Tip from Aaron Rodgers led Lovie Smith to Jeff Tedford

AP

During his year off from the NFL, Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith was already thinking about his staff.

And when it was time to think about an offensive coordinator, he called up one of the quarterbacks who had given him so many problems when he was coaching the Bears.

And it was the referral from Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers that led Smith to hire former Cal coach Jeff Tedford as his offensive coordinator.

“I got a text last fall from Aaron, who said, ‘Lovie Smith is going to be calling you,’ ” Tedford said, via Jim Corbett of USA Today. “Then Lovie asked, ‘Can you come here to Chicago in a few days?’ ”

That was that.

“Having played against Aaron, I really respected him as a player,” Smith said. “I wanted a guy with an expertise at the quarterback position. . . . I talked to Aaron a few times. He was in the room with Jeff, knew how Jeff helped his career.

“He gave Jeff a ringing endorsement.”

Tedford was known for molding quarterbacks in college, and for adapting to their individual strengths. He had quarterbacks as diverse as Trent Dilfer and Akili Smith before Rogers, so he’s clearly flexible.

Now, he’s working with Josh McCown, as he tries to revive the league’s worst offense. If he can, the Bucs can thank the Packers for the good word.