Aaron Rodgers says Cal firing Jeff Tedford was 'a terrible decision'

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

After 11 seasons Jeff Tedford got the boot from the California job on Monday. And Aaron Rodgers -- one of Tedford's former players -- isn't happy.

Rodgers said on Tuesday that he thought the move to can Tedford, who had nine winning seasons in the 11 years at Cal, was a "terrible move" and "disrespectful."

"It's a terrible decision, terrible decision. And I think it's disrespectful, too," Rodgers said on his weekly ESPN Milwaukee radio show. "[In] 2002, when I was recruited in December, they started taking about this stadium project. Coach had just come in, they went 7-5, they were just under academic probation so they couldn't go to a bowl game. He'd taken a 1-10 team and made them 7-5. [He] turned [quarterback] Kyle Boller from what he was into a first-round draft pick. I know Kyle owes a lot of his success to coach Tedford and his tutelage."

Now, I don't have any knowledge on the inner workings of Cal's football team. I do know that when you win three games, though, it doesn't do you much good in terms of job security, especially when you've been somewhere for a while. Bad seasons got Phil Fulmer canned at Tennessee, and he won a freaking national title.

But Rodgers makes a good argument: If you tell a coach that he's gonna get a new stadium and/or stadium upgrades ... and then he doesn't get them for a decade, well, that makes it tough to recruit.

"And so in 2002 … he was selling us on the stadium project. Now, 10 years later, that gets done," Rodgers said. "Some of the factors that went into that being delayed were some of the lawsuits that were filed against the university, from private citizens, from the city of Berkeley -- people living in the trees. Coach Tedford endured some pretty difficult situations down there while his competitors -- Oregon, Washington, Arizona schools -- continued to improve their facilities."

Still, Tedford didn't exactly struggle to bring in or produce talent. The level of NFL talent that he cranked out at Cal from 2002 to 2012 is fairly astounding with 42 Cal players being drafted. The names are fairly stout: Rodgers, Marshawn Lynch, DeSean Jackson, Nnamdi Asomugha, Brandon Mebane, Desmond Bishop, Thomas DeCoud and Jahvid Best, to name a few. Also: Bryan Anger!

But seriously, he had eight first rounders in his 10 years. That's strong. (By comparison, Alabama had 11 first-round picks and 49 players drafted in the the same time frame.) Of course, you don't get judged as a college coach on the NFL players you produce. You get judged by wins and losses.

And ultimately Tedford didn't have enough wins for his bosses at Cal. Time will tell exactly whether Rodgers is right about it being a "terrible decision" though.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

 
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