Byron Leftwich could be leaving Bucs to become head coach of Jaguars

Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times/Times
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TAMPA — Byron Leftwich could be the Jaguars’ first choice again.

The Bucs’ offensive coordinator, who was Jacksonville’s first-round pick in 2003 as a quarterback out of Marshall, could be hired as the Jaguars’ next head coach. There are some items to clear up contractually, but Leftwich and the Jaguars are working to finalize an agreement.

The Jaguars also continue to talk with Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, among others, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

If hired, Leftwich, 42, would replace former Gators and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, who was fired after a 2-11 start in his first season. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell served as Jacksonville’s interim head coach for the final four games.

Leftwich had a second interview with the Jaguars Tuesday, this time in person in Jacksonville.

Leftwich’s possible departure comes as Bucs quarterback Tom Brady is deciding whether or not to extend his illustrious 22-year career.

Bucs wide receivers coach Kevin Garver could follow Leftwich to Jacksonville to become the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator. Another Bucs assistant to keep an eye on is assistant wide receivers coach Thad Lewis, a former Duke QB who was with a half-dozen NFL teams as a player.

Head coach Bruce Arians said Monday he would consider calling offensive plays next season should Leftwich accept a head-coaching job.

Having worked with Brady the last two seasons, Leftwich in Jacksonville would inherit a young, franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence, who struggled as a rookie.

Leftwich arrived in Tampa Bay with Arians in 2019 and presided over one of the NFL’s highest-scoring offenses the past three seasons.

In his first season with the Bucs, Leftwich helped Jameis Winston lead the NFL with 5,109 passing yards and 33 touchdowns. But he also threw 30 interceptions and was allowed to leave as a free agent.

But once Brady arrived in 2020, the Bucs’ offense took off. They won Super Bowl 55, and this season Brady led the league with 5,316 passing yards and 43 touchdowns. The Bucs were second in the league in scoring offense, averaging just less than 30 points per game.

Leftwich may not be the only coordinator possibly leaving the Bucs. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is interviewing with the Raiders Thursday in Las Vegas.

Bowles already has interviewed for head-coaching positions with the Jaguars, Vikings and Bears.

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