Byron Leftwich is among those being considered by the Jacksonville Jaguars to become its latest head coach. But what’s top of mind for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator is Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
“I really think it’s disrespectful to the Jets and whoever you’re playing that week when you’re talking about things that really has nothing to do with Sunday’s game,” Leftwich said Thursday, via the team’s official transcript. “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.”
The Jags former first-round pick is among the hot candidate names this hiring cycle. His familiarity with the franchise and the success of the Bucs offense could make him the ideal candidate to work with Trevor Lawrence.
The new NFL rules allow clubs who have fired coaches or informed a coach he will not be retained to begin interviews in the final weeks of the season.
Asked Thursday if he would rather the interview process be after the regular season or even the postseason, Leftwich responded: “I don’t even think about it.”
A head-coaching job might not be on Leftwich’s mind now, but when it does, he has a glowing review from the G.O.A.T., Tom Brady, to share. TB12 said Thursday that his OC “absolutely” deserves a head-coaching job.
“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,” Brady said. “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.”
For now, Leftwich will focus on his current task, which is the Jets on Sunday, the Carolina Panthers in Week 18, and then the playoffs as the Bucs attempt to defend their Super Bowl title.
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