Kirk McEwen: Get Lovie!
I moved to Tampa in July of 2012, not long after Greg Schiano took over as ninth head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I couldn’t put my finger on it then but something just didn’t feel right about the coach from Rutgers. I remember thinking to myself that if results come quickly in the form of winning games (who doesn’t like winning games?) then Coach Schiano might be able to keep the team, even with his militaristic ways. Start losing some games and all bets were off. Well, guess what? Losing begat losing until the Schiano era spun itself into the Schiano error. In the end, this coach had to go and so did GM Mark Dominik, the man who brought him to town. A cloud had fallen over the team and, to their credit, these Bucs acted swiftly and decisively with a move roundly applauded in NFL circles and Bay area pubs. The Glazers hired Lovie Lee Smith to lead their team.
It really is hard to find anyone not totally enamored with the move. After an amateurish, middle-of-the-pack college coach, the Glazers hired a former NFL Coach of the Year. As Black Monday came and went and six coaches joined the unemployed, you just knew Lovie’s cell was about to blow up! He sat out a year and got the job he wanted, not the job he needed. Think about it. Lovie was fired in 2012 after going 10-6, after posting a career record way north of .500 [81-63], and truly leading players and coaches alike. The knock against him has been his lack of attention to the offense, the reason he probably lost the Bears gig. Former Cal coach Jeff Tedford is widely regarded as an offensive wiz with a knack at developing quarterbacks, like Mike Glennon. We’ll just have to wait and see how he transitions to the NFL. We do know the head coach will have his hands all over the defense, re-instituting the vaunted ‘Tampa 2’ in the town that made it famous. Don’t expect flashy pressers and glib one-liners with Lovie. He plays it pretty close to the vest. With Lovie, though, finally there’s an adult in the room. A man other players respect from jump, as soon as his hiring was announced. The future is immediately brighter for these Buccaneers. The Glazers are to be commended. As a new fan of the Pewter Pirates I have to say I’m excited and energized over the move. Go Bucs!
The Buccaneers will introduce new head coach Lovie Smith at a press conference Monday December 6th at 2 p.m.
Follow Kirk on Twitter @KirkMcEwen