New Year, New Byron Leftwich

January 1st, 2023

Byron Leftwich

Those watching on television today picked up quickly on the message being sent by offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich to the FOX production team.

No more shackles on the offense. Attack, versus plodding running and too-safe play.

“It’s attack mode from here on out,” is how reporter Erin Andrews quoted Leftwich. And that was echoed on a separate occasion by the game broadcasters.

It sure smells like someone(s) at One Buc Palace put a foot down, or perhaps up someone’s ass.

The who/what/where is unclear. The names and the whys matter little today because the Bucs stopped trying to be something they’re not.

The opening drive featured two deep shots to Mike Evans and an over-the-middle throw to Chris Godwin that ended in a fumble after a 24 yard gain. That was 2021 Bucs football — sans the fumble that can’t be pinned on Leftwich.

Second drive? The Bucs came out throwing for a first down before being derailed by a sack.

The third drive started with two passes to Evans. Tampa Bay moved the ball but another deep shot to Evans missed and Todd Bowles opted for a 53-yard field goal that missed, to no one’s surprise.

A penalty and a sack killed the next drive before Tom Brady went deep to Evans for 63 yards and a touchdown before halftime.

Bottom line: it was a different Bucs offense today, one that went wild late in the game. But the change came much earlier.

Joe sure hopes Leftwich was being serious with the FOX crew. That could bode extremely well in the playoffs, especially if Tristan Wirfs and Donovan Smith get a game off next weekend to heal.

39 Responses to “New Year, New Byron Leftwich”

  1. Mike C Says:

    And Jenson!

  2. Crickett Baker Says:

    I did not see that interview and would have loved to hear Leftw say that..

  3. Crickett Baker Says:

    So, I am still trying to find out if anyone poured the Gatorade on any coach.

  4. SKBucsFan Says:

    If I was desperate to keep my job I would say the same thing. However they still played the same old offense in the 1st half.

    Tbey can go on to win the superbowl and I still wouldn’t want Leftwich as OC. Not finishing the year close to 15-2 is a failure.

  5. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Now time to rest the people who need it during next weeks game and go into the playoffs with fresh legs. Time to make that playoff push!

  6. BrianBucs Says:

    Either Arians pulled Bowles aside at halftime and told him to ditch his terrible offense that hasn’t worked all season, or somebody locked Bowles in the locker room at the half.

  7. david Says:

    It’s attack mode from here on out… You know, because there’s no reason to do that the first 16 weeks.

  8. theghost Says:

    D Smith will find a way to get a holding call in street clothes

  9. McBucky Says:

    The magic of Bruce Arians behind the scenes. Hopefully it’s not too little too late.

  10. D-Rok Says:

    Game ball goes to O-line. Fight me.

  11. Zzbucs Says:

    And probably that message was Sent to you Joe!!!

  12. Rod Munch Says:

    Really? Because Leftwich, in key situations, just kept running it up the middle like an idiot, had them down 14-0, purely because of his stupidity.

    No, had nothing to do with Leftwich, had to do with Brady ignoring that braindead idiot and chucking the ball like he was Jameis.

  13. NEfan Says:

    Hello zzbuc, glad you’re back, would you care for a glass of FOSSIL Fuel to wash down your humble pie???

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We still only ran for 67 yards on 25 carries…..2.68 YPC

    That, my friends is pure impotency.

  15. NEfan Says:

    BL ???? Still way too many 2nd & longs and 3rd & 6+yds. He’s horrible.

    Cricket, GREAT question!

  16. RuKa_44 Says:

    Just an idea: maybe the guy responsible for the shackles is the same that decided to not go for it on 4th and 1 at the end of the half… just saying…

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    On the other hand…..we held them to 74 yds on 22 carries…….3,36 per……not bad for a very good run team.

  18. NEfan Says:

    TBBF leading rusher at the half White with 13 YARDS. I’ll give Leftnut credit he’s like the little engine that could but he can’t, more like the kaboos.

  19. NEfan Says:

    TBBF, 74yds is nice but 347 & 3 tds passing NOT so good.

  20. kgh4life Says:

    Glad the Bucs made the playoffs, still don’t want BL back though.

  21. Old School Bucs Says:

    All my losers in the house let me hear you scream and shout!!! Let me hear you scream and shout the House is on fire! Evans wont get 1000. Brady too old. Panthers will win! Let me hear you loud and proud!!!

    See you losers in the superbowl!!!!

  22. GP1964 Says:

    We were at the game and although D Smith has had some warranted penalties called against him this season we were wondering, along with other Bucs AND Panther fans around us, (based on what we saw on the big screen replay), how you could be called for holding when your hands aren’t on the defender?
    Nonetheless, Go BUCs!!!!!!!

  23. The Anomaly Says:

    BS…Tom waived off one of his plays and change of player personnel

    Leftwich still stinks

  24. Craig Says:

    One game of decent play doesn’t cover for the layer of B.S. covering this whole season.

    I think the team just got tired of looking so bad and came together without Leftie having much to say about it.

  25. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    It damn well better be Todd Bowles that put his foot down!

    Go Bucs!

  26. Tap-Out Says:

    We got Haters talking about GATOR AIDE….go have a cup of whine with that stale HATE….but don’t choke on it!!

  27. Oneilbuc Says:

    Brady played good today I have to give him his props but I want to see y’all give BL his props as well.

  28. JBBucs_06 Says:

    THAT’s the way we need to play from here on out. Aggressive O and creating TOs on D. Need to fix the missed XPs BECAUSE they matter in the playoffs. I say we play the first half against the Falcons, all players who are healthy, and prep for Dallas w/ the rest. ATL will play backups , I presume with no reason to play to win.

    Go Bucs!!!!!!

  29. Aceofaerospace Says:

    And a return of Jensen for the playoffs. Bring back the big nasty. We’re in the playoffs and we have Tom Brady. Nuff said.

  30. Greg Says:

    Go Bucs! Great game today! Detroit played well and hats off to them. Nice to see 12 and 13 be on the same page as their chemistry was a while in the making!

  31. Anthony Says:

    Ok but 3 straight rins end of game against a team that plays run well and has 3 to. Perfect tome for play action to back or te. Then run ball and if there’s no open guy throw it away kills same time and xatvhes them off guard. They played not to lose at the end and if for not one bad play by panthers it could have been a win for them. Not to mention Jake saved the team

  32. Panhandle Buc Says:

    His run obsession on 1st down still was visible! There were flashes of creativity but other times that were very frustrating!

  33. Kidfloflo Says:

    “Its attack mode from here on out”, should have been stated in the tunnel of the Cowboys game week one

  34. Proudbucsfan Says:

    I am eating crow tonight and I love it. I had no faith that we would win this game. This was just more proof that these morons had handcuffs on the offense all season. Someone finally intervened and handed over the key’s. More motion, extra personal for run blocking, more down field throws and the O’line played darn good.

  35. Zito Says:

    1 quarter or 1 game does not make a season. if it did, then after Carolina ran up 360 yards last week would have been awarded the Lombardi. Just remember, the Bucs still have a bad QB and a worse boss.

  36. Defense Rules Says:

    TBBF … ‘We still only ran for 67 yards on 25 carries…..2.68 YPC. That, my friends is pure impotency.’

    Agree 100% TBBF; Bucs can’t seem to effectively run the ball. Appears to be a combination of poor play-calling combined with poor play execution. BUT … those 25 rushes did allow us to win the TOP battle (33-27) & thus keep the Carolina offense off the field. And the Bucs did run for 4 first downs plus Brady’s running TD. Still — ineffective run game.

    What’s humorous to me is folks believing that we finally opened up the Bucs’ offense & went back to our tried-and-true ‘No Risk it – No Biscuit’ attack philosophy. In reality Brady only threw deep FIVE times in the whole game. The difference yesterday is that he connected on THREE of those … all for TDs. Kudos to TB12, kudos to ME13 because those 3 plays were ALL critical to the win. But IMO it was mostly Tom Brady being on-fire & hitting 75.6% of his throws, including 60% deep, that led to yesterday’s victory.

    The other thing that was critical to the win was CG14’s performance. Chris put on a tremendous show yesterday & looked like the Godwin of old with his 9 catches & 120 yards. Russell Gage also came through on several critical plays, contributing 3 catches for 33 yards.

    What was disappointing to me was our 2 rookie TEs. Kieft whiffed on what could’ve been a big play, and Otton clearly wasn’t Brady’s favorite yesterday as he caught only 2 out of his 7 targets. Our 2 RBs had 9 catches between them, but only for 45 yards total. IOW our TEs & RBs accounted for 38 carries/ targets … over half of the Bucs’ 73 plays … but only contributed 112 yards of total offense (2.9 yards per attempt). They’ll need to do much better than that in the playoffs for us to go anywhere.

  37. John Sinclear Says:

    BrianBucs – I think that meeting took place on Monday, in Arian’s office, where the law was laid down as to who will run the offense and who will keep their nose out of it. I think Licht was also present. It’ll never be publicly confirmed.

  38. Jon Rozhon Says:

    Insightful post by Defense Rules. So often we don’t consider the importance of Time of Possession in a game, especially when it keeps a high-powered opposition offense off the field. It can also provide a tired defense a bit extra rest; not a bad strategy late in the season. It would help more, though, if the line could clear some space for the backs and for the backs to hit holes.

    The good news for the Bucs is that Brady’s arm still shows no sign of weakening, incredibly! (Remember how underpowered Steve DeBerg’s arm was before the age of 40?!). Fortunate, too, that TB appears in a groove for the playoffs. Give that man some protection and defenses will be picked apart.

    As for Leftwich, somebody above him may have been dictating terms. Brady respects BL, defended him early in the season, and had also bought into the scheme. For BL to change his approach this late in the season could indicate a few things: someone has provided BL with more freedom to deviate from the overall plan and/or BL has gained enough confidence in his players to take on a bit more risk. The offense looked like the Keystone Kops earlier in the season, but they are executing better the past few games.

    I’m optimistic for early playoff success but this is NOT a team bound for Super Bowl glory.

  39. NFL Lover Says:

    Ok Bucs Fan at last they found the all ye mighty connection between Brady and Evans. The flood gates are open! Let’s go Ballistic! Go Bucs!!!