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Bucs hire Frazier, Tedford as coordinators

TAMPA — Bucs coach Lovie Smith is assembling a star-studded staff, hiring former Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier as defensive coordinator and former Cal coach Jeff Tedford as his offensive coordinator.

Frazier confirmed via text to reporters that he was headed to Tampa on Friday night.

"I'm excited for Leslie and excited for the Buc fans," former Bucs and Colts coach Tony Dungy said of Frazier, who worked on Dungy's staff in Indianapolis. "He's a tremendous coach and very much like Lovie in lot of ways, and I think it'll complement what Lovie is trying to do.

"Leslie is a good teacher, a good communicator and encourager. … Playing in the Super Bowl, he knows what a good defense looks like. Then he went on to Philadelphia with Andy Reid and won the Super Bowl with us (in Indianapolis). You know what it takes, the discipline and details. As a player, you get it from the head coach and defensive coordinator and it filters down."

Cowboys defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, a friend of Smith's, also was a candidate for the Bucs defensive coordinator position. But he has two years left on his contract, and Dallas had no intention of letting Marinelli go to Tampa Bay.

The Bucs appear to be zeroing in on Chiefs director of player personnel Chris Ballard to be their next general manager. Ballard worked in the Bears front office when Smith was coach before joining the Chiefs this season.

Frazier was fired Monday after four seasons with the Vikings after posting a 5-10-1 record in 2013. He took over as the interim coach in 2010 and went 3-3 that season. Two years ago, the Vikings went 10-6 and reached the playoffs. Overall, he was 21-33-1.

This season, the Vikings struggled to settle their quarterback situation. Former Seminole Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel were not the answer, so Bucs castoff Josh Freeman was signed for $2.8 million. He started one game, a 23-7 meltdown against the Giants in Week 7. Freeman did not play again.

Frazier, a former defensive back for the 1985 Super Bowl champion Bears, worked as the special assistant to the head coach and defensive backs coach under Dungy with the Colts. In 2007, he left to become defensive coordinator of the Vikings.

Tedford coached six quarterbacks in college who went on to become first-round draft picks: the Bucs' Trent Dilfer and David Carr at Fresno State, Akili Smith and Joey Harrington at Oregon, and Aaron Rodgers and Kyle Boller at Cal. That might bode well for the Bucs' Mike Glennon heading into his second season.

Tedford's tenure at Cal largely overlapped with Smith's run with the Bears; Smith went 81-63 from 2004-12, while Tedford went 82-57 at Cal from 2002-12. Tedford, like Smith, was out of football in 2013 after going 15-22 in his last three seasons at Cal.

The Bucs had not confirmed it, but all of former coach Greg Schiano's assistants were notified they would not be retained.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.

Bucs hire Frazier, Tedford as coordinators 01/03/14 [Last modified: Saturday, January 4, 2014 12:46am]
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