“It’s Been Me Full-Go” | Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich Denies Bruce Arians Was His Puppet Master

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been at the forefront of media coverage during the entire NFL offseason. From Tom Brady’s 44-day retirement and subsequent return, to then head coach Bruce Arians stepping down and playing a role in defensive coordinator Todd Bowles being promoted to head coach. 

Then you had Arians taking a subtle shot at Brady, as he credited offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich with being the maestro of the offense. 

Now reports have emerged that Arians didn’t have as much trust in his offensive gurus as he suggested. The former head coach would allegedly change offensive gameplans designed by Leftwich and Brady, who’s entering his final season before elevating his bag and doing TV for $375 million. 

 

When news of these reports hit the ear of the aforementioned “B Left,” the offensive coordinator rebutted them and told NFL.com this week: 

“I guess I’m an offensive coordinator with an offensive-minded head coach, so guys think [Arians, the head coach] is leading the offense. But it was never nothing even close to that. From the time I walked in in 2019 with Jameis Winston, it’s been me full-go.
“I’m just no-risk-it, no-biscuit, too [like Arians]. Same thing. Same thing. Nothing will change. Everything will be status-quo.”
“We’re gonna try to do the best thing to put us in position to score points and win football games. Whatever we can do from an offensive standpoint to help us win, we’ll try to do that. Don’t really matter to me how we get it done.”

Under Leftwich Buccaneers Offense Has Been Dynamic

Upon Tom Brady’s arrival in 2020, Leftwich was able to create an offense that kept the downfield passing attack principles of Arians. But also combined Tom Brady’s short to intermediate attack which utilizes the running backs and tight ends often.

Even more impressive is the running game “BLeft” created using Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones off of those two components in the passing game. The Bucs never lost its physicality in the trenches despite a pass-heavy attack.

Under his leadership, the Bucs became the first team to have multiple QBs pass for 5,000 yards (Brady/Winston).

Many Believed Leftwich Would Get Nod When Arians Stepped Down

The past two offseasons Byron Leftwich’s name has come up as a rising head coaching candidate. While he hasn’t received many interviews, he did have two this offseason with his former Jaguars team. Arians was shocked that Leftwich didn’t receive more opportunities to lead his own team.

It was a widely held opinion that Leftwich, the former offensive coordinator and play-caller in Arizona, would step in if Arians stepped down. After the Antonio Brown debacle and with a Super Bowl ring already in tow, Arians did retire into the front office, but the Bucs went with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, mainly because of his head coaching experience.

With the Bucs in “win now,” mode, it would’ve been nice to see Leftwich take over with a squad ready for glory.  Todd Bowles, a defensive specialist, has said that the offense is Leftwich’s (and Brady’s) and that means even more control for the OC than when the offensive-minded Arians was at the helm.  Either way, a Black coach was put in position to succeed from the jump in Tampa and Arians played a vital role in that move.