Despite Tom Brady’s latest comeback win, calls for Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich’s job persist.
Another week of dismal offense by the Bucs led to the hashtag #FireLeftwich trended on Twitter. The Bucs mustered two field goals through three quarters, and the offense stumbled to just 10 yards in the third. It vastly resembled the offense of three-game losing streak where the Bucs scored as little as three points and never better than 22 points.
Ken Barrett, who hosts a Bucs podcast, illustrated the #FireLeftwich hashtag’s persistence beyond the final whistle. That’s after Brady threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Cade Otton and ended the three-game losing streak. Brady afterward told the media that he “suggested the winning touchdown play to Byron Leftwich and Leftwich said ‘go for it'”, per Buccaneers.com senior writer Scott Smith’s tweet.
“That’s it, that’s the moment every single fan that wasn’t on #FireLeftwich to officially join #FireLeftwich,” Barrett wrote in his retweet of Smith’s report.
Tweets with #FireLeftwich ranged from constructive insight to simple frustration at the sight of the Bucs offense. Brady and company failed to score touchdowns twice on drives that ended inside the Rams’ 5-yard line. The running game flatlined again with rookie running back Rachaad White’s team high 27 yards. Overall , the Bucs averaged 4.1 yards per play, and Brady finished with a 79.7 passer rating.
Highlights of What Bucs Fans Said About Leftwich
One fan joked firing Leftwich is all over his/her Christmas list. Another fan called Leftwich “the worst offensive coordinator in the league”. Still another fan called out Leftwich for not modernizing his play calling. Lastly another said his wife, who saw no football in school, called Leftwich’s play calling “boring and predictable“.
Calls for Leftwich’s job also occurred vocally in the south end zone of Raymond James Stadium according to one fan via Twitter.
What Do the Bucs Say?
Ironically, Brady and company redirected the Leftwich critics for one moment in that south endzone with Otton’s game-winning score.
“It’s a play we worked on a lot pretty much every week, and you can see everyone did a great job executing,” Otton told reporters afterward. “Looked like we ran it before.”
As an offensive coordinator, Leftwich plays a major role in the preparation of such plays in practices. While Brady said it was his call on the game winner, he quickly celebrated with Leftwich and told him “way to go, baby“, which the broadcast cameras caught.
“I think By[ron] and I have a great relationship, so we talk about a lot,” Brady told reporters afterward.
Bucs head coach Todd Bowles previously said everything was up for review after the loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9, but no staff changes occurred. Bowles, who publicly backed Leftwich throughout the dismal month, expressed his confidence in Leftwich from day one.
“Me and Byron get along so well that it’s really unbelievable to just have a guy in place that understands what he’s doing that you trust wholeheartedly,” Bowles told reporters after taking the head coaching job in March.
Despite the incompetence of the offense all game long, Cornell may have said it best regarding Leftwich’s job security.
“As many fans want it, including myself, Leftwich isn’t going anywhere,” Cornell wrote.