Is Lovie Feeling The Loss?

May 19th, 2014

Hester named the Bucs among his final choices

The big news of the weekend was Bucs head coach Lovie Smith identifying an “area of concern.”

That was relatively harsh Lovie language in what has been a honeymoon-like overhaul period for the Bucs roster.

Punt returner was the named position of interest for Lovie, and that got Joe researching.

Of course, legendary Devin Hester was Lovie’s treasured return man for many seasons in Chicago. Joe learned that Hester claims the Bucs wanted to sign him and they made his final-4 among several teams interested.

Hester signed with the Falcons. And here’s his quote to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Q: What other teams were interested in signing you?

A: We had about 13 teams. We kind of (narrowed) it down to about four teams: Tampa, the 49ers, a little bit of Miami and Seattle came into the pict

Joe’s seen many reports out of Chicago claiming Hester and Lovie were very tight. So Joe’s going to guess Hester’s choice of Atlanta was about money, though Hester claims the Falcons showed the most interest and are on the cusp of a Super Bowl. Hester’s contract is three years/$3 million per year.

Joe’s going to guess Lovie and Jason Licht stood firm to their perceived financial value of Hester versus Eric Page, who was ranked tied for 13th among full-time, NFL punt returners last season.

But is Lovie regretting that stance? His comments this weekend sure made it sound like he is.

23 Responses to “Is Lovie Feeling The Loss?”

  1. Jon Says:

    Lovie drafted his returner Herron. That’s his role, at least I hope so. Saw Benn signed back to Philly. I felt for him. I thought he was getting better, but injuries ravaged him.

  2. Couch Fan Says:

    Doesn’t sound like regret to me. Just sounds like an honest answer. It was a concern before the draft and I doubt a rookie mini camp was/is going to clear up any answers to that.

  3. Michael Duggan Says:

    “though Hester claims the Falcons showed the most interest and are on the cusp of a Super Bowl”……..They thought that last year too:))

  4. Macabee Says:

    Just so there’s no confusion, Hester’s contract is 3 years/3mil per or 9 mil! Unless he’s going to play another position like WR, that may have been too high for the Bucs taste!

  5. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Vernon Turner is available!

  6. White Tiger Says:

    In the age of PED’s – where everyone in high-stakes/high finance sports can suddenly play MUCH longer at quite high, and consistent levels of production – you’re still only play away from Eric Page…or Robert Herron…

  7. brandonbucfan Says:

    Every coach always has regrets over not having enough players or a piece missing at a position. Knowing what we know now..where would Hester fit in and who would you let go of the 6 projected receivers..NOT INCLUDING ERIC PAGE (from PR)L&L keep stressing value and price for that value..that’s why we didn’t get Jared Allen and that’s why we didn’t get Hester (however the one I REALLY think we missed on was McCluster) We are not going to be perfect this year. It is a real stretch to think we can catch NO for the division…then we have to think about #2 and #3 in the NFC W and #2 in the NFC C PLUS our own division.!!! Rome wasn’t built in a day especially in today’s NFC!!!

  8. Geno714 Says:

    $3M per for a Return Man seems like an overpay to me. Especially when he’s getting up there in age and can fall off the cliff at any moment.

    But I am curious to see when the Bucs will spend the rest of their cap money. Seems like they will only be getting castoffs at this point.

  9. White Tiger Says:

    As a matter of fact – according to some GREAT data on this issue compiled here:

    The average WR in the NFL – has a steep drop off in performance beginning at age 32…

  10. Brandon Says:

    Geno714 Says:
    May 19th, 2014 at 11:27 am
    $3M per for a Return Man seems like an overpay to me. Especially when he’s getting up there in age and can fall off the cliff at any moment.

    Is it three mil per or three mil for the life of the contract? The way I read it, it was one mil per for three years. One million per year isn’t bad, three mil is steep for a guy that doesn’t play any other position particularly well.

  11. Mumbles Says:

    I trust what Macabee sez, guy nails it every time!

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “…Hester claims the Falcons showed the most interest and are on the cusp of a Super Bowl…”

    If so, they better get it done this year. Because another year and Lovie will have this team at the top of the division.

    But I doubt the claim. Falcons have a good QB and some offensive weapons, but they have to play the Panthers, who have the offense and a great defense.

    And Tampa will be building toward the same, though it might take a little more time.

    That Saints will have the ability to defeat the Falcons as well.

    Right now, we are the weakest team in the division, regardless of the standings. Lovie is changing the entire face of the team, but he can’t do it in one season. He and Licht filled some holes with mid-level guys at best. They’ll need another draft and FA to get the job completely finished.

  13. GlenninGrad Says:

    Bonsai, your totally right. The win now mentality is most detrimental since we won’t get the high draft picks if we succeed. But people keep predicting the bucs win the division, and I dont think can happen this season. We need one more big draft and free agency and then we can tackle a postseason run.

  14. GlenninGrad Says:

    Not that I want the bucs to lose.

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I don’t foresee us having a high draft pick, not with Lovie having done so much on the defense and the level of talent there.

    At best I think we pick between 12 and 19 next year.

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Only way we get a higher pick is by trading up. Lovie HAS traded 3 first round picks away in his past. So it is possible.

  17. BigMacAttack Says:

    Whatever, Lovie needs to get over it, get focused and move onward and upward. I could care less about Hester and doubt he would make or break season for either team. I just don’t care.

  18. pick6 Says:

    herron and sims have a few months to work on cleanly fielding kickoffs and punts. seems like once they have the ball in their hands they will be stiff competition for eric page

  19. Bucfan#37 Says:

    Atlanta on the cusp of a super bowl? What is this guy smoking? I don’t see it happening.

  20. Shawnbucfan Says:

    Maybe we could look at Lebron ?

  21. Geno714 Says:

    Definitely $3M per season. Not sure what is guaranteed though. They said he was targeting $4M per.

  22. owlykat Says:

    Hester is a one trick pony and at a time when many kickoffs are not returnable, I would be very upset if we had given up $3 million a year for three years for an over the hill returner, whose best games are behind him. Among all the 3.4 speedsters we have on this roster and the excellent Special Teams Coach we have, we should do very well with what we have. Sims has great hands and is very elusive, and with practice should be great. Herron has been a good receiver, so should have the hands too, but we had an All Pro returner of the same stature that the next year got beat up so bad and just was not durable enough, that he was then out of the game. That is what I worry about with Herron. I would rather see him in the slot, but that also is a place Demps can shine at too. But Sims is built more solidly than Demps or Herron. Demps was pretty durable playing running back and wide receiver for the Gators, however. Sims could play running back kicks and punts and play slot or third down back too. It is really good to have him on the roster–just don’t count on him to run routinely inside the tackles unless he is running behind a rejuvenated LG who had Mirsa last year.

  23. Caleb008 Says:

    Anyone keen to explain why we haven’t taken a look at Cribbs? If Lovie really wants a good return man and Herron doesn’t make consistent improvement I can’t see reason not to check him out. Maybe we’re just seeing how Herron works out first? Or if it just came right down to money?