A Glaring Example Of Why Bucs Offense Stunk

February 6th, 2023

Outs Byron Leftwich.

Joe understands a lot of Bucs fans are angry at Todd Bowles for a lot of things (Joe cannot remember a head coach this hated after his first season with the Bucs).

One is Bowles oversaw the dismantling of an offense that was humming, a no-risk-it; no-biscuit machine. Then throw on top of that Tom Brady’s lone losing season of his storied career came on Bowles’ watch. OK, Joe gets it.

(Yeah, the Cleveland loss was certainly on Bowles’ shoulders. He gave that game away and in the process, saw two of his best players go down with injuries in overtime, Antoine Winfield and Tristan Wirfs. That likely led to additional losses.)

But Joe tends to place the blame on the guy who ran the Bucs offense for the first time without Bucco Bruce Arians looking over his shoulder: failed Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.

His offense was turrible, that’s all there is to it. He made virtually no adjustments and kept doing the same dumb sh!t over and over. With the available talent, it was fully inexcusable.

Want evidence outside of your eyes? Cynthia Frelund of NFL Network has some details that will make you slam your head against the wall.

Preseason injuries on the offensive line (including the loss of center Ryan Jensen, who missed the entire regular season with a knee injury) made it even more important to mount an effective rushing attack. However, computer vision shows that the Bucs (with Leonard Fournette and rookie Rachaad White leading the team in carries) had the most back-to-back unsuccessful rushes on first and second downs that gained fewer than 3 yards. This means there were frequent occasions when Tampa called a run on first down, failed to gain much, then called a run again on second down (employing the same or similar play), only to fall short again, leaving Tom Brady to try to pick up 6 yards or more on third down behind a banged-up O-line while facing a defense that knew the pass was coming. In terms of rushing yards per attempt, the Bucs’ mark of 3.39 was the lowest in the NFL; the team also finished last in the NFL in rushing yards per game (76.9).

Leftwich, without Arians holding his hand, was simply over his head. If Leftwich was as sharp as some would have you believe, he’d be working for someone else right now. Look at former Dallas offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. The guy wasn’t on the street for 24 hours before the Chargers pounced and hired him.

Now if you want to blame Bowles for not launching Leftwich after back-to-back offensive debacles against the Steelers and Stinking Panthers, OK, that’s fair.

In Joe’s mind, the failure of this season boils down to one guy: Byron Leftwich. That’s all.

37 Responses to “A Glaring Example Of Why Bucs Offense Stunk”

  1. Wokeizdunn Says:

    I don’t know why there were concerns about BL leaving to be a HC after 2020 SB season. Yeah, JAX kicked the tires but I have always felt BL was not a good OC, much less HC. Fans should be more mad that Arians didn’t step down soon enough…did he wait until it was too late quit coaching to replace his buddies? Whether that ended up being the best result we’d have gotten is a fair question. Remember how we got Raheem? And the long fall from there?

  2. Darin Says:

    And then Kellen Moore carved up bowles in the playoffs.

  3. Leighroy Says:

    No need to slam my head against the wall. Cynthia is just putting numbers to what we already saw in November and December. Welcome to the party, pal!

  4. Hodad Says:

    To simple Joe. Leftwich was a big part of the problem, but there’s to many reasons to count why this season went so bad. Can we turn the page of last season when the new league year starts? Getting tired of beating our heads against the wall over last year. Leftwich is gone, now you’re just beating a dead horse, let’s look forward. Any word on who our new O.C. might be?

  5. DungyDance Says:

    Needing to be far more critical of Bowles. When your car runs out of gas and is stuck on the side of the road, is the problem ultimately with the fuel or with the driver?

  6. Brian Says:

    Leftnut had the brains of a pitbull, Bowels needs a long talk with Mike Tomlin

  7. Doc Says:

    Who will you blame this upcoming season

  8. mg Says:

    The tidy man gave the game to the Rams. He should have been fired after that game. And this last season would not have been the start of darkness for the bucs.

  9. beano Says:

    JOE: “the failure of this season boils down to one guy: Byron Leftwich.”

    Because it can’t be the quarterback! Until next next year that is! 😛

  10. Cobraboy Says:

    Leftwich may have failed, but the real burden of Fail is on the HC for refusing to make any offensive changes.

    Bowles was the real problem as a leader.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Unmet expectations…..that is the reason why Bowles is so despised by Buc fans…..and yes the fish stinks from the head……you cannot blame an employee when you have the authority and duty to fire them.

  12. NYbucsfan Says:


    Seriously you place no blame on Todd Bowles? last I knew, the head coach could tell the offensive coordinator what to do. Running the football on 1st and 2nd down that has Todd’s name all over it. Why are you so reluctant to say anything negative about Todd Bowles?

  13. Mike C Says:

    People are still mad at Blows for the bad defense against the Rams in the playoffs

  14. BICKLE Says:


  15. Robert Says:

    10 bucks says him and jaboo will be together again

  16. DungyDance Says:

    Tampabaybucsfan – “…you cannot blame an employee when you have the authority and duty to fire them.”

    Very well said.

    Allegedly Bowles had the green light to give Leftwich his walking papers after the bye week, and he didn’t because he didn’t because he wasn’t convinced we had a replacement option. Invalid argument. Brady showed us time and again with the hurry up no huddle that not having anyone at all as an OC was better than Leftwich. Bowles doesn’t have the stones to make big decisions. Failure of leadership.

  17. SB~LV Says:

    I don’t “ hate “ Todd Bowles
    I simply don’t see HC abilities, he could not motivate a starving dog to eat a Big Mac

  18. NEfan Says:

    Sorry, the guy lost total control of this team. The minute White said he was bored in the 4th qtr, yet almost lost the game in the second half, he should have not let him start the following game. Play off the players ego, White would have come out firing after that. His D was NOT good and his adjustments were as bad as BL’s. He should have fired BL, what did he have to lose using a interim OC? He’s not a leader, he was your problem and still is!!!

  19. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    What’s the point in arguing about what turd has the most shine? They both stink.

  20. Deano Says:

    That’s a low blow to PITBULLS some àre very smart

  21. Cobraboy Says:

    Bowles had Christianson on staff, who was more than capable of running the offense.

    Bowles is either a liar or a bad judge of offensive coaching ability.

  22. Cobraboy Says:

    FWIW, I don’t care what stats say about the D.

    In crunch time all season, including against poor teams and QB’s, the Bowles D got lit up.

  23. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Jacksonville really dodged a bullet by not hiring Leftwich!
    W/O Arians holding his hand, he was really exposed.
    Glad we got rid of him.

  24. YucsBall Says:

    SOOOOO much logic right there

  25. Bosch Says:

    You mention a handful of Bowels bad decisions but in the end the failures boil down to Leftwich. NO SALE Joe!

  26. Goatfarmer Says:

    Accountability. The Bowels of Toad.

    Toad Blowes.

    He’d better have his plan for post-NFL retirement.

  27. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Leftwich reminds me of a high school first down up the middle almost every time. I believe he is going to struggle to find a job in ths NFL. You would think working with Arians for so long he would have gained some knowledge.

  28. BFFL Says:

    But wasn’t Goodwin co-oc and in charge of run game coordination. Why wasn’t he fired?

  29. NEfan Says:

    BFFL@ legit question. I guess he had the excuse of lack of veteran back ups, in that case why wasn’t Licht fired.

  30. Mike Johnson Says:

    I’m just glad national sportswriters see thru this Tampa Bay Brady protection thing. Brady sucked this year..period. Yet local fans brought into this, Its everybosdy elses fault but Brady. The guy could not run 5 yrds, He whined and complained because things had to be perfect for him. And he under and over threw targets repeatedly. Your answer? Fire all the coaching staff. I’m just glad Brady is gone.

  31. Esteban85 Says:

    Dude! Leave the poor pit bulls out if it!

  32. Esteban85 Says:

    Todd should get some blame for his ultra conservative style and trying to force a square peg into a round hole with the obligatory running game. Why change anything?

  33. Esteban85 Says:

    I have zero faith in Todd getting us anywhere in our division even with Cam Jordan stoking the flames of inter divisional hatred.

  34. Rod Munch Says:

    Has anyone done the math on what the Bucs rushing average was on 2nd down, in particular when they passed on 1st down. Because, seemingly, for most of the year the Bucs had no issues running on 2nd and 3rd down, the problem was the stupid 1st down run up the gut for 0.7 yards that seemingly always left the Bucs facing 2nd and long.

    As far as this article goes, I really don’t remember back to back rushes being a huge issue. A 1st down rush followed by a 0 yard screen pass, yes, that happened over and over and over again, but back to back rushes, I don’t recall that particular series of calls being a big deal.

  35. firethecannons Says:

    Bowles iss the head coach it was his fault no ifs/ands/buts he should of acted on this and reprimanded leftwich and demanded adjustments it is Bowles responsibility and his fault and He will lose all of next season then finally get launched and we will have a #1 draft pick we are hopeless

  36. Destinjohnny Says:

    The one guy Is Jason licht

  37. Infomeplease Says:

    Fire 🔥 the cannon, I agreed 100% Ultimate responsibility is on the Head Coach because he failed in his job!! The Bucs had no captain steering the ship!!!! BL’s play calling was the biggest problem Bowles failed to correct!! There were others lincluding the game planning or execution of the game plan!! Bowles failed to correct this too!!!! IMO.