (close call there but Jags have had momentum until they tried to lose to TN this afternoon, they looked like the Bucs coaching and mistake wise). Then Tampa woud be still be a 4 seed but probably 11-6 as they would have had some one who could think in the clutch unlike the moron Leftwich and would have beat the lowly Browns and Steelere along with possibly Green Bay. Man this guy has to go!

  11. FortMyersDave Says:

    Hodad, you are rigyt! Keith Armstrong has to go too! Pathetic is the best word to fescribe how his specail team gang helps lose games. Fire him after the Bucs lose in the playoffs.

  12. Darin Says:

    Not a chance he returns. Also not sure why everyone thinks bowles is definitely coming back. Still two more games to go. As we’ve seen he’s definitely going to make a few idiotic calls. Fire the coaches!!

  13. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Worry about next year after the season. This is just more Loserism 101. I haven’t been happy with any of the coaches but the Bucs are in the playoffs and have games to worry about. Negativity breeds negativity. God knows the Bucs fan base has negativity in spades. Enough is enough.

  14. Mike Says:

    Can we save the after season articles for after season! The Bucs are in the playoffs and fyi if they make a huge run and offense plays well…. Leftwich will be going no where. After a lost decade of draft talk and coaching changes let’s enjoy our playoffs and save that junk for another week


  15. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Mike . Amen

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If Leftwich can orchestrate a winning streak of 7 that includes a SB win….then, I’ll accept his return.

    Don’t take it personal, Byron…..”It just be business”

  17. BucsfanFred Says:

    Even if we make it to the Super Bowl, it will be in spite of BL and not because of him

  18. Razor Ramone Says:

    “Try the veal, it’s the best in the city”. Virgil Sollozzo.

  19. Arn platz Says:

    Totally agree with Ira and what a massive bullet the Jags dodged by hiring Pedersen over Leftwich.

  20. A Says:

    I agree, let’s focus on Dallas for now…but Nothing is going to change on the offense side of the ball. We’ve had 17 weeks to see some tweaks, wrinkles, or adjustments…Nothing! We’ve seen some signs of life here and there only to falsely catapult our hope and dreams, eventually 7 days later we all come to the realization that Nothing has changed.

    What we do know, its going to look very ugly for 50 to 55min, where getting a single 1st down will resemble the GOP electing a Speaker. When you need to go to the bathroom or grab a beer…you go on offense…try to time the punt and that 1st down run middle for no gain. Then right around mid-third quarter, you’ve had it and start to make plans to leave or turn the channel, but something magical happens – with the Bucs down 2 scores the coaching staff unleashes the hounds and Brady takes over – recently, that means the Bucs win! So as we move into the playoffs – I can only hope – Nothing changes.

    GO Bucs!

  21. jehzsa Says:

    “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”

  22. CleanHouse Says:

    Perhaps Leftwich is onto something when he says the media is emotional. This article tries to be matter of fact but its clearly about getting their opinion and narrative out with the bitter timing of a game day morning. What a way to wake up! Groundbreaking! Profound! Sorry you missed the mark Ira….

    I hope Leftwich and his Offense continues momentum from last week, today and deep into the playoffs. We lose track that this team is in the freaking playoffs, a rarity for this overall lousy franchise. I’m excited because we’re in the dance.

    It’s time to rally around whatever we’ve got. This mediocre season does not fall solely upon Byron. It’s a combination of many many things and scapegoating Leftwich will only seek to hide all the problems at every level and prolong the misery.

    Let’s hope this team, including all of these coaches somehow right the ship. Go Bucs!

  23. View from 132 Says:

    Nice reference Razor.

    This article, however, seems odd timing. Left Sandwich, for better or worse, has a playoff game – and hopefully run – to prepare for. Why are NFL fans so obsessed with hiring and firing news? This season is still going. Lots of time to talk about coaches afterwards.

  24. Alanbucsfan Says:

    At what point does Jason Licht have to answer?
    Last 2 drafts have produced Logan Hall, Luke Goedeke, JTS and Kyle Trask in 1st 2 rounds- not exactly difference makers.
    Not saying these players won’t eventually make it, but up to now have not made a significant difference.
    You can’t disregard the issues on OLine this year when evaluating Leftwich’s overall job this year.

  25. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    In the words of the great Big Dog, AMF

  26. Duane Says:

    BL gettin 3rd prize for sure regardless of outcome.

  27. BrianBucs Says:

    With Bowles as head coach, it doesn’t matter who the offensive coordinator will be the offense will still stink because the OC will still have to run it under Bowles’ parameters and requirements

  28. kgh4life Says:

    The issue with Bowles is that he wants to run a “smash mouth” offense, similar to what the Titans have and what does the Titans have to show for it? They run for over 100 yards each game and they still struggle to score points. Bowles has to change the way he sees the game if he wants to have a competent offense next season.

  29. D-Rok Says:

    KentuckyBuc, agree. Let’s worry about tomorrow after today. We still have at least 2 more games to play, THEN we can worry about off-season stuff.

    In the interim, GO BUCS!!!

  30. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Regardless of the next 2 games, the fans deserve better than Leftwich and ST coach Armstrong. They both should be sent packing after the Bucs lose in the playoffs.I would include Bowles, but I’m willing to give him another year to see what he can do with a better OC and ST coach.

  31. Goatfarmer Says:

    Put the playbook on a dartboard. Give about 60 darts to a blind person. Have them throw the darts. The result would be better play calling that Leftretardwich.

  32. ModHairKen Says:

    Carlo was the guy Santino but on the hand and beat with the garbage can lid.

  33. Cometowin2 Says:

    I hope the problem is Leftwich alone and hiring a new offensive coordinator fixes the issue. I’m nervous that the problem may not be solely Leftwich but also the head coach, Todd Bowles, meddling in the offense. Why does Brady seem just fine with Leftwich? Outside of the changes and injuries on the offensive line why was Leftwich successful last year under Arians, but not under Bowles? Is it because Bowles is handicapping him? I think Bowles is a good defensive coordinator, but I have serious doubts about him as a head coach. I personally would feel better with Brady being his own OC for the rest of the year. If we were to play the whole game in no huddle unless up 21 points or more points we would easily march to our third Super Bowl win. Pipe dream with this coaching staff.