Golden Nuggets: Evaluating the Buccaneers' new offensive coordinator

Doug Pensinger

What's the verdict on Jeff Tedford?

(That's right, we're doing a second consecutive GN on Jeff Tedford. Good Cal Football news is a little scarce with bowl season wrapping up for a non-bowl team.)

Former NFL players have been speaking to the media to weighin on their new OC, Tedford. First up, let's see what our SBN brethren at Bucs Nation dug up about the history of the Quarterback Guru.

"It's not memorizing," Tedford told the AFM (via Smart Football). "You find a lot of times that kids will memorize, but they have to understand the whole concept, and the whole field." He did that even in college, where your time with players is very limited. It's an approach that will fit the NFL very well.

This places a significant burden on the quarterback, though. "He likes having all the answers to the tests going into the game," Trent Dilfer told the San Jose Mercury News. "If you can handle the load as quarterback, it's awesome. You never feel like you don't have an answer."

The Tampa Bay Times also chatted with some of Tedford's former players. Michael Pittman, who played under Tedford at Fresno State and is a former Buccaneer, described the Tedford offense:

"He put us in situations where we had matchups we wanted. He's a guy a lot of players would love to play for. He was one of the biggest reasons I stayed and came back for my (senior) year."

And two quarterbacks whom Tedford transformed into first-round picks added:

"The biggest thing for me was mechanics. He's a mechanical genius," said [Akili] Smith, whose Ducks scored 39 points a game in 1998, helping him become the No. 3 overall pick in the 1999 NFL draft.

"He makes the game so easy for you. Once I got a grasp of what he was trying to get done, then it all came together."

...

"Tampa should be very, very excited to have him. I think he'll do really well in the pros," said former Cal quarterback Kyle Boller, the 19th overall pick in 2003. "He's very detailed. He has a certain way he wants things done, and he'll make sure he does everything he can to get you to do it the right way. He's an offensive guru."

And let's hear from the man who hired Tedford: Lovie Smith.

"I did a lot of research, talked to a lot of different people, other quarterbacks in the league. For my offensive coordinator position, I wanted to get a guy that had been a primary quarterback guru, that knew that position in and out. My research led me to Jeff Tedford. After that, I looked at his track record and what he had done, especially at Cal, what he had done offensively, and I brought him in.

"We spent a couple of days together down in my basement in Chicago and kind of merged our philosophies, and they weren't off, on how we wanted to play offensive football. I'm talking about a strong running game, a power running attack. I think you have to have balance with your offense. We plan on having a balanced offensive attack. But at the same time, when I say balanced with the run, being able to pass the ball and have a big play ability in the passing game."

Good luck, Coach!

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