The Buccaneers Fire Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich And What It Means For Tom Brady's Future
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have officially fired Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich as first reported by Pewter Report. The Bucs offense this year has been abhorrent. They averaged 18.4 points per game, which ranked 25th in the NFL. I had called out several times, their best offensive play this year was a quick screen to WR Chris Godwin, which was good for 5-7 yards regularly. However, they seemed to call that play far too often on 3rd & 10 with no intention of going for it on 4th down.
Was it all Leftwich's fault? Certainly not. An Offense built around down the field passing relies a lot on protection. The Offensive Line lost two Pro Bowlers with LG Ali Marpet retiring and C Ryan Jensen tearing his ACL on Day 2 of training camp. They also lost RG Alex Cappa in free agency and LT Donovan Smith had a down year on the left side. RT Tristan Wirfs missed a few games with a high ankle sprain and one of the best blocking TEs of all-time, Rob Gronkowski, did not play football this year. So while the chef didn't exactly have the ingredients to prepare a great meal, what he did make was nowhere close to good enough. Especially for a team that averaged 30+ points each of the last two seasons.
I have heard rumblings about this for awhile and while Tom Brady likes Leftwich just fine as a guy, I know that he's not his favorite OC he's ever had. Heck, there are a lot of ones out there that are available he does like better. And while I'm not saying Tom Brady returning to Tampa is any lock at all, what I do think will be telling is who the next OC hire is. Because if it's a guy familiar to Brady like a Bill O'Brien, that would make me think that TB12 will be back in Tampa. But if it's a guy like Georgia OC (and former Bucs OC) Todd Monken, I wouldn't expect Brady back.
So while Tom Brady has earned the right to take his time, I think we'll know sooner than later whether the Bucs have a shot at his services again for the 2023 season and beyond.