Zero Tolerance Policy?

August 18th, 2015

LovieJoe absolutely has to give it up to Lovie Smith.

Congratulations, Coach. Joe smells real positive change from a man known for sticking to his plan at all costs.

If you missed it yesterday, freshly-turned 21-year-old rookie Kwon Alexander, a fourth-round pick, was inserted into a starting middle linebacker role. That could change, of course. But Joe doesn’t think this would have happened in 2014.

Lovie Smith demoted prized free agent linebacker Bruce Carter, an offseason pick-up from the Cowboys.

It was Lovie himself who told Joe and assembled media at the 2014 NFL Owners Meetings that he didn’t sign free agents with an intent of putting them on the bench. Lovie said quality free agents want to know they’re in line to start, otherwise they’re not too interested in signing.

Last year, Lovie stuck with Michael Johnson at right defensive end, despite Johnson dragging the entire defense down with subpar effort and poor play. Other free agents also were allowed to stay comfortable in starting roles they didn’t deserve. A certain career loser of a starting quarterback comes to mind, among others.

But it seems Lovie will have absolutely none of that in 2015. Joe’s not saying Carter is bad or a bust in any way. But Joe doesn’t think Lovie would have considered this change to a top free agent in August last year.

Joe loves what seems to be a new mentality. And it wouldn’t surprise Joe to see Lovie make more depth-chart changes on his defense, especially at defensive end.

27 Responses to “Zero Tolerance Policy?”

  1. The original "Kevin" Says:

    Yeah…it wouldnt suprise me one bit to see Banks get benched for Jenkins. I wouldnt do it myself but obviously Lovie has a man crush on Jenkins…

  2. Nate S Says:

    Hahahah until they cut mike jenkins nice try joe!

  3. mike Says:

    So where does that leave carter… will he back up at mlb or back up danny or do you think he gets cut? I haven’t heard anything good or bad about bruce and hope this is an indication kwon is a stud , not bruce is a dud.

  4. iamkingsu Says:

    What about mike Jenkins? Then get Leonard Johnson out of here. I know he wasn’t acquired through free agency but its time for the kid to hit the road.

  5. Pickgrin Says:

    Field the best 22 players and let the chips fall where they may. If Alexander wins the starting MLB job this year – then he is a hell of a talent because Carter is fast, athletic, experienced, has a nose for the ball and would be the most expensive and capable “back up” Linebacker in the league. Way to go Licht for identifying great talent and value in the 4th round and grabbing it. Nice job of making our only defensive selection in the last 2 years really count.

  6. Espo Says:

    How much is a preseason depth chart worth? This could easily change.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I see this as a huge positive for Kwon rather than a Bruce Carter negative…..Kwon is the real deal and that’s great.
    These are the kinds of situations that we need to build depth.

    In another move, I think Lovie has put Sterling Moore in front of Leonard Johnson.

  8. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I would also really like to see the Marpet and Smith starting on the OL. I know both might not be ready, but neither is the guys in front of them. If we are going to be bad on the OL, I’d rather just go with the guys that are eventually going to be starting there anyway. As crazy as this sounds, if we’re going to get Jameis killed back there, I would rather it happen at the hands of our high draft picks.

  9. iamkingsu Says:


    Tell lovie that let’s keep all of our draft picks. Please no more trades right before the season starts. I can just feel they have their finger on the trigger looking for an edge rusher. Leta not forget Lovie gave up a 2 for Gaines Adams.

  10. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Man please give Leonard Johnson his walking papers.

  11. ChessMaster Says:

    Let the best player be the starter. The tape does not lie.

  12. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    I’m glad to hear it only took Lovie almost a decade of NFL coaching to realize this is probably the best way to go about assigning starting roles instead of “gifting” them. I’ll be even happier if I hear him come out with a statement to the effect of meaningful football starts in September….baby steps though.

  13. drdneast Says:

    The only fools I know that continually obssjess snd worry about Jenkins taking Banks spot is the Real Kevin and Joe.

  14. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Lovie is far from the only coach to force people into playing time. In fact, almost all coaches do this, especially ones who have insight into roster moves. Think about it, if you hand picked a guy because you thought he had the talent, of course you are going to try to stick by him. It’s human nature. This is a huge reason why coaches don’t usually make good GM’s. The problem might not so much be Lovie the coach, but Lovie the GM.

  15. @Broy3434 Says:

    This is great to hear

  16. @Broy3434 Says:

    Um Hawaiian your point would be relevant if Lovie didn’t hand pick both of them.

  17. Idontwannahearitanaymore Says:

    Don’t get too carried away with this move. Lovie is just trying to “motivate” Carter.

  18. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Yes, but the money is spent is in free agency, so that’s usually where a coach will lean. It’s not easy as a coach/GM to pick a guy to start (Carter), yet he gets beat out by a 4th round pick. Alexander wasn’t even expected to the the MLB from what I’ve read.

  19. Buccfan37 Says:

    Kwon’s edge must have been most obvious for Lovie to elevate him above the veteran. I Like adding SEC talent, a conference known for very good defensive players, the toughest overall conference in the nation.

  20. Tiny Tim Says:

    Alexander the Great

  21. Maze Says:

    Sorry but not falling in the Lovie trap this time. 5-11

  22. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Another licht and lovie FA blunder…. ill see ur 5-11 and raise you 3-13… rookie qb, putrid defense, and that OL

  23. CAN'T FIX IT Says:


  24. rayjay1122 Says:

    I noticed Alexander seemed faster than Carter, shed blocks better to get to the ball carriers and seemed more aggressive overall. Him and LVD could be a pretty good tandem at LB. Great pick for our only defensive selection in the draft.

  25. BrianBucs Says:

    Maybe some of these moves are Jason Licht’s decisions

  26. LargoBuc Says:

    Wow. Unless Caryer got completely outplayed, Its very bold to bench your free agent that you paid decent money for. And this is all based on practice and part of a pre season game.
    When coaches start really gameplanning in September, Kwons going to run into some plays that catch him off guard, plays that a vet like Carter would recognize. Kwon is obviously beyond athletic, but I think the vet and everything he’s seen in this league, ultimately gives us the best chance to win. On the o line and qb, sure. The more experienced guys on our team suck. Rookies should start in tjat case. But Carter is too good and too paid to be benched for a rookie. Not that Carter’s an all star, but I’ll take his experience anyday. And is Kwon ready to wear the head set on a noisy, intense Sunday afternoon? IDK. Unless there is something we are not hearing, it just seems odd to bench Carter right now.

  27. Another J Says:

    Leonard Johnson is the poor man’s E.J Biggers!
    Quarterbacks love Leonard!