After a three-month leave of absence due to health concerns, Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford and the Buccaneers organization have agreed to part ways.
In a statement released by the team on Friday afternoon, head coach Lovie Smith talked about Tedford and the decision to mutually say goodbye.
“Throughout these difficult circumstances, our primary concern was for Jeff’s health and well-being,” Smith. “After speaking with Jeff in recent days, it became obvious that a mutual decision to release him from his contract was the best way forward. We wish Jeff continued success in the next phase of his career.”
PewterReport.com was the first media outlet to forecast this move in Scott Reynolds’ SR’s Fab 5 column on November 14.
Tedford, 53, was Smith’s first hire after taking over the head coaching duties last January. The Buccaneers and Tedford spent all of the offseason training camp and the majority of the preseason installing Tampa Bay’s new-look offense, but on the eve of Tampa Bay’s third preseason game at Buffalo, Tedford fell ill and after arriving back in Tampa, Tedford had two stints placed in his heart.
Most felt Tedford would resume his duties as the regular season began, but instead was placed on an indefinite medical leave of absence on September 23. Quarterback coach Marcus Arroyo, who coached under Tedford at Cal, assumed play-calling duties, and had been the Bucs offensive coordinator all season. Tampa Bay’s offense is currently ranked 26th in the NFL in total yards.
In the statement released by the Buccaneers, Tedford talked about the decision.
“My wife and I want to thank the entire Buccaneers organization – from the Glazer family, to Head Coach Lovie Smith and General Manager Jason Licht – for all the faith and confidence they expressed in me,” Tedford said. “I will always be grateful to them for the opportunity to participate in the off season program, the draft, free agency, training camp, the preseason and the beginning of the regular season. I have built friendships here with administration, coaches and players that will last a lifetime.
“When my health issues arose, I simply tried to ignore them and then I made the mistake of twice trying to come back too early. At that point, the organization proposed, and I agreed, that an indefinite leave of absence would allow me the proper amount of time to rest and rehabilitate myself. I am happy to state that I’m healthy now and feeling great.
“The Buccaneers have been very accommodating to me and my family during this time and, while they left the door open for a possible return, I feel that coming back at this point would disrupt the trust and continuity that builds throughout the season in offensive meeting rooms and on the sidelines,” Tedford said. “Quarterbacks Coach Marcus Arroyo, along with the rest of the offensive staff, had to step up and shoulder the load and they have done a great job under very difficult circumstances. I simply could not, in good conscience, become more of an obstacle to Lovie, to Marcus, the offensive staff and the whole organization – after all they have done for me. You just can’t go backwards. I can see that they are so close to turning the corner and I don’t want to hinder that progress.”
Tedford continued with his statement.
“Therefore, I have decided – with the organization’s blessing – that it would be best if the Bucs moved forward without my return and I, now healthy and stronger for having gone through this temporary setback, will pursue other opportunities,” Tedford said. “I would also like to express my deep gratitude to all of the Bucs fans who expressed their support, best wishes, and prayers for me during this season. I wish the entire Bucs organization and fan base great success and there will always be a very special place in my heart for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “