Former Bucs OC Leftwich to interview with AFC team

Former Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich is scheduled to have an interview with the Baltimore Ravens ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. The Ravens and longtime offensive coordinator Greg Roman parted ways after the 2022 season to allow Roman to pursue other coaching opportunities.

Leftwich was fired by Bucs head coach Todd Bowles on Thursday after the Tampa Bay offense finished the season 25th in the league with just 18.4 points per game. This comes after back-to-back seasons where the Bucs offense was in the Top 3, averaging 30 points per game to help the Bucs win Super Bowl LV in 2020 and go 13-4 in 2021.

Shortly after the Bucs lost 31-14 to the Cowboys in the Wild Card playoffs, Pewter Report broke the story that Leftwich would be fired, then reported on the circumstances of his dismissal Friday’s Fab 5 column from SR.

Leftwich is one of five current candidates Fowler has identified for the Ravens offensive coordinator opening. The Bucs have a similar opening due to Leftwich’s departure, but so far the team has been tight-lipped about potential candidates it has interviewed or plans to interview.

Leftwich’s predictability and lack of adaptability led to his downfall in Tampa

Bucs QB Tom Brady and OC Byron Leftwich – Photo by: USA Today

Much of Leftwich’s dismissal stems from his inability to adapt to the turnover of the Bucs offense. Pro Bowl left guard Ali Marpet retired this offseason, as did future Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski. Wide receiver Antonio Brown – tough as he was – also contributed a lot to the offense last year before he left town in a peace signing and retired from football. Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen then went down during training camp with a serious knee injury and did not return until Monday night’s playoff game.

Simply put, the staff Leftwich had to work with this season were not the same star-studded group as they have been for the past two years. But then it can be argued that a great offensive coordinator must be able to adapt and overcome, creatively devising ways to get the best out of the staff he has. It’s fair to say that the best offensive coordinators also don’t need Pro Bowl and Hall of Fame talent all over the field to be successful.

But staffing and execution aside, Leftwich’s philosophy just didn’t work for Tampa Bay in 2022. His downfall was ultimately the result of his almost dogmatic belief in repeatedly running the ball down first, despite poor efficiency in doing so. And when that belief backfired on the Bucs, the adjustments weren’t there or the wrong buttons were pressed.

#Bucs #Leftwich #interview #AFC #team

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