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.” 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. “

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Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]


  1. I am not sure I understand the whole “I don’t want to come back and disrupt things”…disrupt what?…it’s not possible to make our offense worse…anyway, I wish him well…I was actually more excited about Tedford than Smith, but you can’t force a guy to work…

  2. I can only guess that after all the huddling in the basement, Tedford, and Lovie never saw eye to eye on how the offense should be run. Was Tedford promised a 1st round Q.B. only to be told McCown is the answer? Who knows, but the timing allows him to get back into the coach hiring season.

  3. I’m going to go ahead an assume that he won’t be looking for work as a coach in football with his medical issues, right? Or does his heart work better when he is coaching a team not named the Buccaneers?

    • Bullitt,

      Tweet I saw earlier today!

      Mike GarafoloVerified account
      ‏@MikeGarafolo The word I’m getting is Jeff Tedford is interested in heading back to the college level as a head coach. Opportunities are there. We’ll see.

  4. Better now than later. If the Bucs do go QB first, then not switching OC’s and Offensive Systems every 2 years would go a long way in his development. Could we get so lucky, that while Lovie gets a pass this year, perhaps some of his absolute control gets restricted? Offensive direction as an example.

  5. Somewhat of a non-story here. My reaction was almost “Duh?” since it was obvious that Tedford would not be returning to the team this season if at all. Now we know this page of the playbook has turned. I suspect he doesn’t want to limit Arroyo’s chance to continue with his role as substitute OC. Let’s hope the Bucs organization doesn’t consider this a viable option and has already been developing a list of candidates to bring some credibility to the offense this off-season. I suspect we will see a major purge.

  6. While I think there is more to this story, I have no interest in being a conspiracy theorist and have no further interest in the Jeff Tedford saga. However, I would like to get my vote in early for a new OC.

    The Chicago Bears have lost Brandon Marshall for the season. The Bears have to play the Saints and the Lions their next two games, ending their season at the Vikings. I wish no man misfortune, but the odds of Marc Trestman surviving as head coach of Da Bears is slim and none and as you know, Slim done already left town. One team’s loss is another team’s fortune.

    If the Bucs decide on a more traditional offense, and I believe they will, they should not rest until Trestman is comfortable in the Florida sun. The man is a virtual QB Whisperer and is known as one of the best offensive minds in the business. Trestman and Norv Turner stand alone in that regard.

    With the state of the QB situation at the Bucs, he is well suited to prepare a new QB for the NFL and work with the existing talent to move the offense forward. This is especially true if McCown is retained as the back-up QB. The pieces immediately fall into place.

    If by some miracle, Trestman is given one more year, I will tip my hat and wish him well. If not then, Marc Trestman gets my vote for new Bucs OC!

  7. We just need a stand alone identity other than that of dismay. More than 3/4 of the way through Smith’s first regular season schedule and we’re still chasing that relevance we were promised from day one. Lovie was right in taking the chance on Tedford, we need something new and exciting that we can claim as our identity. The league is always changing. I believe we tried to be in the forefront, just didn’t work out.