The Glazers and ex-Bucs head coach Lovie Smith - Photo by: Getty Images
Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer took some time to speak to PewterReport.com and a handful of other local media outlets on Tuesday from the Boca Raton Resort where the annual NFL Owners Meetings are being held. PewterReport.com asked a number of questions regarding the state of the Buccaneers. This is the first report from the interview.
Following a 6-10 record during the 2015 football season, and an 8-24 record over two seasons, the Glazer ownership group decided to make a change and relieved former Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith of his duties after two years. On Tuesday, PewterReport.com asked Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer what was behind the decision to make the change.
“It was a lot of factors. Anytime you make a coaching change you can never point to one factor, or one thing or another,” Glazer said. “People always want to pinpoint it to one thing. At the end of the year you have to look at everything and then make a judgment decision on behalf of the organization and the fans on what you think is the best interest of the franchise.
“Lovie did a lot of great things for us and we are thankful for that. We just felt this is what was best for the team and you see different franchises with someone coming in with different results, with some sooner than others. But I wouldn’t put it so much on that.”
Glazer continued to explain the decision to fire Smith and to hire new head coach Dirk Koetter.
“Ultimately, organizational-wise and what you think for the team is best, and you have to make a judgment,” Glazer said. “And this is the toughest part of sports because you develop these relationships and you know how hard people worked and the hours they put in, but at the end of the day, you just have to do what you think is right and make that call.”
Glazer did not discuss any of the factors that led to Smith’s firing, such as the 8-24 record over two years or the 3-13 mark at Raymond James Stadium. PewterReport.com had previously reported that the team was not satisfied with Smith continuing to call the plays on defense after the Bucs allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 70 percent of their passes, and the defense surrendered an average of over 25 points per game, including 29 points per game over the last four games in which Tampa Bay went 0-4 after a 6-6 start.
Bucs ownership nor general manager Jason Licht did not ask Smith to give up play-calling duties nor did they ask Smith to make any changes on his defensive staff, but the organization was unhappy with the coaching on that side of the ball, particularly in the secondary where Smith’s coaching mentor, Larry Marmie, coached nickel cornerbacks and his son, Mikal, coached safeties. Knowing that Smith wouldn’t agree to those personnel changes due to his personal relationships is believed to be part of the decision to fire Smith.
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 [email protected]
Is he running for President? Sounds like the round around answer to the question.
PR could have interviewed any of us and received some specific reasons for the firing other than the standard. “what’s best for the team” Glazer remark.
While I don’t want the Glazers to act like Jerry Jones constant seeking out the camera and talking to the media; I would like for them to be a little more accessible and open with the fans.
Wouldn’t it be a hoot if Joel said, “Lovie was insubordinate and stubborn just like Tony Dungy. We told Lovie he needed to get rid of his kid and high school coach and he refused. We told Lovie not to sit on that lead in Washington, but he refused. We told Lovie to do a lot of things that his failure to do so cost us some games. The only directive he followed, and he almost blew that, was to tank the Saints game in 2014 to get Jameis.”
@scubog, that’s a good way to make sure people will only want to work for the Glazers as a last resort. I mean, we are darn close to that already, but once you start publicly dumping on former employees you go to the very bottom of the barrel as a team coaches or players want to work for. One of Lovie’s most unpleasant traits was looking at a roster of defensive players that he mostly hand picked and blaming them for not playing better. The Glazers chose not to go that route with the coach they hand picked, and I’m glad they took the high road even as Lovie’s pals in the league and media continue to make excuses for a guy who put the least competitive Buccaneer teams of my adult life out on the field for 2 years
I was being sarcastic. Of course they wouldn’t say anything like that. If you think Lovie was bad, you should have witnessed Leeman Bennett and Richard Williamson.
I remember meeting Leeman and he seemed intimidated by me. My wife and cat are not even intimidated by me.
apologies for not catching the sarcasm. i probably should have read all the way through to the tank for jameis remark and i probably would’ve caught on, but i just went into rebuttal mode halfway through. i also frequent other fan sites where similar comments abound without a hint of irony, so i kinda pounced on it
You obviously are young if that was the least competitive team of your adulthood. There have been many worse over the last 40 years.
i was a fan when younger, but i don’t think my 9 or 11 year old self measures up as an analyst of football to grown-up me. I am well versed on team history, but my adulthood more or less coincides with year 2 of the dungy era – a good run relative to the first 2 decades, to be sure, but post-mckay has not been a whole lot worse than post-gruden. i still think Lovie might be the pound-for-pound least competitive coach ever when you consider that the bennetts and williamsons had no salary cap or free agency to ease the talent differential. it just shouldn’t be possible in 2014 and 2015 to take teams completely out of the game by halftime as frequently as opponents did to Lovie’s bucs.
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