Sixteen years ago, Byron Leftwich began making his way in the NFL as a quarterback. He’s now getting it done as an assistant coach — and he soon could be more than that.
“I’ve been training guys for this job,” Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians recently said regarding Leftwich, via Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. “I always said I would never give up [playcalling] and look over anybody’s shoulder until I found one I knew could do it. I think he’s a rising star in this business.”
Currently Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator, Leftwich first entered coaching in 2016 as an intern with Arians in Arizona. He became quarterbacks coach in 2017 and, during the 2018 season, Leftwich became the Cardinals’ offensive coordinator.
“I think the whole time he’s been outstanding,” Arians said. “Really, really done a great job in the meeting rooms. I think he first of all is an excellent teacher. He knows what he’s talking about. He’s a heck of a teacher. So, he’s got the guys right where they need to be.”
It won’t be a surprise if Leftwich enters the short list of head-coaching candidates as soon as this year, especially if the Tampa Bay offense blossoms under Arians. Or maybe Leftwich will simply take over for Arians whenever Arians retires, again.