The Lovie Smith Way

March 17th, 2014

Would be nice if the Bucs had an offense as good as the Seahawks’.

Hiring Lovie Smith was a reach-back to the Father Dungy era for Team Glazer. No problem with that. But as Bucs fans seem to forget, Father Dungy didn’t get the job done here. Yes, if a coach’s goal is not to win a Super Bowl, then he shouldn’t be coaching.

In his only other head coaching job, Lovie got his team to the Super Bowl, something Father Dungy couldn’t and didn’t do here. Clearly, Team Glazer is hoping that same magic will re-appear in the not-too distant future. NFL insider Jeffri Chahida of BSPN believes Lovie has taken the initial steps.

Now this isn’t to say the Bucs are a perfect team at the moment. They still need more help at offensive line (after releasing left tackle Donald Penn and guard Davin Joseph), and years of bad drafting have led to depth issues that Smith and Licht will have to repair. They also need new left tackle Anthony Collins to produce (he received a five-year, $30 million deal after spending the last six seasons as a backup in Cincinnati) and third-year running back Doug Martin to stay healthy after missing 10 games in 2013 with a torn labrum. If Collins really is a hidden gem and Martin returns to the Pro Bowl form of his rookie season, the Bucs offense will be in solid shape.

The beauty of Smith’s system is that he doesn’t need that much offense to succeed. In an era where most teams want to build offensive powerhouses, he still believes that running the football, playing strong defense and relying on solid special teams play can lead to great results. The funny thing is, there is more evidence of that today than in recent memory. Instead of seeming antiquated in his nature — which seemed to be the case when so many offensive-minded head coaches were being hired for vacant jobs last year — Smith’s position now might be catching on.

The Seattle Seahawks just won their first Super Bowl with a dominant defense. The San Francisco 49ers have played in three straight NFC title games — and one Super Bowl — largely because they have all kinds of talent on that side of the football. The Carolina Panthers also blossomed into the NFC South champions this year because they made a huge leap in their organizational thinking. Instead of hoping star quarterback Cam Newton could carry them to the mountaintop, they let linebacker Luke Kuechly, the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year, and his fellow defenders forge that path.

This comparison to the Seahawks is starting to annoy Joe. Half the points Seattle scored in the Super Bowl win came from the offense. It’s not like Seattle’s offense was impotent. Sure, Seattle played good defense, but you still have to have a decent (at worst) offense to win games.

And to be blunt, Joe isn’t yet convinced Josh McCown is as good as Russell Wilson. You know, Seattle’s stud quarterback?

This is the great, and sort of cool, mystery surrounding the Bucs right now. Nobody really knows what kind of offense Jeff Tedford will use in his first season as an NFL offensive coordinator. That is one making Joe look forward to training camp. Frankly, that’s the only thing Joe is looking forward to in training camp.

29 Responses to “The Lovie Smith Way”

  1. Jcray648 Says:

    I like defense too but a little offense would certainly help. It doesn’t get any worse than being ranked 32nd on offense.

  2. stevek (MGM) Says:

    Another Dominick nugget:

    “Instead of hoping star quarterback Cam Newton could carry them to the mountaintop, they let linebacker Luke Kuechly, the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year, and his fellow defenders forge that path.”

    Paging: Mark Barron, please report to the top of the NFL safety pool.

    We just made too many mistakes. I like the new guys, especially at their contracts.

  3. Mort Says:

    Joe, for real you guys need to fix the mobile ads that send you to the App Store to download candy crush.

    It’s an intermittent issue that only affects some mobile users. Joe has encountered it as well. Joe understands. It’s been rectified before, and Joe will solve it again. There’s also a fancy gift for mobile users expected this spring … –Joe

  4. Mitch Says:

    I agree with Mort ^^

  5. flmike Says:

    Why wouldn’t Martin return to form, it was his efffffffinnngggg shoulder he hurt, not his legs, and the only thing he complained about was when he had to left his arm higher than his head.

  6. Patrick in VA Says:

    Off topic but this needs to be out there for you people that say “just get any of the top QBs with our top pick and he’ll be a franchise QB for us”. Don’t let your desire for a top guy cloud your judgement about who these guys are and where their talent level really is.

  7. Bucfan#37 Says:

    Aint that the truth about Doug Martin, still the best Buc on offense. Some on here actually remarked about trading him because the backfield was too stacked. Forget that nonsense! As Martin goes, so go the Bucs.

  8. Cmurda Says:

    Mike Jenkins visiting Bucs today. He would come relatively cheap and he is 1st Round material that hadnt panned out yet. Just for the sake of his price tag and that he played for my alma mater, I want him.

  9. SSG MIKE Says:

    I agree, I am anxious to see what Tedford has in store for what has been an anemic offense for quite a few years now. I do believe we should look at a developmental QB to compete with Glennon under McCown. I’m just not sure that you can do that in the first round with other depth needs and talent that can start right away in that round at other positions. McCown is definitely not the answer and is only a stop gap game manager for us. All in all I’m pretty excited about training camp and next season under a real coach with real experience. I was never a Morris or Schiano supporter. Go Bucs!

  10. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater ranks as the No. 1 QB in the 2014 NFL Draft according to NFL Draft Analyst Mike Mayock-Can’t argue with Mayock I guess-:S

  11. Kevin Says:

    JoeBucsFan….. Are you suggesting that Dungy’s inability to win a SuperBowl in Tampa with the fact that Lovie worked for Dungy in Tampa means Lovie will not get a SuperBowl in Tampa?

    No. Joe is not suggesting that. –Joe

    Mike Tomlin worked under Dungy in Tampa and went on to win 2 SuperBowls because he had a QB. Dungy won 1 because he had a QB.

    Dungy, Lovie and Tomlin all good Defensive guys so most would agree Defense will be good….. maybe the right question centers around putting up points & especially getting a franchise QB. Just my opinion.

  12. Patrick in VA Says:

    #1 QB in the draft class has an average at best pro day. Let’s give up all of our picks to move up and get one of these studs

  13. Patrick in VA Says:

    #1 QB in the draft class has an average at best pro day. Let’s give up all of our picks to move up and get one of these studs.

  14. Mr. T Says:

    I just hope during games Lovie keeps his hands off the offense and lets Tedford run it and make whatever adjustments he thinks necessary during the game. we need more than a mediocre low scoring offense if we want to get to a SB.

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If you think about it…our offense ranked 9th in 2012…..and last in 2013….the changes were due to injuries at RB/WR and an underperfoming Oline……if you call the QB from Freeman to Glennon a wash….then you’ve got to conlude that we have made some improvements to our offense.
    Completely Revamped O-line
    New QB with experience
    Returning Healthy WRs/RB
    Adding a TE
    Potential for more with the 2014 draft
    Connor Barth returning

    I’m not one who subscribes to the notion that our offense hasn’t improved…..of course, we will have to see it perform on the field to be sure.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Oh…forgot one more change to the offense…..coaching changes!!!

  17. bucfanjeff Says:

    Pro day, Shmo day…mechanics, accuracy, arm strength, and football intelligence. Then compare\evaluate those things from tape.

  18. Jonny 2.3 Says:

    @Mort: You deserve it for using an iPhone. Download Candy Crush and play it.

  19. BucFan20 Says:

    And could have a defense that does not give games away letting most teams score 27 t0 31 points.

  20. bigpoppabuc Says:

    It’s going to be old school buc ball on the defensive side, and Tedford should be able to have some beginners success early, before the league gets some pro tape on him, but we’ll have to see if he can keep things fresh and not become so predictable like Sullivan.

    I’m hoping for kind of a Dungy with a splash of Gruden approach.

  21. Rene Jack Says:

    It’s so funny to me Joe that all you have been writing about all off season is for the Bucs to upgrade at QB. They do that and now your posting audio of how this move is a puzzling move. It doesn’t matter who they sign if they don’t draft Johnny Dbag u will not be happy. How bout drafting the best available player which I truly feel they will. Drafting for need is what has put this franchise behind the 8 ball. I still feel there are 7 can’t miss prospects and JDBag is not one of them!!! We can get our future qb in rounds 2-3.

  22. Rene Jack Says:

    Sorry Joe I posted this on wrong article. I also keep getting sent to candy crush when I’m on your page so when I got back I thought I was posting on the audio of Josh McCown. The glitch is very annoying!!! Still love ur sight though!!!

  23. John Ensch Says:

    All this talk about McCown is getting old.(as is McCown) He was brought here for one reason and that was to mentor the QB the Bucs draft, no matter what round that is in. Sure he will open the season as the starter, but I’m sure the plan doesn’t include him starting over a long period of time, probably no more than a year and then letting his understudy become the starter. As seen from the free agent signings the Bucs are looking for young players who will be here for a couple of contracts. That leaves Josh McCowns signing only a stop gap to fill the void while the real QB of the future is completely NFL ready.

  24. Gerald S Says:

    Rayswin100 look we have a new head coach for 10 years hands down. We are making a correct organizational shift. Once again the Dungy coaching tree grows in Avila this is what we are now. Yes we we need to score points and that where the focus should be on Tedford what is he about. Lovie gonna be the same guy today and 10 years from now. There are 2 mysteries what we do at 7 and what kind of power and influence Tedford has to be more than 2 runs a pass and a punt

  25. Architek Says:

    Average pro day equal value galore – trade down and get more! Let the midget man Manziel go

  26. BamBamBuc Says:

    I have no problem with Bridgewater having a poor Pro Day for whatever reason. Not looking for workout warriors at the combine or Pro Days. All I care about is production and the past 2 years he led his team to a 23-3 record with two bowl wins. He already runs a pro-style offense and has the footwork and reads to line up in the NFL. He can take care of the ball with a 58-12 TD/INT ratio over those two years. I could include his freshman year as well, it wasn’t horrible at all, and feel free to look and compare #s. Best thing I could say is that we have a potential drop of Bridgewater from the top tier and Manziel and Bortles go top 5. Bridgewater drops to us at 7 and we have a guy with one of the lowest risk factors at QB and “franchise” potential drop in our laps. I’m fine with that.

  27. mjmoody Says:

    The TV talks about the Seattle 2ndary. The Teams –at least by their FA moves– noticed Seattle’s Rush with only the front 4. I feel like a lone voice droned out by the crowd, BUT Seattle scored over 30 in that game. That is the new bar in the NFL. Score 30. I’m pretty sure that’s still offense.

  28. owlykat Says:

    All great observations above I cannot improve on. I would take Bridgewater in a heartbeat if he drops to us but I don’t think we will be that fortunate despite his average play in shorts today. There are too many years of super production.

  29. Bryan Says:

    Very good post Joe.