Byron Leftwich is among those the Jacksonville Jaguars are considering becoming their final head coach. But what worries the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator most is Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
“I really think it’s disrespectful to the Jets and whoever you’re playing that week when you talk about things that really have nothing to do with Sunday’s game,” Leftwich said on Thursday, via the official transcript of the team. “I’m completely focused on this Sunday soccer game. Obviously as a coach whenever your name comes up I guess that’s what it is, but it really doesn’t mean anything at this point. really doesn’t mean anything at this point and I think it’s disrespectful to the guys you really work with every day. That’s really how I see it. If I ever get the chance to be in this situation, that’s when I’m going to handle it, but from now on, I’m really focusing on the opponent we’re about to play and getting ready to try and play our best football. “
The former Jags’ first-round pick is among the hottest candidates in this hiring cycle. His familiarity with the franchise and the success of the Bucs offense could make him the perfect candidate to work with Trevor Lawrence.
The new NFL rules allow clubs that have fired coaches or informed a coach that they will not be held up to begin talks in the final weeks of the season.
When asked on Thursday if he would prefer the interview process to be after the regular season or even the playoffs, Leftwich replied, “I don’t even think about it.”
A head coaching position might not be on Leftwich’s mind now, but when it does he has a rave review from GOAT Tom Brady to share. TB12 said Thursday his OC “absolutely” deserved a head coaching job.
“I’ve been around a lot of great coaches over the years and it’s just a matter of time for different guys when different opportunities present themselves,” Brady said. “Byron has been great for me to work with, and I know he will have a lot of opportunities. He will do a great job.”
For now, Leftwich will focus on his current task of the Jets on Sunday, the Carolina Panthers in Week 18, and then the playoffs as the Bucs try to defend their Super Bowl title.