In the latest of coach firings in the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday night decided to fire head coach Lovie Smith after just his 2nd season with the team. Smith finishes his tenure in Tampa Bay with a 8-24 record, after going 6-10 this past season.
With the reputation as a defensive coach, Smith’s defense ranked 26th in points allowed per game, but 10th in yards per game. Both improvements from his first year as head coach.
To me, this firing makes absolutely no sense at all. The Bucs are just getting started with their rebuild, and I can’t imagine why expectations would be high after year one with rookie Jameis Winston. One would think Lovie Smith should have gotten a few years to draft players for his system, and see where Jameis could lead this franchise in years 2 and 3.
This decision makes you think that they have a coach already lined up, but even then, this still doesn’t make any sense. Buccaneers management HAS to knock this out of the park to keep from being slammed not only by the court of public opinion, but by the players as well. One already has voiced his opinion to Twitter, star linebacker Lavonte David. The tweet has since been deleted.
Off first glance, potential candidates to fill the role look to be the same as every other team at this point. Adam Gase, Josh McDaniels, Hue Jackson etc. But with Jameis Winston as their franchise quarterback, I would imagine that they would want a bright offensive mind to get Winston to his peak, so I think they’ll put on the full court press for Adam Gase.
There are other reports that are saying the job could very well be going to their current offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. So don’t be surprised if he is the one that indeed gets the job.
As for Lovie Smith, it’ll be hard to see where he ends up. It would be great to see him as a head coach again somewhere, but after he was fired from Chicago it took a few seasons to get the Tampa job. I think he would be a good fit for a team like the Giants. They already have an offense in place, and if he went in there and kept offensive coordinator Bob McAdoo, he could focus on fixing the Giants’ horrendous defense. But if he doesn’t get a head coaching job, he’ll likely sit back and collect the rest of the money Tampa owes him from this contract, I don’t see him settling for a defensive coordinator position.
The Buccaneers will be hiring their 3rd coach in 5 seasons.
Article by Thomas Mooney