Buccaneers' OC Byron Leftwich Not Focused on Lack of Head Coaching Interviews

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich during NFL football practice, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021 in Tampa, Fla. The Buccaneers will face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 55. (Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers via AP)
Kyle Zedaker/Associated Press

Byron Leftwich is "in no rush" to leave his post as the offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Rick Stroud @NFLSTROUD

Bucs coach Bruce Arians called it a “farce” that Byron Leftwich didn’t get an interview for an NFL HC job. Leftwich says he’s not focused on that and you won’t hear him complain. He loves being the Bucs’ offensive coordinator. https://t.co/2dldw6s5PQ

Leftwich's comments came as Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians has expressed frustration in the past about his assistant's lack of outside interest for open head coaching gigs.

Eric Bieniemy is often used as the avatar for the lack of diversity in the NFL's coaching ranks. Despite helping build one of the league's best offenses with the Kansas City Chiefs, he has yet to get the promotion bestowed on his predecessors.

Doug Pederson was the Chiefs' offensive coordinator for three years before the Philadelphia Eagles hired him, and Matt Nagy only worked in the role for two years before the Chicago Bears came calling.

Like Bieniemy, Leftwich has arguably done more than enough to warrant serious consideration whenever an NFL head coaching vacancy arises.

The Arizona Cardinals had the worst offense in the NFL in 2018, when Leftwich was in his first year as a coordinator. That was probably less due to coaching and more due to starting an overmatched Josh Rosen for 13 games.

Upon joining Arians in Tampa Bay, however, Leftwich has overseen offenses that finished top 10 in yards and points in 2019 and 2020. The Bucs' Super Bowl LV win didn't result in him becoming a highly sought-after target in the coaching market, though.

Speaking with reporters in February, Arians made sure to credit Leftwich for the offense's success:

"I was very, very pissed that Byron didn't at least get an interview this year. For the job that he's done ... I think I get way too much credit and so does Tom Brady for the job that Byron has done. Hopefully next year people will see that he took Jameis Winston and broke every single record here, scoring and passing, and now Tom has broken both. He's done a fantastic job, he's everything supposedly what people are looking for, although this year was kind of a defensive cycle."

Leftwich turned 41 in January, which is somewhat young in coaching terms. But Nick Sirianni (39), Arthur Smith (38) and Brandon Staley (38) are all younger and got hired this offseason. Staley was an NFL coordinator for one season before the Los Angeles Chargers brought him aboard.

If the Buccaneers continue to boast a potent aerial attack in 2021, then some big questions will begin to emerge if Leftwich is once again frozen out of the coaching carousel.