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Jeff Tedford says Lovie Smith didn't want him to return

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had to spend the entire 2014 NFL season without an offensive coordinator, after Jeff Tedford was forced to leave work because of heart surgery. It was never entirely clear why Tedford never returned to coach later in the season, but now we know.

Jeff Tedford talked to JoeBucsFan today, who have a three-part interview with him up on their website. You can find part one herepart two here, and part three is up here. The most interesting part for Bucs fans will be why Tedford never returned to work.

"I was ready to [return to coach] with about five games left. I wouldn't say that there was friction, it was a situation where I think when I let [Lovie] know I was ready to come back, Lovie felt like it would kind of disrupt continuity at the time," Tedford said. "A season is a long season, there's a lot of water under the bridge going game to game and things like that. I think he felt it best that I not come in and try to fulfill my role like that because it would have been a disruption and really kind of mess up the continuity. So that was the situation then.

That's not really all that surprising, honestly. With only a few games left in the season, having Tedford in the building would probably have been beneficial overall. But it certainly would have required an adjustment. At that point Marcus Arroyo had been the Bucs' offensive coordinator for eleven games, there would have been established way of doing things and a familiarity with players that Tedford simply wouldn't have had.

Of course, given the fact that the Bucs were godawful on offense throughout the year, maybe a little disruption wouldn't have hurt.

Tedford also explained that one of the reasons he couldn't come back earlier was largely because of medication, which prevented him from operating at full capacity. Overall, this just sounds like a bad situation for all involved.