Championship culture is what every NFL owner looks for when hiring a head coach. The culture in Jacksonville, especially coming out of the Urban Meyer era, if you can call it that, was one of non-leadership. With a young team and a hungry fan base, the Jaguars are just waiting for the right leader. Byron Leftwich is just the leader they might need.
Hate To Say It
The Buccaneers offensive coordinator has been readying for just this type of opportunity. The fact that Byron Leftwich was drafted by Jacksonville in the first round of the 2003 draft is pure happenstance, but could also factor in.
The body of work that Leftwich has put together is where the nuts and bolts of it come together. The number one scoring offense in the NFL. Interpreting the Buccaneers offense and instilling that philosophy in Tom Brady while melding his skill set with it. Leftwich was able to accomplish that while dealing with a pandemic on the way to the Super Bowl championship. The resume Leftwich has as a coordinator is short but impressive.
Starting as a quarterback coach for the Cardinals and being promoted to offensive coordinator, the Cardinals started to gain respect on the offensive side of the ball. When the Buccaneers hired Bruce Arians as head coach, Leftwich was one of his first choices to join him in Tampa.
Once in Tampa, Leftwich was tasked with turning around former first overall pick Jameis Winston. That proved to be a difficult task as Winston proceeded to create the 30/30 club of touchdowns and interceptions. Lets call that a speed-bump on Leftwich’s resume.
That season with Winston might shed some negative light on how Leftwich would do with Jaguars’ new quarterback Trevor Lawrence right? Not so fast, Lawrence seems cool and calm under pressure compared to Winston. Leftwich is by nature a calming type of coach, not a yelling and screaming or in Jacksonville’s case a “kicking” coach. That might be exactly what Lawrence needs.
The following season the Bucs had moved on from Winston and brought in a new quarterback, Tom Brady. That team not only made the playoffs but went on to win the Super Bowl. Something not seen in Duval County, like ever.
The Time Is Now
In 2009, a first year Buccaneers head coach, Raheem Morris, signed a free agent quarterback, Byron Leftwich. In 2021, Leftwich is the offensive coordinator for the hottest offense in the NFL. Raheem Morris is the defensive coordinator for a red hot Los Angeles Rams defense. Both should have interviews lined up in the near future. That winning culture is gold in a copycat league. The challenge of changing teams and continuing success is as tempting to a coach as it is for players.
What would this mean for the Buccaneers?
The Buccaneers have one of the league’s largest and most experienced coaching staffs in the league. The next man up mentality of this team would kick in at that point. Head coach Bruce Arians is a leader of developing his coaches and doing so while having the most diverse staff in the league. The Bucs will simply promote from within and move forward.
The Secret Is Out
The defending champion Buccaneers have a great coaching staff. There are quite a few teams in the NFL that would kill to have the culture that oozes out of One Buc Place. Bruce Arians has built a coaching tree that will branch out beautifully throughout the National Football League. The time is now for Byron Leftwich. It’s not just Buccaneer fans who know it.