Byron Leftwich Says Bucs' Offensive Struggles Have Been 'Over-Exaggerated'

Doric SamJanuary 6, 2023

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JANUARY 01: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers talks with offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before playing against Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium on January 01, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Despite the Tampa Bay Buccaneers being just 8-8 and narrowly making the playoffs by clinching the NFC South for a second straight year, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich believes the team's struggles have been overblown.

Leftwich told reporters he felt like many around the league were prematurely writing off the Bucs:

"I think there's been moments where we really haven't been that bad. I think you guys overexaggerated because we look different. The numbers say that we're not that far off. We're off on third down and red zone. It's disappointing, those two things for us as a team with who we have. But when you really listen to people talk about us, that's emotions talking. That's not really people watching us, watching us get better every week. For some reason, everybody want to throw dirt on the Bucs. But we're not ready for people to throw dirt on us."

Tampa Bay had led the league in scoring last season with 29.29 points per game, but its average dropped to 18.06 points in 2022. The team averages 354.5 yards compared to 405.9 a year ago.

In last week's win against the Carolina Panthers that clinched the division, the Bucs scored 30 points for just the second time this season.

Leftwich added he believes the team is clicking at the right time, and he's confident heading into the postseason.

"I think we're getting better as a group," he said. "I think this group is learning how to play the moments that we've got to make plays, understanding what we've got to do to really win football games."

Tampa Bay will take on the Atlanta Falcons in the regular-season finale on Sunday.