Lovie Deserves Plenty Of Credit — For Jameis

October 27th, 2015

lovie and jameis

Other local media types are dancing with blow torches under Lovie Smith’s throne. Their public attitude is, “We’re finished with this loser.”

Joe gets it, but Joe isn’t there quite yet. Joe embraces that Lovie has done a great job handling the crown jewel of the team, America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston.

Here’s Joe’s short list:

1) Lovie picked Jameis over Marcus Mariota. Smart move, and one that flew in the face of media pressure and Father Dungy, Lovie’s good friend, chirping in his ear that Jameis was a very wrong choice.

2) Lovie didn’t try to change Jameis when he settled in to the Buccaneers, starting with his crab legs fun photo on draft night. Lovie hasn’t tried to stifle Jameis’ personality, which a lot of coaches would have tried to do.

3) Lovie handpicked Mike Bajakian to be quarterbacks coach, a former college QB who worked quality control for a short time under Lovie in Chicago. Bajakian got the call from Lovie while offensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee. Bajakian has said publicly that he had never met Dirk Koetter before coming to Tampa. Clearly, Bajakian has the right touch with Jameis. Bajakian is a hard-driving, workaholic Jersey guy, an interesting and good fit with the 21-year-old savior.

4) Lovie didn’t play stupid games and craft some phony training camp competition between Jameis and Mike Glennon. Lovie wisely played the reality card.

5) Lovie’s glass-always-half-full mentality likely allowed Jameis to comfortably rise from his horrific opening day and bounce back after the Carolina interception party. Patient to a fault, Lovie has proven a great fit for a rookie QB.

6) Jameis has been successful, playing four strong games in six starts. Results are everything, and Lovie has not failed Jameis.

So Joe isn’t quick to hang Lovie. Joe can’t say that would be a positive for Jameis in 2015.

Firing Lovie after this season, if he can’t win, is a different story. Jameis won’t be the same guy with a season under his belt. There are ways for Team Glazer to make a head coaching change and protect the interests of the franchise quarterback.

42 Responses to “Lovie Deserves Plenty Of Credit — For Jameis”

  1. PhillyBuc Says:

    What about the defense he handpicked Joe?

  2. Tampa Tony Says:

    He gets some credit for Jameis playing well, but he gets all the credit for the defense playing awful.

  3. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    Any chance they would retain our GM, OC and QB coach with a new HC and defensive staff?

  4. Tom Edrington Says:

    Yeah Joe, but Lovie didn’t trust Jameis to win the game in Washington down there on the goal line……..did he?

  5. Tampa Tony Says:

    He gets 100% credit for 4-18

  6. Tom Edrington Says:

    @Love and WD:

    You should know better than that….it does not work that way in the NFL…

  7. Trevor Says:

    Lovie’s job is not on the line this year. The owners bought in to the rookie QB plan, and with that , they understood this year would not have many wins due to growing pains. America’s QB is getting better and that is the only goal this year. Draft goes all Defense , and maybe add 1 FA on defense and 2016 looks good. Thats the long term vision the owners have

  8. D-Rome Says:

    Lovie Smith, Jason Licht, and the entire Buccaneers organization should get credit for not only all of what you have pointed out specifically about Jameis’s development but for the solid draft picks they have made to build up the offensive side of the ball.

    Lovie is going to get another year. Show me a team that has fired three coaches in a six year span that finally found great success with the 4th coach. It doesn’t happen.

  9. Jeagan1999 Says:

    He gets credit for leading us to a 2-14 record and getting the first overall pick in the draft? Not in my book.

  10. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:


    Oh, I know. I just hate the idea of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

  11. bucrightoff Says:

    Trevor Says:
    October 27th, 2015 at 9:17 am
    Thats the long term vision the owners have

    Thanks for the laughs man. The Glazers have vision? Lol please

  12. The BucsFan 1970 Says:

    Agreed Joe, but the development goes to the assistants.

  13. DefenseRules Says:

    @Trevor … “Draft goes all Defense , and maybe add 1 FA on defense and 2016 looks good. Thats the long term vision the owners have.”

    I happen to agree with you, but there’s a fly in the ointment. Even if we get 3 defensive starters out of the draft (and we need more than that), problem is … they’d be rookies and they’d play like rookies. Translation: 2016 – another losing year? Bucs fans have infinite patience (ya, right), but another year of this crappy defense just won’t fly. And if we get rid of Lovie (and HIS defense), we really start all over again. Bummer.

  14. Tampa Tony Says:

    Trevor- even at 2-14 or 3-13? I own 4 season tickets and I won’t renew after 2 or 3 wins. I’m all for letting Winston develop but thinking Lovie Is bulletproof is silly.

    He’s gotta show progess and this team has gotta be trending up at the end of the year.

  15. The Buc Realist Says:


    you can also give lovie credit for the Bucs having another top 5 draft pick in the 2016 draft!!!!

  16. BrianBucs Says:

    It doesn’t matter how fantastic or how terrible that Jameis turns out to be if the Bucs keep losing games and having losing season. There are quite a few teams in the NFL right now that have good QB’s and a bad record.
    Plus, half of the coaches in the league would have picked Jameis #1, so it’s not like Lovie had great foresight on that one

  17. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Honestly if he can just hire a DC and someone else as game manager he can be a great HC and give ppl high fives on sidelines and stuff.

    I do worry about coach turnover effecting our young QB more than anything really. That’s my primary concern

  18. Donkc Says:

    J.J. What?! and the Surveillance Sisters

    Tampa has its own J.J. highlighting the defensive side of the ball. Whether it’s Jenkins and Jennings or Jenkins and Jonathan, unlike Houston’s stud, Tampa’s bizzaro-world version is J.J. What?!, as in “What the hell was that?” “What kind of defense is that?!”

    J.J. What?! reminds you of all those police shows where the good guys set up a surveillance team to watch the target from afar. You know, keep eyes on from a safe distance, monitor the target’s movements, but don’t make contact. When it’s time to make an arrest, call in the backups to take him down. J.J. gets into a textbook defensive crouch ten yards off the ball and shadows the route, maintaining the ten yard gap throughout the play. Slant patterns are particularly easy, because you can watch the whole play develop in front of you from your ten yard vantage point. When the completion is made, the Surveillance Sisters simply rally to the scene of the crime, compare notes, and head for the next stakeout. And just like bumbling FBI agents, sometimes they blow the surveillance assignment altogether, losing contact completely. Touchdown!

    Until the root canal is performed to extract J.J. What?! from Tampa’s defensive scheme, we are doomed to a continuing throbbing pain.

  19. Buc'n Over Says:

    Isn’t Koetter the one to be thanking for Winston’s success? Doesn’t he do all play calling and play design for offense? Lovie gets credit for the Defense. A defense that runs zone on quick slants for 2 straight quarters, and never heard of a press coverage in goal line situations. I wouldnt let Lovie call defense lays or assignments for my Madden team, much less in the NFL

  20. The Buc Realist Says:

    @lord cornelius

    Then that will be the Third Defensive Coordinator in three years!!!!! along with the already three Offensive coordinators that lovie has had since he has been with the Bucs. Stop the lovie carousel and just fix it all know, before we are 2-3 years wasted and looking for the right coach!!!!!

  21. passthebuc Says:

    Give it up Joe.

  22. FortMyersDave Says:

    OK, give Lovie credit for NOT having a hand in Winston’s development but lets give Lovie credit for a D that has allowed over 100 points to the Titans, Skins and Jags as well as retaining the services of one inept coach known as Kevin O’Dea whose special teams are mediocre at best and normally are much much worse and was probably the nimrod who told L&L to go with Brindza over Barth…. Joe; when you look at the total body of work; Lovie gets an F overall; its like a report card of a drunken frat boy who flunked out of UF: 1 B (Winstons’ progress) a C- (the offense in general) and 4 Fs (defense, special teams, team discipline/penalties and coaching/clock management) pretty much gets you expelled especially when you were probably on “Double Secret Probation” after last year’s 2-14 debacle and you promised change and progress. Fire Lovie, fire him yesterday!

  23. wes Says:

    I don’t understand how you haven’t blown up on Lovie this week. I have defended him all until this week as well. A minute and a half to go in the half with 3 time outs and they had no intention of being aggressive when Jameis is having the hottest day of his career. And failing to let Jameis win us the game on that unfortunate third down run or 4th down. They don’t trust Jameis and miraculously trust their horrible defense more. We’re a horrible team why the heck are we trying to play it safe? It loses us games.

  24. Fsuking Says:

    It’s time for another round of coach proving ground. This time can we get someone good?

  25. Cam Says:

    @Love and Warrick Dunn

    Fire Lovie and hire Koetter as HC, only realistic way we keep GM, OC, and QB coach.

    Licht is safe no matter what, be a big surprise if he doesn’t stay if there is a change.

    I feel you there though, if only we could hire a new HC and DC staff. I really feel sorry for the all the Bucs players having to learn a new system every 2 years or so.

  26. Tiger Says:


    I am a long time reader, but first time poster. D-Rome is correct. Most of you posting to this blog have the patience of my 5 year old. This team has been terrible for years and you all want this reclamation project fixed in 1 & 1/4 years? Jameis is demonstrating that they correctly addressed the most important position on the field. He isnt an All-Pro yet, but he clearly is moving in the right direction. The rest of the offense is stacked with credible and improving players. On defense, the DL and LB corps are adequate, but must be and will be improved. The DB corp is a trash dump and the group will be addressed in the next draft and free agency. I’m sure Lovie shares your frustration with their performance (er, lack thereof). Licht and team have shown they can procure good talent and I have every confidence they will continue to do so.

    We must remain patient and allow our personnel team to continue to augment the roster and allow our coaches space to develop it. This team is NOT far away from challenging for the division title. I only hope our coaching staff is allowed time to weather this storm and complete the job they were hired to do. Then i hope you doomsayers will return to this blog and sing their praises for turning this ship around.

    Go Bucs!!!

  27. David Ellis Says:

    His glass is not half full when we need to be trying to score points and we need a lot of points with his defense. Glad he was happy with a 24 to 7 lead because I sure wasn’t and actually yelled that whenever you stop being aggressive, you lose. What nfl world does Lovie live in?

  28. Marlow1976 Says:

    Lovie may have put things in place to help JW develop, and congrats on that. However, Lovie does not physically coach the QB position. Therefore giving him too much credit for JW’s development is excessive. Lovie runs the team’s defense, so I cannot deductively reason that he is hands on with JW in area of his development. Lovie is most responsible for the porous defense which may lead to his demise. In addition, Lovie has not made a lot of spectacular decisions outside of picking JW #1 overall.

  29. JJBucFan Says:

    The problem that I see is James is not a loser on the football field, never has been. Love appears to be okay with losing. If the HC is okay with it, why should anyone else care including a young 21 year old that may be eager to take the league by storm. Eventually constantly losing affects everyone. Get this guy out NOW before James loses his drive. Only a matter of time before he goes to the mat against one of these defensive “leaders”!! Lovie is dividing the locker room, we are scoring enough points to win, but giving up enough points to lose. Also it is only a matter of time before O’Dea has a “Greg Hardy” experience if he has another bush league play like not warning your team to hold your line in case of an onside kick.

  30. Greg Says:

    So basically Joe is going to love anyone associated with bringing in his Jameis even if we still suck as a team.

  31. JJBucFan Says:

    Sorry guys- freaking autocorrect Jameis

  32. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    @Joe, I think its about time for a Lovie Smith confidence poll

  33. Johnny "America's Commenter" Dejay Says:

    Lovie clearly gets another season before the Glazers consider firing him. It takes more than 22 games to fix the mess that Dominik, Raheem, and Schiano left behind. This team would have been dreadful in 2014 under any coach. They’re showing signs of life in 2015. The media needs to back off of the ridiculous notion that you can fire a coach after 22 games.

  34. Ben Says:

    Now Lovie just needs to put the ball in Jameis’ hands when the game is on the line and we will actually win a couple of these close games.

  35. destro44 Says:

    Ok so Lovie the Head Coach has been good for Jameis. Problem is Lovie the defensive coordinator isn’t. If the defense would keep games competitive it would allow the offense to feature the run like the last 2 games with great success for allowing Jameis to be in favourable situations. Nevermind the games we start out down so much the gsmeplan and running game go out the window. The defense has been such a letdown on this team I’m waiting for Koetter to go all Buddy Ryan and punch Lovie for hanging his guys out. At this point the best thing Lovie the Head Coach can do is fire Lovie the defensive coordinator.

  36. Ernest T Bass Says:

    Lovie never calls the offense plays. Always lets his OC call them. Blame OC and Winston for not calling an audible.

  37. Tnew Says:

    As much as I hate to say it, based on the way that I have felt about this loss, Joe you are 100% correct. We have a first round qb with glimmers of greatness. Just as Raheem was all about #5, this is all about #3. Don’t get me wrong, I never really believed Freeman was the man, but when you invest a 1st round pick in the QB, the first two years are more about his and the offensive line’s development than anything else. If I was honest, I believed (and he still will struggle) that Jameis would really struggle this year. I believed the o-line was so pourous that the best thing was that he stay on his feet. My biggest fear was he get hurt by week 8, then Glennon come in and finish with a 4-4 record and we wouldn’t know anything.

    I know this will take heat, but maybe, Lovie is the best man for the job. Like Ben says, now trust Jameis. He has earned a bit more leeway from his last two outings. Find a slot receiver (Welker is available for a short stint if he will come) that he can trust and continue.

    As far as the defense, I would love to see this group with three additions. Edge rusher, CB and a true Safety. Again, if I was honest “his guys” that he brought in were so beyond their prime they don’t count. He kind of had to given what we did in the past two drafts. We are taking our lumps with Kwon as well. Hopefully, he’s learning from the mistakes. LVD needs to stop worrying about Kwon and just do his own job. See what happens.

    Thanks Joe, needed that article to reset my expectations
    5-11 here we come (hopefully)

  38. MTM Says:

    Giving Lovie credit for Winston at this time is too early for back patting. Winston has played better as of late against the teams with losing records. Lovie has to let his offense win the games by putting up more points. The defense is not capable of stopping anybody. The skins are one of the worst offensives and they didn’t even have enough sense to keep the receivers in the middle of the field at the end of the game to keep the clock running. Lovie is a seasoned coach and makes mistakes that high school coaches laugh at.

  39. OAR Says:

    The only thing Lovie is teaching Jameis is “rock-paper-scissors”. The photographic evidence proves this.

  40. sho-nuff Says:

    be the fan and not the player expert…your track record blows…

  41. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    PhillyBuc Says
    “What about the defense he handpicked Joe?”

    The defense he settled for because all but one pick of the last two drafts went to offense.

    He’s had to piece-mail to defense together with whoever Jason Licht could bring in.

    Man needs one more draft to address the defense. Simple as that.

  42. bucrightoff Says:

    Tiger Says:
    October 27th, 2015 at 11:02 am
    This team is NOT far away from challenging for the division title

    Lol….like really? What constitutes “not far away”? Carolina and Atlanta are twice the team the Bucs are, at least. And the Saints are now ahead of us again. I guess technically 3-5 years is “not far away”, but that’s what you mean right? Or do you seriously think a division title is coming next year?