“Gut Decision” Coming, Says Lovie

February 19th, 2015

Lovie Smith made a “gut decision” on Josh McCown last offseason, and again in November, and they turned into rotted guts for legions of Bucs fans, from the white sands of St. Pete Beach to Plant City and beyond.

About a year later, Lovie now has a similar quarterback evaluation and decision to make. He was asked about it yesterday during a chat with Joe and fellow media huddled at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Frankly, Lovie scared the hell out of Joe with this verbatim exchange:

Reporter: What will the quarterback decision ultimately come down to for you in terms of will it be comfort level? Will it be gut? Will it just be ultimately a conviction that this is a guy fits us?

Lovie Smith: I think all of the above. It always has come down to a gut decision. But you get a gut decision based on doing your research as much as you possibly can. We’ve done a lot on some of the players early on. We’ll do a lot more; talk to as many people as we possibly can. And I think in the end, decisions aren’t that hard in the end. You do your research, it’s pretty obvious what you should do in the end.

Why is Joe scared? Because all the research Lovie referenced was done last year, and it came up McCown — journeyman Josh freakin’ McCown. No tiny investment to trade up for Teddy Bridgewater or Derek Carr and start the regime developing a QB. No slightly larger trade up for Johnny Football for the same purpose.

Man, Joe sure hopes Lovie drafts a QB on April 30. Anything else will be a stain on franchise history.

45 Responses to ““Gut Decision” Coming, Says Lovie”

  1. Lev In philly Says:

    My guy always wants junk food… We are drafting Winston.

  2. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Trade Down and Grab a boat load of premium picks-rebuild this ship-from stem to stern.

    Us the Draft-To Rebuild the Interior Offensive Line
    Use Free Agency-To Fortify a Beastly Defensive Line

  3. JoeJoes Fungi Nails Says:

    I am a loud member of the trade down TWICE mob…once would be OK too…..
    of the 2
    Merry times with Mariota
    Jail time with Jameis
    hows the weather in Indy Lone Joe ?

  4. Lev in Philly Says:


    Dude, come back to reality. We need a QB and there are 2 REALLY good ones. We can build the rest of the team with our other picks and in the coming years. Name any QB that is college right now who would be worth a high pick in next year’s draft. Winston and Mariota have been highly regarded for the past 2 years. We can’t bank on drafting a QB in the future.

  5. Martinii Says:

    I agree Joe, I hope we pick a QB also, but “a stain on franchise history” is a little melodramatic at 5:30AM. This is football not “Macbeth.”

  6. Tony Says:

    It really is these two and then a pile of crap QB wise for the next two years. We are so fortunate to be able to grab one of these two. Whomever that selection is I will be 100% behind it. Difference is this…whereever Mariota ends up, I will follow him and root for him. If Winston isn’t a Buc, I could care less how he does.

  7. JFat Says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with what Lovie said. McCown was the best FA QB available last year, isn’t like he chose him over Aaron Rodgers or anything. I would have preferred we let Glennon start last season and brought in someone to back him up but whatever. I doubt trading up would have been as easy as people seem to think, the Bucs didn’t exactly have a ton of picks to work with last season.

    Like Lev just said, both of these guys would have been above Carr/Bridgewater/Manziel/Bortles on draft boards if they came out last year. Imagine the damage that would have been done to a rookie QB on this team last season anyway; first year in the league with no OC and a crap O-line.

    We have an OC now, draft a QB, build the o-line thru FA/Draft and we’re looking alright.

  8. P'cola Buc Says:

    While the significant “misses” in free agency last year may put in question Lovie/Licht evaluation of talent abilities I must make 2 comments about the above article. #1… It is my theory (no way of knowing) that the Bucs were targeting Carr in last year’s draft. Maybe part of a “promise” made to Tedford as well. I believe they were sincere to fulfill this promise but Licht was simply unable to move up just 3 positions in the draft to choose him prior to Oakland doing so. (Causing Tedford to be miffed as well). #2…As far as signing FA McCown last year because of five wonder games in 2013, we need to cut Lovie/Licht some slack. McCown since released (2015) seems to be even more popular this year with several teams bidding for his services despite his performance of in 2014. Even finding functional QB’s in the NFL is a challenge (hence the value of Mike Glennon).

  9. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @Lev in Philly

    The reality is that’s your opinion. I’m just speaking mine. IMO-A boat load of draft picks would be a great start toward building a perennial contender in 2 or 3 yrs.

  10. passthebuc Says:

    and if the QB prospect you wish for, goes down in flames, what then.

    And if, you trade glennon and he becomes a top 5 QB with another team?

    How do you tell your readers that you were blinded by the light.

    And what if Lovie wastes a pick on a QB with no one to protect him and he ends up out 2 years with a leg problem.

    Your no different than Lovie and neither of you know.

  11. Bird Says:

    Just afraid that lovie is getting involved to much in free agency and draft. It’s the GMs job and he is pulling a Gruden and having to much say which will get him fired.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Relax Joe…..Lovie & Licht will choose a QB…..and, even though I’m a Mariota supporter….I can tell you I don’t think they can make a mistake with either QB. Both will develop into very good NFL QBs.

    As for McCown….sure, in hindsight it didn’t work….I think it was a reasonable decision to make at the time. Tedford’s absense affected the QBs the most.

    I do think it’s contradictory to say that you are making a gut decision….then say…in the end its an easy decision…..gut decisions aren’t easy!!!

  13. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    @ Lev

    “Name any QB that is college right now who would be worth a high pick in next year’s draft.”

    Sorry dude can’t help myself…his name is Christian Hackenberg out of Penn St. Google if you must, but that dude has a very good shot of being a better NFL QB than either Mariota or Winston. Probably why I’m totally fine with trading down this year with another perenial loser team in order to get a high pick next year to use on a QB if Glennon can’t get it done under Koetter this year

  14. Mister Niceguy Says:

    I think (and hope) we take a quarterback, but if we didn’t, and we did a trade to acquire a starting quality QB in the trade, and also got a stud pass rusher with our resulting first rounder, I would struggle but accept it.

    Honestly, I would be happy with several QBs that are questionable, if it got us that teams first and second rounder next year, and a first in 2017.

    I would take RGIII, believe it or not, for example. A change of scenery might be just what he needs, we do well with QBs coming from Washington (see Brad Johnson) and with the picks we acquire we can always draft a QB next year without mortgaging the farm.

    And let’s be frank…whoever got the pick, their first rounder next year would be a high pick, because the QB would not be a stud in his first year.

  15. DallasBuc Says:

    The talent eval and decision-making is so terrible that this pick should scare everyone. It is obvious to all who watched last year that these bums are indisputably unqualified to make this decision. Yet here we are. This now becomes the fault of the Glazers if tweedle dee and tweedle dum go all Bucs 2014 again. I can’t take another disappointment like that.

  16. Mister Niceguy Says:

    If that give you pause, just consider what we could do with 2 high first round picks next year.

  17. The Real Malloy Says:

    I have a “gut feeling” they already know who they’re picking….anything else is smoke

  18. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    What is it with your constant hate on our coach? A lot of coaches have rough first years, especially when they inherit a team that needs a lot of work.

    You used to be a more patient Bucs fan who spoke common sense often. Lately, the hate from you is shocking.

  19. P'cola Buc Says:

    Well even if Hackenberg is better than Mariota/Winston (which is debatable btw)…. There will be several other teams searching for a QB next year. The Buccaneers are in position THIS year to actually pick ANY of the QBs available. Next year they might not be so “lucky”. I say choose between Mariota/Winston this year.

  20. DallasBuc Says:

    Bonzai- what is it with your blind devotion to this HC/GM? They didn’t just lose terribly with a horrible team that was inherited. The turned over 50% of the roster and got much worse. Everything I said makes perfect sense and is common sense to those that are not predisposed to give a pass to do-no-wrong Lovie and his lapdog Licht. Instead of criticizing me with you lazy “hater” talk try pointing some of you self-confident evaluation prowess toward the people actually responsible for the worst record in the NFL.

  21. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Lev in Philly Says
    “Name any QB that is college right now who would be worth a high pick in next year’s draft.”

    I’m sorry, but that’s just silly. College quarterbacks are constantly growing or falling. This time last year, Winston and Mariota were NOT sure things, they were promising, but not sure things.

    You’ll have QBs starting for the first time. Anyone of those could float to the top and decide to come out, or you have second or third year starters that could suddenly turn things on.

    You also have QBs that have been doing well, but were ignored by the media because of Winston and Mariota. They’ll get better coverage this year.

    The ohio state buckeyes have three great quarterbacks all by themselves. One a Heisman Trophy winner.

  22. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    DallasBuc Says
    “Bonzai- what is it with your blind devotion to this HC/GM? (followed by more hate)”

    See what I mean? You just cannot post without spewing hate anymore.

    Just for your information, mine is not a blind devotion to our HC…and if you have read anything I’ve said of Licht, you should know I am not nearly devoted to him either. Your first instinct is hate, anger. And you speak it without reasoning things out.

    In years past, you have never given me reason to believe you are foolish, yet here you are, attempting to prove you are no better than the constant, hate spewing fools that troll this website. I just thought you were better than that.

    And as we all know, I hate being wrong.

  23. DallasBuc Says:

    ^^^more lazy “hate” talk. Nothing of substance. Stop whining

  24. Robert 9 Says:

    lovies gut makes some really, really, really bad decisions.

    hope his gut isn’t grumbling for crab legs.

  25. tmaxcon Says:


    Is a Hypocrite pig who the game has passed by. He will be back in the basement soon enough with his pathetic player evaluations.

    Draft Winston it’s the only choice. Lovie needs Winston far more than Winston needs a has been that never was coach like Lovie. You don’t get a free pass for life just because you accidentally made super bowl nearly 10 years ago.

  26. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    My opinion on Lovie Smith is this:

    I am not blindly devoted to him. I am devoted to the team. I am not a member of the chaos theory fans, where constant change is believed to help the team. We have had instability since Jon Gruden was run out of town. That is what has hurt this team the most.

    I understood moving on from his replacement. There was no discipline.

    To be honest, I was not in favor of the Schiano hire, but I’m the kind of guy that accepts things once they are done. The firing of Schiano was wrong, because his hands were tied his first two years. He was not permitted to get the starting quarterback he wanted. His first year they shoved Freeman down his throat, and his second year he was only able to take one in round three (we didn’t have a first rounder and there was not QB worthy of a 2nd rounder).

    Lovie came here with a plan. That plan was to build an offense in the first year, and then put the finishing touches on the defense in the second year.

    Tedford bailing for health reasons completely messed up the plan, setting it back a year at least. Perhaps Tedford could have gotten more out of McCown and Glennon? Perhaps not.

    Lovie also wanted Rod Marinelli as DC, but that didn’t work out, so he had to settle for Frazier, a man who mistreated Freeman…and we have several close friends of Freeman on this team. There had to be some resentment and it took time to win the players over.

    So yeah, I support Lovie. The team did not quit on him. He IS committed to building an offense, for he would not have drafted all offense if he wasn’t. Yes, the team lost. Bad. And yes, it seemed they lost on purpose the last few games.

    But it net the number one pick, so I don’t mind. If you are going to lose, lose with smarts, and Lovie did that. As a result, he can get the franchise QB this team has NEVER had, not even dating back to Doug Williams.

    The hiring of Dirk, which I suggested the moment Zimmer was fired, knowing the opportunity would come, is proof that Lovie has qa good head on his shoulders.

    People need to understand something. Lovie is not Schiano. He is not Morris. He is not Gruden or Dungy. He is Lovie Smith, and his slate started last year, not before that. So take your hatred of the last ten years of losing and shove it. Lovie is a new beginning.

    The best coaches have all had losing seasons. It happens. Better to have it now than later.

  27. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    If Lovie drafts Winston, I suspect you guys would be very happy with him. You are assuming the worse of him going into the draft. Perhaps you suspect he has more sense than to draft Winston?

    If he drafts Mariota, and Mariota lights it up within 2 years, you’ll still hate, won’t you?

  28. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    *(2016 Quarterback Draft Picks)
    • Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State
    • Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
    • Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State
    • Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
    • Jared Goff, QB, California

    *Christian Hackenberg Freshman Highlights

    *(2016 Quarterback Free Agents)
    • Andrew Luck QB 25 IND
    • Robert Griffin III QB 25 WAS
    • Cam Newton QB 25 CAR
    • Sam Bradford QB 27 STL
    • Ben Roethlisberger QB 32 PIT
    • Philip Rivers QB 33 SD
    • Eli Manning QB 34 NYG

  29. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    What if the Chargers, feeling Rivers was getting to old, offered the farm to trade with us, and included him in the trade? Would people accept that?

  30. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Bonzai

    Your take on the revolving door of coaches sums it up for me….and I, too am devoted to the team…not any individual coach or player.
    Sure, I think L&L made some mistakes…but I believe that the disastorous drafts from Dominick put us in a bad position and it will take some time to recover.

    I want Mariota but you won’t see me bitching and whining if we take Winston. I do belive we need to pick a QB @ #1.

    I guess I don’t understand what it’s like to be a fan that “hates” players/coaches and still can love the team they are on. That doesn’t mean I’m not happy with losing…..far from it.

  31. Bucs#1 Says:

    When I saw the word “gut” I thought it was another post about Winsron’s picture

  32. Ian_620WDAE Says:

    problem with trading for Rivers is we gotta pay him big $$$ taking up valuable cap room and are back in the same boat looking for a QB 2 maybe at best 3 years from now.

    We have the opportunity to get a franchise QB for the long haul. Forget L&L, the Glazer boys wont pass this up

  33. Skyline Crew Says:

    Thank your lucky stars Joe that we didn’t take Manziel. The Browns coach is already looking for a new QB. Wonder why.

  34. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    6’3 3/4″ and 231 pounds

  35. Skyline Crew Says:

    Draft Mariota and go to the Superbowl baby. Like Nike says “Just Do IT!”

  36. Eric Says:

    Especially with Winston, considering the unflattering picture that has been floating around the internet this past week, there have been some concerns that he might come in a little overweight. Well, that was not the case with him, as he actually came in a little smaller than expected, checking in at just a little over 6’3″ and 231 pounds.

  37. Josh P Says:


    “I don’t think they can make a mistake with either QB. Both will develop into very good NFL QBs.”

    Finally a little positivity in the comment section. I do prefer Winston but i think they will both be very good pro QB’s…. it’s a Win Win in my book.

  38. Skyline Crew Says:

    Eric Says:
    February 19th, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Especially with Winston, considering the unflattering picture that has been floating around the internet this past week, there have been some concerns that he might come in a little overweight. Well, that was not the case with him, as he actually came in a little smaller than expected, checking in at just a little over 6’3″ and 231 pounds.
    Don’t know why there were worries about the picture. It was from mid-January and he had a cord around his waste that was being pulled that gives the illusion of a protruding belly.

  39. Skyline Crew Says:

    Both QBs measured 6-foot-3 3/4. Mariota weighed in at 222 pounds, while Winston weighed in at 231.

  40. Pickgrin Says:

    McCown was supposedly the best FA QB available last year. The Bucs obviously did not see any QB worthy of their high 1st round pick last year (thank God) and didn’t have that 4th round pick that would have been needed to jump up a few spots to get Carr or Bridgewater. I believe the Bucs would have taken Carr with their 2nd round pick but he got chosen by Oakland 2 picks before the Bucs were up.

    Quit whining about last year’s QB decisions Joe. If L&L had agreed with YOUR gut feeling that Manziel was who we should have taken with the #7 overall pick – then the Bucs would be so screwed right now – just like Cleveland is.

  41. crazy Says:

    I guess it comes down to whether Good Jameis can keep Bad Jameis under control. After the brothers targeted Chip Kelly and Lovie brought in Tedford, I would have thought Mariotta would have been the target of their affections.

  42. Eric Says:

    Lovie made a great choice with Evans.

  43. Jack Says:

    Good thinking, Joe…….They like Glennon.

  44. The Rockstar Says:

    ” I think all of the above. It always has come down to a gut decision. But you get a gut decision based on doing your research as much as you possibly can.”

    Blah Blah Blah, this is doublespeak. Smith said its a gut decision then in the same paragraph its it will be based on research. If its based on research then its not a gut decision, its a reasoned decision. The reporter is wrote garbage because he was satisfied with a garbage answer. No story here. The thing that is scary is that people who think this is an substantive answer are considered journalist.

  45. JFF Says:

    I’d swap ASJ & Sims for Joe’s Johnny boy if that meant no Winston this year (DL instead). JFF is horrible but I’d rather give up late 1st value for a horrible QB than a #1 overall pick for a crableg/female thieving trainwreck.