Todd Bowles gets candid about decision to fire Byron Leftwich
By Josh Hill
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles got candid in his explanation about the decision to fire Byron Leftwich and a handful of other coaches this offseason.
Last season didn’t go the way anyone in Tampa Bay wanted it, especially not head coach Todd Bowles.
Not only was he once again given the opportunity to prove himself as a head coach but he was handed a Super Bowl contender and became the leader of so many of his friends in the building after having served under Bruce Arians together for the last three seasons.
It was also the first time Bowles was hired as a head coach since his days with the New York Jets, and the last person who wanted it to go haywire was him.
So when things did go wrong, Bowles wasn’t going to pass the blame.
That didn’t mean other people in the building were spared paying the price for failure. Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, who was hired alongside Bowles back in 2019, was fired. A handful of other coaches who had served in the building alongside Bowles these last few years were also let go as a result of how the season went, as the good times officially stopped rolling.
Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles addresses firing Byron Leftwich and others
Bowles spoke to NFL Network at the annual NFL Owner’s Meeting and didn’t hold back when talking about the decision to fire offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and a handful of other assistants this offseason.
“We didn’t score enough points and we didn’t run it well, and at times we didn’t throw it well. You want continuity from that standpoint.,” Bowles said. “What we were doing last year really caught up with us a little bit.”
Bowles made it clear that while Leftwich wasn’t fired without cause, whatever failures the team had last year begin and end with the head coach. He took the blame for not being able to get the players or the coaches to the level they needed to be last year to keep everything going in the right direction.
MORE: Bruce Arians has harsh words over the firing of Byron Leftwich
“It’s not all coaches, it’s players as well. It starts with me. And when you see something wrong, you have to try and fix it. I’ve been with those guys a long time, so it was a tough decision. But I felt the change had to be made, and I made the changes that way,” Bowles said.
It was easy to knock Bowles last year for how things went, but this is the type of answer a good head coach gives. He’s not skirting blame or trying to downplay what happened as an overreaction; Bowles knows things were bad last year and the team underperformed on his watch.
Fans had to endure a miserable season but Bowles had to fire friends over how things went, and it’s something he sounds like he’s not going to allow that to happen again.