Lovie Smith: No. 14June 17th, 2014
On paper, Team Glazer seems to have gotten their man after it was determined last November that a change to a winning atmosphere from fear and MRSA and missing team photos, was desired, and eventually Lovie Smith was landed.
After all, how many coaches who have guided teams to the Super Bowl are walking the cold streets of leafy suburban Chicago looking for work? Team Glazer pounced and now Lovie is the new leader of the Bucs.
Of course, everyone at One Buc Palace is singing about Lovie taking over. June in the NFL is akin to February in MLB; hope fills the air. But let’s see what happens when, as Bucs radio play-by-play man Gene Deckerhoff would say, toe meets leather in September.
The unknown hasn’t deterred David Steele of The Sporting News, though. He believes Lovie, before the Bucs have even played a game under his gaze, is the 14th-best coach in the NFL.
It’s hard to knock what Smith did in Chicago for nine years, getting to a Super Bowl, making the NFC title game, three losing seasons in nine years — yet only NFL insiders seem to respect his coaching chops. He’s now being handed the reins in Tampa, where things have been a mess since the end of the Jon Gruden era. The Bucs will get better, but Smith also faces a beast of a division.
Joe would say that’s about fair for Lovie. Again, training camp hasn’t even come yet, so trying to rate Lovie as Bucs head coach is premature to be kind. It’s a guess.
Joe would be willing to wait until after the 2015 season, with the Bucs having two seasons under Lovie, to determine where Lovie would place among his peers.