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Bucs Could Hire Super Bowl-Winning Coach to Replace Byron Leftwich, Bucs Insider Says

With Byron Leftwich gone, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could turn Super Bowl-winning coach Frank Reich as the next offensive coordinator.

Reich served in that role when the Philadelphia Eagles beat a Tom Brady-led New England Patriots squad in the 2018 Super Bowl. Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds, who broke news of the Bucs’ plans to fire Leftwich, floated Reich as a possibility for the Bucs.

A former quarterback, Reich has enjoyed success as an NFL assistant coach since 2008 with the Indianapolis Colts and brief stints with three other teams, including the Eagles. Reich notably served as the quarterbacks coach for the Colts when Peyton Manning led the team to a Super Bowl win in the 2010 season.

While Reich’s head coaching tenure with the Colts ended this season in November 2022, Reich would bring championship pedigree to the Bucs and prior success with quarterbacks. Reich had a winning record in two of his first three seasons, and the lone losing season occurred when Andrew Luck suddenly retired in 2019. All of Reich’s teams in his first three seasons averaged more than 20 points per game.

Where Reich Could Help the Bucs

Tampa Bay mustered just 18.4 points per game, an 11.7-point per game drop-off from 2021. Reich, as an offensive coordinator, had his teams averaging 20 points per game, normally more, in Philadelphia from 2016 to 2017 and San Diego from 2014 to 2015.

The Bucs running game struggled mightily with last-place finishes in every major category. Reich coached a solid running attack in San Diego with over 1,000 yards collectively each season. The Eagles run game under Reich gashed opposing teams with 1,800-2,100 yards annually, and the Eagles amassed 25 rushing touchdowns over two seasons. None of those teams had an elite running back such as Jonathan Taylor running the ball.

Reich also had success in working with quarterbacks as an offensive coordinator or head coach. Philip Rivers threw for 4,200 or more yards and 29 or more touchdowns in two of three seasons with Reich. Luck had one of his best seasons under Reich with 4,593 yards passing and 39 touchdowns in 2018. Carson Wentz emerged as an MVP candidate under Reich with 3,296 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2017. Nick Foles took off in the 2017 playoffs as the Super Bowl MVP with Wentz out due to injury.

With the Bucs, Reich could get a season to work with Brady — if he stays and doesn’t retire. If not, Reich’s prior success with quarterbacks could help lure a viable starting quarterback to Tampa, presuming the Bucs can improve the roster overall amid a dire salary cap situation. The Bucs have $55 million over the salary cap to work around, per Spotrac.

What Happened in Indy?

Reich’s ending in Indianapolis could cause concern after a 3-5-1 start, but the Colts arguably had a messier situation than the Bucs in 2022.

The Colts entered the season with a fourth different starting quarterback in four years after the team shipped Wentz to Washington. Colts quarterback Matt Ryan couldn’t return to MVP form with the team in 2022 amid the slow start, and things never improved after Reich’s exit. The Colts (4-12-1) only won one more game under interim coach Jeff Saturday and averaged 17 points per game for the season.

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