Banking On Lovie Smith

June 27th, 2014

Sports Illustrated claims Lovie’s offseason is an “amazing story.”

Most changes come with the shiny optimism of newness and the clouds of doubt. Such is the case with new Bucs coach Lovie Smith.

Will Lovie be able to turn the Bucs around and make them Super Bowl contenders, or will the team mirror Lovie’s Bears with a defense-first, frustrating-plodding-offense style?

No one really knows, though NFL analyst Doug Farrar of SI.com is supremely confident he knows. Farrar has thrown all of his chips into the pot, banking that Lovie can make the Bucs not just relevant again, but an NFC monster.

In a roundtable debate with his colleague, Chris Burke, Farrar claimed the Bucs made a bigger splash in the offseason than the demise of the Stinking Panthers’ offense.

“The Bucs offseason is an amazing story,” Farrar said. “You look in one year, a team that was falling apart under Greg Schiano — he had that little bit of a rebound at the end — really, the way Schiano did it, the way he handled his players, the way he handled everything. Then you have Lovie Smith who is kind of a voice of reason and a brilliant defensive coach, might have had the best free agent period of any team. [They got] a lot of underrated guys. [Offensively], you pair Mike Evans with Vincent Jackson … and it could be like Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey all over again.

“I think what the Buccaneers could be in Year One under Lovie Smith, after what happened last year, to me, that is a slightly bigger story because it is not only a franchise turnaround, but a turnaround that could be sustainable for a number of seasons.”

Of course, Farrar noted that he is unsure what to make of Jeff Tedford as Bucs offensive coordinator. It sounded as if he has major reservations saying, “The Aaron Rodgers now is not the Aaron Rodgers” Tedford had at Cal. That’s pretty much what Super Bowl-winning quarterback Phil Simms has said about Rodgers, as well.

Tedford, of course, is the key. Can he squeeze the magic out of McCown that Marc Trestman did in Chicago? Can that the offensive line with so many holes protect McCown and give him time to throw?

Naturally, we will not know the answer to these questions until at least September.

16 Responses to “Banking On Lovie Smith”

  1. Eric Says:

    Lovies Bears were super bowl contenders.

    Hope we mirror that.

  2. Louis Friend Says:

    If Tedford isn’t up to par to coach in the NFL, take heart – we’ll have a new OC in 2015. I think they’ll be okay though. Tedford wasn’t a great head coach but you can tell he didn’t fail from being stupid. Focusing solely on his passion should allow him to thrive at what he’s best at – schemes and formations.

  3. P'cola Buc Says:

    Drafting only offense this draft is indicative of Lovie realizing that if you do, you get what you always got. He obviously pleased both Tedford and McGown with these choices. Perhaps the Bucs can win a game or two via their offense. In any case kudos to the Glazers for getting Lovie. Kudos to Lovie for attracting what seems to be a very good coaching staff and hopefully upgraded players via free agency. While the O Line may not be “fixed” yet, offensive weapons were acquired via the draft. Can’t fix everything at once. It is still incredible to see how far this team has come, at least on paper. Thank you all for giving our fans hope which was almost gone the end of last season.

  4. P'cola Buc Says:

    ^ should read “if you do what you always did, you get what you always got”

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I think Lovie knows his weaknesses & had time to study. His choice of Tedford was ceratainly not knee-jerk…..I think we will be very pleasantly surprised by Tedford’s offense.
    Evidence of this is Lovie’s willingness to draft all offense…..that had to be difficult for a man that lives & breathes defense.

  6. Tom Edrington Says:

    “Those who do not learn from history are often condemned to repeat it…..”

    It’s a sage old adage and no doubt Lovie has heard it as just about all of us have…..

  7. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Are there any Cal or SoCal or UCLA grads out there. Let me give you the impression of a guy who was educated east of the Mississippi, consequently forming an opinion on hearsay.

    Cal is a school with an excellent academic reputation. Stanford and Notre Dame being the exceptions, most schools with strong academics, Duke, Vandy etc struggle to recruit the top notch athletes who can also measure up to strenuous admission standards.

    I do not know about Cal versus the rest of the Pac 10. Again there is no school with a better academic rep than Stanford and they seem to do OK.

    But let’s be honest. One of the reasons Notre Dame has struggled before Brian Kelly is the lack of talent. Notre Dame has it’s own major network deal and a tradition rich program and yet they still struggled until Kelly.

    Perhaps Tedford is a great coach who never really to get his share of the top notch athletes. Maybe his Q.B.’s, aside from Rodgers, have struggled in the NFL is that Tedford was great at getting the most from their talent. IE they were already maxed out with no upside by the time they hit the NFL.

    I’m excited about this year. I can’t say I’ve been excited about a Bucs season since the year after Rah’s ten wins. Alas we know how that season turned out. But I’m betting that Lovie Smith is no Raheem Morris.

  8. OB Says:

    Joe

    First of all is just 27 days to training camp?

    Second is this paragraph from above that I think you just put in to stir up the pot until camp:

    “Of course, Farrar noted that he is unsure what to make of Jeff Tedford as Bucs offensive coordinator. It sounded as if he has major reservations saying, “The Aaron Rodgers now is not the Aaron Rodgers” Tedford had at Cal. That’s pretty much what Super Bowl-winning quarterback Phil Simms has said about Rodgers, as well.”

    My comment and question is what QB that is great was the same as he was in college? I believe they all improved over their play then, so what is you thoughts on this?

  9. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Lovie’s Bears were not Super Bowl contenders enough. That’s why he is our coach. That’s why Trestman is the Bear’s coach.

  10. Louis Friend Says:

    Joseph Mamma, I lot of Bears fans with Super Bowl ticket stubs would disagree with you.

  11. Eric Says:

    Ah not Super Bowl contenders “enough”.

    Still sounds awfully good to me compared to what we have gone through.

    I am willing to suffer through Super Bowl or NFC Championship Game appearances.

    Lovie may do better here, which would require a Super Bowl win, but I will be happy if he does just as well he did in Chicago.

  12. Louis Friend Says:

    Yeah we fired Gruden for not being a Super Bowl contender ‘enough’. Bad call there, as it turned out. I’d take a guy who can get us to the show every 7 or 8 years. It’s not as easy as guys like Belichick make it look with their superb QB’s.

  13. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Off topic a little but Belichick’s success goes beyond just his QB’s (and video taping scandals). That man has a system that allows him to plug in almost anyone and win more often than not in addition to a good scouting department. Schiano was on the right track trying to emulate that guy, but he needed the rings to get all the players to buy in (plus as much as I liked Schiano there is one Belichick…dude is a freak at exposing mismatches). Back on topic, Lovie has more cred with the players and valuable NFL HC experience, so I am expecting him to get the Bucs from a team better than its4-12 record to contenders in 2 or 3 years

  14. SAMCRO Says:

    From what I’m hearing about Tedfords offense makes me worry about the exclusive use of an up tempo, two minute type offense all game. It can put an inordinate amount of strain on our defense, as far as time of possession. Sometimes it hurts the defense when it seems they never leave the field. Especially if we’re not scoring on almost every possession, which can result in a very tired defense in the second half of the game.

    I hope Tedford utilizes this scheme when needed, but also mixes it up to sustain long time consuming drives as well. Hurry up type of offenses do tend to score more points on average but they are also known to give up a lot of points defensively too, because they are gassed at the end. This is why we need depth on defense.

  15. Brandon Says:

    StPeteBucsFan-

    Cal was abysmal when Tedford got there, sometimes very good, almost always very competitive and they’ve been horrible since he left. He turned the program around completely due in large part to his coaching. It wasn’t until later years that he gave up control of the offense that the team went back to hard times.

  16. NY Buc Says:

    Interesting that looking at Tedford’s past he’s very similar to the much maligned by many Bucs fans Schiano…both took over a crappy programs and made them relevant, both had a near .500 conference record after leaving, and neither won the Conference their teams played in (though I guess technically tied for first could be argued as a win until you see the other team got the Rose Bowl nod). I realize HC and OC are different animals at an NFL level, but it will be interesting to see how the fans react to him if things start a little rocky during his Bucs OC tenure.

 
 

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