No More Excuses

December 30th, 2014
Being a first-year coach is no longer an excuse for losing in today's NFL.

Being a first-year coach is no longer an excuse for losing in today’s NFL.

As soon as the final gun sounded (is there a final gun anymore?) on the feces-laden 2014 Bucs season, in Joe’s mind, the excuses expired for Lovie Smith.

Joe heard so many times how it took so long for the Bucs to learn Lovie’s defense, it would make your head spin.

Granted, every team has a learning curve learning a new coach’s tactics and schemes, no doubt about it. And the Bucs did improve on defense, no question. But “improve” does not equate to “good.” The Bucs, theoretically, could improve next year, double their wins even, but there isn’t a four-win team that existed that could qualify as “good.”

Joe was doing a bit of research Sunday night and did a double-take about the Texans. Let’s think about this: When Bill O’Brien bolted Penn State and took over Houston, they were exactly what the Bucs are now: a garbage team with a couple of really good players, worst team in the NFL. They also didn’t have a quarterback.

For reasons not quite clear, the Texans passed on quarterbacks and took heralded defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who, due to a knee injury, was a total non-factor. Yet O’Brien, an offensive-minded coach known for grooming quarterbacks, got the Texans to 9-7.

If the Bucs were 9-7, fans would be doing cartwheels down Dale Mabry Highway.

BOB may not get “Coach of the Year” honors, but he is very much deserving by pulling that rabbit out of a hat.

Mike Pettine took over the hapless Browns this year and had them in the playoff hunt in December in arguably the toughest division in the NFL with Brian Hoyer of all people. Impressive.

Jim Caldwell, another first-year head coach, took over the sinking Lions and nearly won a division and got the Lions to the playoffs. Solid job.

Lovie? He went winless in the worst division in the NFL.

So the excuse that Lovie was in his first year with the Bucs doesn’t fly with Joe. He took over a team, like the Texans, that had no quarterback but with some decent players, and ran the team into ground and into the first pick in the draft.

Mix in the Karlos Pena-like swings and misses in free agency, Lovie deserves an F-grade by any standard.

So pardon Joe if he is still unimpressed with the job Lovie turned in this past year. Being granted a pass because a guy is a first-year head coach, as three guys have proven this year, doesn’t fly with Joe.

No more excuses.

43 Responses to “No More Excuses”

  1. bucrightoff Says:

    Lest we forget, without the miracle win in Pittsburgh Lovie would have set the franchise record for losses in a season. Lovie and Whisenhunt were undoubtedly the two most overrated coaches who got hired this past offseason. Their first year did little to quell that belief

  2. Joe Says:

    Lest we forget, without the miracle win in Pittsburgh Lovie would have set the franchise record for losses in a season.

    John McKay went 0-14 in 1976. Lovie was a Leeman Bennett-like 2-14.

  3. Howard Cosell Says:

    NO MORE “wey’ll get better with time”
    NO MORE “We lost our OC before the season”
    NO MORE “The fans are the stock holders”
    NO MORE.

    # Zero tolerance for fan-abuse.

  4. Flmike Says:

    We’ve talked about this before, he was the wrong hire, when the
    Glazers needed to make a splash and hire an offensive minded coach, they went safe and tried to bring back the glory years, which in reality when compared to today’s NFL really weren’t so glorious. Defense first football will not win you anything but empty seats come Sunday. He was a horrible hire and will prove out what he actually is, a mediocre coach who coaches to not lose….

  5. SteveK Says:

    Joe, don’t forget, “it takes time”.

    – Brandon, Patrick in VA, and “The d-bag Kevin”

  6. lion Says:

    Also noted should be that every single one of those teams had an offensive coordinator. You could chalk that up to Lovie for not bringing in an Offensive mind to stabilize the offense, but the horrible offense is not his fault directly. There is no way you can win the the NFL without your offensive coordinator and with a guy like Arroyo assuming that position and calling the plays. I think this alone gives Lovie a free pass on this season; however, if the offense is like this next year there will be changes. I would even give some of the poor offensive line play a free pass due to the lack of a coordinator, you can’t say it hasn’t affected them either. There is no way they are that bad, especially Mankins.

  7. DB55 Says:

    Even zimmer pulled out 7 wins with a rookie qb and no RB or rvcs. 7 wins ties for first in the NFC south.

  8. ihateloviesmith Says:

    so true my brother, except for the fact that ole stoneface has about a hundred and fifty years experience in this league, at different levels, with many connections, and as we like to say down south, part of the good ole boys club. so yes there was and should not have been any excuse, for this seasons absolute failure, on all aspects of his (non) coaching tenure, and should not be going forward. especially with the 1st and 33rd pick coming our way, with the talent and yes we do have some very talented players, on this team. time has been up in my opinion, now lovie put up or shutup. because I do not have any respect, or confidence that you could build any thing close to a winning club in this league. only thing he can build imho is a meatball sub. probably mess that up too………

  9. Skyline Crew for Mariota or Winston Says:

    That excuse should have never got off the ground. He isn’t first time coach or a first year coach. He is an old coach who everyone knows. He just happened to take over the Bucs this year and did a terrible job. People need to quit treating him like he is a rookie coach.

  10. Bucs Fan Since '76 Says:

    Joe, you just made the argument for firing Lovie and starting over with a competent President in charge of EVERYTHING. And not for nothing, but is it not strange we have not heard a peep from the Glazers?

  11. bucrightoff Says:

    Uhh 15 losses would be the Bucs record for losses in a year Joe (not worst winning % which is what I think you went for). So had they lost to Pittsburgh, Lovie would be the only coach in Bucs history to lose 15 games in a season.

  12. Tye Says:

    1st year HC was always nothing more than an excuse because of Lovies 9 year experience must count for something….

    Most of these HC were 1st time HC in The NFL so Lovie Should have had an advantage over them and yet the newbies greatly out shined Lovie by leaps and bounds… For that reason combined with nearly every decision Lovie made hurt the team and contributed to the 2-14 season is why he doesn’t deserve respect or even to keep his job…

    That is why the Buccaneers will continue on the path of losing that they have dug such a deep rut they have been in! Lovie is as he always was, stuck in his ways that produce losses more than wins…

  13. SSG Mike Says:

    Not sure you can compare the John McKay 0-14 season, that was before CBA agreements and an expansion franchise got absolutely nothing to start off except a few draft picks (Leroy Selmon HOF). Other teams only had to offer you there garbage never has been’s like Spurrier. No excuses for McKay but he had much less in his toolbox than they have today. Lovie needs to get his Sh@t together and fast!

  14. biff barker Says:


    The Glazer’s didn’t even interview one of these guys.

  15. tgreg Says:

    Amen Joe, but it should be F minus

  16. Seminole Bill Says:

    I think Lovie does deserve a ‘pass’ this past season. Think about it; everything that could go wrong did go wrong:

    1. Offensive coordinator has a heart attack;
    2. Every (yes, every) free agent acquisition was a bust (even a bad coach would have at least one free agent success – tells me that something other than poor judgment was involved);
    3. Your hand-picked QB busts his hand a few games into the season;
    4. You get rid of Donald Penn and he begins playing “lights out”;
    5. You take over a team that had an episode of MRSA last season;
    6. Your punter begins kicking like a high schooler.

    Give Lovie a pass – he would have had to try to lose as many games as the Bucs did. Something else was at work; a curse maybe. Perhaps we should all gather at RJ for an exorcism.

  17. biff barker Says:

    Honorable mention to 2nd year Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone.

    9-7 record and a home playoff berth.

    He had QB issues as well.

  18. biff barker Says:

    Seminole Bill, you’ve made a great case for the F- grade.

  19. Joe Says:

    And not for nothing, but is it not strange we have not heard a peep from the Glazers?

    Yes and no. Team Glazer, outside of NFL-mandated media sitdown at the spring owners meeting, rarely speaks publicly.

  20. DB55 Says:

    If RB todd gurley of Georgia is available at #33 do you pick him up?

  21. Joseph Mamma Says:

    If Lovie was a truly great coach, he would not be coaching here. Another NFL team would have hired him last year.

  22. Joe Says:

    If RB todd gurley of Georgia is available at #33 do you pick him up?

    No way. Not with a gimpy knee (that high). Plus, Bucs have plenty of running backs.

  23. JoeJoes Fungi Nails Says:

    No More IS an EXCUSE !!!!!

  24. bee Says:

    2015 is make it or break it. And by make it I mean the playoffs. I still think he needs 3 years to really do some good but theres no way he can survive another season like this, even if we do have a shiny new QB. We have to stop the coaching carousel but then again we have to stop the losing. Catch 22.

    Also, after we lost our OC and saw that Arroyo was completely clueless, Lovie was ordered to tank the season. Every decision he made seems to support that.

  25. Zam Says:

    @Joe, bucrightoff is correct, w/o the lucky pittsburgh win they would have had 15 losses, the most for any Bucs team ever. Not %.

  26. Newbucsfan!!! Says:

    Most folks on this site will call Winston a clown, criminal idiot, etc..All the while claiming that Mariota is the second coming of rodgers,manning,brady,staubach,aikman, etc (LOL)

    To some Mariota is Cam Newton w/ mannings brain, rodgers arm, and Brady’s clutch gene. If he is all that then there is no debate he is the once in a generation qb that the Bucs and their fans have been looking for. UNFORTUATELY, Mariota is not as big as cam newton, doesn’t have mannings brain, and doesn’t have brady’s clutch gene or rodgers accurate arm. As a matter of fact he needs time to develope those skills. Oh he does have speed though, I guess that makes him the best choice LOLOLOLOLOL

  27. Couch Fan Says:

    There is no more excuses to be had. This organization is just sad. Starting at the top with the Glazers. They continue to make bone head decisions and give the finger to the fans when it comes to winning football games. It is CLEAR to everyone that this is a passing league but we continue to do nothing but want to hire defensive minded coaches that have no clue what to do with an offense. We need an aggressive coach that understands and knows how to score points. Not a guy that plays not to lose and depends entirely on his defense.

  28. Architek Says:

    O’Brien is surperior a HC and schemer to Lovie. They had Fitzpatrick and Mallet as QBs and still went 9-7 – 364 days and counting.

  29. DB55 Says:


    I thought the same thing but then mcgahee popped into my mind. Matt miller’s mock draft on bleacher report has gurley going 31 to Seattle. Although I really like the kid from Boise state jay ajayi.

    F* it lets get amari cooper and call it a day.

  30. Newbucsfan!!! Says:

    Mariota 46,207 TD’S to 1 INT

    Winton 4 TD’S to 906,287 INT’S

    That’s it after all the debating these stats confirm who the best selection is!!

  31. MadMax Says:

    And he’ll be back next year and have us picking high in the draft once again. Ive already come to terms with it and Im ok with it. Is what it is.

    Fix the pass rush now with Leonard, or trade down and go O line….theres more than 2 QB’s in this draft.

  32. Robert 9 Says:

    lovie sux.

    thats all i could muster or care anymore

  33. Couch Fan Says:

    17 Ints is a lot no doubt. 29 game winning streak is also a lot. Ill take a everyone of those INTs and then some if the 29 game winning streak comes with it.

  34. Stanton Says:

    THANK YOU JOE!!! This needed to be said!

  35. Skyline Crew for Mariota or Winston Says:

    Newbucsfan I believe I’ve come to the conclusion that you are a troll. Are ou 13-14 yrs old? You act like a little kid so much.

  36. Joe Says:


    You are welcome!

  37. LargoBuc Says:

    Greg Schiano helped build a talented roster, particularly on defense. Yet he was unable to get much of anything out of them and his coaching on Sundays was predictable and got out coached on a weekly basis. Going 4-12 with a pretty talented roster was unacceptable so he was fired.
    So then Lovie comes in and he destroys our roster. Our oline was downgraded. Darelle Revis was cut and Mark Barron was traded. Mccown was handed the starting qb job. Not only did he destroy our roster but he often looked just as inept as Schiano did come gameday. There is no way Lovie should have a job after we went backwards from 2013. He set this team back at least three years. In this state it dosent matter if you draft Marcus or Winston. Both will fall into mediocrity with Lovie at the helm of this garbage group of players.

  38. Brent Says:

    Agree joe. Without an oc and learning a new def scheme I’ll give him another chance. For the most part the 2nd half of the season we were in every game. What concerns me is this o-line was rebuilt by Lovie and licht and this is an awful unit which leads me to believe they might not know what their doing evaluating offensive talent. But for sur I think Lovie needs to win 7 games next year. 6 would be cutting it close..

  39. cbell96825 Says:

    I just dont get it joe mabey you can help sum it up for me every defensive coach weve ever had has either sucked or couldnt win the big game and the one offensive coach we had won the fricken super bowl why cant we just get some damn offense. Sorry to burst everyones bubble but sapp, brooks and lynch arent walking back through those doors anytime soon at one buc time to turn the page on the bucs defensive glory days

    go bucs

  40. Walter White Says:

    Lovie Smith would’ve hamstrung Peyton Manning or Tom Brady’s career. Lovie Smith is a favorite in the gym amongst pro bodybuilders – he is a heavy ass weight that goes on your back. He’s just kind of there. Also makes a great paperweight.

  41. TBFAN813 Says:

    Even with the first pick in the draft for some reason I’m still not very optimistic about next year. I have a lingering feeling that Lovie is going to find a way to screw this up. The Draft is a hit or miss proposition and going by recent history I have little faith that management is going to make the right decisions come April. The Bucs have to make sure they don’t miss with the first overall pick because we have seen what poor drafting can do to a team. The decisions made by management this off-season will either catapult the Bucs to a long run of success or will set us on track for another decade of losing.
    I am tired of having to listen to fans of other teams mocking our team and having nothing to come back at them. Bucs fans deserve much better than this crap that the Glazer brothers have been selling us since the took over operations from their father, Malcolm Glazer. This has made two years in a row now that for all intents and purposes the Bucs season was over before Halloween and that is simply unacceptable.

  42. Stanglassman Says:

    Not to take away anything from O’Brien’s coaching but Houston was the best 4 win team in the history of the NFL last year not near the same level as the Bucs. All 4 win teams are not equal, just compare both team’s OL and DL last year not close you can keep repeating it but it’s simply not true.

  43. Buccfan37 Says:

    Nice tongue lashing of all things Lovie. It hasn’t been bad, just terrible.