The Buccaneers have a lot of problems to address on their roster if they want to get back to winning. They need to start with one important move.
While the offensive personnel have stayed nearly identical with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the past three seasons, minus a few talented linemen, the stats this season have seen a marked a dramatic decrease.
It doesn’t take much looking around to figure out why these changes came when considering only one thing has changed since last year when the Bucs were arguable the best offense in football scoring wise.
Simply put, it’s the play-calling, or in this case, the play-caller, Byron Leftwich that is hurting this roster.
For a variety of reasons, Leftwich’s style of offense just isn’t getting the job done. Fortunately for the Bucs, they have an easy fix; reinstall Bruce Arians as the primary play-caller.
What the team is missing this year is not talent but instead a lack of imagination and quality of play-calling. Considering that most casual fans could probably sit on their couch and tell you what play the Bucs are going to be running each down (ex: rush the ball every 1st down), what do you think opposing defensive coordinators are doing?
Leftwich’s style has left star wide receivers like Mike Evans completely underused. Evans should be getting at a minimum eight targets a game like any of the other top receivers in the league. Under the current system, he has only managed to reach 100 yards twice in six games and usually only sees around four targets each game.
As an offensive coordinator, it’s your responsibility to find a way to get your stars open, and Leftwich just isn’t doing that often-settling to throw to second, third, or even fourth receiving options.
Considering Arians is still on the payroll and actively helps the team still, it wouldn’t be a major shift at all for him to take over as play-caller for the rest of the season.
While it isn’t an ideal move, the Bucs front office and fans should ask themselves what the alternative is. Leftwich has done nothing to inspire confidence or show he is capable of changing and adapting his play-calling style. Leftwich has been given more than enough games with more weapons than many coaches around the league ever have, so it’s safe to say his time is up.
Let Arians get in there and get back to the “no risk, no biscuit” offensive style that made the Buccaneers lethal the last two years before this season.
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