Bruce Arians didn’t hire Byron Leftwich to his coaching staff just to get a recognizable face.

The Arizona Cardinals head coach expects the former first-round quarterback to join his ranks in the near future.

“He’ll be a head coach early and fast,” Arians told the Cardinals’ website about Leftwich, who played 10 seasons in the NFL from 2003-12.

Arians hired Leftwich to be a quarterbacks coach in January after they previously worked together with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010 and 2011, when Arians was the offensive coordinator. Leftwich also spent time with the Cardinals last season as a coaching intern and found a niche drawing from his playing experience.

“I played the game as if I was a coach,” Leftwich said. “I never really had the physical ability to run around. I could throw the ball, but I had to think my way through the whole time. I think (Arians) understood that and appreciated my knowledge, how much work I put into the game.”

Leftwich will be seeing a familiar face in Arizona’s quarterbacks room, as he’s built a relationship with Carson Palmer since they were selected six spots apart in the 2003 draft.

– with h/t to

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