Mad Dog: Lovie = “Mediocrity”January 3rd, 2014
Joe is a little bit stunned. Since the moment word leaked that Lovie Smith was going to be the next Bucs coach, the 10th in franchise history, it was nearly unanimous; people thought the Bucs hit a home run, as if the Bucs landed Chuck Noll to lead the team.
Well, Joe has found a dissenting voice. And it is a powerful voice. An influential voice. A loud voice. And that is the voice of the one and only Chris “Mad Dog” Russo.
In his opening monologue Thursday on the show that bears his name, “Mad Dog Unleashed,” heard exclusively on SiriusXM Radio, Russo let it be known he thought Team Glazer reached big time for a head coach.
“The GM over in Chicago? Phil Emery, yes. He fired Lovie Smith which I didn’t have a problem with. I cannot believe that the coach the Bucs have their eyes on is Lovie Smith. I mean, Lovie Smith to me, has mediocrity written all over him. He’s not a big coach. He’s not bad, he’s not awful. He’s not a guy who is going to embarrass you from that perspective, but he is not a big coach.
“I know he has some roots in Tampa with the Tony Dungy scenario, but nobody will confuse Lovie Smith with Vince Lombardi. He is not a big football coach. The players like him. They will play hard for him. The team will relatively respond. But he is not the guy I would think about if I owned a team if I had to pick a guy to come in and coach my team. Tampa — I understand they need a little stability. They are looking for a little credibility, I get all of that. But boy, I tell you. If I was a Bucs fan, that would not turn me on.
“If you told me right now — what did he get, a three- or five-year deal? – I would not have gone down there. Now Lovie is going to bring in his own GM now that [former Bucs rock star general manager Mark] Dominik got fired, too? That did not turn me on. Four years guaranteed? Boy! And that’s the guy they want to bring in, Lovie Smith? Didn’t like it at all.”
Joe has to be honest. He is lukewarm to Lovie. It’s not a bad pick, but Lovie was unemployed because he could never develop a decent offense in Chicago, which is why Joe referred to Lovie as the ultimate Father Dungy clone.
Lovie’s track record with middling offenses does not warm the cockles of Joe’s heart when the Bucs offense is the very thing that needs fixing.
Now Jeff Tedford is supposed to fix the Bucs offense? It is clear Team Glazer wanted a quality head coach with NFL experience. They got that. But Tedford has never coached in the NFL. And no, Joe is not sold on neophyte Mike Glennon, sorry.
And Glennon, Tedford and Lovie are expected to repair the Bucs offense? The jury is still out.
Now what would get Joe excited is if Team Glazer somehow lured Rod Marinelli out of Dallas. That would get Joe fired up.