Who’s Really In Charge?May 8th, 2014
Joe is thoroughly fed up with the bizarre debate/claims surrounding who has final say of the Buccaneers’ draft.
Joe thought that chatter died months ago, but it arose again yesterday courtesy of a local beat writer.
Before Joe “goes there,” Joe wants to remind Bucs fans that there is zero sense in having a general manager draft/sign a player a head coach will not play on gameday. So by default, the head coach drives a team’s decisions in the NFL Draft, as well as in free agency and undrafted free agency.
The Schiano-Dominik D-line Dance
Former Bucs rockstar general manager Mark Dominik ran into this issue with Greg Schiano. Dominik signed multiple guys to improve the Bucs pass rush, guys Schiano tossed away who subsequently had strong success on other teams. It’s an impressive list: Wallace Gilberry, George Selvie and 2013 rookie Chris Jones, who started 11 games for New England (plus two playoff starts) and had six sacks (plus one in the playoffs). And don’t forget some guy named Michael Bennett.
No, Schiano was just fine with his Buccaneer Men.
Joe’s not defending Dominik here, but it’s a fantastic illustration of how you ultimately can’t buck the head coach, unless you’re a general manager with a long history of success and division titles and respect.
Lovie Smith was hired by Team Glazer and surely was promised all he sought, which is why Lovie didn’t interview anywhere else and Team Glazer inked him to a deal so quickly.
Field Rules Apply
But should we believe Lovie didn’t secure final say over everything football? Tampa Bay Times beat writer Rick Stroud Twittered says, ‘Yes.’ Stroud Twittered yesterday that fans should know Lovie doesn’t wield that kind of power.
“@NFLSTROUD - For those who still don’t know, #Bucs GM Jason Licht has control of the NFL draft. Coach Lovie Smith has control of the 53-man roster. … Licht and Smith have worked closely together and built a consensus. But free agency and the draft, technically, is Licht’s.”
Perhaps Stroud has viewed all the clauses in the contracts of Lovie Smith and Jason Licht? Hmm, Joe doubts that.
Regardless, for Joe, Lovie is in charge of the draft — because that’s how the NFL works with a veteran head coach and a rookie general manager.
That doesn’t mean Lovie is an egomaniac who won’t rely on his scouting department and won’t respect his GM and even defer to him at times. But if a player won’t see the field unless Lovie approves, then that’s your commander-in-chief tonight and through the weekend.