My TeamMarch 15th, 2014
There is a famous NFL Films clip that shows Deion Sanders screaming “My house!” in his first trip back to the Georgia Dome after he left the Dixie Chicks as a free agent and signed with the 49ers. The 49ers had blitzed the Dixie Chicks 42-3 highlighted by Deion’s 93-yard pick-six that evoked the screams.
That clip buzzed through Joe’s head when he read this piece on Lovie Smith by Yahoo! Sports NFL scribe Anwar Richardson, who documented how Bucs coach Lovie Smith is molding the Bucs into his vision of an NFL squad.
In short, Lovie himself could likely be exclaiming, “My team!”
Smith’s final act of supremacy was signing former Bears backup quarterback Josh McCown on Wednesday. Mike Glennon emerged as Tampa Bay’s starter last season, but Smith informed reporters McCown was his quarterback of choice.
Smith was known for being rigid in Chicago, and that side of him has not mellowed in Tampa Bay. To be fair, Smith may not get a chance to coach another NFL team if he fails in Tampa Bay, so there is nothing wrong with assembling “your” team. In fact, it is something every first-year coach attempts to do.
Of course, few coaches have been more aggressive, or unsympathetic, as Smith so quickly into their tenure.
The biggest knock on Lovie is his inability to build a decent offense in Chicago. The one time he did have a decent offense, with bratty Jay Cutler, the Bears got to an NFC Championship game where Cutler blew out his knee in the first half and the Bears lost a close game to the eventual Super Bowl champion Packers.
And yes, Lovie did make it to a Super Bowl with Rex Grossman, whose ineffectiveness was exposed badly by the Colts.
Joe is sure Lovie will have a sound defense. The offense, however, under first-year and zero-NFL-experience Jeff Tedford remains a mystery.