Offensive Assistant Wendell Avery is back in Tampa with his family
Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive assistant Wendell Avery has been relieved of his duties with the club -- effective immediately -- so that he can focus on personal matters.
Head Coach Tony Dungy met with Coach Avery on Wednesday evening to discuss Avery's actions this past weekend and his immediate future with the club.
The Buccaneers fully intend to support Coach Avery and his family as they begin to handle the personal issues they face.
Dungy spoke briefly with the media early Thursday evening to make the announcement regarding Avery's position. Dungy indicated that this course of action had been decided upon after Avery returned to town on Wednesday and spoke with him.
"Wendell is back in town," said Dungy. "Wendell has some personal issues that he's dealing with, and based on that, it's just our feeling that we'll let him concentrate on that. We've relieved him off his football duties, and we're going to support him in his effort to get those personal issues straightened out.
"He is okay and is doing fine at this point."
Dungy said that he and the Buccaneers are eager to help Avery through his issues. "We're always concerned with people in our organization," said Dungy. "That's one thing that we're committed to do, to try to help out, try to make sure that everything is okay. It's much more important that the person is taken care of and the person's doing well than what happens on the football field."
The team will not hire a new offensive assistant to take Avery's place. "We're just going to split it up with who we have, and we think we'll be able to handle it," said Dungy. "To win, you need everyone. That's part of the strength of a team. You have 53 guys and when someone gets injured, other people just have to step up. In this situation, it's other people on the staff and secretaries and everyone else, but that's part of the great thing about our organization. People do that and we will in this case."