Buccaneers fire Byron Leftwich

NFL: JAN 23 NFC Divisional Round - Rams at Buccaneers
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Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles said a couple of days ago that there was no decision about offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich’s future with the team, but the Bucs have now made that decision and it will result in a change in Tampa.

Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Bucs have fired Leftwich. That move was widely expected after the Bucs finished 25th in points scored during the regular season and flamed out offensively again in their playoff loss to the Cowboys.

Stroud reports that the team is parting ways with a number of other assistants as well.

It’s a steep fall for Leftwich, who was up for head coaching jobs at this point last year and was reportedly in talks for the job with the Jaguars before they pivoted to Doug Pederson. The 2023 season was Leftwich’s fourth running the offense in Tampa and they won a Super Bowl in 2020, but it was also his first without Bruce Arians as the head coach and the team wasn’t nearly as successful as they’d been in Leftwich’s previous seasons at the rudder.

The search for a new coordinator in Tampa will be impacted by uncertainty at the quarterback position. Tom Brady is set for free agency and has given no indication that he’s planning to return, so anyone taking the job will do so without a clear idea of who will be filling the most important spot on the unit.

92 responses to “Buccaneers fire Byron Leftwich

  1. I guess he should go out there and block. This constantly blaming of the coach by the media and fans has become ridiculous. This team will be bad next year and they will be looking for a new coaching staff and possibly GM all together.

  2. Looks like Tampa Bay found their scapegoat for the fact that they’re offensive line was decimated and Brady had a Down Season compared to his usual

  3. He is the scapegoat. Lots of injuries on the offense this year. Leftwich is still deserving of head coaching nod.

  4. Every unit on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers underperformed their talent. Leftwich being fired is justified. So will firing Todd Bowles because his defence was arguably the biggest reason why the Bucs were so bad this year.
    Fire. Them. All.

  5. He’s not a scapegoat. Big time eye roll. The guy had Tom Brady and Bowles defense. Nothing the Bucs did had to do w him. All that hype about him being HC material was media driven.

  6. Hottest head coaching candidate in 2021 to fired in 2022. Coaches take note. NFL = Not For Long.

  7. Most non innovative scheme, playcalling I have ever seen in my life, and while Brady is indeed the greatest ever – he gets wayyyyyy too much credit for his input on offense. He is no where near Peyton Manning as far as calling plays, etc. Peyton was a micro manager of the highest order and ran every-thing. Brady is deferential to OC. I’m not suggesting which one is right/wrong, better/worse – it’s just that even for Brady the offensive coordinator MATTERS, and Leftwich was OC in name only when Arians was there. They put up 30 in their sleep with Arians as HC with just as many injuries last yr

  8. He seemed the favorite for the Jaguars job at one point last offseason. Now fired as OC. Life comes at you fast.

  9. Imagine actually thinking Brady is a good QB without elite coaching lolololololololol. The fan club even predicted and I quote “an easy 8th ring for Brady this year” lolololololol

  10. Whole coaching staff should be let go.
    They rode the Brady gravy train for a couple years and now the ride is over.

  11. I feel like this is pretty nasty. Bowles is obviously the problem. He’s a good DC, but he can’t be a head coach. This may have cost Leftwich years on becoming a HC.

    Maybe Leftwich and Brady went rogue.

  12. Possibly the worst firing I can remember seeing int the NFL. As they say, drowning men will try to take down everyone around them.

    Leftwich will land on his feet. The rest of that organization probably not so much.

  13. If leftwich was calling and designing that offense this year he deserved to be fired. One of rhe worst rushin attacks in nfl history

  14. malcomreynolds says:
    January 19, 2023 at 10:31 am
    Every unit on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers underperformed their talent. Leftwich being fired is justified. So will firing Todd Bowles because his defence was arguably the biggest reason why the Bucs were so bad this year.
    Fire. Them. All.

    ———–

    The Leftwich Brady offense won a Super Bowl and came a play away from beating the eventual Super Bowl champ last year.

    The only thing that changed this year was Bowles.

  15. Too many 3 and outs, 3rd and longs left the defense on the field too long. Plus a gun shot QB not waiting to take a hit didn’t help either……

  16. nite2al says:
    January 19, 2023 at 10:30 am
    Who didn’t see that coming? The first coach Tom Brady ever got fired. Priceless.

    ————

    whatever the price, Tampa won a Super Bowl. That makes the fallout all worth it.

    In the end, Brady was only able to stifle the perennial Tampa Bay dysfunction for a year or so.

  17. Dang, he’s going to get looks before Bienemy, KC wants him gone, without having to fire him.

  18. I think that after watching the Bucs season unfold, I can state one thing conclusively.

    Bruce Arians is a bettr coach than I gave him credit for.

    Entire team looked lost all season-including Brady.

  19. We will find out next season if it was Brady or the scheme. We all agree that was one very ugly offense.

  20. Blowup the whole thing! Coaches were bad, players were bad, the division was bad. What embarrassment to the NFL.

  21. Bowles failed in NY and he’s failing in Tampa. Firing coordinators and assistants is just a delaying tactic.

  22. Scapegoat firing. I am not sure why more isn’t being written about Brady’s demise, yes the o-line was awful in front of him, but he’s getting scared and firing garbage balls. His deep ball has like a 10% hit rate…or worse. He missed Evans so many times all year on open deep routes that he sailed without being knocked down or having someone in his face. Its hot potato to Brady and all he wants to do is get it out of there. That’s not on Leftwich. Maybe not calling it out is though.

  23. He’s no scapegoat. This is a guy who said the reason he didn’t put in more play-action calls was because you needed to establish the run, and since their run-game was no good . . . Insane! On the rare occasions there was play-action, it went well, regardless of whether the run game was doing well.

    True, the hobbled o-line was not Leftwich’s fault and it was always going to be a tough season. But his failure to adapt to circumstances is what revealed him to be a failure as OC. He seems like a nice guy, but that’s not enough.

  24. Does anyone see a way to success with Bowles as the head coach? He just isn’t cut out for the job. They need a complete coaching staff change.

  25. As a casual fan living here in TB this is sad as hell. They need to fire Bowles. They got the wrong coach and im sure the GM will say too. The Buc’s should have fired Licht after he drafted the kicker and he was a complete bust.

  26. There were rumors Brady’s issue with Arians was that he would create a gameplan with Leftwich all week and then Arians would come in at the last minute and change it all. Given what’s transpired since Arians retired, it seems like Brady should have appreciated the changes.

  27. chaunce922 says:
    January 19, 2023 at 10:44 am
    Them not being able to run the ball whether its the choice of RB or Oline is why the offense wasnt overly successful this year.


    That’s what happens when you give all the power to the QB to be the OC. QB’s want to throw the ball a lot more than run it. There’s no good reason why Brady would throw 66 times and run only 12.

    Leftwich is just the fall guy for Brady’s complete failure.

  28. Bowles should be allowed to bring his own people in. Asking him to do the job with BAs assistants is a bit unfair.

  29. There are a lot of fans and media screaming for the Steelers to hire Leftwich and fire Matt Canada. I don’t believe that will happen but I could see them hiring Leftwich as a special assistant similar to what they did with Flores this past season.

  30. My Stillers had better NOT hire Leftwich. The two reasons why Khan/Tomlin would hire Leftwich are because Leftwich meets the preferred demographics requirements, and he briefly played for the Stillers.

  31. Todd Bowles has never led a team deep in the playoffs in his career, but let’s blame everyone else for his failures

  32. So Brady fires Arians, gives Leftwich more control so Brady can control both Bowles and Leftwich, Brady then has his first sub .500 seasons of his career in cap hell, a cool 54 million now over the cap with all the old players he brought down there, and Licht/Arians scapegoat Leftwich.

    Isn’t that nice.

    Gee, I wonder why BB walked?

    Bye bye Brady.

  33. The league office is not going to like this. I’m guessing Bowles had his feet to the fire. I doubt it was something he wanted to do.

  34. I have no specific interest or favor toward Leftwich or the Bucs. This is BS for Leftwich. Brady looked like an aging QB. The guy has been great but father time is undefeated. I don’t think their head coach is that good. There were injuries. This should not fall on Leftwich. He is being used as a scapegoat.

  35. Leftwich offense was handcuffed by a quarterback that played like he was 45 yrs going on 55 years young named Tom Brady who will probably finish his career in Las Vegas with his old buddy head coach for the Raiders Josh McDaniels for a couple of years. He knows McDaniels offense like the back of his hand. After that who knows?

  36. Scapegoat. Blow up the whole organization. Time to start building it back up after they teach the bottom…that is if anyone in the building knows what there doing.

  37. And when they won the Super Bowl, Byron Leftwich was talked about as some genius, the next head coaching candidate, and now, two years later, he’s gone? Did he suffer a stroke or some sort of head injury where he no longer is a genius?

  38. This was a correct move. I like Bowles and was glad to see him hired again as a HC but now think he is better suited to being a DC.

  39. Bowles tossing him overboard to save his own ship. No one thinks Leftwich is the issue. It’s Todd Bowles, injuries and Brady not being what he was (for whatever reason you like). I wouldn’t be surprised if he already has a job.

  40. it was always BA’s offense. arians was in the forefront of offering opportunities to minority and female assistant among whom were bowles and leftwich. brady didn;t like BA’s offense as it placed him holding the ball longer than he was willing. so while leftwich had the oc title this was brady’s offense. he got rid of it at all costs, and leftwich will get the blame. and to those saying the defense was bad, maybe so. but when you only score 18.2 per game your defense better be the 85 bears…

  41. It looks like the Pirate ship is sinking. It’s not the offensive coordinators fault he had a 90 year old quarterback to work with. Brady needs to retire.

  42. To all of the people who think Leftwich was not a scapegoat. You are just simple wrong. Deal with it. This team will not even be a 500 club next your or for a couple of years. Bet Leftwich does better elsewhere than Tampa does with him gone. Enjoy the misery of Bowles.

  43. [in Stewie Griffin’s voice] I bet Leftwich is now wishing that he had accepted the Jags Head Coach job when he had the chance. Yep.

  44. I remember the narrative this time last year about Leftwich going to the Jags was, “why would he go to such a terrible organization….those seem to be the only opportunities Black coaches get”. Now look where the Jags are…maybe he shouldn’t have turned up his nose at that job. Life comes at you pretty fast.

  45. bengal4573 says:
    January 19, 2023 at 10:29 am
    Looks like Tampa Bay found their scapegoat for the fact that they’re offensive line was decimated and Brady had a Down Season compared to his usual
    —————————————————————
    Having a “down season” suggests the player can or will bounce back.
    In Brady’s case I think it’s more a case of Mother Nature having caught up to Tom. It’s always simply a matter of time.
    As for Todd B, as others have pointed out, he simply doesn’t appear capable of being a quality HC. No shame in that. He’s a good DC.

  46. to the gent saying more play action, leftwich is right. beyond the occasional call, the defense will not be drawn in by fake handoffs unless the offense has shown the ability to move the ball on the ground. you reach a point of diminishing returns on the play action passes if you called more of them.

  47. Very obvious knee jerk move. The offensive line was decimated, and Brady is rapidly declining.

  48. I don’t know the implication on Brady’s family etc, but I was thinking the only place where Brady could win in 1 year like he did in Tampa would be the Raiders. McDaniels offense is familiar, best WR in the league, top 2 or 3 TE, RB just won the rushing title. Defense has a good pass rush etc.

    Also they already moved on from Carr. What would McDaniels have to lose? He’s fired if he has another bad year. Trying to start Stidham or some rookie draft pick would be a death sentence.

    And for Mark Davis it is a win-win. You can pay any amount you want for Brady and he will earn the franchise multiple times that in revenue for 2 years. If they bring Brady and don’t win, they will likely have been competitive at least. They make a whole bunch of money then they can start over.

    The odds of Brady and the Raiders winning the Super Bowl would be really low with KC, Cinci, Bills etc, but nothing to lose.

  49. Why because his receivers ran crap routes and or were covered and limp armed Brady was throwing the ball into the ground. Fire the HC for putting this disaster on the field.

  50. I’ll join the chorus to say this seems stupid. They had a strong run of success with him in the role, and everyone knows the main story of this past year has been the roster being decimated by injuries and some issues with quality of player performance.

    With a roster with this many veterans, I don’t see how coach turnover in the middle of it will help anything.

    Hopefully this comes early enough for Leftwich to get in on some interviews, because he should be employed.

  51. Classic fall guy. Bowles has not shown he can succeed as a head coach, and Brady’s skills are declining before our eyes, so let’s can the OC.

  52. Hero to Zero in a flash. He’s the scapegoat. I don’t think Leftwich will be unemployed very long.

  53. This team has so many problems, which will continue into next year and cost Bowles his job, which he did not deserver to begin with. The defense sucked with missed coverages in the Cowboys’ game. The offensive line has a lot of problems. There was no running game. Many problems and Bowles will pay the price.

  54. That offensive scheme this year was beyond lame. Bowles needs to go, as well. They are delaying the inevitable, but I imagine the league is pressuring them to keep Bowles for now, after Lovie was one and done.

  55. Todd Bowles…
    34w 50l, only one winning season, finished 4th in his division (3 times) the same number of times he finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd.

    Leftwich… 2 years removed from leading the offence in a SuperBowl run.

    and LECTWICH is the problem?!?!?! I don’t think so..

  56. Not surprising. Even going back to his days with the Jets, Bowles had his scapegoats after every season. I remember when he fired the Jets OC after Josh McCown had a resurgent season at age 38 because he thought the guy passed the ball too much.

    Whoever Bowles hires next as the next OC is likely to be worse than the last one. He is absolutely clueless about offense.

  57. I doubt Tom plays for Tampa next season.He won’t play for a team that fires that many coaches.If he does play….it will be only for a team that’s got a steady roster and coaching staff.I don’t know what team that will be at this point.
    I’m gonna bet he retires

  58. Wait a minute, I just thought of this, what is they fire Bowles next and hire Sean Payton?? He wanted to work with Brady in Miami, why not in Tampa? Look at the talent at WR and then I bet Gronk comes back!

  59. Everyone needs a fall guy.. Looks like they hung it around Byron’s neck. This organization is going backwards in a hurry thanks to Tom Brady… He came in and you gave him anything and everything he wanted. Now he’s gone and your left holding the bag. Looks like the rise of the buffoon will back.. Bruce Arians will definitely be back in big way now…..

  60. Imagine actually thinking Brady is a good QB without elite coaching lolololololololol. The fan club even predicted and I quote “an easy 8th ring for Brady this year” lolololololol
    ——————

    Montana is nothing but a nice little system QB with a little arm who is nothing without elite coaching from the likes of Walsh, Seifert and Schottenheimer.

  61. I think that it will be interesting to see where Byron lands. The TB offense is decidedly not where the league is/is headed. How he adapts to a different situation and how he utilizes the players wherever he lands will determine if he ever gets that HC shot.

  62. Bowles deserves just as much blame as Leftwich. Bowles is supposed to be some sort of defensive mastermind but they always played from behind, that’s why Brady’s attempts were record breaking. It’s the same reason why Watson had such a big year for the Texans before all his lawsuits came out. It’s easy to stack stats playing against a soft defense when you’re down by multiple scores. Losing Arians lost the accountability aspect in the locker room. He was willing to call out anyone and everyone. It’s now looking like Brady won’t return.

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