Best Move: Lovie Smith

July 3rd, 2014
Andrew Astleford of Fox Sports Florida believes the best offseason move by the Bucs was hiring Lovie Smith.

Andrew Astleford of Fox Sports Florida weighs in

Man, the offseason has been long for Joe. Long because there has been so much news over at One Buc Palace since the demise of Greg Schiano, it seems like two or three years ago.

New coaches and new players, coaches shown the door, players escorted out. A new general manager. It has been a whirlwind of activity.

Per Andrew Astleford of Fox Sports Florida, the best of all the moves made by the Bucs when was Team Glazer lured Lovie Smith out of his famous suburban Chicago basement to take over the team.

No debate here. Smith’s arrival to replace Greg Schiano brought instant credibility to a franchise in need of a strong leader on the sidelines. More than anything, Bucs fans needed a reason to believe in the direction of a team that had become lost during the failed Schiano and Raheem Morris eras.

Time will show if Smith has the acumen to lift Tampa Bay to the playoffs for the first time since the 2007 season. But here’s guessing he will achieve the goal sooner rather than later. His history says as much. He owns a valuable awareness for Tampa Bay after serving as the Bucs’ linebackers coach from 1996-2000, and his time leading the Chicago Bears from 2004-2012 (an 81-63 record with three playoff appearances) hints at future success. A fan base that needs reason to be eager again hopes similar results come their way.

Naturally, the defense is in good hands with Lovie. If the Bucs do nothing else this fall, they will go after the quarterback more and you won’t see bizarre, PlayStation-like defensive schemes, like having Adrian Clayborn cover Darren Sproles on pass plays.

Despite how good Lovie’s defense may be, in the end, he will be judged here by how the Tampa Bay offense develops.

18 Responses to “Best Move: Lovie Smith”

  1. SAMCRO Says:

    Exactly how many times did Adrian Clayborn cover Darren Sproles? From what I gather from JOE, this must’ve happened quite a bit.

  2. terraj35 Says:

    Completely agree. He came in, made is clear the direction he was going to take the roster and made smart moves. They were moves that made sense for his scheme, unlike some GMs who sign guys based on pro bowl appearances…cough Dominik cough

    Joe for all of us fans out there, do us this one favor..admit Dominik was not a rock star. Please.

  3. Snook Says:

    “Exactly how many times did Adrian Clayborn cover Darren Sproles? From what I gather from JOE, this must’ve happened quite a bit.”

    Not sure. But once is one too many.

  4. gatrbuc17 Says:

    No Offense Joe but you DO talk about AC covering Sproles almost every time you mention AC

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I give Smith some credit & thumbs up….but I think that Licht is also a key addition.

    As far as Clayborn covering Sproles….I think it was some sort of zone coverage and Sproles just happened to be in the zone. And…..Joe….this along with the Martin wheel route injury is getting old.
    How about some new material like “why did we let Michael Bennett walk”….I’d even settle for some Myron Lewis redux…….

  6. Eric Says:

    As good as the offseason has been, we will see the real impact of Lovie on game days…………………while were kicking some ass.

    Go bucs.

  7. TheShaz Says:

    Can’t fault Poor Ole Joe for rehashing Clayborn covering Sproles or the “Wheel route of Doom”.

    We are in the middle of the driest news cycle of the NFL. Usually you don’t want your players in the news right about now because half the time it involves an arrest or some sort.

    I admire Joe at least finding something to post daily for our Bucs fix.

    I am amped up for this season. I will visit Camp once or twice after work. And making plans to go to the evening practice at Ray Jay.

    I do have that tiny voice in the back of my head telling me the Bucs will suck again this year. But the little voice has been drowned out by the news I have been reading.

  8. Bob Says:

    Joe how can it be a long offseason with so many changes? That doesn’t make since. If nothing was going on it would be slow.
    @snook.. Even though there have been a ton of positive changes, Joe is stuck in a rut. He never fails to mention AC and Sproles, letting Bennett walk for the nothing, how McCown is a journeyman QB, Etc etc. You would think there’s tons of good stuff to write with the the changes with a new GM, Coaches, FRee Agency, Draft.. Here’s hoping training camp brings new exciting stuff to read.

  9. Netwalker Says:

    On Clayborn covering Sproles, I’m guessing it’s been cited here a lot more often than it actually happened in a game. Too bad, as it screws up an otherwise decent article for the off season. This kind of journalistic failure reminds me of….. well…. of Clayborn being assigned to cover Sproles on a passing route.

  10. OB Says:


    This reads like when General Patton took over command of the army in Africa, from retreating to mowing them down. A true leader leads, we have one at the top with others throughout.

  11. Rich Says:

    I have to agree with the expressed annoyance over Joe’s obsession with AC covering Sproles. I recall seeing that happen ONCE. They ran some kind of blitz and Sproles released to AC’s side. His assignment put him on Sproles and, yes, he was quickly left in the dust. I don’t think the plan was to have AC covering Sproles, but that’s how the play unfolded and he was doing his job. As I recall, the blitz effectively put pressure on Brees, forcing an errant throw that fell incomplete. So, unless I completely misunderstand the purpose of defense in a football game, the play in question was successful. As much as I love this site, I have to agree that Joe seems to have his head embedded a bit too deeply in his rectum on this topic. It seems evident that Joe would rather have seen Revis covering Sproles and giving up a completion than to see AC (whose assignment was clearly more about obscuring a passing lane for a second than staying tight in coverage) covering him while the TEAM forced an incomplete pass. One or two references is understandable as the image was not pretty, but the obsession with criticizing a successful defensive effort is bordering on lunacy.

    DISCLAIMER: I may be remembering incorrectly and perhaps that pass was completed. I’m just going from memory. Either way, with all of the warranted game-planning criticism levied against Schiano and Sheridan, I think showing an exotic and unusual look to a high-powered offense is not exactly the result of some sort of football-based mental retardation as Joe seems to suggest.

  12. BigMacAttack Says:

    JBF needs a “Sproles” jar for every time Joe mentions Clayborn covering Sproles he has to put a dollar in. No, on second thought it needs to be a 55 gallon drum.

  13. Buccfan37 Says:

    Seems like nitpicking to me. Nothing wrong with repeating Clayborn covering Sproles however many times Joe decides to use it. Many of the takes from the whole gang of opinions are repetitive with a few words changed around here and there, including myself. It’s called antsy for football with a bit of hurry up and wait thrown in.

  14. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Terraj35 says “Joe for all of us fans out there, do us this one favor..admit Dominik was not a rock star. Please.”

    I agree Terraj35, at this point, it might be better for Joe to just admit he made a mistake calling Mark Dominik a Rock Star, because some people I know ain’t buying the excuse Joe called him a Rockstar because like a Rockstar, everyone wanted to interview him.

    I love this place, and I am quite fond of both of the Joe’s, but sometimes, when I am around some football fans, and try to encourage them to come to this site, they just laugh because of what they perceive as Joe’s love affair with Mark Dominik!

    When I try to point out that Joe says he only called Mark Dominik a Rockstar, because like a Rockstar, everyone wanted to interview him, they aren’t buying it!
    They say, by that reasoning, then every GM of every football team is a Rockstar.

    In my football circles, few are hated as much as Mark Dominik is. In fact, open support of Mark Dominik in some of the rowdy sports bars I go to could cause you to get your ass kicked.

    Perhaps it was not the intent of Joe to offer unbridled support of Mark Dominik when he gave him the Rockstar Nickname, but this is the way some perceive it.

    If I were Joe, I would go to great lengths to distance myself (and my website) from the sunk ship DBA Mark Dominik.
    IMHO, calling an inept fool like Mark Dominik a Rockstar, for any reason, is not the way to endear oneself to true fans of Tampa Bay Football.

  15. Joe Says:


    Joe how can it be a long offseason with so many changes?

    All the moves seems like three offseasons. Meaning more work for Joe. 🙂

  16. Cody Says:

    For me personally, This is a dream team from the Front office to the field…I expect GMC & our revamped “Tampa 2” defense to torment QBs relentlessly every Sunday for a long time under Lovie….

    As for the offense, I personally love the Telford hire…I feel like the sky is the limit for our new Dunkaneer offense…we got fresh legs on the OL and the cupboard is full at all the skill positions…I can’t wait to see this offense play Basketball on Grass…

  17. owlykat Says:

    I am with you, Cody! We are in great hands and in great shape to torment our rivals in the hot sun while they scratch their heads trying to figure out how they can possibly defend Tedford. About the time they start to adjust, here comes the two tight end offense. We better have a lot of gun powder for our cannons!!! Ha!

  18. BoJim Says:

    We will impose our will on the other team every game.