JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (Editor's Note: The above video is from Friday, January 28, 2022. First Coast News will update this story as more information becomes available).
After weeks of hearing next-to-nothing on the Jaguars' head coaching search and radio silence from the camp of once-lead front-runner Bryon Leftwich, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times is now reporting that Leftwich is set to remove his name from consideration "soon."
Stroud was among those reporters, which also included First Coast News, who learned last week that a deal between the Jaguars and Leftwich was imminent, only to hit unknown road blocks in the week that followed.
Leftwich is expected to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he has served as offensive coordinator the past three seasons. While quarterback Tom Brady has announced his retirement, head coach Bruce Arians is expected to return.
On Tuesday, Jan. 25, multiple reports claimed that, after spending more than five hours interviewing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator, the team entered negotiations with Leftwich. Eric Dillard of local Jaguars Twitter acclaim was the first to officially report the news regarding Leftwich Tuesday evening.
The speculation continued to swirl the following 48 hours, including rumors that Leftwich had said he would not work with current general manager Trent Baalke, instead suggesting bringing in Arizona Cardinals up-and-coming executive Adrian Wilson. For the week that followed, there was no news from Leftwich's camp or the Jaguars' on the Leftwich front.
The team interviewed former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson for a second time this past Tuesday. They are also reportedly moving closer to hiring former Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman in an executive role.
A star at Marshall University (1998-2002), Leftwich was selected seventh overall by the Jaguars in the 2003 NFL Draft. He took over as the starting quarterback in game four of his rookie season, after Mark Brunell was injured. In four seasons with Jacksonville, Leftwich won 24 games in 38 starts, but was plagued by ankle injuries in 2005 and 2006.
He was abruptly cut at the end of 2007 training camp, despite then head coach Jack Del Rio reaffirming his commitment to Leftwich that off-season.
Leftwich then bounced around the league as a back-up with the Falcons, Steelers, and Buccaneers. It was in Pittsburgh that Leftwich first worked with then-Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. But Leftwich never won another game as a starter after leaving Jacksonville.