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Tampa Bay Buccaneers fire coordinator Byron Leftwich and 6 other coaches

After speculation on Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dropped the hammer and fired offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich following Monday’s 31-14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Wild Card game.

Leftwich, 43, emerged as one of the top NFL coaching candidates last spring. He interviewed with the Jacksonville Jaguars twice, ultimately turning down the head-coach position because he didn’t want to work with general manager Trent Baalke. He may regret that decision this week.

On Thursday, Tampa Bay Times beat writer Rick Stroud broke the news that the team had officially parted ways with Leftwich after four years, and he was not going to be the only cut from the staff.

Related: Winners, losers from Dallas Cowboys’ playoff win over Tampa Bay Buccaneers

“The Bucs have fired offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. The team is making sweeping changes to their coaching staff following an 8-9 regular season and wildcard loss to Dallas. As many as five offensive assistants and two on defense are expected to be let go.”

– Rick Stroud

The decision comes just after a report on Tuesday Scott Reynolds of Pewter Report, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers expected to fire Byron Leftwich shortly after being eliminated from the playoffs.

Following the report, NFL Network league insider Ian Rapoport revealed that Chris Boniol, Kevin Garver, Jeff Kastl, Lori Locust, and Todd McNair were some of the other members of the staff let go on Thursday.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers oust Byron Leftwich after a dismal showing in ’22-’23

Byron Leftwich, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator is out, head coach Todd Bowles will have a chance to build his own coaching staff after taking over the one retired head coach Bruce Arians assembled.

Byron Leftwich returned to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 2022 season, retaining his title as offensive coordinator with the team expected to compete for a Super Bowl following Tom Brady‘s unretirement. Without Arians, though, the offense fell apart.

Tampa Bay finished the regular season ranked 16th in Football Outsiders’ Offense DVOA (0.4%), a steep decline from their league-leading 26.7% DVOA in 2021. The regression offensively showed up in one of the worst rushing attacks in the NFL and an 8-9 record.

The search for the next Buccaneers’ offensive play-caller will be a bit complicated. Brady, an unrestricted free agent, isn’t likely to re-sign with Tampa Bay following a season that fell well short of his expectations. With no firm quarterback plan in place, the job becomes less appealing. Ultimately, the Buccaneers will likely be replacing multiple offensive assistants on the staff.

As for Leftwich, he likely won’t be out of work when the 2023 season kicks off. He was a respected quarterbacks coach in 2017-’18 with the Arizona Cardinals and should have a few offers for similar titles around the NFL.

Related: Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles expected to return

However, Leftwich might have missed his opportunity to become an NFL head coach. The success Tampa Bay’s offense achieved during its best seasons will likely be credited to Brady, while the blame for the regression witnessed in 2022 has already fallen on Leftwich.

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