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Smith's hiring in Tampa could bring Tedford to NFL

Jan 01, 2014 -- 9:14pm
 
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Aaron Rodgers credits his coach at the University of California, Jeff Tedford, with much of his development.
 

GREEN BAY – With Lovie Smith reportedly having agreed to a contract to become the next coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Aaron Rodgers might be seeing his old college coach and friend in the NFL soon.

Smith, the former Chicago Bears coach, took the Buccaneers’ job on Wednesday night, according to FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer. Earlier in the week, when Smith emerged as a leading candidate for the Bucs’ job, Jason Cole of the National Football Post reported that Smith had ex-University of California coach Jeff Tedford lined up to be the team’s offensive coordinator if he got the job.

Tedford was the Golden Bears’ coach 2002 through 2012 but was fired after last season. Before that, he spent six years at Fresno State and four years at Oregon as an offensive coordinator or quarterback coach developing quarterbacks Trent Dilfer, David Carr, Joey Harrington, Akili Smith, Kyle Boller and Rodgers – all of whom became first-round NFL draft picks.

Rodgers, speaking on his weekly radio show on 540 ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.com on Tuesday, before the Buccaneers made their decision, was excited about the idea of Tedford making the jump to the NFL.

“Coach and I are very close, and I always enjoy seeing him. I have a ton of respect for Lovie Smith over the years of competing against him and I think that would be, if Lovie were to get a job somewhere, that would be an excellent hire,” Rodgers said. “I think Coach (Tedford) is ready for a new challenge. He’s been at the college level for just about all of his career.”

The move would be interesting on two levels. One, the Packers play the Buccaneers in Tampa next season, according to the NFL’s schedule rotation. And two, the Buccaneers have a young quarterback prospect that the Packers QB keeps close tabs on.

“There’s a Rodgers down there in Tampa who wouldn’t mind working with one Jeff Tedford,” he said.

That Rodgers, of course, is Jordan Rodgers, Aaron’s little brother.

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