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Jaguars request permission to interview Byron Leftwich, Todd Bowles

Now that NFL teams with coaching vacancies can begin interviewing assistants, Mike Florio and Chris Simms question why more teams haven’t made their coaching decisions clear, in order to start the search process early.

Back in 2003, the Jaguars selected quarterback Byron Leftwich at No. 7 overall. He played four seasons for Jacksonville before he lost a quarterback competition to David Gerrard in 2007.

Now Leftwich could be the Jaguars’ next head coach.

According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the Jaguars have requested permission to interview Leftwich, the Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator, for their coaching vacancy. Multiple reports indicate that the Jaguars have also requested permission to interview Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

One of two teams with current coaching vacancies, Jacksonville is taking advantage of the NFL’s new rule that teams may request and conduct virtual interviews with candidates over the last two weeks of the regular season.

Leftwich played nine seasons, throwing for 10,532 yards with 58 touchdowns and 42 interceptions. He’s spent four years as an offensive coordinator, the last three with Tampa Bay where he has called plays.

Bowles was the Jets head coach from 2015-2018, compiling a 24-40 record. He was the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator under Bruce Arians from 2013-2014 and has been in the same role with the Buccaneers since 2019.

Jacksonville fired head coach Urban Meyer after just 13 games on Dec. 16.