Now that Lovie Smith has been fired – a decision that’s received a mixed response from fans and those inside the NFL – the pressure is on Jason Licht to find the right man to lead the Buccaneers moving forward.
Ownership has essentially admitted failure on their previous three coaching decisions by firing Raheem Morris, Greg Schiano and now Lovie Smith in a span of four years, and has entrusted its general manager to lead the search for the franchise’s 11th head coach.
“The Glazer family has empowered me to lead the charge and find to bring us back to winning football here in Tampa,” Licht said Thursday. “A coach that will have a shared vision of winning and bringing the fans what they deserve.”
Fans have not seen a playoff appearance since 2007 or a playoff victory since the 48-21 Super Bowl win over the Oakland Raiders during the 2002 season. Since Jon Gruden was fired following a four-game skid to end the 2008 season, the Bucs have compiled a 36-76 record – third worst in that span, in front of just Cleveland and Jacksonville.
The next coach will be tasked with reversing the trend. Many believe that that man is Dirk Koetter, especially given the unusual circumstance of the move and confirmation of other team’s interest in the Bucs offensive coordinator. Not to mention’s Licht’s vote of confidence Thursday, calling Koetter one of the “quality coaches” available while praising his résumé. Nothing is certain at this point, though.
The only thing that’s clear is that Licht has to get it right, and the results must show quickly. But that doesn’t mean the search can’t be extensive.
“We would like to be fairly quick with this, but we’re not going to sacrifice thoroughness for it,” Licht said. “We’re going to move as swiftly as we can, but also be relentless with our research and make a smart decision.”
And he’s confident he will. Licht had a strong message for those frustrated by Smith’s firing and doubt that the Bucs will find a great head coach.
“I’ll be happy to shake his (the fan’s) hand when he comes back to purchase season tickets – when he sees the winning football team that’s going to come back,” Licht said.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
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Many more fans wanted the change than not. Go Bucs!
I like the fact that the Glazers are trusting Licht with this decision. I don’t trust their taste in coaches anymore.
I wish you guys in the media would quit trying to twist statistics.
The Bucs have had three coaches in seven seasons.
What is so tough about that. Not sensational enough for you.
Licht must really be,impressing the Glazer boys.
LOL when i said the Bucs were the Cleveland Browns South PR disagreed but the bucs record shows otherwise it’s right down there with the Browns
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