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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New Bucs OC Byron Leftwich knows he has great opportunity

Florida Football Insiders



Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The next phase for the intriguing hire new Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians’ offensive coordinator took place on Friday, as Byron Leftwich met with the Tampa Bay media.

And Leftwich knows he’s being given a tremendous opportunity to not only the call plays, but mentor the Bucs star quarterback Jameis Winston

Leftwich knows the challenge ahead, but also knows he has weapons:

This is great. This is what this is about, man. The key is to have enough players to give yourself an opportunity to win football games and obviously, especially on the offensive side of the ball – I haven’t had a chance to see the defense – we have that. So now it’s putting guys in position to make plays so we can win football games. It’s never really about numbers or stats here. We’ve got to find a way to do what we can to win football games and I just love the coaches that we have here, as a whole.”

That starts with the boss, Arians, who labeled Leftwich, as a “rising star,” when Arians met the media last week.

One other part the press conference that was interesting is when the questions turned to estranged veteran wide receiver DeSean Jackson. As we wrote earlier on Friday morning, Jackson says he has not heard from anyone with the Buccaneers, including Arians, so far this month.

Not surprisingly, Leftwich said he’s not spoken with Jackson but intends to shortly and he also says and he’s focused on the future in the players at the Buccaneers will have.

It’s still unclear how much longer they’ll have Jackson, whose $10 million salary in the final year of his deal was Tampa Bay is not guaranteed.

Leftwich also knows if he has success, then in short order, he will be in demand for a possible head coaching opportunity as well.

But that’s still a large step away. The first step is to get Winston rolling and playing consistent football. And, he and the staff have to get the Buccaneers back to winning, which is something they haven’t done much of with nine losing seasons in the last eleven.

Leftwhich was part of one of those seasons in 2009 under first-year coach Raheem Morris, where he started the first three games,  the team finished just 3 – 13 and eventually turned to rookie quarterback Josh Freeman.

Leftwich had been serving, as a playing mentor to Freeman that year, and now he’s officially a “coaching mentor” of the entire Buccaneers offense.

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