Special to Sports Talk Florida from Bucs Report
With two weeks to prepare for three and seven Browns, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traveled to Cleveland and looked completely anemic. The play calling and personal choices during this game were abysmal. They cannot expect to make the playoffs or go deep into the playoffs if they continue this trend.
The first drive of the game for the Buccaneers looked promising. The run game looked ready to explode even further after Rachaad White’s 30-yard scamper. This had fans feeling like the Buccaneers are prepped and ready to roll. Showing great poise and ability to move the ball the opening drive should’ve set the tone for the remainder of the game, but it didn’t. Unfortunately, after the nine play opening drive the wheels fell off of the Buccaneer’s offense.
Instead, Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans had to stand by and watch the ineptitude of the offensive game plan destroy any hopes of victory. In total the Buccaneers managed two touchdown drives, a field goal, and seven drives ended in a punt. Six of those punts came off three and outs. That is totally unacceptable after two weeks to prepare for the 30th worst defense in the NFL.
To make matters worse, the team is forced to go into overtime where their inability to move the ball was on full display which resulted in the loss of Tristan Wirfs and the game .
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The Buccaneers, specifically Byron Leftwich, call for a run to the strong side with the the tight end on first down and it nets less than 2 yards. Furthermore they follow up with a wide receiver screen or very short pass. This was the play calling on five of the six three and outs. Adversary defenses understand this and it becomes bend on break mentality for them. They stack and play down hill on first down and play nickel on second with the safeties ready to run on. Even the simplest of defenses hold the Buccaneers to second and third and long. Even for an average defensive coordinator that’s a recipe for success.
The lack of mixing plays up and Byron Leftwich’s contempt for change is sinking this team.
Dazed and Confused
To add insult to injury the offense, it’s horrid play calling has stifled the connection between Tom Brady and Mike Evans. They’re in ability to connect with one another is troublesome. Over and over again this week we saw Brady overthrow Evans. Additionally, Evans route running, seemed off and was not crisp. At times he looked confused at times as to where the route an pass were to intersect.
If any players on this offense should be in synch it should be those two.
In order to save this season, Byron Leftwich has to be fired. There is no chance that the Buccaneers can score enough points, even gets lower performing teams with bad defenses and make the playoffs let alone go deep in the playoffs.
Byron’s chances of becoming a head coach continue to slip further and further away each week that he calls plays. I’m afraid that the loyalty in the front office will keep him here next season. Especially if he is not hired elsewhere.
Also, if they’re holding onto him for the sole purpose of compensation (if he was hired as a head coach somewhere else) that’s not going to happen. He is clearly shown that he is incapable of leading a high school JV team.