Where Are They Now?January 11th, 2017
Remember all the whining and braying and hollering last year from so many Lovie Smith apologists who freaked out like Hollywood elitists over Donald Trump’s election when Smith was run out the door of One Buc Palace by Team Glazer for lousy work?
Well, Joe hasn’t, and Joe is tempted to call each and every one out. Problem is, Joe has better things to write.
In retrospect, after winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter guided the Pewter Pirates to more wins in his first year than Lovie totaled in two seasons combined, the bellyaching sure looks juvenile, doesn’t it?
The Bucs defense, woeful under the boot of Lovie, improved dramatically this past season and Mike Sando of BSPN writes that would not have happened with Lovie.
The Bucs made big changes and then gained ground in the standings. To what degree were the big changes responsible for those gains? Replacing Lovie Smith with Dirk Koetter as head coach enabled the hiring of Mike Smith as defensive coordinator, which seemed to be a big positive. First-round pick Vernon Hargreaves III and second-rounder Noah Spence played extensively, made positive impacts and improved as they gained experience.
This is as obvious as the sun setting over the Gulf of Mexico. If Lovie had been retained, we would have been subjected to more of the same: hideous pass defense that would better resemble a Pasco County high school seven-on-seven summer league than an NFL pass defense.
There is just no way in the world stubborn Lovie would have ever hired a competent defensive coordinator like Mike Smith and kept his mitts off. In Lovie’s first season, Leslie Frazier seemed to be making some progress in the latter weeks of 2014. Then Lovie promptly clipped his wings and took over the defense, much to the horror of Bucs fans.
Looking back about a year ago, the freakout nationally over Lovie’s firing sure reminds Joe of a parent telling his three-year old not to put the bag of M&Ms on the grocery store checkout belt.
A whole lot of the Lovie Mafia members sure filled their diapers last January.