TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich following the team's Wild Card loss to the Dallas Cowboys and an 8-9 regular season.
The team made it official Thursday afternoon.
Also leaving are several assistants: 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.
"We appreciate the hard work and contributions that all of these coaches made to our successes over the past four seasons," Todd Bowles said in a statement. "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."
Tampa Bay Times NFL insider Rick Stroud tweeted Thursday morning that the Bucs are "making sweeping changes to their coaching staff" after their less-than-stellar season. NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport said Bowles will be assembling his own offensive staff "for the first time," adding his thoughts to a shared tweet from NFL Network's "Around the NFL."
Leftwich was hired as offensive coordinator in early 2019 and was among 18 assistant coaches hired at the time. The former NFL quarterback played for the Buccaneers during the 2009 season.
Then-Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, who worked with Leftwich in Arizona, called him "a rising star."
"I've been training guys for this job, and I always said I would never give it up and look over anybody's shoulder until I found one I knew could do it," Arians said at the time. "Byron, I think, is a rising star in this business. What he did with the interim title out there, it wasn't even his offense.
"It was Mike McCoy's offense and he did a heck of a job with some rookies."
The Bucs would later have near-immediate success with the duo of quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski joining the team and winning Super Bowl LV against the Kansas City Chiefs. It was the team's second-ever Super Bowl title and a history-making one when the Bucs not only were the first team to play the big game at their home stadium but also win at home.
More recently, however, the Bucs' scoring average and NFL ranking in four seasons with Leftwich as offensive coordinator declined:
- 2019: 28.6 points, 3rd
- 2020: 30.8 points, 3rd
- 2021: 30.1 points, 2nd
- 2022: 18.4 points, 25th