Buccaneers: Byron Leftwich isn’t the answer for Tampa Bay

Tom Brady, Byron Leftwich, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Brady, Byron Leftwich, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The answer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers isn’t easy

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have more questions than answers as we head down the stretch of what has been a rollercoaster of a 2020 season.

Through their first 12 games of the season, the Buccaneers sit at 7-5 overall and are currently just inside the playoff picture as the last team in the NFC if the season were to end today.

The Bucs are on a two-game losing streak and it wasn’t that long ago that many were talking about them as potential dark horses to win the Super Bowl. Now, that all seems like a far cry.

The reason? The ineptitude and inconsistency of the Tampa Bay offense.

The Buccaneers have too much talent to be struggling this much offensively

It’s easy to blame Tom Brady for all of the offense’s problems and don’t get me wrong, he shoulders quite a bit of the blame. Brady has thrown bad interceptions at times. He has been about as bad as any quarterback in the league at throwing the deep ball. There have been times where he just hasn’t played smart.

We can talk about Brady all we want, but the truth of the matter is pretty simple: He’s still good enough to lead this offense to victories over top teams in the league.

What do I mean? Well, you don’t have to look any further than the NFC South Divisional rival New Orleans Saints to find a perfect example. The Saints are currently fourth in the league averaging 29.0 points per game and that number was actually higher before Drew Brees went out with an injury.

You can’t tell me that Brees is a better quarterback than Brady. Anyone who has watched football this season knows that the Bucs have the better quarterback.

Honestly, the Bucs have the better group of skill position players (as a whole), as well. But yet the offense continues to sputter along with no consistency at all. Why? The blame can be tossed a lot of places, but the truth is that it all starts with Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich.

Leftwich had a chance to transform his offense over the course of the preseason to fit around Brady’s strengths. He (and Bruce Arians, for that matter) chose not to.

Listen to the broadcast from the Chiefs game Sunday night and you’ll get a really good analysis from Tony Romo about offensive play-call miscues and little things within the game that the Bucs simply aren’t doing to give Brady any type of help. Something as simple as running a pre snap motion to give Brady an idea of the coverage.

That’s on Leftwich to be better. Too many times he is calling stuff that’s simply not working. He’s running up the middle and wasting downs. He’s continuing to force Brady to throw the ball deep and run plays with long-developing routes that puts pressure on the offensive line- which hasn’t been all that elite either.

Next. Bucs lose to Chiefs in disappointing fashion (again). dark

We like Leftwich and hope that he can get things turned around, but more and more it just seems like he’s not the answer for the Buccaneers.