Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich is in the process of becoming the next head coach of the Jaguars. That could prompt a bidding war between Tampa Bay and Jacksonville over Bucs wide receivers coach Kevin Garver.

There is talk that Garver could go with Leftwich to become his offensive coordinator, and the Bucs would also be interested in promoting him to that role in Tampa Bay.

Technically, it would be the passing game coordinator in Tampa Bay. Harold Goodwin serves as the Bucs assistant head coach and the team’s run game coordinator.

“I’ve been with him for so long now, just watching him grow and grow,” head coach Bruce Arians said of Garver. “He called half of a game this preseason [at Houston] and did a heck of a job. He’s got a total grasp of this offense in every phase – quarterback play, line play, running back and receiver. He’s got a full grasp of it and he’s more than ready.”

However, due to Garver’s inexperience as a play-caller, Arians is expected to resume play-calling duties this year in Tampa Bay. Arians called plays as the head coach in Arizona from 2013-17 until he retired for the 2018 season. Leftwich would likely call plays for the Jaguars for the same reason.

Bucs OC Byron Leftwich, head coach Bruce Arians and WRs coach Kevin Garver

Bucs OC Byron Leftwich, head coach Bruce Arians and WRs coach Kevin Garver – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The 69-year old Arians also called plays as the offensive coordinator in Cleveland (2001-03), Pittsburgh (2007-11) and in Indianapolis (2012). Arians has 14 years of play-calling experience at the NFL level.

The 34-year old Garver began his coaching career at Alabama as a student assistant (2007-09) and a graduate assistant (2010-11) under Nick Saban before being promoted to an offensive analyst in 2012. Garver joined Arians’ coaching staff as an offensive quality control coach in 2013. He served in that capacity until being promoted to an offensive assistant in 2016. Then he became the Cardinals assistant receivers coach the following season.

After Arians retired in 2018, Garver stayed on with new Arizona head coach Steve Wilks and was promoted to wide receivers coach. When Arians came out of retirement in 2019, Garver followed him to Tampa Bay where he has coached receivers for the past three seasons.

Lewis Likely To Be Promoted To WRs Coach

If Garver stays in Tampa Bay to take on the responsibilities of putting together the game plan with Arians, assistant wide receivers coach Thaddeus Lewis is expected to replace him and take over the receivers room. Should Garver leave the Bucs, Lewis could be promoted to the role of passing game coordinator

The 34-year old Lewis, a former NFL backup quarterback from 2010-17, was a coaching intern in the summer of 2020 during training camp. He made a strong enough impression that he stayed on as an offensive assistant.

Arians promoted him to the role of assistant receivers coach in 2021. He thinks Lewis has a bright future as a play-caller in the league, too.

Bucs WR Breshad Perriman and assistant WRs coach Thad Lewis

Bucs WR Breshad Perriman and assistant WRs coach Thad Lewis – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“I don’t think there’s any doubt,” Arians said. “He’s got a lot of Byron in him. He is a former quarterback and he’s extremely bright. Last year I used to make him give me game plans. What would his game plan be? It would be spot on every week. There will be a time very, very soon where he’s calling plays in this league.”

Arians is a big believer in promoting from within. That’s a practice he learned from former Alabama legend Paul “Bear” Bryant.

“You always want to see your guys get jobs, man,” Arians said. “That’s huge for me. We’ve got a bunch of young guys that we’ve been training for a long time to maybe step in their place. It’s not that where we’re bringing in a bunch of outsiders.”

Share On Socials

About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 27th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive coordinator/defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
Subscribe
Notify of
23 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
surferdudes
surferdudes
4 months ago

What good is it taking either job if you can’t call the plays? Who wants to do the dirty work all week to see BA, or BL call your plays on Sunday. If you’re going to promote him, or hire him, let him do the whole job. That’s how BA, and now BL became HCs. Afford your own OC the same chance.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  surferdudes
4 months ago

You’re another one of those guys like chefboho who think the only thing OCs do is call plays. Lots of head coaches with extensive play calling experience and definitive ideas on how to scheme offenses do the playcalling for their teams. The biggest job that OCs do is to define and install the offensive scheme with the players on the roster, and coach the players week to week on how to implement it and make the plays. They also determine who is on the field for any given play package contemplated. And OCs collaborate with the head coach and key… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Naplesfan
chefboho
chefboho
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 months ago

And your one of those guys who thinks he has football figured out. Your, “I’m always right” complex is beyond annoying. Personally i don’t need you to tell me what they do because I comprehend how football works already, but thanks for the offer grandpa.

Last edited 4 months ago by chefboho
fredster
fredster
Reply to  chefboho
4 months ago

Yes he is one of most annoying know it all jackasses I’ve over seen. He’s actually Beyond annoying, I quit reading his idiotic rants about how stupid everyone is except NaplesMoron. Only a true loser, fool, and moron has to try to pump himself up constantly with his blow hard know it all posts.

scubog
scubog
Reply to  fredster
4 months ago

Naples is not nearly as annoying as, and certainly not as condescending and pompous as, my old nemesis BucFan47. Of course who can forget Baghdad, errr Buc Ass Bob, who vanished as soon as his negative predictions fell short of hitting their mark with the championship. Naples is just an ultra-positive Bucs fan. Actually kinda refreshing.

surferdudes
surferdudes
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 months ago

I never said all OC’s do is call plays. What I said is it’s a slap in the face to say you can do all an OC does but call the plays. How can you say to your OC you’re good enough to put the game plan together, but come Sunday you’re not good enough to call it? BL should give his OC the same chance BA gave him, and if BA gave that chance to BL, why not the next guy? If a coach isn’t deemed good enough to do the whole job, he shouldn’t get promoted in the… Read more »

Spitfire
Spitfire
Reply to  surferdudes
4 months ago

Because he has no experience yet. He’s young, he will benefit immensely by working first hand with an experienced play caller like BA and add his more youthful ideas to the game plan. And after Arians retires he will find a job as a Play Caller and have working with BA on his resume. That’s why you do it.

bucballer
bucballer
Reply to  Spitfire
4 months ago

I don’t think Brady would be down with that! If he decides to play one more year. If he comes back it’s to win a SuperBowl. It reload, not rebuild! If ur reloading then a rookie play caller is certainly not what this team needs.

surferdudes
surferdudes
Reply to  Spitfire
4 months ago

How do you get the experience if you’re not doing the job? The plays, are the plays. You give play callers to much credit. BL was far from perfect. Bowles an experienced play caller sure did blow during that final drive with his calls. You can’t get good at anything without actually doing it.

bucballer
bucballer
Reply to  surferdudes
4 months ago

And we don’t need this young coach getting his experience at the cost of Brady’s last year (if he decides to play one more) if we r trying to win a SuperBowl. He can assist the play caller, perhaps BA, and gain experience as to what will be expected of him. Plus, he’ll have a very special item on his resume in that he got to help coach Brady in his last NFL season. That’s graduate shit type learning. In time young man.

danielob
danielob
4 months ago

Because Brady doesn’t want a rookie play caller for what is probably his last year in the league, thats why. Probably why BA said he would call plays, read ” Seasons in the sun”, Ariens said he would come back to coaching if he didn’t have to call plays, now he reverses himself, wonder why? Answer: he wants Brady for one more year.

bucballer
bucballer
Reply to  danielob
4 months ago

Yes, but one of the reasons BA turned over play calling to Lefty was because of his health and stress level! Why would he take play calling on now? Hire an experienced OC, as there r plenty available now. Everything in Tampa boils down to if Brady comes back! Brady determines a lot of things on Offense! If Brady comes back for one more year, then BA should be ok playing calling since Brady is capable of calling his own plays if need be. That helps BA tremendously. I don’t think Coach Thad is up to calling plays just yet.… Read more »

Spitfire
Spitfire
Reply to  bucballer
4 months ago

You made your own point. BA will take over play calling duties if that’s what keeps Brady here so Brady doesn’t have to start fresh all over again with someone else. If Brady wants someone else or is comfortable working with whoever becomes the next OC then Ba won’t have to. It’s all about what will keep Brady here.

scubog
scubog
Reply to  Spitfire
4 months ago

Maybe B.A. missed calling plays, but didn’t want to take anything away from Leftwhich’s opportunity.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  danielob
4 months ago

Brady calls his own plays at the line of scrimmage, just before the ball is snapped, regardless of what the official play caller calls. “When the ball is snapped, Tom Brady is always holding the chalk” as one of his former coaches stated it.

That said there is whole lot more to being an effective offensive coordinator than just calling plays, no matter who is under center.

bucballer
bucballer
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 months ago

Hey Nipples, if Lefty calls a play and Brady doesn’t change it, is Brady still calling each and every play?

Spitfire
Spitfire
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 months ago

But it’s a play based off of the playbook designed by the Offensive Coordinator. Brady doesn’t draw X’s and O’s In the grass in the huddle. OC calls the play or gives options, the Brady either goes with that play or changes it at the line if the Defense shows a certain coverage. There is far more to it than most armchair experts understand.

surferdudes
surferdudes
Reply to  danielob
4 months ago

Brady doesn’t want a rookie play caller, how do you know that? Coaches coach, players play, Brady is a player, not a coach. If a guy is deemed good enough for the job, I think, I don’t know, that Brady would be fine with that. It’s all a collaborate effort anyway, Brady would have his imput regardless, as would BA, and others. If you’re smart enough to come up with a game plan, calling it is the easy fun part, it doesn’t take a genuis.

bucballer
bucballer
Reply to  surferdudes
4 months ago

Would u if u were Brady?

bucballer
bucballer
4 months ago

I would strongly look at Pete Carmichael as replacement Offensive Coordinator from the Saints! He’s available now that Payton has stepped down. He’s done well against the Bucs for years! In fact, this fan thinks he would be an upgrade over Lefty!
I would strongly look at Pete Carmichael from the Saints! He’s available now that Payton has stepped down. He’s done well against the Bucs for years! In fact, this fan thinks he would be an upgrade over Lefty!

Last edited 4 months ago by bucballer
Captain Sly
Captain Sly
4 months ago

If Byron Leftwich leaves for the Jax job it spells the end for Brady! The only way Brady will play is if he feels he could win a “chip”. No way you lure the Goat from retirement with a Rook calling plays, come on BA get a Clue!

surferdudes
surferdudes
Reply to  Captain Sly
4 months ago

Gruden was a rookie play caller, McVay, Shanahan, all of them were at one time. Either a guy has it, or he don’t. If Brady thinks the guy is sharp, innovative, and ready, why not? Like I said, it’s not rocket science.

bucballer
bucballer
Reply to  surferdudes
4 months ago

Because Coach Lewis can learn so much more by watching Brady work. It doesn’t mean he’s not bright or can’t do the job, it just means if u only have one last chance at a SuperBowl, I want familiarity and synergy. And secondly, anybody who clearly watches Brady out there on the field, clearly can see he is coaching out there as he directs traffic to get the boys in their proper alignment. Come on man! This is the GOAT bro! Of course he’s coaching out there. He wants perfection!