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January 2, 2014 @ 8:19 pm
Current rating: 3.67 Stars/3 Votes

Tedford Brings Complex, QB-Driven Offense To Tampa Bay

Written by Scott
Reynolds
Scott Reynolds

Scott
Reynolds

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Former University of California head coach and QB guru Jeff Tedford is poised to be Tampa Bay's new offensive coordinator on new head coach Lovie Smith's staff. Tedford has a complicated system that demands a lot from the quarterback position and Mike Glennon appears to be a good fit.
New Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford is known for his complicated offensive schemes, but during his career at Fresno State, Oregon and California, he’s produced some NFL-caliber QBs and running backs.

Former University of California head coach Jeff Tedford is poised to become Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator under new Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith. Tedford has a proven track record for developing both quarterbacks and running backs at the college level and prepping them for NFL careers.

Under his 11-year reign at Cal, Tedford produced 40 NFL draft picks, including eight first-rounders. The 52-year old Tedford has developed the likes of quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Kyle Boller, who were both first-round picks, at Cal, along with running backs J.J. Arrington, Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen.

At stops at Fresno State and Oregon where he served as the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, the 52-year old Tedford groomed the likes of quarterbacks Trent Dilfer, David Carr, Akili Smith and Joey Harrington – all first-round selections.

Now Tedford’s task is to take his pro-style offense, which has elements of the spread offense, to the NFL. Tedford’s offense has been called “voluminous,” “complicated,” “intricate” and “complex.” It’s a good thing that Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon, who will be entering his second season after breaking a slew of Tampa Bay rookie records, is very intelligent and graduated from North Carolina State with a master’s degree. His intelligence will be put to full use as Tedford’s playbook is quite thick and demands an awful lot from the quarterback position.

“When you first get into it, it’s confusing as hell,” Kevin Riley, Cal's quarterback from 2008-10, told the San Jose Mercury News. “It takes a good two-and-a-half years before you understand what we’re trying to do.”

Keep in mind that college football players were limited to just 20 hours of practice and film room time per NCAA regulations, whereas NFL players have the luxury of spending upwards of 60 hours per week practicing and studying the game plan and the plays. Still, there’s no doubt that Tedford’s offense is challenging to digest at first.

“It’s a lot harder than the usual offense,” said former Cal backup quarterback Zach Maynard. “There are a lot more plays, and you have to be a lot more dialed in to what’s going on.”

“I’ve heard our offense is more complicated than a lot of NFL offenses,” former Golden Bears quarterback Brock Mansion said. “It's hard to imagine that, but at the same time it seems so overwhelming because there is so much responsibility on the quarterback. But it all becomes second nature when you get reps. Ever since I’ve been here, the quarterback has always grasped it.”

Dilfer, a current NFL analyst that starred for Tedford at Fresno State prior to being drafted by Tampa Bay in 1994, said that his offense is definitely quarterback-driven and requires the QB to do a lot of reads and checks at the line of scrimmage. He also Tedford puts an awful lot of time into preparing the quarterback for any possible situation that may happen on game days.

“Jeff is a volume-based coach,” Dilfer said. “He likes having all the answers to the tests going into the game. If you can handle the load as quarterback, it’s awesome. You never feel like you don’t have an answer. The more you ask athletes to do, the more they’ll respond. It puts a greater burden on the player to put in the work and to own the information, but that’s not a bad thing.”

Whether it is Glennon, a rookie quarterback acquired in the 2014 NFL Draft or a free agent veteran, Tampa Bay’s quarterback will need to be smart and detail-oriented, and be able to quickly go through progressions in order to thrive in Tedford’s system.

“You better be smart, if you want to play quarterback for Jeff,” former Cal coach Roger Theder, a noted private quarterback tutor, told the San Jose Mercury News. “He puts a lot of pressure on his quarterback. Andrew Luck could handle it, but there are a lot of guys who couldn’t.”

Former Bucs general manager Mark Dominik and head coach Greg Schiano routinely praised Glennon for his football I.Q., and the 6-foot-6 passer appears to have the accuracy and pocket presence to thrive in Tedford’s offense. Evaluating Glennon’s tape to see if he has the tools and makeup to be an NFL starter will be the first order of business for Tedford, Smith and the Bucs’ new general manager. With a plethora of quarterbacks available in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Bucs could bring in another quarterback to start instead of Glennon or bring in another arm to compete with him this offseason.

While Tedford has made his name in college football as a quarterback guru, in addition to developing some fine wide receivers as a result, including DeSean Jackson, Lavelle Hawkins, Marvin Jones and Keenan Allen, the Golden Bears’ potent running game has helped set up the pass. When Tedford first took over at Cal, he established a power running game out of the I-formation with pulling guards.

Arrington ran for a school-record 2,018 yards and 15 touchdowns and a 6.9-yard average in 2004, and paved the way for more successful Cal running backs. In three years at Cal, Lynch, who replaced Arrington, rushed for 3,230 yards and 29 touchdowns and a 6.6-yard average, including back-to-back seasons of 1,250 yards or more in 2005-06.

In 2008, Best ran for 1,580 yards and 15 touchdowns, while averaging 8.1 yards per carry, until a severe concussion derailed his 2009 season. Best rushed for 2,668 yards and 29 touchdowns in three seasons at Cal. Vereen teamed with Best before ultimately replacing him, and rushed for 2,834 yards and 29 touchdowns during his Golden Bears career, while averaging 5.1 yards per carry, including a 1,167 yards rushing in 2010.

Tedford’s success with producing a strong running game for much of his Cal career bodes well for Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin, whose 2013 season ended prematurely with a torn labrum, Bobby Rainey and Mike James. All three of those running backs fit the mold of Tedford’s offense, which features short, but stout runners that can also catch the ball out of the backfield.

Tedford’s Coaching Career
Tedford began his coaching career with the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders from 1989-91. He went to Fresno State to become the quarterbacks coach in 1992 and then became the offensive coordinator from 1993-97. He was hired away by Oregon where he served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 1998-2001 before becoming the head coach at Cal from 2002-12. He compiled an 82-57 mark as a head coach and was 5-3 in bowl games, winning the Pac-10 championship in 2006 and becoming the Pac-10 coach of the year twice in 2002 and 2004.
Last modified on Thursday, 02 January 2014 21:41
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    Here's hoping it won't take Glennon a year to catch on to the offense - and that this won't be another QB that has 4 OC's in 3 years.... Complicated = Chucky Lack of developing a QB = Chucky Took 7 years to make the playoff's 3 times = Chucky Heck guys, don't look now, you just rehired Chucky!!
  • avatar


    Not familiar with his work,but he looks like about as good a hire as could be hoped for, when the goal was to avoid Lovie being Dungy, I mean, Lovie. If L focuses his efforts (and draft picks) on the D, we will have real problems. We need a ton of OL help, which can only come via the draft. I've been of the belief that Glennon should be given 2014 at a minimum to prove himself, and I agree with other posters that this hire appears to position him to succeed even more than just going thru training camp as the #1. Need another quality WR pickup via FA also, let MW prove he is a dependable #2. Encouraging hire, more so than the rest IMO. Go Bucs.
  • avatar


    Our offense was dead last in the league in 2013. Any of Lovie's former OC's or even Scubog couldn't have been any worse. Wasn't Ron Turner on our staff Schiano's first season when we were 9th in the league?
  • avatar


    Ron Turner, terry Shea, John Shoop, Mike Martz and Mike Tice all selections of Lovie Smith as his Offensive Coordinator, Tell you something.
  • avatar


    Yep , hire a GM first
  • avatar


    I think its a great HIRED. GO BUCS GO
  • avatar


    Well Bucs fan he is our offensive coach WOW.Lets start scoring TD's from Day One-GO BUCS
  • avatar

    Love KINDEERT's comment,"Anyone who can make Dilfer look good is our man!" That is just awesome!! And I actually even agree with it!
  • avatar

    Hey owlykat, maybe if Oklahoma had a stick QB that was smart and could throw the ball well, they wouldn't have had to come from behind and pull out the win in the end. Maybe they would have just creamed BAMA outright and had such a big lead that it wouldn't have even mattered.
  • avatar


    So what was he doing this past season? Did he take a year off like Lovie? Aside from that, so far I like the idea of Tedford as OC. I can't think of a better offensive mind who isn't being considered for a HC position somewhere. I'm still not sold on Glennon but the QB position will resolve itself eventually if we have the right OC in place.
  • avatar


    QB is the most important position period ,but all of this is blah blah blah blah if we don't get a GM that figures out a way to get a corner or two, another rec with speed,TE and a pass rush.......... There may be a big cut or two looming as it is gonna be difficult to make the necessary upgrades with our avail. Cap space.I can't see Revis getting 16 mil( maybe ( 12), Mike Williams 7 mil( no way) , Nicks may be gone , hope not because when healthy he is one that is well worth his cap #. Dashon G may have to swallow an adjustment? The bucs have to get another QB the ? Is where . I like Glennon a lil but if I'm Lovie and a new GM I really can't put the Bank on him can I ? I think by winning a few games the Bucs have got themselves in a trade up position and are already draft pick weak.Again I will say no coach in the NFL could have won 6 games with the injury's , pass rush ,TE and # 2 and 3 db's we had. The GM produced , no depth and some holes that were impossible to overcome.Most importantly first and formost we need an excellent GM , next is the QB ,next is talent and depth, next is Coach. We are already starting backwards again,We need a Real GM ,then I Will worry about rest!!!
  • avatar

    Given Glennon's performance in a terrible scheme, with a terrible O-line, and weak receiver corp( minus VJax), I think he did really well. I also think from all my reading that Tedford is a coach that will get the most out of him. So i agree that our many other offensive needs should be addressed at the #7. Although, I wouldnt be mad if JFF is there and they take a chance on him.
  • avatar


    I am not sure where all the criticism is for Lovie. When I was being highly skeptical of hiring Schiano because I said it was rare for a college coach to have success in the NFL, there was hardly a negative post about Schiano. Now all this Lovie bashing? The dude was 10-6 when he was fired. I would be pretty happy at 10-6. Oh well, I am fine with the Glazers hiring a known quantity. And it wasn't just the Bucs who were interested in Lovie Smith. My understanding is Aaron Rodgers will ask for a trade to the Bucs if Tedford is the OC....
  • avatar


    It is tough to know with Glennon at this point. His performance this season was almost a direct correlation with how well the o-line played. I like that he is smart and seems to be able to make the throws. However, the one thing we really have not seem him do is make the plays at the end of the game to bring the team back. Even Freeman was able to do that.
  • avatar


    I agree surferdudes. I think Tedford will see what Glennon really has by bringing in a veteran back-up like Josh McCown that could step in if Glennon falters. If I know Lovie, he’s going to fix the defense first, starting from the front back. And the offense needs a few weapons to make us competitive quickly. I think we go for a QB in the draft next year if necessary. And I wouldn’t be unhappy if Jameis Winston is there for the bidding!
  • avatar


    Well Scubog, here's a curve-ball for you, I'm bemoaning the Lovie hire as far as his lack of QB development, offensive excellence, and an irrational fear of returning to Buc Ball. (Because those are qualities I believe a HC needs to have for his team to become dominate in today's NFL--not just win some games) However, I'm hopeful about the Tedford hire. His reputation is that of an outside of the box thinking PAC-10 guy. A QB guy. A dynamic offense guy. A spread guy that knows how to also run the football. A guy that could take advantage of a mobile athletic QB. (Which I know we don't have...Yet) A guy that could shatter the "short bus" offensive records here in Tampa and raise the bar to a competitive level. I have no idea what he'll be at the NFL level. Is he water wings or is he an anchor. Don't know. He is exactly what I've been asking for. A talented franchise QB prospect could only help. But whatever the case, Tedford checked off a lot of boxes on my wish list. I'm standing in his corner.
  • avatar


    Owlykat, you bring up some good points then lose everyone when you bring up Tebo(w). I think you do it to drive Scubog crazy. (w). Has anyone seen the list of free agent Q.B.'s? Not very promising. The Bucs will be allowed to hold extra OTA's before the draft having a new coach. The point I'm getting at is Glennon will have a huge leg up on any Q.B. we draft, and there are no good free agents out there. So Tedford better be able to put Glennon in a position to succeed.I saw enough of Glennon to know he'll be good enough for now in a real offense, not the one Sullivan ran.
  • avatar

    I am pumped! This is a great hire and should turn us into playoff caliber right away! My only real concern is that they draft poorly this year. If they move down and get more picks and draft OL Greg Robinson or Cameron Erving and either Kelvin Benjamin, Jace Amaro or Brandon Coleman in the 2nd. There will be speed in the 6th and 7th rounds like Dri Archer(check him out!)
  • avatar


    Thanks for the insight Scott. It's comical how some are already bemoaning the choice of Lovie Smith and will no doubt take issue with whomever he brings in as his staff. I'm convinced that the Glazers could somehow weezle "The Hoody" out of Foxborough and there would be fans pointing out something to criticize. Lovie looks like the safest and most reasonable choice to me and I'll leave it up to him to chose his assistants. How about we let him get to his first press conference before we start second-guessing. By the way Owlykat' Oklahoma defeated Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, not the Orange Bowl. Tebo(w).....seriously?
  • avatar


    Sure, mobile QBs are the new and only way to succed. Help me out: which QB set a new record for TD passes and yards this season and took the record over from another "runner". Man, this Broncos QB can RUN! Joke aside: there are more ways of winning. Glennon should be given a chance. A clever coach will play to HIS strenght!
  • avatar

    "Lots of checks at the line of scrimmage" and "ability to read". Well... Didn't Glennon do very well in the fast-paced, adjust at line of scrimmage, no-huddle very recently? Pretty sure those were the only two scores for the Bucs that day. Masters degree? Good student of the game, puts in the time in film room and studies on his own? Check and check. None of us have any idea how this is all going to play out, but from my position, I'm thinking Glennon could very well work out after all. And this allows us to build up the O- and D-lines a bit. If it is Glennon and it fails, there's always Jameis Winston in 2015....
  • avatar


    Did anyone see how Oklahoma beat Alabama in the Orange Bowl? I did and it didn't happen with a stick of a QB like Glennon. It took a QB with great mobility who could get yards with his feet and also escape rushes and pass on the run. If Oklahoma had had Glennon at QB BAMA would have creamed them. If Tedford is a true QB Guru he will already know Glennon is no better than a backup. To run a spread offense he needs a QB like Tebo who knows how to get big yards out of a Spread Offense. Tedford started out in Canadian Football and there QBs like Fran Tarkenton (who starred first in Canada) were winners. Stick Glennon would have been a bust there. I really didn't know about Tedford until this great article. John Gruden had a real tough playbook to digest but he won a Superbowl with it so I am alright with that aspect of Tedford.
  • avatar


    Details of Tedford's system make it pretty clear that Glennon should be given a shot to be the guy and our resources focused on improving the talent around him (WR/OL/TE). Certainly I wouldn't use our top pick on a QB, especially when most of the top QB talents will be off the board by the time we go at #7.
  • avatar

    Good thing Freeman doesn't have to run this offense. Otherwise we'd be ranked 35th in 2014
  • avatar


    off topic.. bucsnation is saying the chiefs Ballard is leading canidate for GM. Lovie worked with him when he was with the Bears.
  • avatar

    I think Martin and Rainey are going to love this system. The Bucs will need to solidify the Offensive Line first.
  • avatar

    As bad as I want JFF, Im starting to think Glennon may just be the right guy for Tedford.
  • avatar


    Anybody that can make Dilfer look good is our man. As far as Glennon I have some doubt as he seems afraid to take a hit and is not mobile. As far as a DC, Marinelli would be great but I doubt the Cowboys let him go unless they get rid of all the defensive coaches. I thought as long as it is a promotion they had to let him go but I guess I was wrong. Maybe our luck has changed and we get Marinilli.
  • avatar


    Lets hope the bucs can get a qb through free agency or draft that can throw the long ball while moving to his left and is mobile . Finally ,as a tkt holder, I am excited about the team again.
  • avatar

    Good breakdown.I think Glennon is the perfect pupil. great fit.It will be nice to get some speed at WR and see what Glennon can do with some quick release spread concepts.Big opp for RB to prosper.Im pumped
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