“The Perfect Hire”

January 4th, 2014
lovie smith 0102

John Madden weighs in on the process

Aside from a few unkind words from the one and only Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, there has been pretty much universal praise on Team Glazer for hunting down and locking up Lovie Smith as the 10th coach in Bucs history.

Add another voice to the chorus. And that comes from Hall of Fame coach John Madden. In his weekly appearance with Rich Gannon and Adam Schein, heard exclusively on SiriusXM Radio, Madden said Team Glazer could not have done a better job in finding a new coach.

John Madden: I thought it was the perfect hire. I didn’t know Schiano was going to get fired. Lovie was out there. He had said he was kind of going to take the year off. He wanted to come back this year. So you knew he wanted to come back and you know that Tampa Bay needed a coach and you just said, ‘Lovie wants to be a head coach again and Tampa Bay needs a head coach, what more do you need than that?’

I think – nothing is perfect, we all know that — but this is probably as close to a perfect [hire] as you can get.

Adam Schein: I totally agree with that. Take it a step further, John. What do you like about Lovie Smith? What makes him such a right guy at the right time in terms of his coaching ability, his demeanor, the way he interacts with his players? What makes him that right-guy-at-the-right-time guy for the Buccaneers?

Madden: I think for the organization he is the right guy. You know, one of the difficult things with owners and maybe one of the reasons they fire so many guys because they don’t put a lot into it when they hire them. I always wondered how you can take and have a five-hour interview with the guy and take a day off and have another five-hour interview with the guy and in 10 hours, you are going to give him a five-year contract and live with him as your head coach. You really don’t know him. I think in Tampa Bay, this has been erased. The Glazers, they know Lovie Smith. He worked for them, coached for them. They know the brand of football he is going to coach. Before, it was Tony Dungy and they lived with that. And that’s why I think it is perfect.

Lovie Smith knows the Glazers, he knows the culture there. He knows the program there. He knows the facilities. It is one of those things that are so difficult for a new staff walking into a new place. I mean, it takes weeks to find out where your office is. Then the facility and the weight room and all of those things. So Lovie Smith is walking in knowing all of those things and he will bring a staff with him that partly knows those things and the ownership on the other side know exactly – exactly! – what they are going to get from Lovie Smith. And they know exactly what program they are going to get from him.

Even though it is a perfect fit, will it work? The Bucs need a quarterback. Joe can’t be any more plain than that. In the next 18 months, there will be tons of talented quarterbacks coming out in the draft. Can Lovie and Jeff Tedford develop one? Remember, Tedford has never coached a down in the NFL.

And, oh, yeah, if Tedford is remotely successful with the Bucs, then he will be a candidate for a head coaching job. Then what, Ron Turner? Mike Tice?

58 Responses to ““The Perfect Hire””

  1. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    No where else to go but up.

  2. LUVMYBUC Says:

    Smh..Yeah you right. For some odd reason the Dungy Tree achilles heel has been Offensive Coordinators. I don’t know if its that whole conservative, ball control crap or what.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The Lovie Smith hire will bring the Bucs very positiive National press from many….but especially from former Bucs.
    Sapp, Lynch, Dungy, Dilfer (Tedford), Barber

    Maybe even Shaun King will be positive!!!

    “Shaun King, one of two Buc Quarterbacks that lost a NFC Championship Game when his defense gave up 11 or fewer points.”

  4. Walter Says:

    Tedford did a nice job developing QB’s in college, so I won’t knock him unless he messes up in the pros. The Bucs are developing a solid coaching staff, they have some talent in place, and are in a nice position to add more (draft Watkins at #7 please!) so let’s see what Lovie and Co. can do with it. I trust then a hell of a lot more than Schiano.

  5. LUVMYBUC Says:

    I wonder if we’ll hire a Senior Offensive Consultant to help with Tedfords transition to the NFL.

    Also will be interesting to see what happens in Tennessee with Head Coach Mike Munchak and his staff (Keith Millard Defensive Assistant/Pass Rush Specialist & Bruce Matthews Offensive Line).

    And will we bring back Byner

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Walter

    Watkins was an absolute beast last night…and played hurt!!!

    I can only imagine what it would be like with him in the slot….and to have MW19 as our 3rd WR….talk about establishing the running game….lanes would open up for Martin, James, Rainey, Demps

    I have been a proponent of trading the pick for extra picks…but Watkins would be a great pick.

    Lovie may not be able to contain himself if Barr or Mack are there at 7.

  7. Scotty Says:

    love Madden !

  8. BucsQcCity Says:

    If Tedford’s offense are that complex, then maybe Glennon might be able to master it rapidly.. Glennon was a study freak in college so it could work, if we can fix the oline of course

  9. BucsQcCity Says:

    Ok just saw watkins highlights.. We need that guy!

  10. Mr. T Says:

    I hope all this works out and we can be competitive in the division again of course this won’t be known until we actually start playing in Sept. Till then it will be interesting to watch how things unfold over the coming months.

  11. rdbucfan Says:

    “The Bucs need a quarterback. Joe can’t be any more plain than that.”

    Joe you were still calling Freeboy a franchise QB after he was fired. You didn’t really give Glennon a chance this year. You wrote an article listing all of the experts that said he has the tools to be a successful NFL QB. But yet you still want Johnny Boyziel even though he has not played 1 down in the NFL. His stats against UF last year against an NFL defensive coordinator were worse than Glennon’s average this year against NFL defenses which are hands down better than UF’s defense because there is more talent than there is in college.

    You say Boyziel excelled against the best defenses in College football as your reason for your love fest with him. How many of those defenses have NFL coaches running them or calling the plays?

    “In the next 18 months, there will be tons of talented quarterbacks coming out in the draft. Can Lovie and Jeff Tedford develop one?”

    Why don’t you give Tedford a chance to develop an NFL QB that is already on the roster?

    You can’t say that Glennon is not an NFL QB because he is an NFL QB. He was draft by an NFL team, actually by your hero Dom. Glennon has played both well and average at times and has won in the NFL. Why wont you vive him the same chance as you gave Freeboy?

    Let’s not re-write history. Joe likes Glennon; Joe just doesn’t see him as a quality starter. And this is an IDEAL time to bring in serious competition, if not an established replacement. It’s all about timing. Freeman proved himself to be special during his rookie season and second year. Glennon isn’t in the same boat. –Joe

  12. Yar Says:

    Put 42 points on the board in the first half and then Lovie can have the ball control thing in the second half.

  13. terraj35 Says:

    Joe, I hope you’re as wrong about Glennon as you were about Freeman. I don’t understand why people are so against Glennon after they stayed so blind to how awful Freeman was for so long. Glennon has shown he has a better (more accurate) arm and is no doubt more intelligent than j-free. We don’t need a gimmicky Johnny football, we need a pocket passer.

  14. Yar Says:

    NFL QB’s have to execute the offensive plays they are given, not flit around like tinkerbell and freelance all the time like Johnny FB. He won’t last long in the Pro’s.

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Give Glennon Sammy Watkins & a line that can open running lanes & pass protect & you will see a much improved QB.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Glennon & perhaps even Freeman was miscoached. I think the fear of a turnover was paramount on Glennon’s mind….you just cant’ play like that!!!

  16. Walter Says:

    I’m with Joe on Glennon, there’s nothing special about him. If he were ice cream, he’d be vanilla. We need some flavor at QB, done with bland and boring, especially after last year.

  17. Walter Says:

    Give me a guy with some play making ability!

  18. Victor Johnson Says:

    Joe, please stop with all the negativity. You say what if Tedford is good then he is gone like you want him to flop. I am pretty sure Tedford has guys he trusts that know how his system works and he will bring them with him. So if he is successful which I think he will be and he gets an opportunity to leave then it will be the next guy up but that’s way down the line. Can we just let Lovie get his staff together and start showing these boys what a real coach looks like with OTAs and march onto consistent winning year after year.

  19. Architek Says:

    Let’s get going Bucs!

  20. Buc4Life Says:

    I am already excited for the upcoming season. I believe Lovie is a great hire. I mean who else is available that could be deemed better? As a die hard fan, I stand behind any coach through thick and thin because they are just that, The coach of my favorite team. I believe even with Glennon at QB we can be good but it never hurts to grab a QB if available. The unknown factor is what makes the season fun.

  21. Tamparob Says:

    Umm.. Mr. Madden? One Buc Palace wasn’t built until after Lovie was long gone. When he was here they were still in that double wide next to International Plaza. Weight room? I bet Sapp would laugh at that. Not that it mattered, though… they won a Super Bowl while training/practicing there, but still it’s a factually incorrect statement

  22. Architek Says:

    I agree go Sammy Watkins in the first – and qb later!

  23. adambomb418 Says:

    “And, oh, yeah, if Tedford is remotely successful with the Bucs, then he will be a candidate for a head coaching job. Then what, Ron Turner? Mike Tice?”

    Isn’t this what we all thought about Mike Sullivan? He was going to coach up “Five” into Manning status and then bolt for another coaching gig. Let’s not put the cart before the horse.

  24. deminion Says:

    draft watkins hope he makes it to #7

  25. madmacskillz Says:

    I have no idea why anyone thinks they can judge an NFL quarterback after his first year. The league is full of QB’s who got a lot better or a lot worse after year one. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what we think. If the Bucs do not draft a QB in rounds 1 or 2, Glennon is the starter. Um, unless they bring in a vet, but I don’t see them doing that.

  26. Victor Johnson Says:

    OH and by the way who the hell is Mad Dog and what coach has he hired before? Who cares what the hell he thinks!!!!!!!

  27. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    As for Glennon……let’s consider this……Other than VJax…..what Buc offensive player (not on IR) would start for another NFL team?

    I can understand why you would want a QB to make up for our lack of talent/coaching….but the price for that QB is going to be very, very high!!!

  28. JW Says:

    Are we going to see the wisdom in Lovie Smith contracting the services of Ernest Byner and Bryan Cox? I hope they retain these fine assistant Coaches who proved to be a bright spot over the past 2 seasons!

  29. Bucnjim Says:

    Anyone who drafts Johnny Football must be very careful. Not sure if he love’s football or just love’s the money & attention. If that’s the case He’ll never make it.

  30. Solinor Says:

    Agreed rdbucfan, I think Glennon had a horrible situation last year with a horrible play caller, shoddy offensive line and injures to some of his key weapons. I think if you add a speed receiver, fix the O line and get another TE, Glennon can excel. Johnny football is honestly a twig and his cute running works in college but he’s going to get clocked a few times in the NFL and turn into an rg3 #2. Cam Newton can take the hits because he’s a big guy, Russell Wilson knows how and when to slide, Johnny football is ballsy and will get injured, probably his first year. And his character issues are a huge concern. The kid has grown up as a trust fund baby and had had everything handed to him. He doesn’t know the first thing about life, nevermind be the leader of a national football team. I would never draft him, not even in the 7th round if he was still available. I’ll take Glennon all day before Johnny Manziel

  31. Eric Says:

    Actually I think Lovie will have to find his office as the new facility wasn’t built yet while he was here.

    it’s down the hall from the bust of chucky coaching us in the Super Bowl.

    Lovie is just flat out qualified whether he worked with Tony or not. Pretty comparable record to Andy Reid. Reid’s winning percentage .59, Lovie’s .56. Both made one super Bowl. Reid did make the playoffs more. But Lovie is pretty close overall.

    The man is a proven winner in his own right. Excellent choice and he’s already showing it by the ease he is assembling his staff because other coaches respect him and want to work with him. Both Raheem and Greg struggled mightily to bring in a decent staff.

    Throw in no more rockstar and things are looking up big time!

  32. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    “Now here’s a guy, that when he coaches his team, they win games. I, I, I, mean he’s just tremendous. Now all they gotta do is sign Brett Favre and its lookout Super Bowl!” – John Madden

  33. MTM Says:

    I know thing that will change. All the horsesh*t penalties called on the Bucs. The refs made it clear that they did not like Schiano. Lovie garners way more respect from officials.

    The future is bright in OBP again.

  34. Bucnjim Says:


    You are exactly right about the penalties! Teams that are respected like the Bronco’s & Patriot’s never get those nit pick calls going against them.

  35. Brian Jones Says:

    Very excited with the Glazers making this quick hire to bring Lovie back to Tampa. I am really excited for this year and the future of the organization. My only concerns is the possible choice for Ballard to be the G.M. It appears he would take over with the same experience that Dominik had – personnel experience, but 1st year as a G.M. I would prefer a proven G.M. to take over – such as a possible Charlie Casserly or Bill Polian. We can only wait to see what happens, and only time will tell.

    Looking forward to the new (old) regime! #itsabucslife

  36. Harry Says:

    Watch who Tedford hires as QB coach. That will be important.

  37. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Madden made one mistake. Lovie is NOT familiar with the Buccaneer facilities. They weren’t here when he was.

    One might consider the stadium a facility. –Joe

  38. rdbucfan Says:

    What was so special about Freeboy in his rookie year?

    Freeboy’s rookie stats

    G Att Comp Pct Att/G Yds Avg Yds/G TD TD% Int Int%
    10 290 158 54.5 29 1,855 6.4 185.5 10 3.4 18 6.2

    Lng 20+ 40+ Sck SckY Rate
    42T 25 2 20 102 59.8

    Glennon’s rookie stats

    G Att Comp Pct Att/G Yds Avg Yds/G TD TD% Int
    13 416 247 59.4 32 2,608 6.3 200.6 19 4.6 9

    Int% Lng 20+ 40+ Sck SckY Rate
    2.2 85T 28 7 40 314 83.9

    I know stats are for losers, but the only thing Josh did better were sacks, sack yards, rushing and yards per pass attempt by 0.1 percentage points.

    Freeboy had only 2 games in his career with 137.5 or above passer rating. Glennon had 2 this year. Yet you loved Freeboy and called him a franchise QB and you can’t wait to replace Glennon.

    Here are the teams that each had their best passer rating against.

    Glennon had his best passer rating of 138.4 rating against Detroit which was the 16th best defense in the nfl and 23rd ranked passing defense.

    Josh’s best passer ratings was 144.2 against Seattle in 2010 who had the 27th best defense that year and 27th in passing.

  39. Harry Says:

    @Walter Says:
    “I’m with Joe on Glennon, there’s nothing special about him. If he were ice cream, he’d be vanilla. We need some flavor at QB…”

    Said beautifully Walter, lol.

    btw, I will admit, I am not sure who we should draft IF we were to take a QB in the first. But I know who has the hottest gf – Bortles. His GF IS FREAKING HOT!!! I believe she may be able to replace the sexy Rachel Watson!!

  40. Charlie B Says:

    Joe, you’ve been banging the drum that successful coordinators leave and then you have to start all over. No you don’t. If it’s a successful system, promote your best position coach.

  41. lurker Says:

    hopefully lovie learned some things while he took the money and lazed around. he did already hire an intriguing oc. maybe this time around he can improve on other things like game management. also, a big concern he he flat out sucked against winning teams: 19-38 against winning teams. horrible!

    interesting article here back on 12/06/12 when lovie’s team collapsed against the seachickens. it also compares lovie’s record to mike McCarthy’s with the packers.

    this is the concern and the mediocrity worry.

  42. lurker Says:

    oops…article link:


  43. Sigs are for Losers Says:

    …and if Freeman had been ice cream, he would have been Rocky Road.

  44. Joe Says:


    That may be worse than Freeman’s record vs. teams with a winning record. Ouch.

    Thanks for that link.

  45. Pinnaql3 Says:

    Tampa Bay DOES NOT need to draft a QB in the 1st Round. PERIOD.
    Tampa Bay DOES NOT need “flash“ and/or “flavor“ at the QB position to win. (anyone that’s citing flash/flavor to describe their needs/wants from a guy should just get back to watching figure skating and Broadway Musicals. Seriously)
    Tampa Bay needs protection so the QB can do what QBs get paid to do.
    Tampa Bay needs running lanes so RBs can do what RBs get paid to do.
    Right now, Glennon is good enough to be good enough.
    ***Brett Smith, 2014 4th Round Selection of your Tampa Bay BUCCANEERS ***

  46. Snook Says:

    Technically, Lovie doesn’t know the Bucs facilities. Last time he was in Tampa, they were still working out of the tin cans at old One Buc.

  47. OB Says:

    If the new coaches know what they are doing, they will evaluate everything before the draft and free agency dates for the positions that need help and make the decisions based on what they see and know. If they don’t, we will know we are in for a long year or two until the next crew comes along.

    I, for one, believe they will do very well in their actions, but they are only human and some mistakes will be made both good and bad, I just hope that they make less of the bad ones then all the other coaches.

  48. Harry Says:

    lurker: That may be worse than Freeman’s record vs. teams with a winning record. Ouch.

    Good link/story. Could the difference be one has a solid QB, and the other has a Freeman clone? That would be my thinking over who is the better coach.

  49. Rob Says:

    With Lovie as the 10th coach in Bucs history, that gives us an average coaching tenure of 4.22222222 (with a line over it) years. Not too bad I guess. Lets hope Lovie increases that average significantly.

    Over Lovie’s 9 years as head coach of the Bears he had only 3 losing seasons. His first year at 5-11 and two others at 7-9. With a 3-3 record in the playoffs making it to the post season 3 out of the 9 years and once to the Super Bowl in 2006. Thats pretty damn good winning football with consistently poor offenses. Only one year did they finish in the top 15 (right at number 15) in total offensive yards. Every other year was 23rd or worse. That same year they finished 2nd in offensive points (14th or worse every other year). Those numbers would be good enough to propel them into his only Super Bowl appearance in 2006. With a productive offense he could be a very successful coach.

    Some other interesting tid bits, some of which you may already know…we have only two coaches in history with winning records – Dungy (54-42 regular season, 2-4 playoffs) and Gruden (57-55 regular season, 3-2 playoffs). While John McKay is the longest tenured Bucs coach from 1976-1984 with a regular season record of 44-88-1 and playoff record of 1-3.

  50. Couch Fan Says:

    No QB in this world can win or even look good with just 1 quality receiver, a bad O-line and bad coaching along with bad play calling.

    You can sit here all day Joe and try to tell us Glennon is not special, but that is nothing more than your bias opinion because we all know how badly you want ole jonny boy. Lol. Keep trying though.

  51. Bucsfan11 Says:

    One thing that Tedford has shown is that he has an eye for qb’s. Let’s remember that Aaron Rodgers was found by Tedford in a JC when he went to go look at someone else. He has countlessly shown that he can produce a pro caliber qb. If glennon is the man then he will keep him. If he’s not then he’ll go after someone else. I think glennon has proved his worth for another season. I expect the bucs to take a late round pic on a qb or if the right person is on the board jump on him. The should not use the 7th pick on a qb. Does everyone remember who we won the Super Bowl with – a qb who could get the job done but no more than that. That’s all that was needed with the right pieces and coach though. Look at KC with Alex Smith….

    Going back to the GM talk. We need someone with cap experience. Gm’s can surround themselves with the best talent evaluators. If they can’t work numbers they put the franchise in jeopardy. They need to make smart decisions with the resources they have. Every organization has a dozen or more scouts for the talent purpose. There’s only one or two people who handle the finances and contracts. I’m going to throw a name out there – Mike Greenberg. Greenberg is the director of football administration and handles all of the contracts. Kid is an Ivy League grad, lawyer, and has been dealing with the cap in Tampa and previously worked under tannenbaum on ny. He’s young an will provide a fresh face to the organization. Lovie is going to have more power than most coaches anyway being that he was brought in first. They need to seriously look at Greenberg as a candidate for GM.

  52. Hesson0208 Says:

    If we get Sammy Watkins, Charles Tillman, & either Peppers or Jared Allen, I think Mike Glennon can possibly take us to the Superbowl (playing the Brad Johnson role)… Maybe even as soon as next year.

  53. lurker Says:

    @ harry
    “Good link/story. Could the difference be one has a solid QB, and the other has a Freeman clone? That would be my thinking over who is the better coach.”

    yes, but we do not have aaron rodgers @ qb, nor even cutler.

  54. lurker Says:


    read the article I posted…


    you want numbers, they’re there
    19-38 against teams over .500

    that is not good…even bears’ fans say he could only beat creampuffs and his teams found ways to give games away.

  55. Rrsrq Says:

    I believe bill belicheck learned a few things his second time around interesting how fans have pre-judged the coach. While most have hope of someone with NFL experience, Bucs can win I believe with the possible Andy Reid effect, but I agree got to have competition at QB, I’m still saying Brett Hundley if he comes out, trade back into first round late to get him if he comes out. He has size, arm, intelligence and athleticism. Like Beckles said, athleticism can hide some of the offensive deficiencies.

  56. Rob Says:


    Wish I would have read that before I posted those stats. I guess you can spin things that on the surface look great but when dissected don’t look so great. Oh well I guess time will tell. And you have to admit though that Lovie is light years ahead of the previous two hires. Finally some NFL head coaching experience. Something we all were calling for after the Raheem Morris experiment. I do miss Raheem’s pressers though.

  57. BoJim Says:

    Couch Fan

    I agree. Why can’t other people see that? I hope he QB’s next season.

  58. zam Says:

    that you are 19-38 against teams over .500 isn’t bad in and of itself. You have to look at what other coaches/teams are.

    My guess is that his w-l record is better than other coaches against teams that are under .500 given his overall record. And that means consistency.

    Put another way, if you play 16 games, and half are against sub-500 teams, you win 100% of those you have 8 wins, and win one third of the remaining games, that’s roughly 3 games. You are 11-5 and playoff bound.

    So that stat alone is pretty meaningless.