New Bucs head coach Lovie Smith wants Bucs fans to be involved and have an understanding of his coaching return to Tampa Bay. So with unprecedented access and transparency, Smith worked hand-in-hand with Buccaneers senior writer Scott Smith to offer up a close and personal first-hand look at his first 100 days as head coach.
From the minute he landed in Tampa Bay, to the days leading up to the NFL Draft, the 30,000-word plus feature story, with a combination of video and photo essays, the feature gives Bucs fans a behind-the-scenes look at what it is like to be hired, organize a staff, evaluate a roster and recruit free agents.
“What I’ve seen is that when you come in new, you want people to embrace the direction that you’re heading with the organization,” Lovie Smith told Scott Smith. “People have embraced us, from the receptionist to the eating area to maintenance to younger fans, older fans, season ticket holders, people who are going to become season ticket holders. Just everyone throughout. The media is giving us a chance to prove what we can do, and that’s all you ask. So, yes, I like the direction we’re going, and after 100 days I’m not going to say that we’re behind in any way. We’re right on pace for where we should be right now.”
The narrative is presented in a special full-screen format and supported by exclusive photos, video and data visualization that help bring to life the story of Smith’s return to Tampa Bay. The long-form feature pulls back the curtain on never-before-seen interactions, including Smith’s first meetings with the team and coaching staff, and offers a revealing look into key events of the 2014 NFL offseason during Smith’s quick ascension as a leading figure in the Tampa Bay community.
“I’ve loved these 100 days. Not enjoyed it – I’ve thoroughly loved every moment of it, every minute, every second of it,” Lovie Smith said regarding the beginning of his tenure as Buccaneers head coach.Bucs Beat Writer Mark Cook’s review: I saw a short trailer video on Monday afternoon announcing the project that was set to be released on Tuesday. I actually stayed up until midnight to read and view the full thing. To be honest, as a writer, I was completely jealous of the job Scott Smith did. I mean all writers look for projects like this. To be embedded and see and watch things that few will ever get to witness first hand, and then to be able to put it into words, is a writer’s dream. And Scott Smith did an amazing job.
I’ve known Scott Smith since the mid-90’s and have seen his career progress – along with his hair turn from a nice brown to a salt and pepper gray. He is one of the longest tenured employees in the organization and has seen and worked with every coach from Sam Wyche to Lovie Smith. The guy is the unofficial historian of the team, along with a handful of other long time employees like Jill Hobbs who worked for the Bucs since the very first day. Scott Smith does a terrific job basically running the team’s official website, but I had no idea what a great writer he was. It is a long read, but one that fans will absolutely love.
Lovie Smith – and even general manager Jason Licht – really opened up to Scott Smith and his crew to give a first-hand account of what it has been like reshaping this roster and maybe more importantly, trying to restore the faith in the organization from the fan base. I have no idea how successful Smith and Licht will be, but I can say they have a plan and were willing to make some tough decisions to help shape their vision for the future.
While I am sure some in the media will dismiss this as a 30,000 word advertisement or some sort of feel-good propaganda – the website Deadspin already has – I think this was an excellent piece put together by the Buccaneers. I don’t work for the Bucs and so far the Glazers haven’t hired me, so I owe them no favors. But again, as a writer, I have a ton of respect for this project and the job Scott Smith and his crew were able to put together for the fans.To read and view the feature, click here.
–Part of this report came from a Buccaneers press release
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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