It’s All About Trust

March 27th, 2014

Building trust.

Last season was a complete mess for the Bucs. If it wasn’t the MRSA, it was the soap opera with sleepy, leaky Rip Van Freeman. Then there was Dashon Goldson’s ongoing, expensive tackling issues, not to mention the 0-8 start.

It was a nightmare.

Even though new Bucs coach Lovie Smith has come in with sweeping roster changes, and a reputation of being a stand-up guy, Lovie may still have an uphill battle with the players he has inherited.

In fact, last year was such a mess that former NFL Pro Bowl linebacker and current NFL Network talking head LaVar Arrington believes Lovie will have to do more than just X’s and O’s and roster shuffling to rid the team of the stain of 2013. Here is what Arrington said this week from the NFL Owners Meetings in Orlando when asked to name Lovie’s biggest challenge:

“I would say immediately coming into the job, he’s going to have to establish trust,” Arrington said. “I think that after last season we heard of all the backbiting. We heard of all the people being on different pages from one another with Greg Schiano. I really believe that if Lovie Smith wants to have success, immediately, his biggest challenges is going to be able to gain the trust of those guys in the locker room.”

Joe thinks Lovie is already doing that, and the case in point is the Mike Williams issue. It would be so easy for Lovie to toss Williams overboard. So easy. But he has not (yet). Joe thinks how Lovie is handling Williams is actually setting an example to other players that Lovie isn’t going to make a move just because it’s popular or easy. He won’t cave in to loud voices.

Just in the past couple of days, Joe’s going to guess that Lovie has built a lot of additional street cred among his players, many of whom Lovie barely knows.

8 Responses to “It’s All About Trust”

  1. GlenninGrad Says:

    Even with Donald Pennultimate badmouthing him, I think Lovie Smith makes leaps and bounds just with his demeanor and style. Once practice begins I have no doubt the team will work hard for him.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    A person’t reputation usually buys them initial good will. I think all the FA acquisitions willingly wanting to come to Tampa is evidence of Lovie’s appeal. This should carry over to the locker room early-on….after that, he will have to win players over on his own merit.

  3. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Trust, Belief and Accountability. Seems to be the Bucs mantra

  4. Lou. Says:

    Funny to hear this.

    Schiano tried to earn trust — the way he handled Revis’ limitations, the hard-headed refusal to address certain topics — but he didn’t have a pro background and the losing streak undermined any goodwill.

    Lovie will start with cred (there won’t be a group pining for the old Schiano days) but the team has to see there are on the path to winning for cred to grow into trust.

    As in so much else nowadays, think Dungy.

  5. brandonbucfan Says:

    It’s not just about Lovie…it’s all his coaches…the more tape I watch of interviews with the coaches the more I am convinced this will be a great staff. Still think playoffs this year is a bit of a stretch with the strength of the NFC and our schedule.

  6. Drew Says:

    Penn May have been a part of the locker room problem. His statements to the press “they did me wrong” leads you to believe this was probably the case. F••••r is gone!

  7. biff barker Says:

    Lovie has the cred from former players and it factored in during the FA signings. It should not be an issue.

  8. Buc1987 Says:

    Last seasons nightmare is still fresh in my mind and it still puts me in a depressed state when I think about it.

    Thanks for bringing it back up Joe.