Why Leftwich Turned Down Jags’ HC Position

    • The Jaguars hired Doug Pederson to be their next head coach.
    • Buccaneers OC Byron Leftwich reportedly withdrew from consideration, refusing to work with GM Trent Baalke.

On Thursday, the Jacksonville Jaguars hired Doug Pederson to be their next head coach — a solid hire for the perennially struggling organization in the wake of the Urban Meyer disaster.

Even so, the move is seen as yet another misstep by owner Shad Khan, after Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich — the slam-dunk pick for the position — reportedly withdrew from consideration, refusing to work with GM Trent Baalke.

Leftwich’s numbers in Tampa suggest Khan should’ve acquiesced to the Super Bowl-winning OC and ousted Baalke.

  • In the three seasons under Leftwich, Tampa Bay’s offense ranked first in the NFL with 29.8 points per game.
  • In 2019, the Bucs were first in yards (302.8) and fourth in points per game (28.6) — in a pre-Tom Brady offense run by Jameis Winston.
  • Brady and Bruce Arians have repeatedly endorsed Leftwich for head coaching jobs.

The former Jags QB is still a beloved figure in Duval County: Amid rumors of his hiring, Leftwich’s jersey became the team’s No. 2 bestseller behind current QB Trevor Lawrence.

Baalke, on the other hand, has a checkered history as an executive.

After initial success with Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco — whom he didn’t actually hire — Baalke’s three HC choices (Jim Tomsula, Chip Kelly, and Meyer) were all fired during or after their first seasons.

Khan’s $8 billion net worth makes him the NFL’s fourth-richest owner — but Jacksonville has made only one playoff appearance in the last 14 years.

Still, Pederson did win a Super Bowl…