Chicago Bears Coaching Carousel: Getting to know Byron Leftwich

Chicago Bears - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Bears season is nearing its end and many fans have had their mind made up for a very long time on what to do with Matt Nagy. With the Bears officially eliminated from the playoffs and the end near, many have turned to look at head coaching candidates.

As the title suggests, we’ll be continuing our series of getting to know several of the assumed head coaching candidates. My most recent article was done on Leslie Fraizer and could be found here. Today we move to a very intriguing name, Byron Leftwich.

The Chicago Bears absolutely should have an eye on Byron Leftwich as their next head coach

Byron Leftwich is still pretty new to the coaching scene but at one point, was thought to be the franchise QB for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars drafted Leftwich 7th overall in the 2003 draft.

Leftwich stuck around on the Jaguars for a few years before eventually losing the starting spot to backup QB David Garrard. It’s fair to call Leftwich a bust when you consider where he was drafted. Leftwich had a cannon and could move well despite being on the larger side, many comparisons were made to Vikings QB Dante Culpepper.

After his stint in Jacksonville, Leftwich mostly remained a backup for the rest of his career. From 2007-2012 he bounced around from the Falcons, Steelers, and Buccaneers before retiring in 2012.

In 2016, Leftwich officially started coaching for a team. Being brought in by Bruce Arians as part of the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff. He started off as an intern on the staff before working his way up to the ranks to eventually be an OC. Leftwich was then let go in 2018, along with HC Steve Wilks.

His unemployment, however, was very short-lived. Not even two weeks after he was fired, Leftwich resurfaced as the offensive coordinator in Tampa Bay, reuniting with Bruce Arians. Since 2020, Leftwich has been the primary play-caller for a formidable Buccaneers offense.

Final Verdict

Byron Leftwich is truly a fascinating candidate in my opinion. On the surface, he’s the young up-and-coming play-caller that many teams are after. The biggest question to me is his overall lack of experience as a coach.

He’s clearly a disciple of Bruce Arians, who coached him in Pittsburgh at one point. Arians, has a lot of faith in Leftwich as a play-caller, evidenced by letting him call plays these past two years. I think Leftwich is a top candidate overall but I wouldn’t put him at the top of my list. Although, he could be difficult to snag anyway as rumors are the Jaguars are very interested in him.

His lack of coaching experience is worrisome and let’s face it, the offense he has in Tampa Bay is absolutely loaded. That being said, I do feel that Leftwich has all the makings to be a great coach of the future.

Next. Chicago Bears coaching stock report. dark

If the Chicago Bears show long-term commitment to Leftwich, they could have something special. Leftwich may not be my number one choice but I would firmly have him in my top five candidates. As usual, let me know in the comments how you would feel about Byron Leftwich, and any other candidates you would like to see.