Taking A Year OffApril 2nd, 2014
Now Joe knows the vast majority of his readers would in no way be able to take a year’s vacation after being jettisoned from a job. Mortgages, car payments, rent, NFL Sunday Ticket fees, bar tabs, they all keep us working and unable to blow off a year of work, short of winning the lottery or robbing a bank.
That is not the case always with NFL coaches. Often with seven-figured salaries, not working for a year doesn’t exactly pinch unemployed NFL coaches like it would most folks. So recently when Lovie Smith appeared on “Movin’ the Chains,” co-hosted by Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Kirwan, in a roundabout way, explained to Lovie what he thought of the year off for the new Bucs coach.
Pat Kirwan: When Tom Coughlin took a year off after he was fired in Jacksonville – I told this to him – I thought it was the greatest thing to happen to him. I still think the best thing to happen to him and I have told this to a lot of my friends that have been fired: One year [off] is a good thing for you. Don’t look at it as a bad thing. It is not just the re-energizing, but the refocus of some things you might want to do different and getting ideas from people without the pressure of games and everything else. Talk about how the year off molded you for the future.
Lovie Smith: I will say the same thing Pat. It was a great year. One of the best years of my life. You know I am a family man. Husband, granddad. I got a chance to spend a lot of private time with family members. My wife and I had a list of things we always wanted to do but never had the chance to do. We were able to do that. Then to get back into football and to evaluate everything I believe in as a football coach, how you do things. And to see how I was also a football fan. I got a chance to watch high school and college and pro games and learned a lot from all of them and I did. I studied our game, the NFL game. I felt confident I could get back in and start making plans for this time and we are carrying out some of those now.
If anything, Joe is learning Lovie is a pretty good poker player. He is fairly adept at answering questions with just enough information that it’s hard to guess which way he is leaning.
What Lovie said to Kirwan really isn’t earth-shattering, but in the past Lovie has said he learned some things about football in his year off. He also stated his core beliefs on how to win in the NFL were reinforced by what he saw.
So what does this mean? It’s hard to tell. Some laud Lovie’s hiring of Jeff Tedford to run his offense, but it’s not like Lovie hasn’t made bold offensive moves in the past. Shoot, he hired pass-happy Mike Martz as his offensive coordinator in Chicago. It doesn’t get much more radical than that on the NFL level.
Bucs fans will only find out what the season off did for Lovie’s football thinking by watching how this season plays out.