Jeff Tedford “Didn’t Feel Like” Coming Back to Coach Bucs’ Offense


Jul 28, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford looks on during training camp at One Buc Place. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This is a touchy subject, so I will do my best to tread lightly on it while still making my very strong opinion on it known.

Tampa Bay Buccaneer offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford, who has been absent from the team for the entire regular season due to a heart procedure performed prior to the opener, apparently doesn’t have any interest in coming back to work.

Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds said so much in a column posted this morning, and claimed that Tedford’s unwillingness to return after being medically cleared to do just that has rubbed some people within the organization the wrong way.

The quote:

"“…the Bucs were expecting him to return by Week 4 and he chose not to for reasons the team thought he could ultimately manage, which deeply upset some inside the organization. Tedford most likely wouldn’t be welcomed back at One Buc Place because the organization feels like he left the team – and quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo – in the lurch.”"

And if you’re in Tampa Bay’s front office, how could you not be upset about something like that? The doctors felt like he was ready to go in Week Four, and Tedford decided to pack it in. I understand that after heart procedures, some patients are a little bit scared to go out and do the things they used to for fear of another episode, but the man had a job to do and refused to do it.

Remember this past offseason, in which we had a heavy focus on offensive talent in free agency and the draft, all to give Jeff Tedford the guys he needed to make his offense go? Well even after the Buccaneers hand-wrapped all of his presents and put them under the tree with care, they’ve been sitting there collecting dust ever since because Marcus Arroyo had no idea how to use them.

That’s no knock on Arroyo. The guy never asked to be our offensive coordinator. But Jeff Tedford did. And when things got tough, Tedford dismissed himself. Reading into Reynolds’ column, it seems as though this really isn’t a medical issue anymore. It is one of an employee just not wanting to go to work, even after the organization gave him all of the tools he needed (or wanted, at least).

So what’s next for the Bucs?

They’ll be looking for a new offensive coordinator at season’s end. The whole staff will probably need an overhaul to fit that new coordinator’s vision. There will be more roster turnover on the offensive side of the ball next year, and instead of having a year to gel and learn, the Buccaneers will be introduced to yet another new offensive playbook next season.

Unless there are a series of miracles along the way, I would not expect Tampa Bay’s offense to be much better next season than it is right now. There will have been too much change. A new playbook, (most likely) a new quarterback, (I hope) new offensive linemen, and possibly a new starting running back.

I wish Jeff Tedford the best and I really hope he is healthy, because his health is priority number one. But if Scott Reynolds’ claims hold truth, and this was no longer about his health, then Tedford deserves criticism for how he chose to leave the team. Because it definitely set the Buccaneers back at least another year.