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    • michael89156

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      Post count: 3229

      Lovie Smith's timetable for better Bucs is short Tom Jones,    Times Sports Columnist Saturday, August 1, 2015 10:17pmshort_zpsefyt8k1w.jpg“We have the same goals” as last year, Bucs coach Lovie Smith says: winning the opener, winning the NFC South and winning the Super Bowl. TAMPASixteen games. That's all it took.Sixteen games to use up all the mulligans Lovie Smith might have had when he took over as coach of the Bucs.Sixteen games to go from honeymoon to hot seat. That's the way it works in the NFL. That's the way it works when you take a bad team and somehow make it worse.That's what happens when you are the coach of officially the worst team in the NFL.So as Lovie enters his second season running the show in Tampa Bay, the narrative isn't so much about whether he can show signs that the Bucs are getting better. It's what will happen if he doesn't.The Bucs were so bad last season that the long timetable Smith might have originally had to turn this thing around is now a whole lot shorter.And Smith knows it. He knows the patience is up and the pressure is on."What do you think?" Smith said. "Of course, every coach feels that way. Every day I come to work, I don't take that for granted. It's about production. I realize that, but that's how I have lived my life. There should be pressure. If you feel like there is not any pressure on you, you are misguided."Lovie had quite the resume when he arrived here before last season. He won 56 percent of his games in nine seasons as the boss in Chicago. He took the Bears to two NFC title games. He took them to a Super Bowl. Pretty much everyone agreed that the Bucs made a great hire when they snagged a proven winner.No one expected immediate miracles.Most of us knew it would take time to fix the mess left behind by Greg Schiano and Raheem Morris. Knowing that, you figured a respected coach with Smith's experience and success would have some leeway to take a lousy team like the Bucs and make it competitive.That certainly was the feeling in these parts a year ago. No one thought the Bucs would win 10 or 11 games. No one was setting aside money for playoff tickets. Heck, most people would have been surprised to see them break .500. Six or seven wins and some signs that the Bucs were on the upswing would have been encouraging.But 2-14?When a team wins only two games, it's not just one person's fault. But most of the scrutiny is going to be directed at the man in charge, especially when that man was brought in specifically to repair this broken franchise and make it competitive again.There were unusual circumstances, bad breaks and unforeseen issues. Maybe there were things Smith couldn't help or control, but much of what he wanted to do backfired.He picked the wrong offensive coordinator. I'm still not sure he picked the right defensive coordinator. He definitely picked the wrong quarterback.Smith also swung and missed on key free agents, including a left tackle and a pass rusher.After we watched this horror show, you couldn't help but wonder: "Is this the same Lovie Smith who used to win games with Kyle Orton at quarterback?"Now comes the start of Season 2, and it feels like Smith is starting from scratch. He has a new offensive coordinator. A revamped offensive line. New parts on defense.And of course, he has the newest prize of all, and the lone reward for being so bad last season: first overall draft pick and who the Bucs pray is a franchise quarterback, Jameis Winston.Smith and the Bucs have a few decent pieces, such as defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, linebacker Lavonte David and receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans.But otherwise, it's like a total reboot. Normally, playing a rookie quarterback — who cannot be expected to light up the league — would buy a coach, any coach, some extra time. We all must realize that Winston will have growing pains and that Smith's record this season could be affected by that.Not that a rookie quarterback or last season's surprisingly bad campaign is altering the goals Smith is setting for his team as training camp gets under way."As far as changing up the goals, no, we have the same goals," Smith said. "No. 1 goal that I'm going to talk about is winning the first game, getting momentum early on, beating Tennessee. From there, winning the NFC South division and winning the Super Bowl. Those will be our goals. "We had that in mind last year. We wanted to get off to a good start. Talking this year, that's what we want to get accomplished."A coach has to say such things, but there is no way this team is winning a Super Bowl. Winning the division seems ridiculous. The more realistic goal is to show improvement, to show that this team is heading in the right direction. That might mean four wins. It might mean six. Maybe eight. How many games the Bucs win and lose might not be as important as how they win and lose them. They just need to show that they are getting better.But you know, that was to be the goal a year ago, too, and Smith failed miserably at reaching it. He took over a team that had won four games in 2013 and led it to two last year. And it looked bad doing so.Now starts a new season, and Smith has a chance to forget about his first 16 games as the Bucs' coach.He might have only 16 more games to do that.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 1385

      Ultimately, it might have been all for the best that last season happened.When Lovie was hired, I wasn't expecting miracles. I was expecting 6-8 wins at best. However, it was L&L that convinced me that the team was better than it was by touting their draft class and FA pickups. 'The fans have waited long enough!' and 'We have the pieces today to make a run' and suddenly, everyone, fans and analysts alike bought into the Bucs.This year is different. The goals haven't changed, but there isn't any hype around the team. There is excitement, but no one is crowning us anything. But things are different and things are better.The biggest difference between last season and this one is Dirk Koetter. You can't play and win in the NFL with basically no offensive coordinator. I'm positive that Arroyo lost us games last season that we could have won. I'm sure he did his best, but he was so far in over his head that everyone could see it by the time the first regular season game. And I think we have more than just a few nice pieces. While you can say that McCoy, David, Evans and Jackson are the stars of the team. Players like Verner, Banks, Lansanah, McDonald and Dotson are solid and above average (some may disagree on Lansanah, but based off his numbers last season, the man played very well). Murray also kicked well for us replacing Barth.This season, we have Winston, a rookie to be sure, but with Dirk handling the offense, he gives me hope that he can be better than what we had last season. There is potential in ASJ as a possible elite TE. Henry Melton is a former Pro Bowl DT and is healthy playing again for the coach that got him there. The defense has a year under their belt and hopefully, like Dungy's D from 20 years ago, they are beginning to understand how the defense needs to play consistently.As I said in another thread, I can't get a good read yet on this team, I've no real idea how good it can be other than I'm positive that the team IS better. The team was better than 2 wins last season and it will be better than that this year. How much better we won't know until we see the team in action.If Winston is who we hope he is, it just might be that we were lucky that our team was bad last season. That season just might have been the best thing that happened to us.JMO.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 10626

      I disagree with Tom Jones saying he has 16 games to play for his job. Even if we suck this season, if Jameis looks decent, and doesn't look like Johnny Football, then I think Lovie is safe for at least another couple seasons. I think the Glazers will ride this plan for the length of Lovies contract.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 1385

      You and I think the same AJ. It’s going to be all Lovie, all the time at least until the end of his contract. I really believe the Glazers are all in on him.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 1110

      2015 and 2016.  That’s it.  No winning seasons and it’s rinse and repeat with a new HC who will not be married to Winston.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 212

        tom jones is an IDIOT    IMHO

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 1550

      Lovie Smith's timetable for better Bucs is short Tom Jones,    Times Sports Columnist Saturday, August 1, 2015 10:17pmshort_zpsefyt8k1w.jpg“We have the same goals” as last year, Bucs coach Lovie Smith says: winning the opener, winning the NFC South and winning the Super Bowl. TAMPAWinning the division seems ridiculous. The more realistic goal is to show improvement, to show that this team is heading in the right direction. That might mean four wins. It might mean six. Maybe eight. How many games the Bucs win and lose might not be as important as how they win and lose them. They just need to show that they are getting better.

      Winning the division seems ridiculous? IT'S THE WORST DIVISION IN FOOTBALL. The Bucs face the easiest schedule in the NFL. The last three teams with the number one pick had winning seasons the next year.Do these "experts" watch the game?

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 10626

      Lovie Smith's timetable for better Bucs is short Tom Jones,    Times Sports Columnist Saturday, August 1, 2015 10:17pmshort_zpsefyt8k1w.jpg“We have the same goals” as last year, Bucs coach Lovie Smith says: winning the opener, winning the NFC South and winning the Super Bowl. TAMPAWinning the division seems ridiculous. The more realistic goal is to show improvement, to show that this team is heading in the right direction. That might mean four wins. It might mean six. Maybe eight. How many games the Bucs win and lose might not be as important as how they win and lose them. They just need to show that they are getting better.

      Winning the division seems ridiculous? IT'S THE WORST DIVISION IN FOOTBALL. The Bucs face the easiest schedule in the NFL. The last three teams with the number one pick had winning seasons the next year.Do these "experts" watch the game?

      You are not writing anymore dude? I used to enjoy your stuff on Bucnation was it? Or Bleacher Report?  Anyway, hope you get into writing again. 

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    • dalaca

      Participant
      Post count: 1975

      I disagree with Tom Jones saying he has 16 games to play for his job. Even if we suck this season, if Jameis looks decent, and doesn't look like Johnny Football, then I think Lovie is safe for at least another couple seasons. I think the Glazers will ride this plan for the length of Lovies contract.

      I agree. The commentator even summed it up, in mentioning that it would take time to fix the problems created by Morris / Schiano. The Bucs went from wining four games to winning two. While not the best scenario, it's hardly the drop that Schiano experienced in his last season.Schiano, is like that friendly neighbor who offers to help you fix your car, then you go from needing an oil change to rebuilding your engine, because he didn't replace the oil filter correctly. :)I was hoping for more last season; however, I was being optimistic. Circumstances kept us in the basement. This is L&L's second season, and as mentioned, Koetter will be a big improvement over Arroyo. I'm ready for Tenessee.

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    • suesweat

      Participant
      Post count: 1335

      Lovie Smith's timetable for better Bucs is short Tom Jones,    Times Sports Columnist Saturday, August 1, 2015 10:17pmshort_zpsefyt8k1w.jpg“We have the same goals” as last year, Bucs coach Lovie Smith says: winning the opener, winning the NFC South and winning the Super Bowl. TAMPAWinning the division seems ridiculous. The more realistic goal is to show improvement, to show that this team is heading in the right direction. That might mean four wins. It might mean six. Maybe eight. How many games the Bucs win and lose might not be as important as how they win and lose them. They just need to show that they are getting better.

      Winning the division seems ridiculous? IT'S THE WORST DIVISION IN FOOTBALL. The Bucs face the easiest schedule in the NFL. The last three teams with the number one pick had winning seasons the next year.Do these "experts" watch the game?

      How many years out of the last decade has the NFC South been the worst? I guess it all depends on what you base stuff off. If you use historical data winning the division does seem ridiculous but stranger things have happened. If you look at it purely based of last season only then sure it seems possible. Not sure how you can use historical data with a #1 pick then omit the division historical data. What was the reasoning behind that?FYI: The Bucs are #29 in strength of schedule in 2015. That's not the easiest but it's certainly close.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 2412

      Lovie Smith's timetable for better Bucs is short Tom Jones,    Times Sports Columnist Saturday, August 1, 2015 10:17pmshort_zpsefyt8k1w.jpg“We have the same goals” as last year, Bucs coach Lovie Smith says: winning the opener, winning the NFC South and winning the Super Bowl. TAMPAWinning the division seems ridiculous. The more realistic goal is to show improvement, to show that this team is heading in the right direction. That might mean four wins. It might mean six. Maybe eight. How many games the Bucs win and lose might not be as important as how they win and lose them. They just need to show that they are getting better.

      Winning the division seems ridiculous? IT'S THE WORST DIVISION IN FOOTBALL. The Bucs face the easiest schedule in the NFL. The last three teams with the number one pick had winning seasons the next year.Do these "experts" watch the game?

      If everything goes the same as last year except the Bucs win their divisional games the result would be:Bucs 8-8Panthers 5-10-1Saints 5-11Falcons 4-12The Bucs helped the Panthers, Saints and Falcons with two wins each last year.  Take them away and it just shows how horrible they were.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 4407

      Ultimately, it might have been all for the best that last season happened.When Lovie was hired, I wasn't expecting miracles. I was expecting 6-8 wins at best. However, it was L&L that convinced me that the team was better than it was by touting their draft class and FA pickups. 'The fans have waited long enough!' and 'We have the pieces today to make a run' and suddenly, everyone, fans and analysts alike bought into the Bucs.This year is different. The goals haven't changed, but there isn't any hype around the team. There is excitement, but no one is crowning us anything. But things are different and things are better.The biggest difference between last season and this one is Dirk Koetter. You can't play and win in the NFL with basically no offensive coordinator. I'm positive that Arroyo lost us games last season that we could have won. I'm sure he did his best, but he was so far in over his head that everyone could see it by the time the first regular season game. And I think we have more than just a few nice pieces. While you can say that McCoy, David, Evans and Jackson are the stars of the team. Players like Verner, Banks, Lansanah, McDonald and Dotson are solid and above average (some may disagree on Lansanah, but based off his numbers last season, the man played very well). Murray also kicked well for us replacing Barth.This season, we have Winston, a rookie to be sure, but with Dirk handling the offense, he gives me hope that he can be better than what we had last season. There is potential in ASJ as a possible elite TE. Henry Melton is a former Pro Bowl DT and is healthy playing again for the coach that got him there. The defense has a year under their belt and hopefully, like Dungy's D from 20 years ago, they are beginning to understand how the defense needs to play consistently.As I said in another thread, I can't get a good read yet on this team, I've no real idea how good it can be other than I'm positive that the team IS better. The team was better than 2 wins last season and it will be better than that this year. How much better we won't know until we see the team in action.If Winston is who we hope he is, it just might be that we were lucky that our team was bad last season. That season just might have been the best thing that happened to us.JMO.

      Good realistic post

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 8096

      I don’t see Lovie sticking around for very long, either…

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 1550

      You are not writing anymore dude? I used to enjoy your stuff on Bucnation was it? Or Bleacher Report?  Anyway, hope you get into writing again.

      Funny you should mention that.  ;Dhttp://www.bucsnation.com/2015/8/3/9089299/why-not-the-bucs

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 8983

      Imvho, koetter could be looked at, IF lovie should fail.If the defense looks like sh1t, but the offense looks great, assuming he (koetter)has total control, ...do you give lovie more time, or make him hand over the reigns to koetter?Because, what is the point of having lovie around if the defense cant hold a lead?Seems as though there could already be a "contingency" plan in place. Im not too overly fond of the bucs signing oc,dc, or positional coaches from their own ranks, but should koetter prove useful, and lovie does not, i have no qualms with letting dead weight go.There is no reason to keep him here, should that outcome happen. Maybe for consistency or to fill out most of his contract, but to become competitive, ...it would be worth it.However, allll of this firing lovie talk should be taken with a grain of salt. The glazers love him, the team seems to enjoy him here, there would still be money under the table, and they have maybe been bitten by the coach-switch bug one too many times for comfort.I liked the hire, because, well, lovie is respectable and we just had gotten rid of the ref-agitator. Still, i was as leary of it as i am now. The guy plays oldschool football and hasn't ever been too good at adaptation on the fly.For this reason, he could very well be fired, especially after another season like last, especially when they can wipe the slate clean and start new again. I dont think this will happen, and lovie will improve his team this season, as he's done for years, almost on a yearly basis for that matter.Frankly, im on edge with myself over the idea that the team would be better off if lovie lost out again this season and was fired, or, would it be better if we just rode the up and down rollercoaster that lovie (possibly) will provide.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 3169

      Lovie Smith's timetable for better Bucs is short Tom Jones,    Times Sports Columnist Saturday, August 1, 2015 10:17pmshort_zpsefyt8k1w.jpg“We have the same goals” as last year, Bucs coach Lovie Smith says: winning the opener, winning the NFC South and winning the Super Bowl. TAMPAWinning the division seems ridiculous. The more realistic goal is to show improvement, to show that this team is heading in the right direction. That might mean four wins. It might mean six. Maybe eight. How many games the Bucs win and lose might not be as important as how they win and lose them. They just need to show that they are getting better.

      Winning the division seems ridiculous? IT'S THE WORST DIVISION IN FOOTBALL. The Bucs face the easiest schedule in the NFL. The last three teams with the number one pick had winning seasons the next year.Do these "experts" watch the game?

      I'm guessing the he thinks that the Bucs are only going to win about 4 to 6 games this year.  Personally, I applaud his optimistic stance.  I'd call this season a shocking surprise if they manage to win more than 2 games.  (Less than zero faith in Lovie Smith).

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