May 9, 2021

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Is Leftwich Really The Answer?

3 min read

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Opinion Editorial:

Whenever a season comes to a close, one of the things that get evaluated by not only the General Manager but also the owner, are coaching performance and coaching decisions. With that in mind, I ask you this, what does Byron Leftwich really bring to the team?

As a Quarterback, he only managed two winning seasons and went the final five years of his career without winning a single game. For you following along, that’s 14 games he played in without winning a single one of them. Now granted, even the worst quarterback in the league is still one of the best athletes in the world, so just making an NFL roster is an accomplishment, but it’s what you do with that chance that determines your legacy.

Some think that the experience he had as a Quarterback in the NFL translated well to his job as an offensive coordinator, but is that really the case?

In 2018, the Buccaneers had the most passing yards in the league, the most passing 1st downs in the league, and the 3rd most passing touchdowns.

In 2019, the Buccaneers had the most passing yards in the league, the 2nd most passing 1st downs in the league, and the 3rd most passing touchdowns.

Leftwich and his play calling resulted in the exact same ranking in passing yards and passing touchdowns and fewer passing 1st downs, this is not what one would call a success or moving in the right direction.

In 2018, the Buccaneers rushed for more yards than in 2019, and that’s with Ronald Jones getting far more looks than he did in 2018. They did manage 4 more rushing touchdown than they did in 2018, so that is definitely a step in the right direction, but is it enough, especially when rushing 1st downs were almost identical?

The Offense had the 5th most penalties called on the offense in 2018, and the 2nd most penalties called on the offense in 2019. This resulted in the Buccaneers being penalized over 1,000 yards by just the offense, which is more yards than either of the running backs were able to achieve. When you’re being penalized more yards than you’re rushing, there is definitely a problem.

Even looking at red zone scoring, which was the complaint of many people last season, we see that this year the Buccaneers are only 5% better in the red zone than they were last season. What that translates to, is that instead of scoring on every 6 out of 10 trips to the end zone, we now score on 6.5 out of every 10 trips to the end zone.

When every measurable stat is either at or below where the Buccaneers were last year in regards to offensive performance, does Byron Leftwich really give us anything that we didn’t already have, or is it time for Arians to take the reigns and do what he was hired to do?

I for one wouldn’t be heartbroken if Leftwich were to be hired away by another team, and I think the Buccaneers would probably be better off with someone else calling the plays as Leftwich not only hasn’t proven he can get the team to improve offensively, but in some cases, they’ve taken a step back, and once again we have a coordinator that seems to despise the run game.

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