After the Steelers fired offensive coordinator Matt Canada, the deep dive into potential offensive coordinator candidates began. Who could they be? The obvious answer would be Byron Leftwich, who played under Mike Tomlin as a player and has experience as an offensive coordinator in Tampa Bay. While Eddie Faulkner is taking over as the offensive coordinator.
But Leftwich has earned endorsements from former players, including Ben Roethlisberger, who would love to see Leftwich engineer Pittsburgh’s offense.
“I would love to see Byron Leftwich come in here and be the OC,” Roethlisberger said. “He was here, he played here with Coach T, understands what it is to be a Steeler. I think he is a great OC.”
Leftwich and the Steelers have been connected before for offensive positions. Weeks ago, it was reported that Leftwich had made his interest known to the Steelers, but the Black and Gold brain trust has not taken him up on that offer. But Roethlisberger is not the only player behind Leftwich.
Both Willie Colon and Plaxico Burress believe Leftwich could make an excellent candidate for the Steelers. The familiarity and dots that connect there are apparent, but Leftwich’s history with Tom Brady could be alluring to the Steelers in their next offensive coordinator.
“Call up Byron Leftwich,” Colon said. “Byron Leftwich has been out there. He should be the next guy in line,” Colon said. “He knows what it takes. He knows what it looks like…he knows how to appeal to a locker room.”
Burress expanded upon the thought as both agreed, pointing to Leftwich’s playing experience and Super Bowl-winning credentials. To Burress, that shows Leftwich knows how to appeal to a locker room and embrace it. For Burress, there is no reason that Leftwich is not already a coordinator.
“I believe it is B Left,” Burress said. “There’s no reason why he shouldn’t be an offensive coordinator in the league anyway.”
Leftwich played for the Steelers under Mike Tomlin in 2008 and 2010-12 and has family in the area, so a job in Pittsburgh would make a lot of sense for him.
Former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians got Leftwich into coaching in 2016 as an intern with the Arizona Cardinals. Leftwich moved up to quarterbacks coach and was interim offensive coordinator for the Cardinals in 2018.
In 2019, Arians took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coaching job and hired Leftwich as his offensive coordinator. With Leftwich calling the plays and Tom Brady under center, the Bucs won Super Bowl LV after the 2020 season and another two NFC South titles.