Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich had zero interest in taking questions about the open head coach job in Jacksonville during a press conference on Thursday.
“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 when asked about the Jaguars’ job.
Jacksonville fired head coach Urban Meyer earlier this month when the Jaguars were 2-11 and overwhelmed with a barrage of controversial headlines about the former Ohio State coach. Leftwich, along with Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, is among the candidates the team plans to interview.
Leftwich, a former NFL quarterback for the Jaguars from 2003 to 2006, maintained that he is focused on Tampa Bay’s next task.
The Buccaneers, who already clinched the NFC South title in a Week 16 win over the Panthers, will travel to New York to play the Jets 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,” Leftwich said.
“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.”
Earlier this month, Leftwich got up and walked away during a press conference when asked about the open job in Jacksonville.
“I’m trying to win the division,” Leftwich said at the time, laughing as he walked off.
Per the NFL’s rule change this season, teams were allowed to start pursuing coordinators starting Tuesday, as opposed to having to wait until after the end of the regular season.
Leftwich was an NFL quarterback from 2003–12, and also played for the Falcons, Buccaneers and the Steelers in two separate stints. He won Super Bowl XLIII with Pittsburgh after the 2008 season, and won a championship as a coach with the Buccaneers in February.
While Leftwich claims not to have given the Jaguars gig a thought, his quarterback in Tom Brady said he believes 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. 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,” Brady said.
The Buccaneers finish the season at home against the Panthers in Week 18, before they begin the playoffs to try and defend their Super Bowl title.