TAMPA, Fla. – Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith is off to a fast start in filling his coaching staff.
It was known from the beginning of Smith’s candidacy that he planned to bring Jeff Tedford aboard as the offensive coordinator. The Bucs officially announced that move Saturday morning.
“We are very fortunate to have Jeff as our offensive coordinator,” Smith said. “I have a great deal of respect for the job Jeff did at Cal for more than a decade and I believe he will be a great fit for what we are attempting to do in Tampa. Jeff has a successful and proven track record as a teacher and developer of young talent and I know our players, and the organization as a whole, will benefit from his experience.”
The Bucs also are bringing in former Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier as the defensive coordinator. Smith is off to a much better start at filling his coaching staff than predecessor Greg Schiano.
In fairness to Schiano, he was hired late. Many of the coaches he wanted were already taken and there were times when Schiano had to go with his third or fourth choice.
Tedford clearly was Smith’s first choice. Frazier was no worse than the second choice. Smith wanted Rod Marinelli, but the Dallas Cowboys wouldn’t let him out of his contract as defensive line coach. Some other names of assistant coaches with ties to Smith that could be candidates to join his staff are Gill Byrd (cornerbacks), Andrew Stoker (running backs) and Mikal Smith (Smith's son) as a potential coach of the safeties.
The Buccaneers also are likely to get their top pick as general manager because there aren’t any other jobs open at the moment. Kansas City personnel executive Chris Ballard, who has history with Smith, reportedly is the favorite.
But the Bucs also could consider former Chicago general manager Jerry Angelo, who has ties to Smith and the Bucs, former Carolina general manager Marty Hurney and former New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
One other name the Bucs could look at is Atlanta Falcons director of football operations Nick Polk. He’s viewed as a rising star around the league.