Was OC Byron Leftwich partly to blame in Buccaneers week 1 loss?

Byron Leftwich, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Byron Leftwich, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell short in their week one matchup with the New Orleans Saints, and part of the fault falls on Byron Leftwich.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers left a lot to be desired in their first game of the 2020 NFL season, and part of the blame lands squarely on the shoulders of offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.

Leftwich has shown some inventive play-calling during his career and is an up and comer in the coordinator scene, but there was a severe lack of imagination in the play calling on Sunday.

After signing the biggest free agent in franchise history, Tom Brady, and surrounding him with some of the best receiver talents in the NFL, the Bucs threw the ball an astounding 12 times in the first half.

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This move on its face is already shocking, but it is even harder to comprehend when evaluating how ineffective the Buccaneer run game was during the entire contest. Ronald Jones didn’t have a horrible game, but the Bucs weren’t getting it done running the ball on early downs.

There is no reason for an NFL team to run the ball early on in games, and establishing the run is a concept of the past. Practicing this strategy now only throws off the average offensive game plan and takes away opportunities for more efficient plays.

While it is hard to fully predict the run’s efficiency or the pass in any given matchup, the Buccaneer offense has no business throwing the football less than 40 times every game. Tom Brady has shown that his accuracy is still next-level, and the Buccaneer receivers are some of the best in the league.

If Tampa Bay has any hopes of turning their season around and regaining their playoff hopeful status, Byron Leftwich will have to step up in his play-calling and stop being so conservative.

If Leftwich abandons the safe calls and allows Tom Brady the freedom to make changes on the fly, the Buccaneers could have one of the best offenses in the NFL.

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