Dec 19, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich looks on in the second half against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Saints seek interviews with Byron Leftwich, Aaron Glenn

Sean Payton’s retirement created another coaching vacancy this week, and the New Orleans Saints’ search began taking shape on Thursday.

Multiple reports indicated Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, a finalist to become head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, was near the top of the list along with Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn.

Current defensive coordinator Dennis Allen reportedly interviewed for the opening. NFL Network reported earlier this week that Allen is considered the frontrunner for the job.

Conflicted reports Thursday indicated the Jaguars could seal the deal with Leftwich, but questions about front-office structure and roster control were thought to be challenges.

Leftwich, a quarterback in Jacksonville who has called the plays for division rival Tampa Bay under Bruce Arians, has never been a head coach.

Glenn spent five seasons as secondary coach of the Saints under Payton and is a former NFL cornerback. Glenn also has zero experience as a head coach.

–Field Level Media

Dec 19, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich walks off the field as they lost to the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Byron Leftwich, Doug Pederson among Jaguars’ early HC targets

For the second time, the Jacksonville Jaguars are hoping Byron Leftwich is ready to be the face of their franchise.

Leftwich was among the coaches the Jaguars formally requested permission to interview for their vacancy at head coach, per multiple reports. Currently the offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Leftwich has never been a head coach.

But he has experience leading the Jaguars as a quarterback.

A first-round pick out of Marshall, Leftwich was the No. 7 selection in 2003 and has been an assistant coach to Bruce Arians since 2017. He’s currently the offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles also is reportedly a candidate for the opening in Jacksonville.

In nine seasons with the Jaguars, Leftwich had 10,532 yards with 58 touchdowns and 42 interceptions.

Urban Meyer was fired on Dec. 16, when Jacksonville promoted offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell to interim coach. Bevell reportedly is in consideration to remain as head coach after this season.

Bowles was previously head coach of the New York Jets and drew acclaim for his Super Bowl-winning game plan against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Also on the early candidates list for the Jaguars, per multiple reports, are Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, former Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson and Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

Pederson went to the playoffs three times in five seasons with the Eagles, including a Super Bowl win, posting a 42-37 overall record.

–Field Level Media

Nov 28, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Byron Leftwich early favorite to be Jags’ next coach

The Jacksonville Jaguars may tap a bright spot from their past in an attempt to move on from the short — and tumultuous — tenure of Urban Meyer.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich opened as the +400 favorite by SportsBetting.ag to be the Jaguars’ next head coach after Meyer was fired Wednesday night.

Leftwich was selected by the Jaguars with the seventh overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. He went on to start 44 of 46 games in four seasons with Jacksonville, and he ranks fourth in franchise history with both 9,042 passing yards and 51 touchdowns.

Leftwich played one of his nine NFL seasons with Tampa Bay, and the 41-year-old is now in his third season as the Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator.

The Jaguars are expected to go with an offensive-minded head coach to continue the development of quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft.

After Leftwich, the next-shortest odds belong to Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore at +500.

Just behind him is Darrell Bevell (+550), who was the Jaguars’ OC before being named interim coach Wednesday night. Bevell has also served as the offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions.

Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is being offered at +700 along with Joe Brady, who was fired as the Carolina Panthers’ OC earlier this month.

Along with several more NFL assistants on the list are three current NFL head coaches: Seattle’s Pete Carroll (+1400), San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan (+1600) and Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin (+2500).

Two assistants who are not on SportsBetting.ag’s list are Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris. Morris has previous head coaching experience with the New York Jets, while O’Connell is a former quarterback, as were Leftwich and Moore.

Jaguars Next Coach Odds:
Byron Leftwich: +400
Kellen Moore: +500
Darrell Bevell: +550
Eric Bieniemy: +700
Joe Brady: +700
Doug Pederson: +900
Brian Daboll: +1000
Matt Eberflus: +1000
Josh McDaniels: +1400
Pete Carroll: +1400
Jim Caldwell: +1600
Kyle Shanahan: +1600
Marvin Lewis: +1600
Mike Tomlin: +2500

Jaguars owner Shad Khan is not expected to dip into the college ranks again after the failed Meyer experiment.

Meanwhile, Meyer’s coaching future remains murky at best. The sportsbook is offering +200 odds that Meyer will coach somewhere in college next year vs. -300 that he will not.

–Field Level Media

Oct 25, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) with offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs OC Byron Leftwich on SB plan: Attack, attack, attack

Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich embraced the Bruce Arians phrase “no risk it, no biscuit” and applied it to his weekly game planning sessions with quarterback Tom Brady.

“It’s really just — attack,” Leftwich said Monday, articulating the Arians mantra. “Score points. This isn’t the same league where you ran the ball and got two yards on first down. The slogan is perfect for the way this team is playing right now. We just happen to have players at skill positions that can get at people … short, medium, long. No matter what, empty it. Make sure you have nothing left. Attack, attack, attack and try to win the football game.”

Leftwich and Brady have been in attack mode since their first sitdown prior to training camp. It took time to jell, but Leftwich said he enters Sunday with a full understanding of how Brady will respond to what he’s seeing on the field each play.

“I’m not really shocked we’re here in this game to be honest with you,” Leftwich said. “I remember at the end of last season, telling myself, ‘If I’m a free agent quarterback, I’m coming to Tampa.’”

Brady did come to Tampa and is starting a 10th Super Bowl on Sunday. The Buccaneers knocked off the top two seeds in the NFC playoffs to earn the right to play at Raymond James Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Leftwich, who went to the Super Bowl as a backup quarterback with the Steelers, said he’s pleased to be in the final game of the season again. But he would have loved for his players to have the full Super Bowl experience.

“I wish that our guys could have the real experience of what it really is,” Leftwich said. “The experience is a little different this year. Obviously we’re doing it through video. I would love for them to have been in a different year, different circumstance, to experience it the way I experienced it. This is the time to enjoy it.”

–Field Level Media