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Jaguars to interview Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich for head coach

The interview is scheduled for Friday.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars are reportedly scheduled to interview Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich on Friday, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Leftwich has served under Bruce Arians as the offensive coordinator for the Buccaneers for the past threes seasons (2019, 2020 and 2021). He played a key role in Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl-wining season in 2020, working alongside quarterback Tom Brady.

The Buccaneers lead the NFL in total yards per game (405.8) and passing yards per game (306.6) in 2021. The team also ranks second in scoring offense (29.4 points per game). Rushing the football hasn’t gone as well for Leftwich’s offense, as Tampa Bay ranks 27th in the league with just 99.2 yards per game.

Prior to his time with the Bucs, Leftwich was the quarterbacks coach for the Arizona Cardinals in 2017 (also on Arians’ staff at the time) and 2018 (serving on Steve Wilks’ staff). Leftwich also took on the role of interim offensive coordinator for the Cardinals in 2018 after Mike McCoy was fired from the position in October of that year.

Leftwich, who turns 42 years old on Jan. 14, played 10 seasons in the NFL. Of course, he was drafted by the Jaguars in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft (No. 7 overall) out of Marshall. So, if Leftwich were to be hired as Jacksonville’s next head coach, it would be a bit of a homecoming for him.

In four seasons in Jacksonville, Leftwich completed 789 out of 1,344 pass attempts (58.7 percent) for 9,042 yards, 51 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. He also added eight rushing touchdowns. Although Leftwich’s time with the Jaguars was somewhat under-appreciated, and he eventually lost his starting position to David Garrard, he led Jacksonville to a 24-20 record in 44 games — not many recent quarterbacks for the Jaguars have had that kind of success.

Leftwich would go on to play for the Atlanta Falcons (2007), Pittsburgh Steelers (2008, 2010-2012) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2009). He won a Super Bowl ring as a backup quarterback for Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII. Arians was on Pittsburgh’s staff as offensive coordinator from 2007 through 2011.

Throughout his career as a whole, Leftwich completed 930 passes on 1,605 attempts (57.9 percent) for 10,532 yards, 58 touchdowns and 42 interceptions. He also ran for 415 yards and scored 10 touchdowns on the ground.

The Jaguars also reportedly interviewed Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles earlier this week, according to Mark Long of the Associated Press. Former NFL head coaches Doug Pederson and Jim Caldwell were scheduled for interviews last week.

The Jaguars are also expected to interview Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore on Friday night, and reportedly plan to interview former Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien next week.