“The Perfect Hire”January 4th, 2014
Aside from a few unkind words from the one and only Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, there has been pretty much universal praise on Team Glazer for hunting down and locking up Lovie Smith as the 10th coach in Bucs history.
Add another voice to the chorus. And that comes from Hall of Fame coach John Madden. In his weekly appearance with Rich Gannon and Adam Schein, heard exclusively on SiriusXM Radio, Madden said Team Glazer could not have done a better job in finding a new coach.
John Madden: I thought it was the perfect hire. I didn’t know Schiano was going to get fired. Lovie was out there. He had said he was kind of going to take the year off. He wanted to come back this year. So you knew he wanted to come back and you know that Tampa Bay needed a coach and you just said, ‘Lovie wants to be a head coach again and Tampa Bay needs a head coach, what more do you need than that?’
I think – nothing is perfect, we all know that — but this is probably as close to a perfect [hire] as you can get.
Adam Schein: I totally agree with that. Take it a step further, John. What do you like about Lovie Smith? What makes him such a right guy at the right time in terms of his coaching ability, his demeanor, the way he interacts with his players? What makes him that right-guy-at-the-right-time guy for the Buccaneers?
Madden: I think for the organization he is the right guy. You know, one of the difficult things with owners and maybe one of the reasons they fire so many guys because they don’t put a lot into it when they hire them. I always wondered how you can take and have a five-hour interview with the guy and take a day off and have another five-hour interview with the guy and in 10 hours, you are going to give him a five-year contract and live with him as your head coach. You really don’t know him. I think in Tampa Bay, this has been erased. The Glazers, they know Lovie Smith. He worked for them, coached for them. They know the brand of football he is going to coach. Before, it was Tony Dungy and they lived with that. And that’s why I think it is perfect.
Lovie Smith knows the Glazers, he knows the culture there. He knows the program there. He knows the facilities. It is one of those things that are so difficult for a new staff walking into a new place. I mean, it takes weeks to find out where your office is. Then the facility and the weight room and all of those things. So Lovie Smith is walking in knowing all of those things and he will bring a staff with him that partly knows those things and the ownership on the other side know exactly – exactly! – what they are going to get from Lovie Smith. And they know exactly what program they are going to get from him.
Even though it is a perfect fit, will it work? The Bucs need a quarterback. Joe can’t be any more plain than that. In the next 18 months, there will be tons of talented quarterbacks coming out in the draft. Can Lovie and Jeff Tedford develop one? Remember, Tedford has never coached a down in the NFL.
And, oh, yeah, if Tedford is remotely successful with the Bucs, then he will be a candidate for a head coaching job. Then what, Ron Turner? Mike Tice?