June 2, 2023

Byron Leftwich should have taken Jacksonville Jaguars HC job

Image for article titled Maybe Byron Leftwich shoulda took that Jacksonville Jaguars' job

Graphic: AP

Not extensive in the past, previous NFL QB Byron Leftwich was a hot-shot coaching prospect du jour. Very last offseason, the moribund Jacksonville Jaguars — the team that drafted him — in individual, have been ready to go all in on Leftwich as their next head mentor.

Contemporary studies in 2022 depicted Leftwich as the presumptive successor to City Meyer, who was on the one-yard-line of a offer. Then, Leftwich fully commited a traditional folly and grew to become a cautionary tale by turning down the gig immediately after ownership balked at his Trent Baalke ultimatum.

Nevertheless, Leftwich forgot that the perception of offensive genius has a shorter lifespan than an avocado. Below very poor situations, factors can go negative quickly. Aspiring NFL coaches don’t transform down one particular of the 32 most significant-profile work opportunities in the Nationwide Soccer League for fantastic rationale. (Stares at Ben Johnson). Especially for a single of the Black assistant coaches in the NFL. In particular a person that would have allowed him to operate with a single of the NFL’s ideal young sign-callers, Trevor Lawrence.

Leftwich’s tenure as Tampa Bay’s OC

In a single calendar yr, the Bucs’ 11.7 level variance in between 2022 and 2023 was the biggest offensive scoring drop in league record. 1 of the culprits for the offensive landslide was Tampa Bay’s tattered offensive line. Their interior offensive line struggles sabotaged their floor activity and compelled Tom Brady’s 45-year-old arm to endeavor a file 790 passes.

Just after Bruce Arians retired in 2021, Leftwich’s relationship with Brady was regarded one of the causes for his return. With all of his expertise and gravitas, if Brady required Leftwich to stay in his recent capability, he would have vouched for him.

But, Brady’s advancing age is the other elephant in the space that evidently was ignored for the duration of the evaluation of Leftwich. With no sufficient protection, Brady eventually seemed and threw like he’d laid eyes upon the decaying portrait of himself hidden in the attic.

Most of the NFL entrance office’s coaching lookups are primarily based on capricious metrics. For three years, Leftwich coordinated just one of the leading offenses in soccer. Sean McVay was an offensive genius right until his roster imploded.

With McVay calling the plays, Los Angeles’ offense in 2022 was the league’s 23rd very best in accordance to Football Outsider’s offensive DVOA ratings. McVay dodged responsibility for the downturn and rightfully so. The Rams have been a single of the NFL’s additional injury-riddled groups. Cooper Kupp missed the 2nd 50 percent. Matt Stafford started off out the 12 months with a pitcher’s elbow and finished his time with an extremely karmic spinal contusion.

The similar detail occurred all through their very first Super Bowl hangover year in 2019. McVay’s Super Bowl gain granted him a grace interval although. Reportedly, Leftwich’s firing was made an olive branch to appease Brady.

The pinnacle of a coordinator’s arc is as well risky to play chicken with an distinctive posture in one of the most remarkably competitive leagues in the entire world.