Todd Bowles is taking a sledgehammer to his offensive coaching staff. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have multiple new assistants after a disappointing 8-9 season, with offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich the most notable name served his walking papers.
Bowles made wholesale changes to the Bucs’ coaching staff. The team on Thursday announced the firings of Leftwich, specialists coach Chris Boniol, wide receivers coach Kevin Garver, offensive quality control coach Jeff Kastl, assistant defensive line Coach Lori Locust and running backs coach Todd McNair.
What’s more, quarterbacks Coach Clyde Christensen, senior offensive assistant Rick Christophel and outside linebackers coach Bob Sanders have retired.
Byron Leftwich Fired As Tampa Bay Buccaneers OC
“We appreciate the hard work and contributions that all of these coaches made to our successes over the past four seasons,” Bowles said Thursday. “As a collective group, we did not meet the high standards that had been set for this past year and my focus now is on doing what is needed to ensure a successful 2023 season. These were very difficult decisions but something that I felt was necessary for our football team going forward.”
The sweeping changes come after a wildly disappointing year for the Buccaneers, who only made the playoffs because they played in the historically bad NFC South, and who proved they had no business being in the postseason with their 31-14 beatdown at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys.
It’s hard to state how hard it is to rank last in yards per carry (3.4), 25th in both points (18.4 per game) and yards per play (5.1), and have a negative EPA per play (-.03) with a roster that included Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Leonard Fournette.
But the Buccaneers pulled it off.
And Bowles — who managed to keep his job despite the terrible product the Bucs put on the field in 2022 — had seen enough.
Leftwich’s termination completed a jarring fall from grace.
Two years ago right now, he was helping the Bucs win a world championship. One year ago this month, he was deep in conversations with the Jacksonville Jaguars to be their next head coach. (Leftwich ultimately pulled his name from consideration.)
Now, he’s looking for work.
Leading Candidate To Replace Byron Leftwich?
Bowles presumably made the move with a replacement in mind.
After inheriting a coaching staff that was a bunch of leftovers after Bruce Arians’ shocking retirement last March, Bowles can now put his guys in place.
The list of “his guys” apparently includes Todd Monken, who, according to NFL Network, is a name to watch.
Monken, 56, is fresh off his second-straight national title as OC of the Georgia Bulldogs. Before then, he called offensive plays for two NFL teams: The Buccaneers (2016-2018) and the Browns (2019).
In their three seasons with Monken as OC, the Buccaneers ranked 20th, 18th, and 12th in scoring.
What’s Next For Tom Brady?
Whoever takes the job will likely do so without a firm grasp of the team’s quarterback position. Right now, the only Bucs QB under contract in 2023 is Kyle Trask.
Tom Brady is a free agent and might retire. But even if he does return for a 24th season, there’s little reason to believe he’ll do so with the Bucs, particularly if he doesn’t have a history with the new play-caller.
Brady gave no hints to his thinking after Monday night’s loss to Dallas, saying only this when asked about his future:
“I’m going to go home and get a good night’s sleep, as good as I can tonight. … [There] has been a lot of focus on this game, so yeah. It’s just been one day at a time — truly.”
But longtime friend and former teammate Julian Edelman believes Brady is done in Tampa.
“If he has another season, it’s not gonna be in Tampa Bay,” Edelman said on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.” “And, just because, Tom’s a businessman. Tom’s a smart guy. He’s gonna do exactly what he did when he left New England. He’s gonna go to the best situation that helps him win. If he wants to continue his playing career. I don’t know.”
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