There was a reason PewterReport.com suggested that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fire head coach Lovie Smith two weeks ago after the team’s 26-21 loss to the Chicago Bears.
We sensed this was coming, and on Wednesday night, the Bucs fired Smith two years into his five-year contract.
The Glazers were unhappy with the team’s 6-10 record. Several in the front office, including Bucs general manager Jason Licht were, too.
“After careful consideration, we informed Lovie that we have decided to make a change,” Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer said in a press release. “I want to thank Lovie for his hard work and dedication to the Buccaneers during his time here. This decision was difficult on a variety of levels. I am disappointed that we were not more successful these past few seasons, but we are committed to doing what is necessary to give our fans the winning team they deserve. As we move forward, general manager Jason Licht will oversee the process for finding our next head coach.”
Any way you slice it, 8-24 over two years just isn’t good enough. And it shouldn’t be.
Bucs head coach Lovie Smith – Photo by: Getty Images
In the end, Smith didn’t end up getting a pass for the 2-14 debut season in which several of his hand-picked free agents – quarterback Josh McCown, defensive end Michael Johnson and left tackle Anthony Collins – were busts. That year counts, although the dividend turned out to be the first overall pick in 2015, which was used on quarterback Jameis Winston, the leading candidate for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
And the first offensive coordinator Smith hired, Jeff Tedford, had a heart ailment that derailed his stint as the Bucs’ play-caller. What hasn’t been reported until now is that Tedford felt like he was in over his head in the NFL and he didn’t want to come back during the 2014 season as his health improved. That was another personnel blunder by Smith.
Despite having a very easy schedule this year that featured just three opponents with winning records – Carolina (twice), Washington and Houston – and a similar strength of schedule (.484) to that of the Tampa Bay’s 2010 season (.480), the Bucs could only muster a 6-10 record. Novice coach Raheem Morris won 10 games during the 2010 campaign, his second as Tampa Bay’s head coach, and was 9-1 against teams with losing records or .500 records that year, and 1-5 against teams with winning records.
Smith was just 6-6 this year versus teams with losing records or .500 records, and 0-4 against teams with winning marks. One of those losses was an embarrassing 28-point defeat at home to Tennessee, the league’s worst team, in the 2015 season opener. The fact that the Bucs lost four straight games to end the year after getting to 6-6 and into playoff contention in November, and finishing the season with a 28-point loss at Carolina was quite damning.
The Glazers fired head coach Jon Gruden out of the blue in 2008 following a similar four-game, late-season skid. Keep in mind that Gruden had been signed to a four-year extension earlier that year and had also become Tampa Bay’s all-time winningest coach during the 2008 campaign.
Smith was hired to replace Greg Schiano in January of 2014, but Schiano won more games in two years and had an 11-21 record with a less talented roster. Ray Perkins (9-22), Sam Wyche (10-22) and Morris (13-19) also won more games in their first two years in Tampa Bay than Smith did.
Smith, a veteran coach that had produced five winning seasons out of nine in Chicago and taken the Bears to the Super Bowl, was hired to win immediately. That’s why the Glazers green-lighted the free agent spending spree in Smith’s first year. They were – and still are – tired of losing.
Don’t scold the Glazers for their perceived lack of patience for not giving Smith more time. The Glazers should be applauded for not settling for mediocrity.
Yes, Smith is a very good, honorable man. I don’t have anything personal towards him at all.
Bucs head coach Lovie Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
I just don’t think he’s a very good coach and game day strategist in today’s NFL, and I’ve been pretty consistent in my criticism of him all year, dating back to the suggestion that he should be fired if Tampa Bay lost against Jacksonville, and then turning up the heat after the Bucs blew a 24-0 lead in a loss at Washington in a column titled Smith Should Be Fired After The Collapse At The Capital.
Smith showed poor judgment at times when calling timeouts (or not calling them), when to go for it, when to kick field goals and when to punt. Blown winnable games against St. Louis, Cleveland and Cincinnati last year – coupled with more in 2015, most notably Washington, New Orleans and Chicago – cost him dearly.
Smith was routinely out-coached. Simple as that.
Smith’s teams also lost to the likes of backup quarterbacks and average quarterbacks like Carolina’s Derek Anderson (twice), St. Louis’ Austin Davis and Case Keenum, Cleveland’s Brian Hoyer, Houston’s Ryan Mallett, Indianapolis’ Matt Hasselbeck and two rookie quarterbacks in Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota and Minnesota’s Teddy Bridgewater over the past two years, which was unsettling for a team that employed a supposed defensive guru.
PewterReport.com did give Smith credit this year when it looked as if the Bucs were turning the corner at getting to .500 after beating Philadelphia, but after losing four of the next five games, including three straight games to New Orleans, St. Louis and Chicago, PewterReport.com was justified in calling for his firing. The big defeat at Carolina in Week 17 was just the icing on the cake.
The bottom line is that there are only two head coaches in Tampa Bay history that have never had a winning record at any point in the Bucs careers – even just starting out a season 1-0 by winning the opener. Those two coaches are Smith and Leeman Bennett. That was a damning statistic, as I pointed out in my column following the Chicago game.
Smith, who was fired in Chicago after a 10-6 season in 2012, was supposed to bring greatness back to the Bucs defense with the Tampa 2 scheme. After suffering blowout losses at Atlanta and against Baltimore last year, the defense seemed to settle down by the end of the 2014 season and play better.
Bucs DC Leslie Frazier – Photo by: Mark Cook/PR
But Smith wrested play-calling duties away from defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier during the 2015 offseason, relegating Frazier to the role of game-planning during the week and simply observing on Sunday. That didn’t sit well with Frazier, who was not going to return to Tampa Bay following the 2015 season – regardless of whether Smith was still employed or not by the Buccaneers.
Was Smith going to be stripped of his play-calling duties by the Glazers and/or Licht this offseason, but refused and was fired? I’m not sure.
The Bucs defense actually got worse this season, and finished the year as the 26th-ranked scoring defense, allowing an average of 26.1 points per game, despite ranking 10th in yards allowed. Smith’s defense allowed an average of 29.75 points per game over the final four games of the year, which is unacceptable – even without its rookie middle linebacker, Kwon Alexander.
Smith kept tinkering with the secondary all season, starting four different safeties and six different cornerbacks in 2015 and couldn’t find an answer. The front office and ownership lost confidence that Smith would find an answer with new personnel, especially with rookies that are coming in this year’s draft class, in 2016.
Smith’s defense allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 70 percent of their passes against the Bucs. PewterReport.com had heard from a trusted league source familiar with the Buccaneers that Smith’s secondary coaches – Gil Byrd (cornerbacks), Larry Marmie (nickel cornerbacks) and his son, Mikal Smith (safeties) – were far from elite. The Bucs safeties produced just six interceptions in 32 games under Mikal Smith.
Could the Glazers have asked Smith to fire some of his coaches and he refused to so he was fired? That’s plausible, and something that PewterReport.com will follow up with.
Bucs HC Lovie Smith and Ss coach Mikal Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Smith preached takeaways on defense, but they were far and few between – especially in the last five games where Tampa Bay produced just three. As I pointed out in my column two weeks ago, Smith came to Tampa Bay with the reputation for his defenses taking the ball away, but the numbers suggest that the Buccaneers defense was actually better under Schiano in that regards.
In two years under Schiano, Tampa Bay’s defense produced 148 passes broken up, 39 interceptions, 30 forced fumbles, 18 fumble recoveries, six defensive touchdowns, five blocked kicks and one safety. In two years under Smith, the Bucs have produced 127 pass breakups, 25 interceptions, 37 forced fumbles, 23 fumble recoveries, six defensive touchdowns and three blocks.
Schiano’s defense in Tampa Bay generated 21 more pass breakups, 14 more interceptions, two more blocked kicks, one more safety and just five less fumble recoveries than Smith’s defense has produced over the last 32 games. Where is the improvement?
In Tampa Bay’s last two home games – losses to New Orleans and Chicago – the Saints possessed the ball for 37:14 – a nearly 15-minute time of possession advantage, while the Bears controlled the ball for 37:03. Again, nearly 15 more minutes than the Bucs.
Aside from a struggling defense that was laden with veteran players, Smith could never solve the penalty problem in Tampa Bay. The Bucs were the most undisciplined team in the NFL, tied with Buffalo for the league lead with 143 penalties this year. That was 25 more penalties than the 2014 season in Tampa Bay.
The 261 penalties the Bucs committed under Smith’s watch from 2014-15 are the most infractions by Tampa Bay over a two-year span – by 39. Schiano’s Bucs were flagged 222 times from 2012-13.
Lovie Smith and Dirk Koetter – Photo by Cliff Welch/PR
Aside from four more wins in 2015, there was some improvement in Tampa Bay, but it came on the offensive side of the ball where new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter led the Bucs offense to a top-five ranking. Koetter also helped mold Winston into the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year front-runner and a 4,000-yard passer in his first season.
Koetter was drawing interest from Philadelphia and Miami for those head coaching vacancies, and the Glazers and Licht did not want to see him leave, as continuity with Winston was deemed to be paramount. As PewterReport.com first reported, Koetter is believed to be the leading candidate to replace Smith, although there is a chance that Licht will interview some others. Licht must interview at least one minority candidate to comply with the league’s Rooney Rule.
With a much tougher schedule on the horizon in 2016 with games against Arizona, Seattle, Denver and Kansas City, in addition to Carolina and the rest of the NFC South, the Glazers obviously didn’t have the confidence that Smith was the one to guide the Buccaneers to more than six wins next year, much less a playoff berth.
They do have confidence in Licht, who will be in charge of the coaching search, in addition to full control over free agency, the draft and the 90-man and 53-man roster. I have confidence in Licht, too.
I hope he ends up hiring Koetter, whose charisma and energy are a perfect offset to the blasé and complacency that Smith brought to One Buccaneer Place. After two years, the Glazers had seen enough complacency and they knew they had to make a change.
You think you’re tired of losing?
The Glazers and Lovie Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
You’re upset because you’ve wasted thousands of dollars on season ticket money over the years seeing a sub-par pewter product and too few wins at Raymond James Stadium?
The Glazers are even more tired of losing than the fans are. This is their team and they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to put together a winning organization.
They want to win now, and God bless ‘em for having that attitude.
Winston said it best in his press conference following the loss to Carolina on Sunday.
“We are going to create a winning mindset this offseason, I guarantee it,” Winston said.
The Glazers have already identified Winston and Licht as winners – and it’s likely Koetter is in that mix, too.
In the end, Smith didn’t win enough, as his 8-24 record implies.
Simple as that.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
If the same execs and coaches around the NFL that claim they’re truly shocked that Lovie got fired and is a great coach, then he should now be the top candidate to fill one of the other seven open positions! He sat out a year the last time he he got fired, so do they consider him an even hotter hire this time around?
I hope the next coach keeps Hardy Nickerson and Joe Cullen on as defensive coaches.
I’m okay with this, I really hope they promote Koetter.
I think consistency is very important, for the team and particularly for J. Winston It’s time to find a coach and stick with him. We don’t want to be the Browns, Raiders, Bills, Jags…
I think Koetter let’s up keep some needed consistency with the offense, while also giving the coaching spot some more energy.
are you kidding me…we are in that same group…the only difference so far is our QB is better than any of theirs!
You have to applaud the owners for realizing Lovie didn’t energize the top paid defensive players who were supposed to thrive in his defense. As the article points out, Schiano got more production from the defense in key areas against better competition with less talent. I hope the “star” players get the message(finally). They keep getting people fired with their inability to impose their will against an opponent. Helping the other teams player up after a play is great sportsmanship, but it doesn’t help your teammates get fired up or create an edge. Getting nasty does. Don’t think so, look at what Carolina CB Josh Norman. He has shut down great WR all year. I don’t see him or Keuchly or any of their defensive players going out of their way to expel energy helping the other team get up after they get knocked down and around – EVER.
Just adding on to the above point. It is a mindset. Schiano tried to create it and he just came off looking like a hardcase. Opening day of camp that year was “Toes on the line.” Or what about running Goal line defense vs the Giants victory formation. The opposing team didn’t like Schiano and his own players(Rutgers alum excluded) never had his back. Don’t quit and stay physical until the end is a good message. The Bucs could use a head coach who can get team leaders to lead by example and keep other players accountable to perform. Tom Brady will chew someone’s ass if they run the wrong route or miss a block and get him sacked. Peyton Manning too. What the players don’t need is a stern disciplinarian at HC. What they don’t need is a guy who mumbles on about staying the course, or being patient when the course is a top ten draft selection every year. Winston seems legit pissed that the Bucs lost 4 games to end the year and are not in the playoffs. GOOD!! Where was that attitude from McCoy, David, Jackson, or anyone else in a leadership role commanding top dollar all these years or NOW? I have faith that Winston will be enough, but I think back to the good old days when Sapp was talking trash and backing it up. The whole team was full of winners who took it personally. Losing wasn’t in the DNA of Brooks, Rice, Culpepper, Nickerson, Quarles, Lynch, and Barber to name a few. And for the role players like Donnie Abraham, Brian Kelly, Stylez G. White, Dexter Jackson, or Dwight Smith they were compelled to follow the lead. They were accountable. Same thing on offense with Keyshawn “Give me the Damn Ball” Johnson, Alstott, Pittman, Jurevicious, Mccardell, etc… Like Winston said, its time to get your mind right.
I like what your talking about! The defense needs a new voice, Alexander seems to be that voice…I say get Morris back as our d couch using some of the players we currently have. I always loved his “Youngry” mindset
After I watched the last game, I felt that there was little hope for a better season in 2016. The defense was poor at best. Perhaps with a new Head Coach and a coach on defense, we should get better. If Smith was a player, he would have been canned last year. Is it Koetter who made Winston better or the other way around? I am not sure.
Joe, before Koetter came here he was in ATL with Matt Ryan. How did Ryan look this year without Koetter?
On we move… Gotta believe that they want to hold on to Koetter- can’t see that they’d want to start over from square 1. It’s Licht’s team now!!
Let’s get another good draft, new coaching on D, and we’ll see you all on the other side of .500 next year!!
“Jeff Tedford, had a heart ailment that derailed his stint as the Bucs’ play-caller”
STINT. I see wut you did there!
Having gone to bed before hearing the guillotine drop at One Buc Palace, I must say I was surprised, but not shocked, by this morning’s headline. Scott cited a lot of valid reasons to justify the Glazer’s difficult decision. When we all see other coaches being terminated who had better two-season results than Lovie Smith, I know I wondered if drdneast could offer enough excuses to the Glazers to save his job.
We all know Lovie is a great human being and has had some success coaching. But when I’m sitting in the stands being chided by the opponent going up and down the field against Lovie’s defense I don’t get to respond with a “But our coach is nicer than yours”.
If this two season history were to repeat itself, the Glazers would be in this same situation next year. There was simply nothing they could find to justify giving Lovie another chance. The only difference between him and Schiano is that Lovie seemed more like family with his history here than the pompous ex Rutgers coach.
So now, as Jameis says, we look to 2016. I suspect the Glazers and Licht will fulfill the Rooney Rule requirement and then sit down to serious discussions with Mr. Koetter and hear his plan.
No hard feelings Lovie. Eagles game was great. The rest were……….”tough duty”.
I suspect Drdneat is Lovies son posting here under an alias. He must be heartbroken today. Lol. All kidding aside I went to bed late and when I heard the news I was a little surprised for sure. I think most just assumed with three years remaining he would get one more. Would love to see Dirk get the job. Best wishes to Lovie and his family. A fine person and father for sure. This was never personal just business in the NFL. Go Bucs!
My kid shot me a text just before hitting the hay. Not shocked. I’d give Koetter a shot, but this is Lichts baby now. Does he raid New Englands staff for our next D.C.? Koetter being offensive should help in the decision since he knows who gives him fits. I didn’t hate Lovie, just thought he sucks as a coach. I’m excited for next season now, really had no hope if Lovie came back. This could work. A good personal staff, with coaches who are willing to get the best players. Not the best “scheme fits”.
well scott, you and the rest of these clowns got what they wanted!! now what? nothing!!! the bucs will become the cleveland browns of the south & jameis will end up going from coach after coach & OC after OC and his career will suffer for it & the franchise even more… GOOD LUCK!
Clowns? Who are u to call us clowns? U don’t know me or any of the other posters who are passionate about our team finding a way to win. Keep your garbage comments to yourself. If u seriously
Think lovie would do better next year with a bunch of rookies in defense with a schedule ten times harder running his pit dated defensive scheme then YOU sir are the clown
The problem is that the Fans were told we were a good team and we just needed some tweaks and we would be able to compete. The truth is that this was a Team with very little talent and a lof of high draft pick busts. The one thing that the management and coaching has done in the last two yrs is to turn around our long history of bad drafting. It will be to no avail if we turn over the coaching of our offense. We need to keep this part of the team intact and the coaching consistent. Promoting the offensive Coordinator would be brilliant especially since he is going to be a head coach somewhere. WHy not the team where he just guided a rookie to a 4000 yrd rookie year ?
8-24 simply won’t cut it. While I am all for continuity and developing players, from what I saw this past season Lovie had to go. The Tampa 2 still has a place in defenses, but you have to come up with other/better schemes to stop the evolving offenses. I think that the last 4 games did him in and the showing against Carolina was the final nail.
Koetter should be the choice here as his relationship with Winston is key to the continued development. The key will be who do they bring in as a D-Coord and do they promote Bajakian to OC.
I’m surprised and applaud the Glazers. I spend my hard earned money for 3 club seats every year and like SCUBOG basically said, am tired of hearing the other fans. That was the one constant theme at our stadium, hearing opponent fans bashing and laughing at my team, and unless you lived it you simply do not understand it. Thank you Glazers as the Bucs had the same probability as me winning the powerball at finishing with a better record than this year. Glazers simply will not settle for a loser mentality or even mediocrity (which we weren’t even that)Go Bucs!!
I guess we’ll never know if Lovie would have turned it around next year, but Smith is the first Bucs coach to get fired with the team on an UP trend. This is a better team than last years…Period. NO reason to think it wouldn’t be better next year with an infusion of talent on defense. But as long as Koetter is hired, Im ok with this. If its not Koetter, this is a disaster, and I promise you’ll hear from me when the Bucs are 2-8 next year.
I have been reading all the post on most major sites since about 11:00 PM last night and the consensus is the same. You have to win to keep your job. It was interesting to watch the news on local TV. It seems most people were shocked and saddened by the move, while on football web sites most agreed it had to happen. I think Licht will provide the team with a good draft and Free agency and I hope Koetter is a prime consideration. I wish Lovie well. He appeared to be a good man, however as a fan,not a player I could not feel the passion or the energy needed to lead an NFL football team to the play-offs and beyond.
If the Bucs fired Lovie for the reasons PR wanted him fired (which they probably did) I’m just ambivalent about the move.
But the reasons many of you gave for firing Lovie, the main one being he was so steady, calm, cool and collected even while his players were running into each other in a loss, were just inane.
I gave sound factual reasons for my beliefs.
Jeff Darlington of NFL Network stated as much in his report when he said Lovie inherited a roster that was, “truly abysmal.”
He also stated the Bucs would have a tough time finding a qualified replacement for Lovie when a team has a “coaching carousel,’ like the Bucs have now.
The key point I used in many of my arguments was the Bucs did have an abysmal roster here after a dozen years of bad drafts with almost every No. 1 and No. 2 draft pick being wasted on marginal players.
I also stated if the Bucs had someone better lined up as a replacement then fine.
But from what I see, the talent pool for coaches right now isn’t exactly a cornfield in Nebraska.
So as the old adage goes, “Be careful what you wish for.” We went from Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen to Raheem Morris and Mark Dominick.
It was like going from the frying pan into the fire.
The team should have just fired Allen and given personnel moves to a new GM which is what appears is happening now.
If using reason and facts instead of listening to my ‘gut” makes me one of Lovie’s offsprings so be it.
I just wish I had his money.
Yea!!!! I can now look forward to next season with hope. Sure as hell couldn’t under Lovie’s defense. Better bow then middle of next season. I wouldn’t mind the defensive coordinator for the Pat’s. He seems to be able to adjust on the fly which obviously Lovie never could.
drdneast; “It’s as simple as that”. You still don’t understand what leadership is about.
I believe two seasons for a head coach not named Greg Schiano is too few. This mentality is crazy. I am not sure Dirk is the right person for head coach, I would rather see him remain OC, I am not sure Dirk wants to be Head Coach.
In a results driven league his results simply were not good enough. Fine man and a decent coach but it was more important that we keep Koetter. DK got the most out of the talent on his side of the ball and Lovie did not do the same with his unit so the choice is clear. Glad the Glazers had the balls to make this move bc it’s def controversial but it was the right move.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
I have lost virtually all of my confidence in the Bucs’ ownership. From a football operations standpoint, the franchise is not being run in a manner that has any hope of producing a consistent winner. The Bucs will be hiring their third head coach in the past five years. How many winning franchises in the NFL do that? None. Constant turnover at the head coach position is not conducive to winning. If I am a player looking at the Bucs right now, would I want to go play for them? Is there a plan in Tampa? How committed is ownership to the head coach and the program he is building? When are they going to decide to “make a change” again? Where am I going to fit in when another change is made?
Players like stability and consistency. Lavonte David said so upon hearing the news of Lovie Smith’s dismissal. Why would a free agent want to come to Tampa Bay right now? From the outside looking in, I see no plan, no commitment, no vision to building a winner. New England head coach Bill Belichek expressed his disappointment at Philadelphia’s dismissal of Chip Kelly, lamenting that these days most head coaches are effectively operating on a one-year contract and that more than a year or two is needed to build your program. And he’s right. The Bucs ownership should be taking their cues from franchises like New England, and Green Bay, and Pittsburgh. The franchises that are consistent winners over time have a plan and they stick with it. There are really no quick fixes in the NFL. The Bucs’ roster has been decimated over the past decade due to poor work on the college draft, poor decisions in free agency, releasing or not resigning productive players (hello, Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett), and this constant turnover at head coach. From the top of the football operations on down, the Bucs have pretty much been a model of how not to run an NFL franchise over the past decade. The only people who can change that are the Glazers. Hire good football people, have a plan, and stick with it!
For some of you who are questing a firing after two years it’s because of one reason only? The owners have the right to decide everyday if they want any employee/player to remain on their pay roll. The owners didn’t like what they were seeing as a financial endeavor and had more than enough information/data/performance reports to make that decision. We are way below their pay grade to make a judgement on why they did it except that it’s done. Go Bucs!
admit it, scott – you already had this article written up just in case. btw, i agree wholeheartedly on your assessment of our former coach. all the talking heads are talking about going from 2 wins to 6, but 2 years ago we won 4 games and improved late under a coach who was totally in over his head…so how much progress is that really? and every decision lovie took ownership of (clearing out talented players, hand-picking not very talented replacements, clock & game management, D playcalling, etc) was a dud. you don’t need to subject the fans to another year of that to keep up appearances
In truth, a couple of weeks ago I felt Lovie deserved a third year. But after those last two games I had been having a change of heart. Especially if Koetter was being offered an HC job elsewhere’s then I definitely think the Bucs did the right thing. We need Koetter to stick around more than we needed Lovie to have a chance to do his thing.
The thing that bothered me the most about Lovie’s tenure here, which should have never been an issue with a seasoned veteran coach, was the fact that this team was undisciplined and seemed to lack fundamentals. The lack of fundamentals usually is nothing more than a lack of focus, and if the team isn’t focused week in and week out that is the HC’s fault. I say let the Koetter era begin in Tampa Bay!
The last four games sealed Lovie’s fate. I hate the revolving door concept, but facts have to be faced. It is Licht who improved the roster, supervising the hiring of the offensive coordinator and the highly successful drafts the last two years, getting five starters and a very exciting 2nd stringer at running back. Now there is no question that the GM is in charge of personnel decisions as he should be. We need a defensive coordinator with the same energy, experience and charisma as the offensive coordinator. It seems pretty obvious that the job of Head Coach is Koetter’s to take if he wants it. If he decides to take an offer from another team, then that will tell you what he thinks about the future of this franchise –as well as his own intelligence. Despite the revolving doors, this is a dream job. The qb is here; there are three stars of defense and top players at the skill positions on offense. Two other teams in the division of the arrow pointing down, Atlanta and New Orleans. We already have better personnel than both those teams.
They fired the best coach they ever had, then brought in a hack, then another, then a washed up has been. Can’t wait to see where this dumpsterfire of a front office will go next. Way to go Glazerboys! Get your popcorn!
I am not completely sure as to the intimate details of why Lovie Smith was fired, but I think in the grand scheme of things, ownership felt that, given the talent that was present on the team, they did not improve enough given that we were playing one of the easiest schedules in recent history. Whether it be a lack of discipline displayed through penalties, untimely mistakes that killed offensive drives or extended defensive drives, or the inability to adequately fix the secondary, this team simply did not improve enough during the course of Lovie Smith’s tenure. Additionally, I feel that the lacked resolve as a team, too easily becoming unhinged based off of the results of an individual play. Remember the tipped pass that was intercepted, but negated by penalty? At his after game press conference, Lovie Smith mentioned that the team never seemed to recover from that penalty. That’s a problem. A Head Coach is supposed to be able to correct these types of problems and direct the team. I don’t feel that Lovie Smith did that adequately or showed any indication that things were headed in the right direction and, as a result, lost his job. What Tampa needs most going forward is a leader at the Head Coach position who can motivate men, hold them accountable, and get players to play at or beyond their limitations, whoever that is. I personally believe that Koetter is going to be our next head coach, but I would take a long look at the staffs in both New England and Houston, if at least when filling out coordinators and assistant coaching positions (please keep Nickerson and Cullen though) because of those staffs history of tailoring schemes to match the talents of the players that are on the roster.
I just say be careful what we wish for. I have been reading countless posters beg for Lovie to be fired and Koetter to be given the head job. Im not so sure that is the best option. There are many valid reasons to fire Lovie and a few valid one to give him one more year. I will not argue that decision, but making Koetter the head coach might be a mistake. I love what he did with the offense this season, but I do not think he is ready to control the whole show. There were multiple times this year that Koetter made bad decisions in the clutch with his play calling. As a head coach there will be more clutch decisions, so I hope is better prepared for them. I would have rather seen Koetter stay as our OC and bring in a new head coach, but hopefully Koetter proves me wrong, and we continue our progression.
I wish Lovie well but Im glad he is no longer the HC… Our team is a different team then it was just 2 seasons ago when he was hired. At that point,this team was a hot mess and lacked ANY offense.All we had was a few solid defensive players so they went with the coach who seemed the best fit for the talent we had.Then we drafted Winston…
I believe the Winston pick was the beginning of the end for him either way.If Jaboo was a bust,Smith would have shouldered the blame…But he wasnt~he showed too much promise and as a result,caused Lovie to be fired…Jaboos success means the sky is now the limit in Tampa…
This team no longer has to sell itself as a ‘Defensive minded’ team~ we can now be considered an offensive threat,which has not been the case in never…Jaboo needs work but if he continues on the path hes started,we will be gaining a ton of new fans over the next few years as the Pats,Packers and others begin to get old(er)and decline..When Brady,Brees,Manning retire~the leagues young fans will look for new heroes~the Cams and Jaboos will fill the vacancy..
So do you keep Lovie for 2 more years and let the offense flounder as the defense tries to find itself? Does Jaboo stay with a losing team after his rookie contract because they continue to identify themselves as a defensive team with a defensive minded coach whos defense cant win a game? We cant run the risk the best QB prospect to walk thru our doors in forever leaving for another team because we want to give Lovie one more shot…
Jaboo and the offense is the future for the Bucs-we need to put that defensive crap to bed as we havent had much D since Brooks,Sapp,Lynch,Barber and Rice where making the league shake in their boots-now let Jaboo and the crew make people fear our offense!
Godspeed Bucs~our future is bright…
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