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.

30 Responses to “Who’s Really In Charge?”

  1. Shawnbucfan Says:

    Lovie we have Jerry Jones on line 1

  2. bucrightoff Says:

    Lovie was hired before Licht. Should tell you who’s running the show. Licht is there to do as Lovie desires.

  3. bucsQcCity Says:

    Hey Joe!

    Just wanted to post a link to a webMap I made, a couple months ago, that identify which states of the US where the Bucs drafted most players (from ’87 to ’12.. the info of ’13 wasn’t available at the time made it). It isn’t very fancy (pop-up don’t work well with mobile) and probably not 100% accurate as the source of the info is not the official NFL site but it’s still cool IMO..


    Anyway Go Bucs!

  4. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Another interesting question not debated enough is if Lovie told Tedford if he takes the OC job he could have his QB of choice in the draft. Clearly our future at QB is blurry, and I don’t think Tedford takes the OC job unless he is secured with the QB of his choice for the future.

  5. OAR Says:

    I made a chicken salad today…….the little bastard didn’t even eat it!

  6. T in Orlando Says:

    What else was Tedford going to do, he didn’t exactly have teams, in the NFL nor College level, knocking his door down to be a HC or OC. I do not think that any promise of QBs had to be made to get Tedford on board.

    That being said, I’m sure his opinion is taken into heavy consideration when setting the draft board, and I would suspect they have a QB in mind at 7 if he’s there, a QB in mind at 38, if he’s there, and probably even a scenario to trade back into the 1st, between picks 25 thru 32, to pick up a specific player, if he’s there.

    However I do not think Lovie came to Tedford and said, “I’ll get any QB you want in the upcoming draft.”

  7. Mathius Says:

    Regardless with who gets the credit or blame for drafting lets hope it is an easy consensus pick today.

    Solid point Tackleblockwin about promisies that may have been made when drawing Tedford away from Cal.

    As for Dominick, his drafts appeared to get better once Schiano arrived. It could be a coincidence or as Chirs Laundry aludes to regularly, Schaino played a large role in football operations.

    We can all celebrate or whine in 3 years (or directly after) about the draft results.

    Hope the Skyway has the jump nets out.

    If the Bucs trade Glennon and don’t draft Manziel there will be alot of folks to catch.

    This could mark the end of the Tampa MG8ers and Manzielites

  8. Mathius Says:

    I read some where McKay has been attempting to pry Tedford away to ATL for years.

  9. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    I’m convinced the Bucs are going to take a qb in round 1…..for their defense

    Look for CJ Moseley in the first. They need an upgrade there and Lovie needs his Urlacher

  10. Mathius Says:

    Joe No Mock Draft….

    Joe are you gonna “Put your name on it” remove yourself from the media and put your self in L&L’s heads, who do you take at 7?

  11. Thegregwitul Says:

    The best and most successful teams have GMs and coaches who coexist and work together to put the strongest team on the football field. As much as Mark Dominik missed on players in free agency and the draft, to have an in over his head rookie coach like Greg Schiano toss aside productive pass rusher after productive pass rusher for his ‘Buccaneer Men’ is disgusting.

    At the end of the day, I’m not worried if it’s Lovie having final say over one thing or Jason Licht having his say over something else. I just hope these guys work together to assemble a competitive football team, as I’m starved for some kind of success. Let’s get it done tonight, fellas.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I am quite sure that Lovie is ultimately in charge….but probably (the way he is) shows great respect to Licht’s input.
    They probably sat down (many times) and laid out their list of players/needs and draft choices.
    I can only hope that each of them agreed that trading up was not much of an option. I hope they show patience and wait till 7.

    Sammy @ 7 (I will probably be as dissapointed as Joe tonight) because he won’t be there either. But, we will get a great player.

  13. Que589 Says:

    This is Lovie’s show. To paraphrase Jason Licht , the GM works for the coach

  14. runtodaylight Says:

    I said it the other day and I’ll say it again. “Control” of the draft doesn’t mean anything more to me than “mechanics”. In my opinion, you’ve got it right, Joe. Lovie was given what few NFL coaches get. Total authority in the draft and FA.

  15. Buc1987 Says:

    Please……… Jeff Tedford (QB guru) find us another Dilfer.

  16. Orca Says:

    It’s a moot point if L&L are working together well. Of course, the GM is going to want to draft guys who fit the scheme and are guys the HC likes. I believe they were sincere when they said if they don’t agree on a player, they don’t draft him. This power struggle model for describing organizational relationships is for small minds. Joe always seems to want to stir up controversy where it doesn’t exist.

  17. NewTampaChris Says:

    The draft board has to have been a joint effort between Lovie and Licht. I keep hearing Chris Landry say that if you love a QB and think he can be a quality starter, you take him wherever. If the Bucs take Evans or Matthews while 2 or 3 of the top QBs are on the board, then we’ll know what they thought. I hope, though, that Lovie’s year off taught him that you do have to score some points.

  18. buc4lyfe Says:

    Good grief……and they are talking about trying to move the draft back another week or two, off-season was already unbearable there’s far too much useless talk to deal with lol no offense Joe. You have more content then anyone right now….atleast you have enough common sense not to brag about accurately predicting something as obvious as Mike Glennon being drafted given schiano had a history with him

  19. buc4lyfe Says:

    But then again I’d love this topic after tonight’s draft. If we go defense and get anyone other than Clowney then it’s obvious that more than likely Lovie is wielding the big stick

  20. Bucfan#37 Says:

    Could the Bucs have Schiano on speed dial for draft day tips? Since that’s the only thing he was good at and get’s any credit for, his talent insight. I can’t wait for Joe’s and the fans comments tonight.

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Stroud is going by what was claimed when the two were hired. Jason Licht has no experience in a war room. Anybody really think the Glazers and Lovie will give a rookie GM full control?

    Heck no.

    Lovie is in charge this year.

  22. Jeagan1999 Says:

    I know that rumors are a dime a dozen leading up to the draft, but I just saw this one and thought I’d pass it along to brighten Joe’s day….”FOX’s Jay Glazer says the Bucs will not use the No. 7 overall pick on Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel.”

  23. Lion Says:

    From what I see, they both work as a team. One doesn’t have control over the other. That just seems silly. However, they are a collective unit, working in tandem to make the Bucs the best that they can possible be.

  24. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    No freaking way did Jason Licht come to Tampa to be Lovie’s Bitch.
    I think it is a joint effort between Lovie and Licht, and I am glad for that.
    Remember, Lovie gave us the world once, for Gaines Adams ?
    IMHO, he needs to stick with what he knows best, coaching defense, and leave talent gathering and offense to people proven to be good at it.

  25. bucrightoff Says:

    Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:
    May 8th, 2014 at 2:15 pm
    No freaking way did Jason Licht come to Tampa to be Lovie’s Bitch.
    I think it is a joint effort between Lovie and Licht, and I am glad for that.
    Remember, Lovie gave us the world once, for Gaines Adams ?
    IMHO, he needs to stick with what he knows best, coaching defense, and leave talent gathering and offense to people proven to be good at it.

    It is very, very rare in the NFL for a coach to be hired before a GM is. Licht may not be his “bitch” but Lovie is running the show, you can be sure of that.

  26. OAR Says:

    Coming to Lovie and Gaines Adams defense of that trade, Derrick Brooks has spoken about how he felt Adams was improving greatly his second year in their Tampa-2 defense under Kiffin and then you have to add in the failed Jim Bates defense that didn’t fit any of our players on the roster, yet Jukebox Dom kept drafting defensive players for our old 4-3 scheme instead of the new 3-4(Bates defense). Unfortunately, the Bears never got a chance to see if what Lovie and Derrick Brooks thought about Adams play. Had they, Im sure the pick they gave up for him would have been a good deal.

  27. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Gaines Adams was a complete bust. Didn’t deserve death, but him dying doesn’t change what he was.

  28. OAR Says:

    So Lovie and Marinelli traded for a “bust”? I think I ll take their PROFESSIONAL assessment and valuation of him prior to his death over yours. Thanks for trying tough.

  29. OAR Says:


  30. chris schiefen Says:

    This is kinda dumb, because there’s a big difference between a 1st round pick & a low-rent street free agent. Heck, between those guys you mentioned & a recent draft pick investment, there’s a pretty big difference. The most prescient quote I heard was when Licht said his understanding was, Licht *&* Lovie had to like the player, or the player isn’t considered.