The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to make history at Super Bowl LV in Florida. The 2021 NFC Champions will be the first Super Bowl participant to take the field with three Black lead coordinators. On the offensive end of the things, Byron Leftwich will lead Tom Brady and Mike Evans. Meanwhile, Todd Bowles will handle the defense and Keith Armstrong will helm the contender's special teams efforts.
The magnitude of the moment is not lost on Byron Leftwich. Throughout the league, fans, players and reporters have pointed out the lack of Black head coaches around the NFL. Given their team's collective success, many thought Byron Leftwich, Todd Bowles or Keith Armstrong would receive a head coaching offer. However, only one Black head coach was hired for the seven head coaching vacancies this year. Moreover, the one Black head coach that was hired, David Culley, was only offered the Houston Texans job amidst growing tension between the team's quarterback, Deshaun Watson, and the franchise's front office. In the face of adversity, Leftwich is happy to be a part of a trio of trailblazing Black coaches.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been a part of anything like this. This is unique. This is different. This is not the norm in this league or how coaching staffs look across the league. It’s a blessing that [Tampa Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians] has the view that he has,” Leftwich told the Associated Press.
“I just hope no one believes that he’s just giving us anything. If you know him, you know he’s not giving you anything. You’ve got to earn everything that you pretty much get from him."
Simply making it to the Super Bowl is not enough for Leftwich, Bowles and Armstrong, they are there with the hopes of bringing back the franchise's first Super Bowl title in 18 years. Listed as 3.5 point underdogs, the Buccaneers' coaching trio is their to win and prove that they deserve everything they have achieved.
“Nobody’s been given anything. Everybody’s earned this," Leftwich stated.
The Buccaneers will take the field at Raymond Jame Stadium on February 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
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