Lasting Contender Returns

January 3rd, 2014

LovieBucsoldBack in the spring of 2010, former Bucs media relations chief Jonathan Grella arrived on the Tampa scene and Joe found it to be no coincidence that soon after, Raheem Morris and former rockstar general manager Mark Dominik started talking about how the team was trying to build a “lasting contender.”

It was a great catch phrase that helped Raheem clean up his often rambling messages, but it was one dripping with irony.

After all, Team Glazer fired lasting-contender Chucky after consecutive 9-7 seasons and three division titles in seven years.

Raheem got canned after his lasting lunacy, and the New Schiano Order was dumped after lasting line stunts and lasting losing.

Now Team Glazer has turned to Lovie Smith, a guy who built a true “lasting contender” in Chicago. But after nine years and several strong Bears teams, Chicago owners canned Lovie after a 10-6 season in 2012. They had enough.

Joe thinks the moral of the story is that ownership and fans everywhere only want Super Bowls. Nothing else really matters, especially in the NFL, where all teams earn gobs of cash and a salary cap keeps a level playing field.

Team Glazer and Bucs fans feel great today because Lovie knows how to build a strong, albeit imbalanced, football team. That feels incredible in the wake of Raheem The Dream and Commander Schiano, two gambles that delivered one year of pleasure and four years of agony.

Today’s “lasting contender” vibe in Tampa should stick around for a couple of years, but then Lovie, too, will have the grill fired up under him. To avoid that, the Bucs must become one of the six of 16 NFC teams in the playoffs, or Lovie will be no better than the last two head coaches.

23 Responses to “Lasting Contender Returns”

  1. al121976 Says:

    I think he is already better and I have a positive outlook for future seasons. by the way, where has bucsrealist been? I havent seen any of his negative comments latley

  2. LUVMYBUCS Says:


  3. deminion Says:

    @joe whats Lovie’s moniker gunna be? Father Lovie? Deacon Smith? just to name a few

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ al121976

    The Buc Realist’s sole reason for existing was to trash the “Pop Star”. Now that’s really pretty difficult to do because he is gone.
    But, I am sure he will find a way to be relavant (in his own mind)

  5. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    The Associated Press 2013 NFL All-Pro team selected by a national panel of 50 media members:

    1st Team Offense
    Quarterback_Peyton Manning, Denver.

    Running Backs_LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia; Jamaal Charles, Kansas City.

    Fullback_Mike Tolbert, Carolina.

    Tight End_Jimmy Graham, New Orleans.

    Wide Receivers_Calvin Johnson, Detroit; Josh Gordon, Cleveland.

    Tackles_Joe Thomas, Cleveland; Jason Peters, Philadelphia.

    Guards_Louis Vasquez, Denver; Evan Mathis, Philadelphia.

    Center_Ryan Kalil, Carolina.

    Placekicker_Justin Tucker, Baltimore.

    Kick Returner_Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota.

    1st Team Defense

    Ends_J.J. Watt, Houston; Robert Quinn, St. Louis.

    Tackles_Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay; Ndamukong Suh, Detroit.

    Outside Linebackers_Robert Mathis, Indianapolis; Lavonte David, Tampa Bay.

    Inside Linebacker_Luke Kuechly, Carolina; NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco.

    Cornerbacks_Richard Sherman, Seattle; Patrick Peterson, Arizona.

    Safeties_Earl Thomas, Seattle; Eric Berry, Kansas City.

    Punter_Johnny Hekker, St. Louis.

    (2nd Team Offense)

    Running Backs_Adrian Peterson, Minnesota; Eddie Lacy, Green Bay.

    Fullback_Marcel Reece, Oakland.

    Tight End_Vernon Davis, San Francisco.

    Wide Receivers_A.J. Green, Cincinnati; Demaryius Thomas, Denver, and Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh.

    Tackles_Tyron Smith, Dallas; Joe Staley, San Francisco.

    Guards_Jahri Evans, New Orleans; Logan Mankins, New England, and Josh Sitton, Green Bay.

    Center_Alex Mack, Cleveland.

    Placekicker_Matt Prater, Denver.

    Kick Returner_Dexter McCluster, Kansas City.

    (2nd Team Defense)
    Ends_Mario Williams, Buffalo; Greg Hardy, Carolina.

    Tackles_Dontari Poe, Kansas City; Muhammad Wilkerson, New York Jets, Jurrell
    Casey, Tennessee, and Justin Smith, San Francisco.

    Outside Linebackers_Tamba Hali, Kansas City; Ahmad Brooks, San Francisco.

    Inside Linebackers_Vontaze Burfict, Cincinnati; Karlos Dansby, Arizona.

    Cornerbacks_Aqib Talib, New England; Joe Haden, Cleveland, and Alterraun Verner, Tennessee.

    Safeties_Eric Weddle, San Diego; Kam Chancellor, Seattle, Jairus Byrd, Buffalo, T.J.
    Ward, Cleveland, Devin McCourty, New England, and Antrel Rolle, New York Giants.

    Punter_Brandon Fields, Miami.
    AP NFL website:

  6. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Hmmmm No Revis? Interesting..I wonder why? Lol

  7. Mulligan Says:

    Correct me I am wrong but did I not read that in 9 years with Chicago the Bears made 3 playoff appearances? I certainly do not see that as being a “lasting contender”. I love the hire and think his second go around will be better than his first but you can certainly see how others may have a different perception.

  8. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    to all my fans,,,, I have been posting here and there ( just in the Glennon thread.) Also Tampabaybucfan, My so called negative post, were only so because the GM was terrible with no plan.

  9. pick6 Says:

    it’s like the old saying. no matter how beautiful she is, somewhere there is some guy who is tired of her crap. after 7,8,9 years there is something that drives you crazy about any coach who isn’t delivering belichick style results. we fired dungy after he brought us to prominence and made missing the postseason unthinkable, and gruden was bounced for the crime of winning 9 games in the wrong order (too many early, not enough late). ditto with lovie in chicago. philly got tired of andy reid taking them to the playoffs every year with no lombardi because coaches can be victims of their own success. i almost feel like every fanbase needs to go through a cycle of utter crappiness in order to truly appreciate a spell with a good coach and good players. we would’ve hated the lovie hire after saying goodbye to gruden, but now it’s like water in the desert.

  10. joseph mamma Says:

    Realist: I think Dom had a plan, but it didn’t work because of some bad draft picks and even worse coach picks. But I don’t think Dom picked Raheem but who the heck knows? I do think he would still be our GM if Chip had signed on.

  11. Eric Says:

    averaging nine wins a season is consistent contending for sure. Right in the mix more often than not. A hell of a lot better than averaging five wins per season.

    Plus a Super Bowl appearance. Two NFC Championship games.

    Guys who win the Division every year and win multiple Super Bowls are kinda hard to find. Teams have a tendency to keep coaches like that! By the way there is only one currently inhabiting the planet.

    But, I have no doubt the village idiots will run him out of town if he only wins the Division and has a couple of “one and dones”.

    That’s the mentality in these parts, which led to running two perfectly good coaches out of town. If we have learned any lessons (which I doubt the ignorant fan base here has) it should be don’t get rid of good football coaches. They are hard to replace.

    I hope we keep this one a long time.

  12. Says:

    …unless you coach for Pittsburgh where they realize that a team thats been doing the same thing for 8 years has an advantage

  13. BuccoBill Says:

    I’m so sick of hearing the NFL talking heads get Lavonte David’s name wrong. Who’s with me?!

  14. trubucfan22 Says:

    I find it funny that lovie got fired for a 10-6 record. And the excuse being the team was good enough to be in the playoffs. And then his replacement had a worse record than he did and also missed the playoffs. After they “controlled their own destiny” for most of the second half of the season.

  15. zam Says:

    Lasting champions is really more like it.

    And for the record not all of us were ecstatic over a 10-6 Bucs season 4 years ago. Only one win of those 10 was against a team with a winning record if I recall correctly. And the mantra that year was “a win is a win”. Well, no it ain’t.

  16. Count Nephilim Says:

    I too think Lovie will make the neccesary moves to make this a superbowl team? Also, quick question is anyone on board with me on this one, seeing as Carl Nicks cant seem to stay healthy for more than a couple ov games and is eating up a huge chunk ov the cap space, would it make sense to let him go and pick up a free agent (Maybe Incognito since hes already in florida) and also maybe pickup an OL with a late draft pick?

  17. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    My only concern is that Lovie understands the league is different now. We must be able to score points and lots of them.

    Now, he just had a year off, so he probably sat back and watched. Maybe adjusted his thinking.

    One thing about our new OC…he does like scrambling QBs. Glennon does not fit the mold, but hopefully the OC will adjust.

    I still don’t see Rod. I don’t see Edwards. I don’t see McKay. All I see is one coach (a good one though) and an OC that doesn’t comprehend what will work in the NFL what won’t.

    He may learn those things, but it will take a couple years at least.

  18. NY Buc Says:

    Lovie comes in with an advantage his predecessors didn’t have (beyond more NFL head coaching experience)…he is inheriting a team with a few holes but a very solid foundation of young talent (thanks mostly to the two drafts Schiano and Dom did together). While I think Rah was a total boob as HC, he did inherit an old team with salary cap woes…probably not an easy situation for any HC to overcome let alone a first time HC. The team became a mess under his three years and quit on him, so Schiano came in to take over a team that was an overall NFL mess. Schiano didn’t get the wins or the love from the media/fans, but he added a lot of young quality talent through the draft and cleaned up the team culture considerably. Lovie is basically walking into a scenario custom made for immediate success. In fact I’d say if he doesn’t have the team going deep in the playoffs in a couple years from now then he should be viewed as every bit a poor HC hire as his two predecessors.

  19. chickster Says:

    I can breath again

  20. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    I think Lovie is a great guy and solid coach, but remember:

    Gruden won his division 5 times in his 11 year coaching career (3 times in Tampa), made it to an AFC Championship game (should have been the Super Bowl, ie tuck rule game) and won a Super Bowl here.

    You fans were complaining daily about how average and mediocre and unacceptable gruden’s “just over .500 record” was.

    Lovie made the playoffs only 3 times in 9 years, making a Championship game and losing a Super Bowl.

    Now you are acting like Lovie is Bellichick. Yes, he is competent unlike Raheem, and will be immediately welcomed by the players unlike Schiano.

    It’s hypocritical to argue that gruden’s record stunk while Lovie’s is great when most objective observers will tell you gru’s is better.

  21. Brandon Says:

    Thomas, you flipping idiot, do you have the inside track that will allow us to reincarnate, negotiate, and sign Vince Lombardi? You know, in 6 seasons, Dungy won one division title with the Bucs and one playoff game…then he went to Indy and won a Super Bowl.

    Some of you idiots need to realize that there aren’t a dozen Super Bowl winning coaches just out there for the taking. Cowher, Dungy, Gibbs, Vermeil, Jimmie Johnson, and Don Shula are done with coaching football. Most of the rest of Super Bowl winning coaches are either dead or senile. Lovie Smith was the best. One of the few proven available NFL winners out there. After not having won a olayoff game since 2003, and not even having made the playoffs since 2007, I’ll take simply being a contender. It sure beats circling the drain every year by week 3.

  22. NY Buc Says:

    I think the difference of opinion from the fans not ready to anoint Lovie as the Bucs savior isn’t from ignorance to the fact that out of the coaches available Lovie (and Wisenhunt) had the best NFL resumes but rather a concern over some of the shortcomings he had in Chicago (per Bears fans) may still hold the team back (namely lack of being able to find or develop a franchise QB, questionable game decisions/clock management, and a Dungy-esque failure to create points on offense). Lovie may be awesome, and I think all of us as Bucs fans are truly hoping so, but it’s naïve to not look at past results and have some concerns. A new coordinator hire would have been risky, but we could have ended up with the next Belichick or Sean Payton (or the next Todd Haley or Romeo Crennel). A crap shoot, but that’s the nature of a high risk-reward gamble. Lovie just seems rather meh to some of us, difference of opinion nothing more. We all want the same thing…Bucs Super Bowl victories.

  23. lurker Says:

    +1 nybuc

    some sane posting there…