Jeff Tedford says Bucs told him not to return in 2014


Jeff Tedford's sudden, health-related departure from Tampa Bay last season was one of many reasons the Bucs slumped to a 2-14 record.

But there was a point late in the 2014 campaign that Tedford was ready to return. Lovie Smith just didn't think it was the right idea.

"When I let them know I was ready to come back, Lovie felt like it would kind of disrupt the continuity," Tedford told The Tampa Tribune Wednesday. "And then they kind of let me know that they really couldn't commit to me for another year. I don't know if they were apprehensive because of my health or what, but that was kind of it."

"In the end, I had to agree with Lovie that it would have been very hard to go back into the room and try to be the coordinator," Tedford said. "So, we just decided at that point that if we really don't have a direction that we're all going in next year, we should part ways."

Tedford, now the head coach of the CFL's BC Lions, looked to be a lock as a great offensive coordinator coming into the 2014 season. But with his departure, the team needed to shift gears and adopt an altered system on the fly, one many inside the building blame for a season that ended with the Bucs earning the No. 1 overall pick.

Now, we'll see if hiring Dirk Koetter was the right move. Asking Tedford back may have been a risk worth taking.

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