“Crap, Dang, Darn & Shoot”

January 8th, 2014

A different kind of culture change has arrived at One Buc Palace.

The foul-mouthed ways of Jon Gruden and Raheem Morris were notorious. Greg Schiano? He brought his Jersey vocabulary to Tampa.

Lovie Smith is a different kind of cat.

During a Monday FOXSports1 interview with Lovie Smith, former Bears great Brian Urlacher was playful with his former head coach. Urlacher told a story of when Lovie was furious and actually said “crap, dang, darn and shoot in the same sentence.”

Lovie is known for his Father Dungy approach and values, including no swearing and a steady demeanor.

Joe found this 2011 ChicagoMag.com feature excerpt worth sharing.

Yelling at guys doesn’t make them tougher, Smith continues. What makes them tougher? Holding them accountable. “Guys understand: You don’t get it done, we’re gonna get somebody else to do it,” he says. “To me, that is positive.”

After each game, players and coaches gather to review film. Each player gets a grade on every play, presented for the entire team to hear. Players who don’t consistently make good grades get demoted. It’s the only honest way to operate, Smith says. Set standards and hold players to those standards.

Thirty minutes into the conversation and he’s got me believing. I’m ready to throw a block for this guy. Yet we hear that today’s big-time athletes are spoiled and don’t respond to discipline. We hear that modern athletes care about themselves first, their cars second, their teams third.

Aeneas Williams, who played for Smith when Smith was the defensive coordinator in St. Louis, says some coaches do have trouble getting through to players. They make threats and never follow up, and once that happens they lose the players’ respect. Not Coach Lovie. “I’ve never seen him upset in a demonstrative way,” says Williams. “But I never, ever wanted to disappoint him.”

After a blowout win in Miami early in the 2001 season, Williams recalls, “there was real excitement in the room. Then the postgame meeting started, and Coach Lovie comes in and says, ‘It feels good, doesn’t it?’ Then he says, with a calm voice, ‘But there are some of you in here who continue to make the same mistakes time after time, and I’ll tell you right now we are looking to replace you.’”

One of the players eventually benched was a $2-million-a-year starter.

Joe has nothing against well timed F-bombs, but Joe also has immense respect for Lovie’s approach and motivational tactics. He’s proven they work extremely well, and his players respect him.

4 Responses to ““Crap, Dang, Darn & Shoot””

  1. BirdDoggers Says:

    People hear swear words all the time. They probably don’t have the impact as intended when coaching and motivating players. Holding the players accountable seems like the logical approach to me. Calling a player out in front of their teammates will either motivate them to succeed or get them demoted if they can’t do the job.

  2. Patrick in VA Says:

    Sounds like GMC’s kinda guy. I think that kind of professional respect is probably the next step that is needed beyond the Schiano purge of miscreants. I think Lovie’s approach should turn the “Buccaneer Men” of the schiano era into highly functioning players. By holding people accountable like that he really is treating them like professional men and giving the grades out in a public setting leaves no room for people thinking that they’ve been graded unfairly. You produce or you’re replaced. That’s what we need. Getting more pumped by the day.

  3. Clowney Says:

    I disagree, make them run gauntlets until their tendons pop or their plantar bones break. At least run them until they drop to their knees and projectile vomit some Gatorade or get heat stroke induced brain damage like Freeman got.

    G*d damn! That’s some good fun!

  4. lurker Says:

    payasito…why are you here instead of the eagles board?

    you are the tired, little man who runs his mouth constantly berating players and coaches…even ex-coaches. your little man sysndrome is weak sauce and an obvious projection.