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byron leftwich
Racism is why your favorite team hired a sorry white guy instead of a really good Black Super Bowl coach
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Stupid is as stupid does.Racism has always caused white people to make really bad decisions, especially in sports. I mean, how else can you explain the cliff that baseball has fallen off given the way the sport has treated Black players at every level for decades. The determination to keep certain aspects of sports as white as possible has always come at a cost. And on Sunday night, the world watched as three of football’s best coaches — who happened to be Black — had to serve as assistants due to white owners not hiring them for one of the seven head coaching vacancies that have been filled over the past few weeks.In September, I wrote about how racism is why teams usually draft sorry white quarterbacks, as I broke down some recent drafts in which multiple teams have totally whiffed on selecting a franchise Black quarterback, all because they preferred a sorry white one.Hatred and bigotry really are terrible business models.A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the two teams left standing after an unforgettable season due to COVID-19, had staffs that were filled with women and Black coaches. It was the ultimate example of all the benefits that come along when diversity is encouraged and supported.After every Super Bowl, the winning quarterback and both head coaches get a ton of the attention, praise, and blame for what worked and didn’t work. That’s just how it is. But, in a game in which three of the four offensive and defensive coordinators were Black, we need to address how well those men did, and why they won’t be leading their own teams next season.Image: Getty ImagesG/O Media may get a commissionEric Bieniemy - OC, Kansas City ChiefsFor the last few weeks, all we’ve heard are rumors that Bieniemy (the poster child for how overqualified Black candidates get passed over), doesn’t “interview well,” which is why he hasn’t been hired. That lie was put to rest when the Lions hired a man that wants his team to bite their opponents’ kneecaps.The other excuse we heard was that since Bieniemy didn’t “call the plays” in Kansas City, Andy Reid was the reason why the Chiefs offense and Patrick Mahomes were so great. Well, since the Chiefs and Mahomes both sucked on Sunday night and were held to just three field goals, as Mahomes threw two interceptions and was barely over 50 percent, Bieniemy can’t be blamed for Reid’s play-calling failures. The lack of production is squarely on the shoulders of Reid and his quarterback. You can’t have it both ways.Image: Getty ImagesByron Leftwich - OC, Tampa Bay BuccaneersThis is what was said about Leftwich before the Super Bowl:“I was very, very pissed Byron at least didn’t get an interview this year. For the job that he’s done, I get way too much credit and so does Tom Brady.” – Bruce Arians. “Now that we’re working together, it’s been great. He’s got a great work ethic, great football IQ and it’s been a growing process for both of us in growing together. When you work together for a long period of time, we began to see the game very similarly. When he’s watching film, he thinks, ‘Oh, this is what Tom would like,’ and vice versa.” – Tom Brady.One of the most beloved head coaches in NFL history and the greatest football player of all time are all huge fans of Leftwich, and he couldn’t even get an interview. Sunday night, the Bucs offense scored 31 points and accumulated 26 first downs, 340 yards, averaged 5.4 yards a play, and didn’t turn the ball over once.You would think an offensive coach of that caliber would demand some level of respect. But after the game, Leftwich was busy correcting media members that think all Black people look alike.Image: APTodd Bowles: DC, Tampa Bay BuccaneersDrew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, or Patrick Mahomes. It doesn’t matter. If you put a future hall of fame quarterback in front of a Todd Bowles defense, he will make them look bad.According to NextGenStats, Mahomes ran 497 yards before throwing the ball or being sacked on Sunday night, making it the highest total for any quarterback this season. Bowles barely blitzed and took away the Chiefs’ most explosive weapon in Tyreek Hill, as he was held to seven catches for just 73 yards. The scheme was a masterpiece, as Bowles’ defense turned Mahomes into the one thing he is not, a game manager. Instead of the exciting big plays and ridiculous passes he throws multiple times a game, we’ve never seen Mahomes be a quarterback that can methodically take his team down the field for multiple drives. Bowles knew that and exposed the biggest hole in Mahomes’ game.Now, this is the part where someone will bring up the fact that Bowles had “his chance” when he was the head coach of the New York Jets from 2015-2018. And because of that, I will also remind you that in his first season in New York, Bowles won more games over two seasons (10) than did Adam Gase, the sorry white coach that replaced him (9).Sadly, the trio of Bieniemy, Leftwich, and Bowles will all be assistant coaches next season. Hopefully, they’ll get interview opportunities, but that remains to be seen. You have to prepare for the worse and hope for the best whenever it comes to race relations and the NFL. Because in case you forgot, during the Super Bowl the league ran a commercial about how they’ve committed $250 million to combating systemic racism, all while still being a proponent of systemic racism by the continued blackballing of Colin Kaepernick. .
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The other Black OC in the Super Bowl, Byron Leftwich, deserves a head coaching job
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Byron Leftwich and the Bucs had the top-ranked passing offense before Tom Brady came to town.Byron Leftwich was an offensive genius before Tom Brady decided to go to Tampa Bay. Even with Jameis Winston as his quarterback in 2019, the Buccaneers OC orchestrated an offense that led the league in passing at 302.8 yards per game while ranking in the top three in the league in both total offense (397.9 ypg) and scoring (28.6 points per game).Not to mention they broke Buccaneer records in total points, and touchdowns while finishing second in franchise history in first downs. This is all while Winston was turning the ball over like he had the opposing defense on his fantasy team. This season, Leftwich led the Buccaneers to the second-best passing offense in the league. He broke many of the records he set in 2019, he helped a 43-year-old Tom Brady finish third in passing yards and now has helped lead this Tampa Bay team to a Super Bowl. G/O Media may get a commission“He’s done a fantastic job. He’s everything. Supposedly what people are looking for, although this year was kind of a defensive cycle,” said Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians earlier this week about Leftwich’s head coaching credentials. “I was very, very pissed that Byron didn’t at least get an interview this year. ... For the job that he’s done, I think I get way too much credit and so does Tom Brady for the job that Byron has done. Hopefully next year people will see that he took Jameis Winston and broke every single record here, scoring and passing, and now Tom has broken both.”Everyone focuses on the disgraceful snubbing of Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, and rightfully so. There’s no excuse for that man not being offered a top job somewhere. But Leftwich has shown that he should be in that conversation as well. His offensive brilliance shouldn’t be ignored as people celebrate the accomplishments of Brady and Arians. Leftwich deserves to get spoken about in the same breath as Bieniemy when it comes to potential head coaching hires next year. Yes, Leftwich has only been an OC for two seasons, plus an interim stint in Arizona in 2018, but why shouldn’t he have a meteoric rise to the top like Sean McVay did? Above I called Leftwich an “Offensive Genius” but it seems that term is reserved for coaches with a certain complexion for others covering and scouting the NFL, as you would think that one coach, who already has one Super Bowl ring in his drawer and is on the verge of his second in two years, and another, who’s constructed one of the best offenses in the league two seasons in a row, would have earned such a moniker. It’s remarkable how quickly a coach, once labeled an “Offensive Genius,” is offered a head coaching job. See McVay. See Kyle Shanahan. I mean the Eagles hired Frank Reich’s understudy as head coach this season, I’m sure some arrangements could be made for Leftwich and Bieniemy next year. If both Leftwich and Bieniemy were white they would have likely been offered a job by now. But alas, this is the NFL and we know how these things work by now. Even Brady, who has been around the game so long that some children born the year he was drafted can now buy alcohol, raved about the job Leftwich has done. “Yeah, I think Byron has done an incredible job,” Brady said Monday. “He’s a great guy. We have a great relationship. I’ve known him for a long time – we’re about the same age. I played against him. Always had a lot of respect for him. Now that we’re working together, it’s been great. He’s got a great work ethic, a great football IQ.”Do you think Brady is going to endorse a guy who doesn’t know what he’s doing? That’s head coaching material in my book. Leftwich should be a serious candidate for head coaching vacancies next year. He has the talent, brains, and leadership ability to help make a team successful. It’s time for the league to stop blatantly disregarding these Black men, especially Leftwich. .
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