Barring something unexpected, Byron Leftwich will be the next head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fans had to wait longer than usual. This hiring cycle was slow. However, the team now has its coach of the future to pair with its quarterback of the future. Leftwich is a former first-round pick of the Jags and is also a young rising star in the coaching world. With this hire, Shad Khan marries nostalgia with a consensus choice.
Jacksonville Jaguars Set To Hire Byron Leftwich as Next Head Coach
Leftwich first entered the NFL as a player in 2003. The Jaguars selected him seventh overall in the 2003 NFL Draft. Leftwich replaced Mark Brunell as the team’s starter after Brunell suffered an injury in Leftwich’s rookie season. Leftwich only stayed with the team through 2006 and became somewhat of a journeyman. He played with the Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before he retired in 2012.
Leftwich didn’t stay away from the game for long, though. He became an offensive intern with the Arizona Cardinals in 2016 and was hired under Bruce Arians in 2017 to be the quarterbacks coach. Leftwich played under Arians in Pittsburgh when Arians was an offensive coordinator. Though Arians retired in 2018, Leftwich stayed with the team but was let go at the end of the season after being promoted to offensive coordinator for a short time.
Leftwich reunited with Arians (who came out of retirement) to be the offensive coordinator for the Bucs and has been since 2019. He was the coordinator for Jameis Winston for one season and helped lead the Bucs to a Super Bowl victory with Tom Brady at the helm in 2020. Leftwich has been a top head coach candidate this hiring cycle and also interview with the Chicago Bears.
Leftwich is now tasked with leading the Jaguars to relevancy. They have a potential star in Trevor Lawrence who needs sound mentorship. There are some pieces in place, such as Myles Jack, Josh Allen, and a pair of currently injured young running backs in James Robinson and Travis Etienne. Leftwich will be a first-time head coach and he has a tall task ahead of him.
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