Byron Leftwich: Hopefully SB win opens eyes

Super Bowl LV
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In the days leading up to Super Bowl LV, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said he was “very, very pissed” that offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich didn’t get any head coaching interviews at the end of the regular season.

Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles did have a couple of conversations with teams, but didn’t get his second shot at a head coaching job after going 24-40 with the Jets in a four-year stint before joining Arians in Tampa for the 2019 season. The experiences of Bowles and Leftwich were part of a hiring cycle that left many, including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, lamenting the lack of head coaching opportunities for minority candidates.

Bowles’ defense and Leftwich’s offense did a number on the Chiefs in Sunday’s 31-9 win and Leftwich was asked after the game if he thinks their success will result in teams focusing solely on a coach’s achievements. He said “probably not,” but expressed hope that the result of Super Bowl LV will open some eyes around the league.

“If it does, it does. Hopefully so,” Leftwich said. “Me and Todd were focused on what we needed to do to win the football game. To have this opportunity, to have three African-American coordinators on the same team and find a way to win the Super Bowl, obviously it will open people’s eyes, but I can’t speak on if it changes anyone’s mind or thoughts around the hiring process. All we can do is just coach football. All we are trying to do is help these men grow and be in the best position and be the best football players they can be. That’s our goal. Our goal is to help these players be at their best. Especially when you have these moments where you can grow. I still think we are getting better. I think a week from now, we will be getting better. Two weeks from now, we will be playing even better football. It’s exciting. I know it just happened, but I am excited about what we have coming back and what this team has become.”

With Bowles, Leftwich, special teams cooordinator Keith Armstrong, and the rest of the staff set to return, the Bucs are well positioned to build off this win in 2021. Doing so should make Leftwich a leading candidate for head coaching jobs, but Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy’s experience illustrates that being in the mix doesn’t mean you’ll land the position.

18 responses to “Byron Leftwich: Hopefully SB win opens eyes

  1. I gotta admit, when I first heard Leftwich was a coordinator I was surprised. But hey, what do I know, clearly he’s better at this than he was as an NFL QB. Good on ya, Byron!

  2. Hopefully it also means that Byron will get some of the media drumbeat of support for a head coaching position, that inexplicably always goes to Bienemy who doesn’t call his own plays. This SB showed BL is greater than EB.

  3. Bieniemy,Leftwich and Bowles all deserve a big consideration for HC jobs , why bieniemy didn’t get one is beyond me and Bowles and Leftwich deserve serious consideration for the next openings. It would be a crime if it didn’t happen for any one of these men.

  4. The difference that will help.. one of those coaches calls their offensive plays, the other gets credit for what Andy Reid does

  5. All the teams that passed on Bieniemy were proved correct after that dumpster fire.

  6. You do realize you guys only won 7 games last year. Funny now I have heard some people talk that is was Brady up in NE all the time and not Belechek . You heard it who needed who. Well now apparently after a year they bring Brady in and they win, all of their coaches should be head coaches. So who needs who hear now?

  7. In other news Eric Bieniemy’s stock just crashed. Belichick’s will next year after another losing season. Is it really possible that players could be more important than coaches?

  8. Leftwich I can see but after his performance with the Jets, Bowles needs a couple of more years to season before he gets the call.

  9. Has ANYONE considered this game result is a reason why Bienemy isn’t a HC? 2 weeks to prep, knowing his O-line was an issue, and simply did not have an answer.

  10. Hopefully they get a shot the way everyone else does (though Bowles has already had one, if you can count the Jets). However, the assumption that if someone is a good coordinator and calls a good game will make them a good head coach is terribly flawed. Some coaches are much better as coordinators than they are as Head Coaches – Wade Phillips, Gregg Williams, Jim Schwartz, Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis, etc.

  11. Why is it that a coordinator is expected to get a head coaching job? I’m sure it’s not easy. You have to handle both sides of the ball. Maybe that’s as far as their careers take them. In any other field….does a supervisor make it to VP? Does a VP become President… etc etc.. etc……..No!!! Some people only climb the ladder so far.

  12. Being a good coordinator does not mean that one is good head coaching material. I don’t know Byron, I’ve never met Byron and I have absolutely no idea if he’ll make a great, terrible or somewhere in between coach.

    That being said, both Leftwich and Bowles were masterful last night. Both men came up with gameplans that diverged from the norm for the Bucs that perfectly nullified the Chiefs. And despite the gameplans being different from the norm for the Bucs, both sides of the ball executed perfectly.

  13. Sure, by winning yesterday they’ve improved their chances of being HCs someday. But it proves that HCs aren’t hired because of race which is what the NFL is asking teams to do. They’re hired because of experience and past performance.

  14. So, Byron Leftwich is taking credit for Tom Brady. Tom Brady was winning a Super Bowl when you were still in college. I bet Tom taught Byron more about playing QB than the other way around. Haven’t we learned the Adam Gase lesson. He coached Peyton Manning for 1 year, and took credit for his success. Two failed HC jobs later, it was a mistake to give him credit for something beyond him, and also a mistake to give too much credence to a player recommendation. (i.e. being able to buddy up to a superstar – means nothing) (See Josh McDaniel, Adam Gase, Bieniemy and Leftwich)

  15. All I know is Leftwich was one of the toughest QBs I’ve ever seen…maybe he applies that mentality to coaching as well. I sure wouldn’t mind seeing him as OC for the Seahawks.

  16. This is the beauty of being black EB is getting crushed for last night’s game and getting none of the praise for the success. You guys want it both ways. And your biases are coming out. Now it’s EB fault and his stock plummeted. I said this before I’ll say it again he had the same job brad Childress had, Matt Nagy, Marty morningweig, doug Pederson, Sean mcvay, Kyle shanahan (eventually did in ATL), Zac Taylor had. Those guys all got hired without calling plays. So I don’t want to hear it. Now you guys are comparing EB to BL. Why not EB to all the other coaches hired this year and last year that don’t have his resume.

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