Bucs Coach to Interview with NFC South Rival During Playoffs

Byron Leftwich Marshall

Getty Buccaneers assistant coaches Todd Bowles and Byron Leftwich have been connected to head coaching vacancies.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles confirmed the report that he will interview for the Atlanta Falcons head coaching vacancy. During his Wild Card Weekend press conference, Bowles briefly commented on the rumors about his interest in once again becoming a head coach, potentially inside the NFC South.

“Yeah, that’s true,” Bowles said when asked about the upcoming Falcons interview, per JoeBucsFan.com. “Right now I’m focusing on the playoff game. That [interview] will come in time and I will deal with that then.”

While the interview will not take place leading up to the game against Washington, Bowles is set to meet with the Falcons just days before the Buccaneers would play their Divisional Round matchup if they advance. Bowles emphasized that he is focused on Washington, but it is worth watching how the defense plays as their coordinator looks at potentially becoming the head coach of a division rival.

Bucs O.C. Byron Leftwich Is Reportedly Marshall’s ‘Dream Candidate’ to be Their Next Head Coach

Not only is Bowles exploring other opportunities, but Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich has been linked to the Marshall head coaching job. The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman reported Leftwich is Marshall’s “dream candidate” but wonders if the school can lure him away from the NFL.

“The dream candidate to be the next Thundering Herd head coach is former Marshall star QB Byron Leftwich,” Feldman explained. “The 40-year-old Washington, D.C. native is a Marshall legend. He left Huntington as a first-round draft pick and played a decade in the NFL before spending the past five years rising up the coaching ranks. He just finished his second year as the offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is seen by industry sources as a solid future NFL head coaching candidate. It feels like a stretch that Marshall could woo him away from the NFL, but it’s a swing the Thundering Herd brass is expected to take.”

Time will tell if Leftwich will head back to his alma mater to become the university’s next head coach. Leftwich appeared surprised about the rumors when asked about the Marshall job heading into the team’s matchup with Washington.

“I just heard about that myself…I’m just focused on this game,” Leftwich noted, per Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud.

Arians on Leftwich & Bowles: ‘I’m Wishing Both Those Guys Get an Opportunity’

Earlier in the week, Arians noted that he was not aware of any upcoming job interviews for his assistants. It is possible Bowles’ interview with the Falcons was set up after Arians’ press conference. Arians has been vocal about his support for the Bucs coordinators landing a heading coaching opportunity.

“I’m wishing both those guys get an opportunity and, you know, I’ll be all for it,” Arians told SiriusXM’s NFL Radio in late-December, via JoeBucsFans.com. “If I’m either one of those guys, I would counsel them, ‘Don’t take a job without the GM interviewing you. Don’t take a job and get a GM later.’”

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