The Jacksonville Jaguars have yet to hire their next head coach. At this point, though, we can safely say that it will not be former Jacksonville quarterback and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator, Byron Leftwich.
Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reported on Thursday that Leftwich is expected to remove himself from consideration for the opening.
Hearing Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich is expected to remove himself from consideration for the Jaguars head coaching job soon. Former Raiders interim HC Rich Bisaccia and former Eagles coach Doug Pederson remain strong candidates.
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) February 3, 2022
It had previously been reported that Leftwich wouldn’t work with general manager Trent Baalke. In fact, prior to the report that Leftwich was removing himself from consideration, John Reid of The Florida Times-Union reported that the feeling at the Senior Bowl was that Leftwich’s stance was a mistake.
Amazing at Senior Bowl the chatter is Byron Leftwich made a mistake that he made it known that he couldn't work with Trent Baalke when the question was presented to him. He suggested the Jaguars should hire his guy Adrian Wilson as GM.
— John Reid (@JohnReid64) February 3, 2022
Both of those reports had plenty of people scratching their heads. A general feeling from Reid’s report was that Leftwich’s stance was not a mistake or anything close to it.
Where’s the mistake? https://t.co/92QUSCei0h
— Kevin Fielder 🇫🇮 (@TheKevinFielder) February 3, 2022
GMs and Head coaches have to be on the same page.
It’s not a “mistake” for Byron Leftwich to want a top tier GM for him to take the job. He knows he only gets 1 shot at head coach and setting yourself up for failure is a bad idea. https://t.co/iUuVm76H29
— George Wrighster III (@georgewrighster) February 3, 2022
Ask 49er fans about Trent Baalke. Byron Leftwich was not being unreasonable. https://t.co/QbXTWFLFPE
— Down And Out Bad In DFW (@Kennymack1971) February 3, 2022
Don’t ever take a job where you don’t feel confident in the management and the people you work with. Not just in sports and the NFL but anywhere. https://t.co/Tt0AXctZPe
— Antwan V. Staley (@antwanstaley) February 3, 2022
Looking at Baalke's track record and the short timeframes Black head coaches get to build a winning culture, how can anyone blame Leftwich for this? Why would any head coach want to handcuff their career and potential for success to Trent Baalke? https://t.co/Hi3hBCi2Fr
— Jeanna Kelley (@jeannathomas) February 3, 2022
Indeed, Baalke’s track record shows the danger in a coach and general manager not being a package deal.
He was the general manager for the San Francisco 49ers when Jim Harbaugh was hired. A reported power struggle between those two ended when Harbaugh left the 49ers to coach the University of Michigan. Baalke was again the general manager when Jim Tomsula was hired in 2015. Tomsula went 5-11 and was a one-and-done. But Baalke remained San Francisco’s general manager in 2016 when Chip Kelly was hired. After a 2-14 season, Kelly was fired. Finally, Baalke was, too.
With that in mind, the general feeling around Stroud’s report was that Leftwich dodged a messy bullet.
“You guys can keep that mess”- Leftwich, probably https://t.co/EWgpPOCGoJ
— Mike Golic Jr (@mikegolicjr) February 3, 2022
Somewhere, Urban Meyer is smiling… and probably dancing at a nightclub. https://t.co/PxqMR29BAJ
— Black&Teal (@BLACKandTEAL) February 3, 2022
The fact that people would rather NOT work with Trent Baalke than be able to coach Trevor Lawrence should by far be the biggest red flag for the owner 🚩🚩 https://t.co/qyWTckSjDN
— Mateo (@KhalilDrogo) February 3, 2022
I don’t blame him. Shad Khan is sabotaging this franchise. He is the Rachel Phelps of the NFL. https://t.co/SbrPcfazMg
— Coach Duggs (@CoachDuggs) February 3, 2022
I don’t blame Leftwich one bit. The #Jaguars continue to be a mess at all levels. Their list of interested (and viable) candidates for HC is going to be slim just like the #Texans until they rid themselves of their god-awful front office. https://t.co/uJr2owGpXS
— Doug Moore (@DMooreNFL) February 3, 2022
It sounds like the Jaguars have gotten themselves into an awful mess. Or, in other words, just another day at the office in Jacksonville.