Laid Back LovieAugust 23rd, 2014
Joe can’t claim he knows Bucs coach Lovie Smith. Oh, sure, he knows who he is (and Lovie knows who Joe is, too). That doesn’t mean Joe knows him.
But in Joe’s perhaps, half-dozen times he’s had a chance to talk one-on-one with Lovie, the word “gentleman” springs to mind. Because Lovie really is a gentle man.
Joe can understand how he resonates with players. He is so kind, yet stern and smart, you really don’t want to let him down. Lovie has that sort of magnetism about him.
In a recent interview on BSPN Radio, Bucs stud defensive tackle Gerald McCoy claimed he knew things were going to be far different for him and his teammates when he learned Lovie was taking over for former Bucs commander Greg Schiano.
Coach Smith is an awesome guy,” GMC said. “He really is. Everything I kept hearing when he got hired was ‘Gerald, you are going to love him. … Gerald, you are going to love him. … Gerald, you are going to love him.’
“OK, he is a coach. I met him a couple of times. But until you are around him every day, you don’t realize what a good guy he is. Just a really great person. What he brought to our team is something we haven’t had since I have been here. We have someone who won as an assistant. Someone who won as a coordinator. And someone who won as a head coach. You take all of that experience with a group of talented guys and some elite group of coaches; it can get scary, man. People are really excited for the future.
“He just brought a completely different feel. It didn’t feel as intense. First time we met with Coach Schiano it was a real intense meeting. He had on a full suit, and it was intense. Lovie came in with a T-shirt, shorts and sandals.”
Now that is a difference! Maybe Lovie was just enjoying the warm “winter” of Tampa Bay a bit more than he would have in his infamous basement in suburban Chicago. Either way, Lovie’s initial approach sure seems to have hit home with the players.
If nothing else, Lovie brings stability, a sense of order that apparently couldn’t be forced the way Schiano attempted.
Of course, at the end of the day, if Lovie and the Bucs don’t win, it won’t matter what his personality is. It’s all about winning, baby.