Byron Leftwich brimmed with enthusiasm for new offensive coordinator Carl Smith and Smith's strategy for moving the football.
"I love the system, the route tree and the things we are doing. I think it's going to let us attack more," Leftwich said of the offense Smith will install this spring.
Smith replaces Bill Musgrave, who directed a form of the "West Coast offense" the past two seasons. In searching for Musgrave's replacement, Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio sought Smith's advice on potential candidates. One day, Del Rio called Smith and asked him if he'd like to be a candidate.
At the time, Smith had just completed his first season as quarterbacks coach at USC, Del Rio's alma mater. Smith, of course, coached Matt Leinart to the Heisman Trophy last year, as USC strolled undefeated to the national championship.
"Carl has coached guys like me; big 'pocket' quarterbacks, guys who aren't going to beat you with their legs," Leftwich said. Smith coached Tim Couch in Cleveland, Drew Bledsoe in New England and Jim Everett in New Orleans, where Smith was the offensive coordinator under head coach Jim Mora for 11 seasons.
"Getting big chunks instead of those 12, 14-play drives, which usually end up in field goals," Leftwich said in describing Smith's philosophy of offense. "Now we want to have those five and seven-play drives."
Leftwich sustained a knee injury in the eighth game of last season and though Leftwich missed only two games, he was bothered by the injury the remainder of the season and the Jaguars offense never got back to the level it achieved in a week-seven, 27-24 upset win in Indianapolis.
"No pain, no anything," Leftwich said in describing the state of his left knee for the start of offseason conditioning this week.
"I know how hard I worked last year. I'm going to work 10 times harder this year," Leftwich said of his workout regimen.