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Saturday, December 20, 2014

LIONS GO WITH TEDFORD

VANCOUVER - Jeff Tedford has returned to the CFL.

Tedford, who played six seasons as a quarterback from 1983-'88 with Hamilton, Calgary, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg, was named head coach of the B.C. Lions Friday.

He replaces Mike Benevides in the position. Benevides was fired following B.C.'s 50-17 loss to the Montreal Alouettes in the East Division semifinal.

Tedford, 53, previously worked as an assistant under Lions general manager Wally Buono in Calgary from 1989-'91.

"I've always had fond memories and a soft spot in my heart for the CFL, both as a player and a coach,'' said Tedford during a late afternoon news conference at the Lions' practice facility. "I had great times doing both.''

Tedford helped the Stampeders reach the Grey Cup in 1991. The next season, he was hired as an offensive assistant at Fresno State where, as a quarterback for two seasons, he had set records for passing yardage (4,872) and touchdowns (35).

He was later promoted to offensive co-ordinator at Fresno State (1993-97) and held the same position at Oregon (1998-2001) before he became the head coach at the University of California. He was named the Pac-10's top coach twice and led the Golden Bears to a conference title in 2006.

Earlier this year, Tedford was hired to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offensive co-ordinator but left the team during the pre-season to undergo a heart procedure. That ultimately resulted in the two sides mutually agreeing to end his NFL deal, making Tedford available to join the Lions.

While at Cal, Tedford tutored future NFL quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Trent Dilfer, David Carr, Akili Smith, Joey Harrington and Kyle Boller.

Tedford says he is looking forward to developing a stable of young quarterbacks in B.C., which includes Rodgers' younger brother Jordan and holdover Travis Partridge as well as veteran Travis Lulay, who sat out most of the 2014 season with a shoulder injury.

The Lions finished last season 9-9, making the playoffs as the cross-over team in the East Division.

Tedford says he came away "very impressed'' from a meeting with Lulay this week and plans to work with him closely as he continues his recovery, which the coach views as critical to the team's success.

"I'm very anxious to work with him closer,'' said Tedford. "Thankfully, he's close enough to get here on a consistent basis, where we can visit.''

Tedford says he is also eager to organize his coaching staff and get to know veteran players. He was non-committal on the future of assistants, saying he had to discuss their goals with them and consider others with whom he has worked. But he wants to ensure that the Lions coaching staff has a considerable amount of CFL experience.

After more than two decades away from the CFL, he does not believe it will be too difficult to reacquaint himself with three-down football.

"While I haven't been following it that closely to understand all of the nuances of what's going on, I will get back into that very quickly,'' Tedford said. "I'll watch a lot of tape.''

The Lions came under criticism last season for an inconsistent offence led by 14-year veteran quarterback Kevin Glenn, who has since been released. While Tedford is known for tutoring quarterbacks and offensive expertise, he wants to make sure the Lions excel on offence, defence and special teams.

"I believe it's important to be solid in all three phases,'' he said. "I'm not going to be so worried about the past, I'm really not. I'm just focused on the future.''

Tedford has been spending the week in the Vancouver area getting familiar with the city. The late afternoon press conference was designed to accommodate his wife Donna, a Calgary native, who was eager to attend but had to fly in from Tampa Bay earlier in the day.

The Tedfords, whose two sons were born in Calgary, are looking forward to resuming their life in Canada and having the chance to spend more time with Donna's family.

"This is a great opportunity because of where it is,'' he said. "My wife can come back to Canada. My kids can come back to Canada.''

The new Lions coach called the move a "lifestyle'' decision after he had two stents installed in his heart. He has been ``good to go'' for a couple of months.

"I have as much energy now as I've ever had,'' Tedford said, adding he is focusing on exercising regularly and eating right.

He and Buono took part in an official contract signing during the news conference. Tedford says the deal is only for two years, because the Lions did not offer a longer term.

"Insurance is one thing, but I wouldn't have moved my family 3,000 miles if I didn't feel pretty good about (the opportunity),'' he said.

Tedford says he took the job because of his relationship with Buono and respect for the Lions franchise, which he always felt was difficult to play against.

Buono, who kept in contact with Tedford over the years, says he is looking forward to having his former protege back in the fold and pleased with having someone who has built a solid career as "a good advertisement'' for the CFL. But both Buono and Tedford dismissed the idea that the hiring was about helping the Lions rebuild.

"This is professional football and professional football is, and always will be, about winning,'' said Buono.

(Canadian Press)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cortez was the QB coach at Cal under Tedford. Look for Cortez to re-appear in BC

Anonymous said...

Just to remind everyone one last time...

"Once again I don't want to say I told you so but I told you so a few hours ago. Wally will be back on the sidelines in 2015. Rest time is over."

And shortly thereafter...

"Wally's neck is on the line so no way is he going with another rookie Head Coach. He's going back there himself and it may not be his choice if his Boss tells him so.
My predictions always come true."

Can you guess who said these quotes...

OBAMA...DING DING DING WE HAVE A WINNER JOHNNY

Here fishy fishy fishy

Anonymous said...

To Anon #2

Yes, i vividly recall Obama writing those words. History has consistently proven Obama wrong, thats why he will never comment on his ridiculous statements. He uses his arrogant approach to insult all and throw in his left wing nonsense, such as "if you want to pay $700.00 for an MRI vote SaskParty", when we all know the opposite, if you want to wait 2 years for an MRI vote NDP.
Obama never has any empirical evidence to support his drivel, he just continues to spew his 1950 opinion.
Obama, you do a great disappearing act when your words are thrown back at you, keep it up.

Anonymous said...

you need to find a more constructive way to fill your leisure time than keeping track of what that bonehead says.

Herbie said...

There are thousands of amateur anonymous on-line sports pundits like Obama, Woz and others in our fine province of Saskatchewan. Everyone has an opinion and it is great that all can access this forum.

One thing for sure, one pundits guess as to the future is as good as another (as is their opinion about a player or coach). Obama has no credentials and no special powers to predict the future. So when he is wrong, as he often is, it just shows he is human.

The one thing I do enjoy about Obama is his sense of humour about himself and how he has developed a presence here that deliberately gets people outraged.

The pundits that carry more weight are the pros - Rod, Carm, Vanstone, Nye, Davis, Mullinder, Schultz, etc. All contribute to the green flora and fauna of Riderville.

Anonymous said...

It is not about being right all the time ... you only have to be right once.

Remember how some media reported Lapolice was front runner for OC?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the front runner does not prevail. It happens.

Anonymous said...

in this case the front runner did prevail.

Anonymous said...

It's really not that hard. Scroll down to the article where it says he was fired. Hold your finger on the text...hit copy...hit paste...probably did it in less time then it took you to type the above...and less time that it took me to type this. But I love proving my point :)