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Last week the Jaguars interviewed both Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich for Jacksonville’s head coaching vacancy. Bowles interviewed on Monday and Leftwich interviewed on Friday.

Now another team wants to interview both of Tampa Bay’s coordinators, according to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Chicago has plans to interview Bowles, who is the league’s highest-paid defensive coordinator, and Leftwich for its head coach position. Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace were fired on Monday after the Bears finished 6-11. Tampa Bay beat Chicago, 38-3, earlier this season at Raymond James Stadium.

Per NFL rules, teams with head coaching vacancies cannot interview coaches on teams that are in the playoffs this week. Teams will have to formally request an interview next Monday following the first round of the playoffs, and those interviews cannot take place until next week.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, OC Byron Leftwich and QB Tom Brady

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, OC Byron Leftwich and QB Tom Brady – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bowles has previous head coaching experience in New York where he coached the Jets from 2015-18. He was fired after four seasons with a 26-41 (.338) record. His best season was his first in 2015, guiding the Jets to a 10-5 record but missing the playoffs. After a pair of 5-11 seasons, Bowles was fired after finishing 4-12 in 2018.

Bowles was also an interim head coach in Miami in 2011, finishing with a 2-1 record.

Leftwich has no head coaching experience. But he has directed one of the league’s most prolific offenses since taking over the play-calling duties in 2019.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians has been openly supportive of both Bowles and Leftwich interviewing for head coaching opportunities at the NFL level. He said that it’s not a distraction from Tampa Bay’s playoff preparation.

“Those guys are pros and they both took different times during the day where there is downtime for them,” Arians said. “I have all the confidence that it’s not a distraction whatsoever and I’m pulling for both of them.”

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

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: sr@pewterreport.com
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Horse
Horse(@horse)
9 days ago

They have earned the interviews.

CalifBuc
CalifBuc(@califbuc)
Reply to  Horse
9 days ago

I respect Arians’ distributive leadership style of supporting his coaches and holding them accountable. It’s never always about Arians. And there doesn’t seem to be administrative or coaching drama

bucballer
bucballer(@bucballer)
Reply to  CalifBuc
8 days ago

It’s about legacy for Coach BA at this point. He’s got one foot out the door and the other one in some prime fishing hole!

SenileSenior
SenileSenior(@xpfcwintergreen)
9 days ago

I agree they have both have earned real consideration. Obviously, you would think Bowles has an edge because he has had previous head coaching experience.
I wonder how each does in an one-on-one job interview. They both have to perform dramatically different than they do in their pressers. 😉
Put yourself in the shoes of an owner who really wants to have a winning franchise. I would not want any hint of bs. I would want the guy to convince me completely. … “This is the guy for this job!
Best wishes for both of them!

Dave
Dave(@blackwater)
9 days ago

The Rooney rule continues to be a disgrace and slap in the face to minorities. We know why these interviews are taking place, and we know neither of these coaches are deserving of consideration. Leftwich has the most predictable offense in the NFL, which would be an abysmal failure if he didn’t have the best QB to ever play running it. Our defense under Bowles has been shredded by virtually everyone, including no-name and rookie QB’s. His scheme is terrible and every single person, especially opposing offensive coordinator’s, knows it. But by all means, proceed in pretending this is anything… Read more »

Last edited 9 days ago by Dave
fredster
fredster(@fredster)
Reply to  Dave
9 days ago

Agree rule is bull shit. Best person gets job if your think they are”racist” don’t interview with them! I owned restaurants and retired and always best person got job I didn’t give shit what color they were etc. as far as Leftwhich he’s still learning and not great. He is too predictable and I seriously doubt without Brady and plethora of stellar weapons he’d have much success elsewhere as coordinator let alone a head coach. Bowles I feel is at least good. He has been shredded but we haven’t had a damn secondary healthy all year and lot other key… Read more »

SenileSenior
SenileSenior(@xpfcwintergreen)
Reply to  fredster
8 days ago

Hey guys, lighten up a bit. Not all of us see others as we see ourselves. I know I am biased about many other things than race only. The Rooney rule will go the way of school busing for integration sooner or later. Young people may not even have much of an idea about what that was all about not so long ago.
___________________
Go Bucs!!!

Captain Sly
Captain Sly(@captain-sly)
Reply to  fredster
8 days ago

Fredster, Respectfully I disagree with you and honestly disappointed in the levels of ignorance in your comment. The best person didn’t always get your jobs, only the best person that you interviewed that day got your jobs. You see the Rooney Rule only makes it possible for every “qualified applicant” with no respect to color be interviewed. Not one Black Coach has asked to be hired simply because of his color, he just wants an “equal opportunity” at the job like everyone else. Cheers!

bucballer
bucballer(@bucballer)
Reply to  Dave
8 days ago

If, if, if Dave! Facts r that the Bucs have a top five Offense and Defense despite an ungodly amount of injuries and COVID! Both Coaches warrant an interview! But, getting a Head Coaching job now…well that’s a different story. 13 wins bro! Why the negativity? The playoffs start this week! Let’s get after guys! It’s so hard to get here! Let’s just do the impossible…AGAIN!

bucballer
bucballer(@bucballer)
8 days ago

Price of doing business. Especially after a SuperBowl win. Teams attempt to upgrade their fortunes by plundering the SuperBowl Champs coaching ranks in hoping to find their Lombardy that will lead them to the SuperBowl. Wishing both Coach Bowles and BL success in upgrading their current fortunes.

Dman
Dman(@dman)
8 days ago

Good for Bowles and BL. I’d like to think we’ve got a succession plan to keep Bowles. BA won’t be around forever.

scubog
scubog(@scubog)
8 days ago

Let me get this straight. We’re now totally ignoring the end-result of the Byron Leftwich offense because any success is due purely to Tom Brady? Hmmmm, seems to me Jameis Winston thrived in it, if not for his own propensity to throw interceptions. I really don’t get this disdain for the guy who, at least in part, contributed to the team’s offensive success and championship. Likewise with Todd Bowles. Doesn’t he at least deserve some credit for piecing together a secondary literally comprised of players off the street? It’s a sad state when some are so negatively judgemental, think they… Read more »

bucballer
bucballer(@bucballer)
Reply to  scubog
8 days ago

What has Lefty actually done? Nipples said Brady calls ALL the plays. What exactly does BL actually do then?

scubog
scubog(@scubog)
Reply to  bucballer
7 days ago

Well, I do see B.L. on the sidelines with a pad of some kind. Maybe “Lefto” let’s Tom borrow his “Etch-A-Sketch” to draw up the only plays that will work. No doubt a lot of play action and short Mike Glennon style dink passes on 3rd and short. LOL!

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