The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offense hasn’t exactly found a consistent rhythm this preseason, and when the regular season begins in just five days, it might be a little bit tougher to find.
Bucs OC Jeff Tedford has been away from the team in recent weeks, recovering from an undisclosed medical procedure. The team says he will be just fine, but hasn’t given the media a specific time table for his recovery.
Now, reports have surfaced that Tedford could miss Tampa Bay’s season opener against the Carolina Panthers, which would put the Bucs at a huge disadvantage right from the start.
You see, the Carolina Panthers are returning one of the most feared defenses in the league from last season, starring DE Greg Hardy, and 2013 Defensive Player of the Year Luke Keuchly.
Mark Arroyo, the Buccaneers’ quarterback coach, will take over play-calling duties in Tedford’s absence. At only 34 years of age, it is a role he has never had in the National Football League.
As you could probably guess, all of this makes me uneasy. Not only has the Buccaneers’ offense looked mediocre-at-best in the preseason, but now the team has to depend on a rookie play-caller to get the job done against a division-rival with a stout defense. While I have confidence in Lovie Smith and our team’s ability to stop Cam Newton, I’m not so confident that we’ll be able to put up the points we need in order to come out of the gate with a victory.
This also means that we will have to wait even longer to see what Jeff Tedford’s offense really looks like in an NFL setting. We’ve been promised “speed in space”, but have not seen much of it thus far.
Get well, Jeff.