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Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Jeff Tedford ready for fresh start

By Pat Yasinskas

TAMPA, Fla. – As he met with the media for the first time since becoming offensive coordinator for the Buccaneers, Jeff Tedford said he’s ready to be “just’’ a football coach again.

Tedford said that’s something he didn’t get to do enough of in his final years as the head coach at the University of California. Tedford said a variety of other things, including a major stadium renovation, got in the way of doing what he loves to do most.

“Yes, absolutely,’’ Tedford said. “I don’t know about burned out, but I know there were a lot of other obligations, whether it be fundraising or designing a building, designing lockers for the new locker room or figuring out where the door’s going to be. There’s a lot that went into that.

“That was a process, not to mention the people that were living in the trees. I’m not sure if you heard about that. At one point, we had people living in the trees, protesting the trees coming down. They were right outside my office. They were my friends for about a year and three months. I woke up to them every day, banging their drums or whatever.’’

Tedford was fired after the 2012 season and spent last year out of coaching. Tedford has a long background in college coaching and coaching in the Canadian Football League. But, at 52, this is his first stop in the NFL.

Tedford said he’s not going to miss the administrative duties he was responsible for as a head coach.

“That’s why I’m so fired up to be in a room here and all I’m thinking about is what to do on third and 3, how to get this guy blocked, how to match up with that guy,’’ Tedford said. “That’s what I’ve done my whole life. But the obligations and responsibilities as a head coach and with all the things that were going on didn’t allow me to do that as much as I like to do that. This whole thing is a huge breath of fresh air. I’m so excited about the challenge. It’s going to be challenging, but I can’t wait to do it. I’m already fired up because every day I’ll be thinking about ball 18 hours a day.’’