“Still Trying To Build His Program”

April 6th, 2015
lovie smith 0425

Herm Edwards talks about his friend Lovie Smith

Among NFL head coaches in Year 1 of their programs last year, Lovie Smith had a rough time.

Some, like Mike Zimmer, Mike Pettine and Bill O’Brien, managed to advance their franchises.

O’Brien, with a shabby quarterback situation and zero from his No. 1 overall pick, even had a winning record with the Texans. (How was that guy not Coach of the Year?) Joe shudders to think what would happen to the Buccaneers if they, too, got nothing from their No. 1 overall pick this year.

That aside, Lovie is in build/rebuild mode.

At the NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix two weeks ago, Joe asked Lovie’s good friend Herm Edwards, the former Chiefs and Jets head coach and Bucs secondary coach, what he made of the Bucs signing old-school-Tampa-2 veterans Henry Melton, Chris Conte, Sterling Moore and Bruce Carter in free agency.

“He’s still trying to build his program,”  Edwards said of Lovie. “And obviously, when you have players that have played in the system, it helps you in a lot of ways. Now you’ve got four new sets of eyes that have played in the system. When you’re not on the field, players are always talking, and they can kind of help you. They’re kind of coaches on and off the field. They believe in the system. Some have played under Lovie. They know how he’s going to coach it. So all those things become a big part of his plan.”

Keep in mind Edwards told Joe he had just spent the previous evening with Lovie in Arizona. So it’s not like Edwards is disconnected from the Bucs. He even plans to spend a week at Tampa Bay training camp this summer.

Yes, the reality Bucs fans don’t want to hear is the team is in rebuild mode. Many NFL types will tell you the three most important units on the football field involve rushing the quarterback, protecting the quarterback, and the quarterback himself. The Bucs are working to solve all three of those riddles.

And don’t forget to throw in a brand new offensive coordinator.

37 Responses to ““Still Trying To Build His Program””

  1. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Many NFL types will tell you the three most important units on the football field involve rushing the quarterback, protecting the quarterback, and the quarterback himself.

    And while last year we hit rock bottom in all three of those categories we haven’t been good in any of them for a long time. We could go back to JFro’s miracle 10 win season against the softest schedule in the league that year (we’ll have that advantage in spades this year) or the “decent” OL play with Joseph and Penn but that line also included Trueblood…our rush hasn’t been the same since Rice left.

    Yet it is the NFL…or again as the late great Chris Thomas always called it the No Freaking Logic league. Going from worst to first is more of a custom than aberration in our division. We could end up getting a franchise QB and a franchise LT at the end of this month. We have the potential to cobble together a decent rush.

    Again I repeat….the sky is NOT falling…the sky is NOT falling. It’s the NFL!!
    Every year 75% of the teams change dramatically.

  2. Dean Says:

    I believe the Bucs are far from finished retooling their roster. Here are three main reasons why…….

    1. There will be more movement/trades that will add to the Bucs’ draft choices. I expect Glennon and one running back to be traded. Hopefully, the Bucs can add a 3rd and a 4th round pick.
    2. I think the Bucs will also do quite a bit of wheeling and dealing during the draft to move up/down to acquire better/more selections.

    3. After the draft, there will be veterans that will be let go, after their teams stocked up in the draft with cheaper/younger alternatives. While the Bucs are committed to building through the draft, it will take 4 or five years to really make this a reality. In the meantime, the team will bring in older vets to fill the gaps.

  3. tmaxcon Says:

    Loive has never built anything. Someone might want to remind him rebuilding means adding “good to better” players not broken down prove it deal players and inconsistent system specific prayers. That’s all he has done. He has not upgraded one single position. the team is worse. moore is inconsistent, conte is useless, melton is injury prone part timer, carter is no MLB, Jenkins is useless. You can’t build a team with 1 or 2 draft picks working out a year and being proud of the first waiver claim is stupid… Everyone thinking Winston is risky what about the risk lovie is taking with the roster by taking chances on of ex players and injury prone prove it deals. that’s far more risky than winston. Good teams Pay for Production Lovie Pays then Prays they can stay healthy or find the fountain of youth. Now that is risky. He is destroying this team while some of you make excuses for his sorry arse. When he leaves the true rebuilding will begin first with purging of all the system specific prove it deal players and has beens. I feel bad for McCoy he is going to end up just like Gruber… LVD should run run run…. escape lovie young man and receive the recognition your deserve!

  4. bucs4lyfe Says:

    Cleveland has advanced their franchise? lol anyway oh well we are in rebuild mode like every team in the NFC South so we’re on even ground

  5. StPeteBucsFan Says:



  6. Eric Says:

    Final record did not reflect it, but I saw a team coming together as year went on.

    Go Lovie.

  7. charactermatters Says:

    Let’s be fair. The first thing that happens when a new coach takes over a bad team is it has to be torn down in order to rebuild it in the coaches image. This is why we have been in rebuilding mode ever since Gruden was fired. What was Jimmy Johnson’s record in his first year with the Cowboys? Bill Walsh? I’m not saying that Lovie’s will be as successful as those coaches but it is something to find encouragement in.

  8. port richey george Says:

    jamies will revert back to the Leftwich throwing motion in a game situation. at a pro day there was no pressure.

    tim tebow improved his Leftwich throwing motion lobbing passes in practice/try out situations. timmy got in a real game and reverted back to the Leftwich throwing motion.

    trade the pick down or take a player that is not a QB.

  9. bucs4lyfe Says:

    @port richey George

    im sure you figured that out from all your scouting and nfl experience to be able to look at old players and compare them to Winston. that’s insulting tebow and leftwich? I guess if you play baseball you would have some kind of pitching style throw but still didn’t prevent him from winning all his games except on plus being talked about as the greatest qb since luck to come out of the draft. gotta do better than that. besides doesn’t take much skill to be better than glennon a guy who still cant throw downfield with any kind of accuracy, tired of watching him hit cameramen with deep balls out of bounce

  10. WS99 Says:

    I’m just here so I don’t get fined. I’m thankful.

  11. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    “Yes, the reality Bucs fans don’t want to hear is the team is in rebuild mode.”

    If true than why so adamant against the thought of trading down for a lot of day one and two 2015 and 2016 picks? The Glazers hired a defensive minded HC, so they would be wise to let him build a winning team the way he feels confident in, otherwise they should have hired equally overrated but offensive minded HC Wisenhunt. I’m still banging the unpopular beat of trade down or take Leonard Williams at #1, roll with Glennon and draft a day 2 QB this year as his backup/competition

  12. robert 9 Says:

    i thought they told us last year it was win now.

    now we’re settling for rebuilding the entire roster to fit his system?

    nice, should only take a few years, and if that does not work it should only take a few more years to retool the roster for the new coach.

    lies and false hope

  13. Newbucsfan!!! Says:

    Why does everyone associated with Dungy or Tampa keep calling Lovie’s defense the Tampa-2? Please don’t say that’s what it is because last season I heard pundits and coaches use words like variation, hybrid, base, cover-2, etc. Why not call Seattle’s defense the Tampa-2, they use it as well and Dallas why you’re at it.

  14. bucs4lyfe Says:

    lol that tradedown thought is so dumb….it would probably work next year after drafting Winston but your only issue glennon is the quarterback. the idea that a pile of rookies are going to come in here and elevate a franchise is ridiculous. veterans had issues learning this defense but rookies oh they are all different…..

    everyone is calling mike evans a stud, he was a rookie so he didn’t have a breakout game until week 7. can’t address every position of weakness in one draft so might as well address the biggest need

  15. drdneast Says:

    Tmaxcon is a Bears fan who hates Loive, probably because he used to belong to the Illiinois chapter of the Bund Party.
    The only delusional person out here is you Tmaxcon.
    They can see for he past dozen ears the Bucs drafts and FA signings have been busts.
    I have season tickets Tmax so if anyone can be patient it’s someone who is actually paying their own hard earned dollars to watch the product on the filed.
    Unlike you Tmax, who is only a posing troll who is really a Bears fan.
    I’m willing to give Lovie more than one year to put a team together and I actually spend my money to say that.
    Until you do the same. why don’t you shut your pie hole.

  16. bucs4lyfe Says:


    we don’t always agree but well said. a coach is supposed to come in and make a historically bad team a winning franchise overnight right sure. if lovie has never built anything im not sure how as his first year as a head coach he went 5-11 then turned it around the following year and went 11-5. you say he never had an offensive line, he’s never had a quarterback hmmm still he had some pretty good seasons in Chicago. one year isn’t enough to hate the guy…..it took 2 months to hate schiano and im tired of the revolving door at coach so 3 weeks before the draft if your still screaming fire lovie you need to get with reality. I wont stand in the way of too much criticism if he has another season like he did last year but im atleast going to give it another year. speaking humbly as a die hard fan who refuses to pay for the putrid product that has been on the field the last decade. I refused to pay for tickets as long as Dominick was running the team, hopefully lovie wins more fans over, the stadium is entirely to empty on gameday

  17. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    FIRE LOVIE he is incompetent and has no clue nor has he made one positive step in improving this organization since he signed up here…..its true dominik takes some blame for his terrible tenure but, lovie did not make one good move either retaining or signing up building blocks

  18. robert 9 Says:

    yep, can’t think of one decent move lovie made last year. about as bad as one can get, topped off with lies.

    he’ll get another year, let’s just hope for some progress. We’re already the laughing stock of the league, but I sense it could get worse if the team does not turn the corner early in the season

  19. BucRock Says:

    @Dean – thanks captain obvious……

  20. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    @ bucs4lyfe

    Dude you really need to get over this Glennon is the worst QB in the NFL nonsense. whatever your reason for hating this guy so much is he FAR from being worse than the starting QB’s on several teams (Bills, Jets, Browns, Texans, Titans, Redskins for sure and depending on development and health you can probably add Jaguars, Eagles, Vikings and Raiders to that list). Contrary to some alarmists here I see the Bucs (under a HC like Lovie Smith…also known as only knows how to win with dominating defense) needing a consistently strong pass rush and an O line not made of turnstiles far more than they need Mariota or Winston. Hopefully the people making the decisions at One Buc Place also realize this.

  21. Celly Says:

    Newbucsfan!!! Says:
    April 6th, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Why does everyone associated with Dungy or Tampa keep calling Lovie’s defense the Tampa-2? Please don’t say that’s what it is because last season I heard pundits and coaches use words like variation, hybrid, base, cover-2, etc. Why not call Seattle’s defense the Tampa-2, they use it as well and Dallas why you’re at it.

    well, for one, Seattle uses more of a Cover-3, not really a Cover-2.

    Secondly, it’s been said repeatedly that Dallas uses the Tampa-2, so i’m not sure exactly what your argument is there.

    robert 9 Says:
    April 6th, 2015 at 10:54 am

    yep, can’t think of one decent move lovie made last year. about as bad as one can get, topped off with lies.

    he’ll get another year, let’s just hope for some progress. We’re already the laughing stock of the league, but I sense it could get worse if the team does not turn the corner early in the season

    Its funny to see yourself refer to this team as “we” considering you’ll be rooting for a new team come the end of the month…

    …or maybe you’ll just change your username and claim you’ve supported the Winston decision the entire time.

  22. robert 9 Says:

    keep up the good fight celly. lol

  23. mac Says:

    Lovie torpedoed the season when he dismantled the offensive line a hired McClown…

    Then he picked a guy with a shitty ticker to run the offense…

    Then he got rid of our best defensive player…

    This sounds like a formula for success… I just don’t understand what went wrong…

  24. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    @mac and still has not addressed the putrid OL and the secondary is D is still turrible….getting some ex washed up chicago bears to manage the secondary sounds like at least a 1 game turnaround just hope not for the negative direction

  25. Que589 Says:

    When taking over a roster like the one Lovie & Jason inherited u have to re-build team. Immediate sustainable success is unrealistic. L&L attempted to flip roster in 1 yr which was a miscalculation. Most important, they learned and Lovie has championship pedigree as a HC.

  26. Iknowmorethanlovie Says:

    Team has been rebuilding since 2009…

    Gonna be a long time before the Bucs are good again.

  27. tmaxcon Says:


    Once again your ignorance comes shinning through. dude don’t pretend to know me you POS…. I have missed 5 games in 13 years.

    Maybe you should get a reality check by first removing lovies nut sack from your mouth then learn how to read stats so you can see the truth. Lovie is a horrible personnel man and below average coach who can’t beat teams with winning records. NO matter how much you run your pathetic little mouth that will not change. I really feel sorry for you losers who are nostalgic to the point of ignorance and living in the past. Lovie has done nothing in years. He destroyed the bear rosters who I hate actually so once again another ignorant statement by you. Dungy and Lovie are both good guys but that does not compensate for the shortcomings and complete failures as personnel men.

    Reality is nice you should visit sometime!


    Glennon does suck!!!! Glennon will never lead a team anywhere but to mediocrity. raise your standards.

  28. Pickgrin Says:

    Drafting Winston will go a long ways towards making this team “relevant” again. He brings hope and talent at the QB position the likes of which this team has never seen. (you could make a case for Vinny – but he never realized his potential while in TB – and Steve Young never had a chance to develop while here with the joke of team Leeman Bennett was fielding)

    tmaxcon – your dislike of Lovie is a bit over the top. He has never had a franchise QB to lead any of his teams – and that is the most important position on the field – so he deserves some leeway while he tries to re-build this team considering the sh!tshow he walked into that Schiano and Dom left behind. Lovie is not going anywhere for at least 2 years unless we see another 2-14 season – so you might as well just temper your criticism a bit and let Lovie do his best to create a winner. If the Bucs still suck in 2016 – then your criticism will be more than justified and I will be joining you in it – but for now – give it a bit of a rest. Nothing good can come from your constant Lovie criticism at this point.

  29. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    “tmaxcon – your dislike of Lovie is a bit over the top.”

    Ya think? LMAO tmax doesn’t believe in scoreboard either.
    If you go by the record even after tagging a horrid 2-14 season with a franchise in total disarray Lovie’s record is 86-80.

    Uh technically that means Lovie is a winning coach! Uh he’s one of 50 NFL coaches to make it to the Super Bowl.

    Is he a GREAT coach….jury is still out. But up till now he’s undeniably been a good coach. That is if you value RECORDS and actual stats more than tmax’s OPINION.

  30. tmaxcon Says:

    Pickgrin / StPete

    Lovie never had a franchise qb a is HIS OWN FAULT he was in charge in chicago too after the first few years. Lovie picked Cutler that can not be denied. plus that is a weak argument for another reason since he himself stated that he only needed a good defense, good special teams and mediocre offense to win 10 games. That’s the short sighted mentality that kills him. He plays games not to lose instead of to win the game.

    I am not going to apologize for wanting a consistent winner. Lovie is not a consistent winner. I don’t hate the guy, I actually could careless about him other than if he is winning and competing for CHAMPIONSHIPS NOT MEDIOCRITY.

    stpete what is lovies play off record 3-3 how is that impressive…

    when was the last time lovie went to the playoffs back to back? – 7 or 8 years ago. He only did it once in year 2 and year 3…. How in the right mind can you two highly intelligent gentlemen defend that. It’s one thing if you like the guy and want to give a couple of extra years and you are more patience than I but to come out and say he is a winner and he is consistent and built teams is flat out not true.

    There is also NO WAY to make these free agent signings this year anything more than potential upgrades. yeah, if all the cards are lined up and the sun shines 3/4 to the left for six days in june and the ground hogs urine is purple not to mention hoping that everyone stays healthy melton, conte, jenkins, moore and carter maybe better. None of them proved they can be consistent contributors. Not to mention, we will be asking one to switch positions. Lovie is gambling that injury prone players stay healthy and other return to past glory. that is no way to build a team. The dude is a fool. I fully admit that I have zero patience with him but he has earned the hate by his poor decisions and flat out delusional statements.

  31. tmaxcon Says:

    i’ll back of the criticism once he makes more than one smart move and he has not done that yet. he needs to nail the first 3 picks in the draft for starters. If he does not pick winston with the first pick all beats are off. It’s funny how many of these players who were not good enough for Lovie and Schiano that went onto contribute on playoff contenders and Superbowl winning teams. Is it doms fault he picked players that were good but the coaches could not use them. both lovie and schiano are stubborn fulls that will not adjust to a players strength. how is that doms fault. don’t get me wrong I will never defend dom but he is not the reason the bucs were 2 – 14 that squarely is on lovie. he blew up the line without a plan or replacements. he botched the tedford situation his defense is passive and he refuses to accept that scoring points is a good ting.

  32. Ralph Phillips Says:

    Lovie has to go 9-7 this year just to equal Schiano’s record with the Bucs. I do not see that happening. And for all of you saying the team sucked and Lovie is having to rebuild it, you must have not been fans during the 2012-2013 seasons. The media, fans, analysts, and everyone with a mouth could not stop talking about how much “talent” was on this team. That was one of the main reasons, supposedly, that we fired Schiano for was because he could not win with all of the talent on the team. EVERYBODY said this. So now all of a sudden when Lovie is losing it is all because of the talent? I call BS. It is people making excuses for Lovie that they would not make for Schiano.

  33. Pickgrin Says:

    tmaxcon Says:

    “Lovie never had a franchise qb is HIS OWN FAULT”

    The Bucs have NEVER had a true franchise QB in 40 years – is that Lovie’s fault too? LOL. Franchise QBs are damn hard to come by in case you never noticed.

    “i’ll back of the criticism once he makes more than one smart move and he has not done that yet.”

    Hiring Koetter was a smart move. Hiring Cullen was a smart move. Signing McDonald to a 4 year deal for $3M per year was a smart move. Signing Verner for 4 years at the salary they did was a smart move. Drafting Evans was a smart move. Trading Barron while there was still the perception he had a modicum of value was a smart move. Tanking games for the #1 overall pick despite making himself look bad in the process was perhaps the ultimate in smart moves considering the payoff (Winston).

    “If he does not pick winston with the first pick all beats are off”

    On this point we are in total agreement.


    I repeat – “Nothing good can come from your constant Lovie criticism at this point.” It is counter productive and does nothing but poison the well. Lovie is not going anywhere – so what is the point of constantly criticizing the head coach of the team you support?

    If the Bucs suck again for the entire 2015 year and show no improvement – then I can understand because you would want to try and get him fired at this point. But you know at the very least he has this entire year and probably next to achieve a turnaround for this franchise. So what exactly are you trying to accomplish right now with your constant criticism of coach Smith?

    Venting over specific bad moves as they occur and or become apparent I could understand – but being a certified Lovie hater who does nothing but constantly and perpetually criticize the man who DOES still have winning record as an NFL head coach despite just coming off a 2-14 season as SPBF pointed out – does no good at all. It just makes you look like an unreasonable hater. Give the man a chance. The results he achieves here over time might just pleasantly surprise you.

  34. tmaxcon Says:


    I have watched lovie for ten years he is not going to change. at best we will be 8-8 / 9-7 and the cycle will repeat the glazers will bring in a winner to finish the job just like they had to do with dungy.

    lovie has not made a single good move this year and missed on more than he made right last year. I will not give a person credit for fixing mistakes they made so for collins and johnson he gets no credit. I don’t get the giving a man credit for realizing he screwed up. if you don’t make the horrendous mistake in the first place paying and praying for production versus simply paying for production excuses do not have to be made. I don’ think Lovie coaches past this year. He will screw it up again.

  35. Stanglassman Says:

    The Def young talent is mostly around from 2012-13 but the offensive talent the pundits were raving about were Freeman, Doug Martin, Mike Williams and Carl Nicks (remember the greatest OL on paper). This has nothing to due with people making excuses for Lovie.

  36. Pickgrin Says:

    tmaxcon Says:
    April 6th, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    “lovie has not made a single good move this year”

    Getting Koetter to agree to to come and be OC for the Bucs was a hell of a good move. There are numerous teams that would have loved to have had Dirk Koetter calling plays for them this year. Koetter chose the Bucs because he believes that Lovie will get this team turned around and good things will happen. I trust Koetter’s assessment of where the Bucs are headed under Lovie a heck of a lot more than I trust yours.

    Free Agency was a joke this year – especially in the positions that the Bucs have the greatest needs. There was very little talent available at our positions of greatest needs – and what little was available was ridiculously over priced. So save for going hard after Trent Cole and Greg Hardy (but losing out because the team was 2-14 last year) – the decision to not pursue other grossly overpriced Free Agents with questionable skill sets and concentrate on building through the draft would seem to me to be a “good move” this year as well.

  37. Arealbucsfan Says:

    I hate that ppl are trying to compare Lovies and Schiano’s win record. We could 10-6 and everybody will still say “its only 1 more win than Schiano”