There's a new head coach on the sidelines for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the old head coach remains with the club.
However, the offensive coordinator is still Byron Leftwich and, thusly, the new head coach and the old one are unlikely to have much to do with the offensive game plan.
Asked Tuesday if the now-retired Bruce Arians would have input on the offensive game plan in his new role of senior advisor to the general manager, Leftwich did his best to clear up how things will be and how things have been.
"Probably not from an offensive game plan standpoint, and I don't think that's new," Leftwich said. "I remember last year you guys talking about 'red line.' That's never happened. I don't know where that came from. That is not what he's ever done, I think. The good thing with B.A. and him knowing me, I would struggle with that. I would struggle myself with that. And nobody was telling B.A. what to call, either. So, he understands that. So that type of stuff, it will be the same as 2019. I guess I'm an offensive coordinator with an offensive-minded head coach, so guys think [the head coach is leading the offense]. But it was never nothing even close to that from the time I walked in, in 2019 with Jameis [Winston], it's been me full-go. I'm just no-risk-it, no-biscuit, too. Same thing, same thing. Nothing will change. Everything should be status quo."
Since Arians became head coach of the Bucs in 2019 and Leftwich became offensive coordinator, Tampa Bay's offense has hardly been status quo. It's been one of the league's best.
Despite the Bucs' offense carrying right along, there were rumblings in 2021 that Arians would remove plays Leftwich and quarterback Tom Brady had worked on during the week from the game plan. Hence the aforementioned "red line" reference from Leftwich. Now, Arians is retired and Todd Bowles, formerly the defensive coordinator, is the head coach. Arians was originally announced as the team's senior football consultant, but is listed on the team website as senior advisor to the general manager.
Any notion that Arians would be a hindrance to Leftwich seems a bit wonky to say the least, considering Arians has long stumped for Leftwich to get a head coaching job and went so far as to say he and Brady got too much credit when Leftwich deserved more.
Since Leftwich has taken on the OC reins in Tampa, the Bucs have finished in the top three in points scored each season and no worse than seventh in yards gained.
Winston threw for an NFL-best 5,109 yards and a career-high 33 touchdowns in 2019 under the guise of Leftwich. Then Brady entered the fold and tallied back-to-back seasons of 40 or more touchdowns for the first time in his career. Brady also led the league in passing in 2022 with a career-high 5,316 yards.
The Buccaneers' offense is most certainly not broke, and Leftwich isn't looking to fix it, even with the offseason changes.
"I don't see too many changes coming. Each year is different, though," Leftwich said. "Will there be some subtle changes? I think it is every year, according to what personnel truly ends up out there each week, but we're going to try to do the best thing to put us in position to score points and win football games. Whatever we can do from an offensive standpoint to help us win, we'll try to do that. Don't really matter to me how we get that done."