Byron Leftwich Leads the List of Candidates to Be the Jacksonville Jaguars Next Head Coach
This past week, the Jacksonville Jaguars fired first-year head coach Urban Meyer. Jacksonville was hoping Meyer would usher in a new era of Jacksonville football. Instead, his tenure was full of turmoil and controversy.
Meyer’s time in Jacksonville was an absolute disaster, from benching his star player to physically kicking his kicker.
Well now that that’s over, it’s time to see who will replace Meyer and lead Jacksonville back to relevance. Let’s check out the candidates via SportsBetting.ag.
Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Odds
Urban Meyer’s firing has given us our first head coach opening of 2021. Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich is the favorite, but he is far from the only candidate.
Three more offensive coordinators follow him. Kellen Moore has been leading an elite Dallas Cowboys offense for three seasons, while Eric Bieniemy could be the latest coach to join the Andy Reid coaching tree.
Darrell Bevell would make for the easiest transition. He currently serves as the Jacksonville Jaguars interim head coach.
As we go down the list, Doug Pederson is a very intriguing option. Pederson won the Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017 but hasn’t coached this season. Maybe the Jaguars pull him back into coaching.
At the end of the day, there’s a reason Leftwich stands out above the other candidates. Let’s discuss.
Why Is Leftwich Favored to Be the Jaguars Next Head Coach?
Byron Leftwich’s connection with the Jacksonville Jaguars goes back to 2003. That’s when the Jaguars selected him seventh overall in the NFL Draft.
The quarterback played four seasons with the Jaguars, helping them make the playoffs in 2005. From there, he became a career backup with the Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Leftwich didn’t have a great playing career, averaging less than 215 yards per game and throwing 58 touchdowns to 42 interceptions. However, we’ve seen him excel as a coach.
In 2017, Bruce Arians hired Leftwich as quarterbacks coach of the Arizona Cardinals. That season, the Cardinals had multiple changes at quarterback. Check out how many games each played.
- Carson Palmer: 7
- Blaine Gabbert: 5
- Drew Stanton: 4
Despite the troubles, Leftwich helped the Cardinals rank 15th in passing yards. Arizona fired him following the 2018 season.
In 2019, Leftwich reunited with Arians in Tampa Bay. He took over as their offensive coordinator. Arians had high praise for Leftwich, saying he wouldn’t have taken the job if Leftwich wasn’t available.
Last season, Leftwich teamed up with Tom Brady. Together, they brought Tampa Bay their first Super Bowl in nearly 20 years. This season, the Buccaneers lead the NFL in yards and points.
Leftwich’s success alone should put him in position for head coaching opportunities. His ties to Jacksonville should put him at the top of the Jaguars candidates. Owner Shad Khan has reportedly already mentioned Leftwich as a candidate.
While Shad Khan has said he won’t address the #Jags’ new HC position until 2022, league sources say he’s discussed Byron Leftwich, Brian Daboll, Todd Bowles, Doug Pederson and Josh McDaniels — who has previously interviewed in Jacksonville — as early candidates of interest.— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) December 17, 2021
A big reason the Jaguars hired Urban Meyer was his ties to the Jacksonville area. It’s clear that’s one of Khan’s biggest desires for the Jaguars head coach.
Leftwich deserves to be the top candidate.
The State of the Jacksonville Jaguars
Aside from a surprising playoff run in 2017, the Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t finished above .500 since 2007. They need a head coach to come in and bring a winning culture.
Jacksonville’s offense has young pieces, including Trevor Lawrence, James Robinson, and DJ Chark. They could be a playoff contender in two years with the right coach.
Offense is their biggest issue right now, so it makes sense to hire an offensive coach. Byron Leftwich should be their top choice, but if he isn’t interested, they should reach out to Kellen Moore or Eric Bieniemy.
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