The Jacksonville Jaguars will be taking a major step in their search for Urban Meyer's replacement on Tuesday.
Jaguar Report has confirmed multiple reports that the Jaguars will conduct a second interview with Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich on Tuesday, two days after Tampa's elimination from the playoffs and several weeks after Leftwich's first interview with the franchise. Eric Dillard of the 'Bold Take' podcast was first to report Leftwich's interview.
Leftwich is the second known coach to be granted a second interview with the Jaguars during this year's process. Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus had a second interview with the Jaguars last week, making him the first of the Jaguars' several candidates to be given a second interview.
Now, Leftwich will join Eberflus on the Jaguars' shortlist, with many presuming the former Jaguars offensive coordinator to be the leading favorite in the race to take over where Meyer failed.
Leftwich is best known in Jacksonville as a former Jaguars quarterback, though the former starting quarterback and long-time backup has cut his teeth as an offensive coordinator for the past several seasons.
Leftwich spent four seasons with the Jaguars after being selected in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft. Leftwich's tenure with the Jaguars was a short one that ended in him being replaced at quarterback by David Garrard, but Leftwich made a strong impression on teammates both in and outside of Jacksonville throughout his playing career.
After a playing career that saw him spend time with the Falcons, Buccaneers, and Steelers, Leftwich was hired by Arians during the 2016 training camp to assist with coaching the Cardinals' quarterbacks, before eventually being hired as the team's full-time quarterbacks coach the next year. Leftwich was retained in his role by new head coach Steve Wilks in 2018, eventually being promoted to interim offensive coordinator following the firing of Mike McCoy.
After Wilks was fired following the 2018 season, Leftwich again reunited with Arians as Arians became the head coach of the Buccaneers after a year away from coaching. Leftwich was named Arians' offensive coordinator and was given play-calling duties as the Buccaneers saw Jameis Winston break every major franchise passing record in 2019.
Leftwich remained in his role the next two seasons as Winston was replaced by Tom Brady, with Brady going on to break all of the offensive records Winston set the year before as Tampa Bay marched toward a Super Bowl title. Since Leftwich's first year, the Buccaneer's offensive DVOA has improved year, going from No. 23, to No. 3, to No. 1 in 2021.
Tampa Bay lost 30-27 to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, freeing up Leftwich for a second interview with the team and potentially speeding along a process that has seemingly been focused partly on him.
Despite the Jaguars having a number of available candidates to speak to last week, Eberflus was the lone coach they granted a second interview. As such, it can be expected the Jaguars were waiting on Leftwich and even Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.