The Tampa Bay Buccaneers wasted no time filling their vacant head coaching position, and according to a report late on Thursday evening, it won’t be long before the rest of the staff falls into place.
According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the Buccaneers have reached a deal with the seemingly pre-selected offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford, whose name was connected to Lovie Smith from the moment Smith’s name was brought up as a candidate for the Tampa Bay job.
Mortensen also reports that Chris Ballard, an executive in the front office in Kansas City, is the leading candidate to be the Buccaneers’ general manager.
As expected, Bucs reach deal w Jeff Tedford as OC. Source: Chiefs director of personnel Chris Ballard is leading candidate as next Bucs GM
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 3, 2014
Joe Bussell told us on a recent podcast that he believes Tedford is creative and adapted to the players he had, and pointed out his history with quarterbacks in college. Tedford is the former head coach at California, where he led Aaron Rodgers and Kyle Boller to first-round draft status.
Beford has no NFL experience, but is a former quarterback in college and the CFL, and has a long history of grooming passers and running backs during his college career. He was twice named Pac-10 Coach of the Year, and the Bears’ offense ranked in the top-25 in college football five times under his command.
Ballard is a versatile front office member with experience as a scout and as a pro personnel executive. He is credited with the scouting and drafting of Matt Forte, Charles Tillman, Nathan Vasher and others according to a press release from 2013.
He is also friends with Lovie Smith, which hopefully means he’ll be on the same page as the Buccaneers’ new head coach and help facilitate a roster Smith can use to the best of his ability. This could also signal that Lovie Smith will have a large amount of input on the personnel decisions, and that Ballard will be a “GM in name alone,” while helping Lovie with the day-to-day operations in the front office.