PALM HARBOR — In only his second full season of calling plays, Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich helped lead the Bucs to a Super Bowl 55 win over Kansas City with Tom Brady at quarterback.
The Bucs owned the league’s second-ranked passing offense, averaging 384.1 yards per game. Brady, 43 and in his first season in a new offense, passed for 4,633 yards and 40 touchdowns with 12 interceptions during the regular season.
But when it came time for hiring head coaches, only two of seven openings were filled by minority candidates.
Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, the Jets head coach from 2015-18, interviewed for the Falcons and Eagles head coaching jobs and turned down a similar request from the Lions.
Leftwich, a 41-year-old former NFL quarterback, did not get a single phone call.
But Leftwich is not interested in becoming Eric Bieniemy, the Chiefs offensive coordinator who is the king of head coaching snubs in the NFL.
Leftwich said he is perfectly content with continuing to call plays for the Bucs and hopes to help them defend their Super Bowl title.
“I’m telling you guys now, I’m not going to be answering any questions all year, right? I am happy to be here with my group of guys that I work with,” Leftwich said Sunday ahead of the Arians Family Foundation dinner and concert at Innisbrook Golf Resort.
“I am not trying to leave this group that I have. I enjoy working with this group of men. It’s an excellent group of men to come to work with every day, the way they come to work. As a coach, you beg and wish that you coach guys like this. So I’m in no rush to leave this group of men.”
In February, Arians called Leftwich not scoring at least one head coaching interview “a farce.”
“I was very, very pissed that Byron didn’t at least get an interview this year,” Arians said. “... 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.”
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