When the Buccaneers 2021 campaign concluded, it seemed like it could be the last game for many Buccaneers players as well as some coaches. One of those coaches was offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, who was a strong candidate for the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach opening.
The Jaguars interviewed Leftwich twice and there was even some reports that Leftwich to Jacksonville was a done deal but those reports were premature as Leftwich reportedly wanted to replace current Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke with Arizona Cardinals vice president of scouting Adrian Wilson. That was a major issue for the Jaguars and it was one they could not overcome as they hired former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson late Thursday night. It was reported earlier in the day by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times that Leftwich had withdrew his name from consideration for the job and hours later, Jacksonville hired Pederson.
Hearing Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich is expected to remove himself from consideration for the Jaguars head coaching job soon. Former Raiders interim HC Rich Bisaccia and former Eagles coach Doug Pederson remain strong candidates.— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) February 3, 2022
What this means for the Buccaneers
It means that they get to keep their offensive coordinator... for now. Leftwich is still reportedly on the New Orleans Saints’ radar as it has been reported they have been granted permission to interview Leftiwch, but no date or time for that interview has been set as of this writing.
Assuming Leftwich does not get the Saints job, he will return to Tampa Bay for his fourth season as the team’s play caller. Leftwich has had tremendous success in his young coaching career thus far, finishing in the top ten of total team offense and offensive points every season he has been with the team and finished second in total team offense just this past season.
With Tom Brady retired and the Bucs likely shopping for a new quarterback, it is an ideal situation for a veteran signal caller to walk into. While he may frustrate fans at times, Leftwich’s offenses have been consistently good and is a large reason for the Buccaneers success on offense over the past three seasons. Having Tom Brady as your quarterback certainly helps, but Leftwich found success with Jameis Winston as well and his work as offensive coordinator should not be discounted just because he had the greatest QB of all time under center the past two years.
A little bonus
Now that Leftwich is likely to be back in Tampa Bay in 2022, it also means the Bucs will be able to keep wide receivers coach Kevin Garver and outside linebackers coach Larry Foote, both of whom were rumored to be heading with Leftwich, Garver as his offensive coordinator and Larry Foote as his defensive coordinator if he had gotten a head coaching job elsewhere. Being able to keep this talented coaching staff together is certainly a huge boost especially while the Bucs are heading into an offseason that may see many players depart.
Leftwich will look to continue his success as a play caller this fall, no matter who the quarterback under center might be.