Byron Leftwich isn’t thinking about Jaguars’ interest in him

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers
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Former Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich eventually could become Jaguars head coach Byron Leftwich. For now, Leftwich is focusing on the task at hand, as offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“I really think it’s disrespectful to the Jets and whoever you’re playing that week when you’re talking about things that really have nothing to do with Sunday’s game,” Leftwich told reporters on Thursday when asked about Jacksonville’s request to interview him. “I’m completely focused on this football game on Sunday. Obviously, as a coach anytime your name is thrown around, I guess it is what it is, but it really means nothing at this point. It really means nothing at this point and I kind of think it’s disrespectful to the guys that you really work with every day. That’s really how I view that. If I’m ever fortunate enough to be in that situation that’s when I’ll handle it, but as of right now, I’m really focusing on the opponent we’re about to play and getting us ready to try and play our best football.”

Although he didn’t specifically say it, Leftwich’s comments suggest that he hasn’t, and that he won’t, accept the invitation to interview for the job during the final two weeks of the regular season.

Regardless, Leftwich’s quarterback believes in him as a head coach.

“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 come up,” Tom Brady told reporters on Thursday. “Byron has been amazing for me to work with, and I know he will have a lot of opportunities. He will do a great job.”

Leftwich seems to be focused on his current job. The NFL’s interview protocol creates an inherent distraction, and the new procedure extends the distraction two weeks earlier. Some think that no head-coaching jobs should be filled until the postseason has ended. While it would delay the hiring process for teams that need coaches, it would let the assistant coaches who become candidates for those jobs focus exclusively on their current gigs.

Leftwich, to his credit, seems to be exclusively focused on his current gig. Even if it may keep him from getting his next one.

12 responses to “Byron Leftwich isn’t thinking about Jaguars’ interest in him

  1. Brandon Staley said similar things last year when he was with the Rams, but he turned in the worst defensive performance of the year against Green Bay in the playoffs once he knew he was a lock for that Chargers gig.

  2. Maybe if the Jags had the same owner as when Byron played…
    The new owner probably has no attachment to consider him over the others…
    I’m sure he is under pressure to finally get it right, not just because there is history!

  3. Good for Leftwich! I seem to remember back when he was playing backup QB for the Steelers, there were folks saying he’d likely be a great coach in the future. He seems like a solid dude and I wish him the best.

    The interview process starting before the Super Bowl is a ridiculous distraction and a disservice to all potential candidates. I don’t understand the need for it – there’s still plenty of football at this point of the season to keep the NFL in the news cycle.

  4. There is no reason that the hiring of head coaches couldn’t wait until after the super bowl for all of these assistant coaches to get an opportunity and still focus on their duties for their current team.

  5. At least he’s saying all the right things, which at least give the look of head coach material.

  6. I think Leftwich is headed in the right direction and will probably have a couple of good opportunities come his way to be a HC. That being said, the Jags may not be a good opportunity. It doesn’t hurt to have a potential big time QB on his rookie deal, though.

  7. While I’ll always love Doug Pederson, I’d personally rather have Byron Leftwich as my next head coach over Doug.

  8. Leftwich can do better than Jacksonville. He probably needs a couple more seasons as an OC/Asst head coach but he is going to be a good one.

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