NFL.com came out with a list of hot coaching prospects for 2022 and the Bucs had two candidates make the cut. The criteria that NFL.com writer Tom Pelissero used was that the candidate had to be under 45 and never been a head coach at the NFL level before. Pelissero interviewed NFL executives, coaches and others close to the search process for the names on his list, which included Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.
Last year five new hires fit that criteria – Brandon Staley (Chargers), Arthur Smith (Falcons), Dan Campbell (Lions), Robert Saleh (Jets) and Nick Sirianni (Eagles). Here is what Pelissero had to say about Leftwich.
Bucs OLBs coach Larry Foote – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“Buccaneers OC Byron Leftwich, 41: One of the surprises of the last hiring cycle was Leftwich not getting a single interview request, even as he called plays for Tom Brady and a Bucs offense that made a Super Bowl run. That figures to change this time around. The 10-year NFL quarterback was once a backup in Pittsburgh under then-offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who hired Leftwich as QB coach in Arizona in 2017 and brought him along to Tampa two years later. An uninspiring stint as the interim OC for a doomed Cardinals team three years ago under Arians’ successor there, Steve Wilks, is further in the rearview now. And Leftwich continues to show he can manage a room with veterans such as Brady, who’s more than two years older than his OC and has made his love for Leftwich clear.”
Bucs outside linebackers coach Larry Foote was named on the honorable mention list in the same article by Pelissero. Foote has been credited for developing Shaq Barrett into a Pro Bowl and the league’s leading sacker in 2019 and assisting Jason Pierre-Paul in making the Pro Bowl last year.
Pewter Report has learned that Foote, who is 41, could be a candidate to take over as the Bucs’ defensive coordinator if Todd Bowles leaves for a head coaching opportunity elsewhere or gets promoted to head coach as Bruce Arians’ heir apparent.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com
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