Licht Came Andy Reid ApprovedJuly 15th, 2014
In an epic feature rivaling the length of Chucky’s old playbook or the Five Books of Moses, Buccaneers.com writer Scott Smith has chronicled the first 100 days of the Lovie Smith regime.
It was quite an undertaking. One nugget detailed how Lovie Smith hired his Tampa Bay general manager.
Yes, Joe is saying Lovie made the hire. You can read the full piece linked above for details. Lovie interviewed nine candidates for an average of nearly four hours each and then referred four to Team Glazer for further review.
Licht, however, was Lovie’s top dog. The story paints an image of Lovie and Licht agreeing on everything from football philosophy to ice cream flavors. The point also was emphasized that Lovie approved of his research on Licht.
If Smith needed references, Licht had them.
“Everybody has their history,” said Smith, and it’s a phrase he uses a lot, often turning it on himself. “You have a record on what you’ve accomplished, what you’ve done, places you’ve been. All the experience he has, the guys he’s worked with. I have friends in the profession, and it meant a lot what Andy Reid had to say about Jason, among other guys that I trust and that knew him.”
Smith himself had met Licht when the latter interviewed for a similar job with the Bears just before the 2012 season. The Bears went with Phil Emery, who had previously scouted for the organization, and then a season later dismissed Smith, with Emery bringing in Marc Trestman to replace him. Smith had been impressed with Licht, however, so it was no surprise that he made a point of including him in the Bucs’ search. The meeting in Chicago was short, but Smith had taken time to research Licht more extensively in the interim, and had liked what he’d seen.
Because Smith arrived before Licht, and had a major hand in the G.M. search, the media unsurprisingly gnawed on the bone of which man was really in charge. Neither was it surprising that Smith and Licht chose not to answer that question directly. Smith knew it was more important to find a G.M. with whom he could truly form a decision-making partnership. There would be common ideas, but there would also be a division of labor. Smith knew he would be counting on the general manager to get him the types of players that he needed to succeed; the wrong choice would set everyone back, including himself.
The Licht-Lovie honeymoon sure still seems to be in full swoon. Remember, a few weeks ago Licht said he and Lovie and the whole football staff were on the same page with every last move this offseason.
Joe sure hopes harmony equals wins.