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Embree Joins Smith's Staff as TE Coach

Posted Jan 16, 2014

The Bucs have hired former Colorado Head Coach Jon Embree to tutor their tight ends, a position he has coached to great success in the NFL...Dave Borgonzi has been named defensive quality control coach

  • Jon Embree, former University of Colorado head coach, joins Lovie Smith's staff to coach tight ends
  • Dave Borgonzi, who has been on the Dallas Cowboys staff the past three years, comes aboard as defensive quality control coach
  • In five previous seasons as an NFL tight ends coach, Embree has helped his primary TE average 85 catches a year
Two more pieces are in place as Lovie Smith's 2014 coaching staff nears completion.

On Thursday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers named Jon Embree tight ends coach and Dave Borgonzi defensive quality control coach, the 15th and 16th additions to Smith's staff.  Embree, who spent two seasons as the head coach at the University of Colorado (2011-12) was most recently the tight ends coach for the Cleveland Browns in 2013.  Borgonzi comes to the Buccaneers from the Dallas Cowboys, where he spent the last three years as an offensive assistant.

The primary position coaches under Offensive Coordinator Jeff Tedford are now mostly in place.  The Buccaneers have yet to announce an offensive line coach but have Embree in charge of tight ends, Marcus Arroyo in the quarterbacks room, Tim Spencer leading the running backs and Andrew Hayes-Stoker tutoring the wide receivers.

The Browns were Embree's third NFL team, following stints coaching the tight ends with the Kansas City Chiefs (2006-08) and Washington Redskins (2010).  His stint with the Browns lasted just one year as the organization chose to move on from Head Coach Rob Chudzinski after a single season, but in that time Embree helped tight end Jordan Cameron develop into a Pro Bowler.  After catching 26 passes during his first two NFL seasons combined, Cameron erupted for 80 receptions, 917 yards and seven touchdowns last fall, leading to his first all-star berth.

- Former Colorado Head Coach Jon Embree helped make Browns TE Jordan Cameron a Pro Bowler in 2013
Embree has been associated with prolific tight ends in each of his seasons as an NFL head coach, in fact.  Perennial Pro Bowler Tony Gonzalez caught 73, 99 and 96 passes during Embree's three years in Kansas City, while Washington's Chris Cooley had 77 receptions and a career-high 849 yards in 2010.  Over those five years, the primary tight end on Embree's teams averaged a receptions-yardage-touchdown stat line of 85-979-6.

In Tampa, Embree inherits a tight end corps that was led in 2013 by Tim Wright, an undrafted rookie who converted from wide receiver during training camp and subsequently caught 54 passes for 571 yards and five touchdowns.  Wright's impressive emergence came after a string of season-ending injuries to Luke Stocker, Tom Crabtree and Nate Byham, all of whom will get a chance to re-establish themselves in 2014.

Embree has 22 years of coaching experience overall, including his work at the college level.  In addition to serving as the head coach at his alma mater, he spent 11 other seasons on the Buffaloes' staff, teaching a variety of positions, including tight ends (1993-94, 1999-2000), defensive ends (1995-98), and wide receivers/kickers (2001-02).  Embree was also a volunteer assistant for Colorado in 1991 after finishing a four-year playing career as a tight end in Boulder from 1983-86.  After getting his start in coaching with the Buffaloes, he spent three seasons as an assistant head coach at UCLA, working with wide receivers (2003) and tight ends (2004-05).

Following his playing career with Colorado, Embree was selected in the sixth-round of the 1987 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He played two seasons (1987-88) for the team before retiring.  His father, John Embree, also played in the NFL, as a wide receiver for the Denver Broncos from 1969-70.

With Dallas, Borgonzi’s primary duties included assisting in weekly breakdowns  and scouting reports of each opponent while also working with the scout team during daily practices.  He spent five seasons coaching collegiately prior to his time with Dallas, working at Harvard (2008-10) and Syracuse (2006-07). As a player, Borgonzi was a three-year starter and senior-year captain at Amherst College, where he played linebacker.