Report: Cardinals QB coach Byron Leftwich to be retained

Jan 25, 2018, 1:29 PM
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Head coach Steve Wilks will retain Arizona Cardinals quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday.

Leftwich joined Arizona under head man Bruce Arians as a coaching intern two years ago before he was elevated to quarterbacks coach for 2017. There, he replaced Freddie Kitchens, who switched to coaching running backs last year before departing for the Cleveland Browns.

A former quarterback with 10 years of NFL experience, Leftwich will be a crucial part of Arizona’s search for a quarterback and their development.

Arizona starter Carson Palmer retired this offseason and the Cardinals could lose backups Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert in free agency as well.

As a player, Leftwich was drafted seventh overall in 2003 and was a starter in his first three seasons (2003-05) with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He played in 46 games through four seasons in Jacksonville but in his final six seasons appeared in just 14 more games.

He spent 2007 with the Atlanta Falcons, 2008 with the Pittsburgh Steelers, 2009 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and 2010-12 with Pittsburgh.

Leftwich, who played under Arians, then Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator, won a Super Bowl XLIII ring. As the backup to Ben Roethlisberger, he watched as the Steelers beat the Cardinals 27-23.

He finished his playing career with 58 touchdowns to 42 interceptions, a completion percentage of 58 and 10,532 passing yards.

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