Lovie Changes Tune On Running Game

October 9th, 2014

lovie smith 0112Bizarre contradiction alert!

Lovie Smith turned out-of-character terse on Monday right after Tampa Tribune Bucs beat writer Roy Cummings asked the head coach to detail problems in the running game. Keep in mind Cummings’ question came moments after Lovie said the rushing attack wasn’t up to speed. But Lovie sang a very different tune on Wednesday.

To recap, here’s what Lovie said Monday.

Cummings: The running game has not, obviously, played out as well as you wanted it to. That’s a foundation of your offense. What’s not happening there?

Lovie Smith: Not able to run the football. Next question.

But here’s what he told Baltimore media yesterday. The head coach actually praised improvement in the running game.

[Lovie Smith] On where he’s seen his team make the most improvement over the last couple of weeks: “I think just overall play in general. Three weeks ago when we were blown out in Atlanta, we had some players out, but [we] just didn’t play [as expected]. We’re a new program starting up and finding out exactly who we are, and we just didn’t play good across the board. [With] both of our losses, you can look to the turnover ratio, like it is with most teams. The last few weeks, though, our running game has gotten better, we’ve gotten really good play from our quarterback position from Mike Glennon, and our receivers are catching the ball. On exactly who we want to be offensively, that’s more of what we’ve seen the last couple weeks. On the defensive side of the football, we’ve gotten takeaways lately. Of course, [we had] a big one against the Steelers early. And of course this past week, we were able to score another touchdown [on an interception]. Taking the ball away on the defensive side and just maintaining drives on the offensive side [are areas where we have improved].”

This really puzzled Joe. What a wacky contradiction. The Bucs are averaging less than 3.2 yards a carry over the past two weeks. The running game has gotten progressively worse since Bobby Rainey’s big day on the ground against the Rams.

Perhaps Lovie just got caught up stroking the out-of-town media? Or maybe he’s seeing what Anthony Collins is seeing and let it slip out? Regardless, Joe hopes the Bucs find a way to get some impact yardage on the ground.

29 Responses to “Lovie Changes Tune On Running Game”

  1. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    Nothing to read in the tea leaves here, just usual “coach speak”

  2. flmike Says:

    We know it’s not good, but what is good is good, and what is not good is not okay with us, we will work on getting those things that are not good to be good and those things that are good, to be better, all us here, in this….hmm, building, no it’s not all good, but there are some aspects that are good, and some that are, we’ll continue to work on all those things.

  3. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    Clever curve ball Joe!

    You said this week. The o-line is getting better.

    The o-line is part of the running game. They are creating holes. There… is the improvement. But Martin is not rushing. Lovie’s statements are accurate.

    “There have been holes for Martin to run through, he just hasn’t taken advantage of opportunities, for whatever reason.” joe said in the following blog:


    Maybe the other Joe wrote this blog… smh

    Dude, yes, Martin has missed opportunities. This is no surprise. Every running back has runs he wants back. Martin just has more than others. Joe is sharing Lovie’s words here. The head coach is delivering what seems to be conflicting messages.–Joe

  4. gotbbucs Says:

    Doug Martin…….?

  5. Buccfan37 Says:

    It seems Lovie somehow has taken himself out of the loop of understandable explanations.

  6. Keith Says:

    @Buccfan37 — Well said. Watching these news conference, it looks like Lovie has changes or is cracking under the pressure, or questioning himself.

  7. panhandle buc Says:

    Of course he is going to tell the Baltimore times that the run game has improved. He is just trying to make the ravens think they need to worry about the run…its all smoke and mirrors!

    Martin and the line have shown small improvements every week, it will come.

  8. NewTampaChris Says:

    “Our receivers are catching the ball”? Not in the game I was watching on Sunday. Do these coaches think we’re stupid? (Don’t answer that.) And also, I know the coaches are pouring over the minutiae of the game film to diagnose what’s happening. But fans have a quicker and more accurate assessment: The defense stinks.

  9. Biff Barker Says:

    So much of Lovie’s problem is himself tripping over his own lounge.

    He stressed competition at every position yet backpedalled on the QB position.

    So many cloak and dagger secret squirrel games yet every Pop Warner player knows he’ll insist on running on first down.

  10. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    Maybe this week we start passing on 1st downs. We need to help our running backs anyway we can.

  11. Biff Barker Says:

    Buccfan37 Says:

    It seems Lovie somehow has taken himself out of the loop of understandable explanations

    Barely held the coffee in, that’s a good one right there!

  12. lightningbuc Says:

    “We’re a new program starting up ”


    HUH? USF in 1997 was a new program starting up – this is an almost 40 year NFL franchise.

  13. LJ'sDaddy Says:

    Panhandle Buc…I have been commenting with a similar handle. My apologies. Apparently my perceived originality was actually subliminally inspired by reading comments made by you. From now on I shall be LJ’sDaddy. Go Bucs!

  14. LJ'sDaddy Says:

    as for my actual comments, I agree with SeanyMac. Lovie is a master of coach speak. If he didn’t have to say anything I don’t think he would. As in Bellichicesque.

  15. Tom Edrington Says:

    “We’re on to Baltimore…”

    “We’re on to Baltimore…”

    “Running game? We’re running to Raymond James instead of taking the bus…”

    “We’re on to Baltimore…”

    Next question….

  16. billy buckaroo Says:

    Sounds like he is digging pretty deep trying to find something positive.

  17. NewTampaChris Says:

    And let’s not forget that Baltimore offense STINKS. If Flacco lights up the Bucs like Brees did, then we’re back to Raheem-ville.

  18. Architek Says:

    Well at least he’s come to grips with not making the playoffs –

  19. Louis Friend Says:

    Hard to pick out a statement from coaches in general and dissect it too much. They don’t preplan what they’re going to say and speak off the cuff. Guessing he meant Martin hasn’t been doing a good job, and if that’s the case we’ll be seeing more of Rainey.

    It’s too bad about Martin. Whatever funk he’s going through will be costing him playing time, and if he can’t crawl out of it ultimately his job. He joins a list of Buc one hit wonders, who through injury or not being able to sustain their success vanished from the field.

  20. DB55 Says:

    Yea but Joe, Chris Simms will be back soon then you’ll see 100+ yards a game on the ground. No worries!!! Lovie hand-picked Simms himself and we all know talent evaluation is Lovies strentgh.

  21. Fort Myers Dave Says:

    To quote John McKay: “What, do you want me to predict a loss?!?!?!” I am guessing that Lovie is just trying to say something positive instead of stating the obvious….. As far as the Bucs being “who we want to be offensively…” well that could be a complement toward Glennon or simply Lovie stating that he is happy that the offense has scored 24 or more points the past 2 games (of course who was the qb in the past 2 games???)…..

  22. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    If Lovie starts jibber jabbing at his pressers than we know it’s Raheem part 2.0. I am getting more fearful by the day that we (myself included) put far too much faith in Lovie Smith being a capable NFL HC in today’s NFL 🙁

  23. JBuc Says:

    LightningBuc- thanks you once again for illustrating why some fans are so ignorant and impatient. Lovie is correct. This is a new program in almost every way. Sure they been in existence for almost 40 years but all that means is there is a franchise with an ownership, building, and an existing fan base. All else is new. Many new players, all new coaches, all new offensive and defensive philosophies, new GM. Even the players that were here last year have to learn an entirely new way of doing things. Very much like an expansion team. Not sure why this is so hard to understand. If you look close enough, you can see improvement.

  24. buc4lyfe Says:

    Wow offensive and defensive lines are getting pushed around but a few people see running lanes. A few weeks ago Rainey was perceived to be the best back because he had a good game, why isn’t he hitting some of these open holes were speaking of. The offensive line is the weakest position not running back. But guess we’ll find out who’s to blame when Charles Sims gets back because he looked the best all summer then again they were working against our defense

  25. Mike10 Says:

    2 Things:

    1. What do you honestly expect him to say to the opponent media? “We have improved in our passing game but everything else has continued to regress. So basically prevent us from passing and you’ll win!”…. no

    2. If that Atlanta game is your baseline, we’re in trouble..

  26. ChargedCBH Says:

    Just shut up Lovie! Seriously….

  27. SAMCRO Says:

    Maybe Lovie should have said to the Baltimore Ravens, “Yeah, Our running game sucks. Doug Martin can’t get away from his own shadow, and our offensive line can’t run block. So, if I were you, I would just continually stack the box with LB’s and Safeties while we keep trying to bang it up the middle.”

    There, would that have satisfied you Joe? How would you have reacted to that?

  28. Robert 9 Says:

    lobama, thats my new name for mr waffle iron

  29. Joe Says:

    There, would that have satisfied you Joe?

    Why, yes.

    How would you have reacted to that?

    Joe often reacts favorably to honesty.