With the firing of head coach Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff, the Falcons are in search of a new head coach. They promoted defensive coordinator Raheem Morris to interim but I don’t believe for one second he’s the solution.
While Morris is just 44 and has experience as a head coach, going 17-31 while leading a bad Tampa Bay Bucs team from 2009-11, I truly believe the solution could come in the form of former HD Woodson HS In Washington DC and Marshall standout Byron Leftwich.
Leftwich is currently the Offensive Coordinator for the Buccaneers and his work hasn’t gone unnoticed. At 40 years old, Leftwich is improving every day and seems ready to run his own team and his current head coach Bruce Arians aka BA made it clear his job was to groom assistants for head coaching positions.
We will see the evolution of Leftwich and Brady’s relationship on display today in a legendary matchup between Tom Terrific’s Bucs (3-2) and Aaron Rodgers’ Packers (4-0).
Leftwich made a name for himself after working with Jameis Winston, who led the NFL in passing yardage in 2019 and was second in passing touchdowns, It was a wide-open passing game that pushed the ball downfield at will with receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
This season the Bucs won the Tom Brady free agent sweepstakes and felt they needed an upgrade at QB and decided to move on from the 26-year-old Winston. This was looked at as a WOW moment with TB12 having spent his entire 20-year career in New England. Moving on from New England was the easy part. Even more daunting would be Brady’s task to get on the same page with a new offense and new pieces in a season marred by the COVID19 pandemic, which limited the face-to-field interaction and had no preseason.
Unfazed by the challenges ahead, Leftwich and Brady went to work on ZOOM as much as possible to create a scheme that included things Tom was accustomed to, along with the new stuff Arians wants to implement as well. Leftwich simplified the terminology in Arians’ system and tailored it more to what Brady had in New England. The team also signed Rob Gronkowski as he’s someone Brady is comfortable with having had Uber success with him in Foxboro.
The Bucs offense is using the tight end more than ever in the short pass game, but still chucking it downfield in true Arians fashion. As a coach, I can appreciate the little nuances I’ve seen added to make Brady more comfortable playing a new system. For years he was labeled a system QB but this shows you that he’s just a flat out, multi-faceted student of the game.
There are still some kinks that need to be worked out and the team currently sits at 3-2 but you can see the progress and trust being gained from all parties involved. The three-headed monster or Three Killers B’s (Burce, Byron and Brady) are just heating up.
Leftwich has masterfully gotten the backs more involved with the passing game as well, as they already have 34 receptions through five games. Bucs backs only had 82 receptions for the entire 2019 season. This is something the Bucs didn’t do much of in the past, but Brady loves to use his running backs in the passing game.
That’s a sign of “Bridging The Gap”
In fact, last season the Bucs tight ends also caught just 70 passes the entire season. They already have half as many (35) through just five games this season. As the season progresses the Bucs offense will become even more lethal.
That’s the work of rising OC Byron Leftwich.
Leftwich is an offensive mind that understands how to get the ball into the endzone. His work with Winston and Brady exemplifies his ability to work with all kinds of quarterbacks. My reasons as to why he’d be a great fit in Hotlanta is they have a ton of offensive talent in Matt Ryan, Todd Gurley, Ito Smith, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage and Hayden Hurst. His offense would truly benefit that team IMO and I think he’d do wonders with another veteran QB like Ryan and be able to mesh his offense with what Ryan does well.