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Byron Leftwich top candidate to become Jacksonville Jaguars head coach, huge ‘groundswell of support’

Matt Johnson

As the Jacksonville Jaguars conduct a new coaching search to replace Urban Meyer, former quarterback Byron Leftwich could be emerging as the most popular candidate to take over as the team’s head coach.

Drafted No. 7 overall by the Jaguars in the 2003 NFL Draft, Leftwich led this franchise from 2003-’06 and posted a 24-20 record as the starter with 51 touchdown passes and 29 rushing touchdowns. He ended his playing career in 2012 and joined Bruce Arians’ coaching staff with the Arizona Cardinals in 2017.

Ever since, he’s become arguably the most important assistant coach for Arians. He followed the future Hall of Famer from Arizona to Tampa Bay, calling plays for an explosive offense led by Jameis Winston in 2019. When Tom Brady arrived, Leftwich’s offense became the best in football

Now, a year after winning a Super Bowl, Leftwich could finally get an opportunity to become a head coach and it could be in a meaningful spot.

FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer reported Sunday that Leftwich is the No.1 name to watch in the Jaguars’ coaching search and there is a “groundswell of support” for him to be hired as the franchise’s next head coach.

Arians and Brady have both praised Leftwich heavily for his excellent play-calling, his game preparation and the level of trust he puts into his quarterback. All of those qualities are something that Trevor Lawrence would benefit greatly from.

NFL teams are allowed to start interviewing candidates after Week 16, opening the door for Jacksonville to speak to Leftwich. If he is ultimately hired, the Jaguars become a potential landing spot for Chris Godwin this offseason.