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Jeff Tedford on the Prowl as Lions’ New Head Coach

Have you met Jeff Tedford yet? In case you haven’t, Link sports writer Mac Dalgleish has all you need to know about the BC Lions’ new coach.

Jeff Tedford hopes to add to the Lions' roar, which was arguably more of a squeal this year after being led by former coach Mike Benevides. (CFL)

Jeff Tedford hopes to add to the Lions’ roar, which was arguably more of a squeal this year after being led by former coach Mike Benevides. (CFL)

It was a new, yet old path that wound and found its way to the doorstep of the BC Lions.

Jeff Tedford became the new face of the franchise as he signed a two year contract back on December 19th as the new head coach of the Lions following the firing of Mike Benevides.

He had success under his new boss Wally Buono back when Buono was head coach of the Calgary Stampeders and Tedford an assistant from 1989-91.

From there Tedford began his assent in the NCAA coaching ranks making millions and working with a host of future 1st round NFL draft picks, none bigger than Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers.

As head coach of the University California Golden Bears, he helped turn a program around, but could never fully break through. After finding Rodgers as a diamond- in-a-rough, and turned him into a first round pick in 2005, his team’s regressed leading to his firing in 2012.

As a so called quarterback whisperer, he went seven years without producing another top flight quarterback from 2005-12.

After a year away from the game, the NFL came calling, as Tedford was hired as the offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2014. But a heart problem led to him taking a personal leave before even calling a pre-season game. In November the team and Tedford mutually agreed to terminate his contract making him able to sign elsewhere.

It was said he had his eyes set on head coaching jobs in the NCAA, but was passed over for other options.

Now Tedford will be instructed with trying to infuse some life into a franchise that has stalled since winning it all in 2011.

He will have conjure up his old whispering powers to see if Travis Lulay can be a franchise quarterback following two severe injuries to his throwing shoulder in as many seasons. If he feels Lulay isn’t “the guy”, he will have to find or develop someone who can, because at any level of professional football, it is a quarterback driven sport.

The receiving corps may have to be overhauled as it lacks playmakers and the offensive line might need a makeover to try and protect whichever quarterback winds up in the pocket.

As well, he will have to find a staff he can rely on and be comfortable with as he transitions back to a game he has been away from for 24 years.

It is a proceed with caution tale, as Tedford takes over. With just a two year contract it gives him a short term commitment. If things go sour, he can return back to the NCAA or NFL ranks, once again leaving the Lions with another coaching search.

If things go well, it will be another feather in the cap of Buono and one that could see Tedford move up within the organization.

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