Six Candidates To Replace Byron Leftwich

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Three days after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers embarrassing playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys the team parted ways with offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. This comes after a long season of mismanagement and illogical decisions throughout the year. To be frank, it was a move that was justified and long overdue. 

Now as we put this dysfunctional Leftwich era behind us, we look forward to what comes next. This will be Todd Bowles first opportunity to higher his own coaches with the Bucs. This leads to the natural question; who will Bowles hire as the new offensive coordinator?

There are a lot of good candidates out there. Limiting the list down was a difficult process, but I was able to come up with six names that make a lot of sense for this Buccaneers franchise. Here are those six names I believe they should be looking at.

6. Thomas Brown

Every coaching conversation needs at least one Sean McVay disciple. Brown is that name this time around. He is an up and coming candidate who has experience working with tight ends and running backs for the Los Angeles Rams. He is also the assistant head coach for the 2021 Super Bowl champions.

Brown has some play calling experience at the college level, but this would be his big break in the NFL. Working with McVay and the level of success previous coordinators have had is a good indicator, but there’s no doubt that this would be a little bit of a bold move. However, taking a chance on this up and coming coach, who is just 36 years old, could pay off in a big way.

5. Pep Hamilton

Hamilton has a good deal of experience as an offensive coordinator. Last year he held this role with the Houston Texans and he previously took the job with the Colts after Bruce Arians left that role for his head coaching job with the Arizona Cardinals. He has also been the offensive coordinator at the college level with Stanford in 2011-2012.

Hamilton runs a traditional pro style offense. He has always utilized tight ends and wants to run the ball. This is an approach that I think will resonate with Todd Bowles as someone who wants to run the ball and be a little more conservative. 

What I really like about Hamilton is his work with young quarterbacks. Names like Andrew Luck, Justin Herbert, and even Davis Mills (who was drafted one pick after Kyle Trask) are guys he has helped mold into NFL starters. With the high likelihood of the Buccaneers drafting a quarterback in the next year or two, it would be great to have an offensive coordinator with that type of resume.

4. Antwaan Randle El

Randle El is a name that Buccaneers’ fans will be familiar with. The Detroit Lions wide receiver coach held the same position with the Buccaneers as part of their Super Bowl team two years ago. He was part of the success of the development of Chris Godwin and now Amon-Ra Saint Brown in Detroit.

Since leaving Tampa Bay, he has had the opportunity to work under one of the best young offensive coordinators in the NFL. Ben Johnson led a creative and exciting offense with the Lions and Randle El has had two years to work in that environment. 

Now having the knowledge from guys like Johnson and former Bucs’ head coach Bruce Arians, Randle El seems poised to take the next step. It’s also worth noting that he has excellent first hand experience as a long time wide receiver in the NFL and as a quarterback at the college level.

This level of experience and opportunities to learn from great offensive minds make him an intriguing candidate.

3. Todd Monken

We as Buccaneers fans have some fond memories of Monken. He was brought on as part of Dirk Koetter’s staff in 2016 and did a nice job taking over play calling from Koetter. Despite this, he was let go when Bruce Arians came in with his staff.

Since then, Monken has become one of the hottest names on the college coaching scene. He is currently the offensive coordinator for the two time defending champion Georgia Bulldogs and has been a big part of getting them to the top of that mountain. Now he is once again a name to watch for an even bigger and better job.

Monken brings familiarity with some of the Bucs players and has shown the ability to create an offense that utilizes their talents. He is certainly a name to watch this coaching cycle for the Buccaneers offensive coordinator job.

2. Kevin Patullo 

Patullo is the passing game coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles. He’s a big part of the development of Jalen Hurts, who was a second round pick and much more of a runner than a passer coming out of college. Now this tandem leads the 8th best passing attack in the NFL.

It’s also worth noting that Patullo has worked under Todd Bowles in the past. He was the quarterbacks coach with the New York Jets when Bowles was the head coach there. This was Patullo’s first big break in the NFL as a position coach as opposed to an assistant. 

This previous relationship plus the opportunity for another big break to become an offensive coordinator makes this a logical and exciting option for the Bucs.

1. Frank Reich

The most experienced name on this list, Reich should be near the top of everyone’s list. He was the offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles when they won the Super Bowl with Nick Foles. His specialty is quarterback play and that’s something the Bucs will need in the coming years.

Most recently, he was the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. During that time he helps develop one of the better offensive lines in the NFL and consistently got production out of lesser talent. Despite never really having a franchise quarterback to work with a 40-33-1 record.

That experience as both an offensive coordinator and head coach are incredibly valuable. His ability to develop game plans and maximize the talent he has to work with is exactly what the Buccaneers were missing last year.

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