Did Licht Fight For Lovie?

January 8th, 2016
An emotional Jason Licht fights for composure while discussing Lovie Smith's firing Wednesday.

An emotional Jason Licht braces for composure while discussing Lovie Smith’s firing Wednesday.

If any Bucs fan has the opportunity, please watch the press-conference video of Bucs general manager Jason Licht discussing how Lovie Smith found out he was being fired.

Licht and Lovie are tight. It was Lovie, after all, who hired Licht. Joe honestly thought Licht was going to have a panic attack describing how Lovie learned his days with the Bucs were over. Licht was ashen, voice seemed to start cracking, he was taking deep breaths.

Joe can tell you those who witnessed the press conference felt for Licht, a guy set up in his current position by Lovie, and he had to tell Lovie he was a goner.

Buried in the press conference was an interesting quote from Licht that seemed to imply he wasn’t initially on board with firing Lovie, and perhaps he did fight for Lovie’s job and had to be persuaded by Team Glazer to see the light.

When Licht was asked if the team developed a lack of faith in Lovie, Licht sort of danced around the question but seemed to suggest he initially wanted to fight — or did — to keep Lovie.

“All I’ll say is a football decision was made that we thought was best for the future of this franchise,” Licht said. “I understood the decision after conversations and don’t really want to get into detail on those things. But once again, a deep respect for Lovie as a football coach, but we felt this franchise needed a new face, a new coach to get us back to winning.”

He “understood” after conversations, plural? Mind you, the only people Licht was discussing Lovie’s future with was with Team Glazer.

This tells Joe that initially Licht tried to discuss the possibility of retaining Lovie with Team Glazer. And at some point, he came to Team Glazer’s line of thinking.

This is all very interesting.

32 Responses to “Did Licht Fight For Lovie?”

  1. MadMax Says:

    Its business 101. Be successful at your position. Win. And that includes surrounding yourself with winners and ridding yourself of losers….its that simple.

  2. The Buc Realist Says:

    I don’t think he came around, I think he saw the writing on the wall!!! And I would not be surprised if Licht did not suggest that lovie be replaced in “his evaulation” of the coaching staff to the Glazers!!!

    But you do not blast the guy on an exit press conference!! And I think Licht did the best he could with trying to be as forth coming as he was!!

  3. Clw JB Says:

    Jason did his job, Lovie did not…simple as that…thank goodness they made the right choice in keeping the GM, very good drafts, wonder if he can translate thatnto FA now that Lovie isn’t dictating all ex players or “system fits”

    It’s a good day!

  4. Espo Says:

    He probably did all he could as long as his job was secure. Even if Lovie hired him, accepting a job is a ringing endorsement by Licht. Most GMs only get 2 coaches and they’re done. Licht is already on number 2. Must be a scary thought.

  5. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    When watching the press conference i actually got the feeling Licht recommended lovies firing. He mentioned multiple times that the glazers decision was based on analysis and recommendations he provided. Maybe he seems so upset because it hurts to recommend a friend to be fired but he dit it because it was the right move

  6. buc4life1979 Says:

    “He came around to team Glazer’s thinking”…LMAO JOE. Team Glazer’s thinking translated: “The guy stinks on ice and is outta here, you wanna join him too Licht?”

  7. Eric Says:

    He came to the Glazer’s line of thinking when they told him to fire the guy.

    Understandable, that is how things work.

    Would Licht have made that decision of it was entirely up to him? I dunno. He’s in a powerful position now. And he knew another year of crappy football and he might end up out the door with Lovie.

    Human nature generally moves toward saving ones ass. But he clearly felt very bad about it.

  8. DallasBuc Says:

    That man’s unsettling mouth twitch was weirding me out!

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    How can you deduce that Licht fought for Lovie because there were multiple conversations?…..It could have been the other way around….he could have been trying to convince the Glazers it was time for Lovie to go.

    He felt he had the authority to go ahead and warn Lovie what was coming…..

    I think Lovie could have saved his job if he fired his sons and suggested a strong DC….but his ego got in the way.

  10. Sapp, STFU Says:

    Can you imagine Gruden’s patsy Bruce Allen firing him two years after they started working together? Respect for Licht

  11. Tom Edrington Says:

    Does it really matter in the big scheme of things?

  12. theodore Says:

    “I understood” doesn’t mean “I agree.” The owners fired the coach, not the GM. Either way, I’m glad the decision was made.

  13. James Walker Says:

    Yes, listen VERY carefully. Licht said he “…evaluated the scouts and coaches, their strengths and weaknesses and reported it to the Glazers. They came back with their recommendation.” LICHT fired Lovie.

  14. nate_tweetz Says:

    I didn’t get that at all from the press conference Joe. According to Licht, the Glazers made their decision based off of Licht’s assessment of the last two seasons and his recommendations of how to improve the team moving forward. He also stated the “WE” decided that “WE” needed a new face of the organization. I think Licht felt for Lovie and likes Lovie as an individual (as most do), but realized what he had to do make this organization better, was to tell a good friend he was fired. I don’t think Licht is lamenting the fact that he now actually can be a GM and not a Chicago has-been free agent signing puppet.

  15. JackinJersey Says:

    Lister boys and girls, along with ALL Buccaneer fans from coast to coast. This was a decision between two coaches. Simple as that. The Glazer’s and Jason Licht have been living under the same roof with both coaches for about 10 months now. Gee, do you really think they didn’t know who the superior coach was? If you have any doubt just go back to that wonderful Thursday night, for Buc fans, in Atlanta when Dirk’s offense put 35 on Lovie’s defense AT THE HALF. Jason knew that Dirk wanted to be a HC and would be a sunset in the Gulf by the end of the week. Leaving us all with a Lovie with no guidence and yet another lost season. My take is that Licht sat down with the Glazers, layed down the entire situation, and reasonable minds came to their senses. Jason showed his GM chops on this one. He put aside his personal feelings and did the job to the benefit of the Glazers and ALL Buc FANS, even one named Joe.

  16. jvato24 Says:

    Spot on Nate and Jolly, I got the feeling this was Lichts push to get him out, maybe why it was just him in the press conference, Licht knows more about football than us and pretty obvious to him Lovies defensive scene was retarded, vanilla and even talent wouldn’t make it a great defense. Licht did his job being clear. Licht even says the owners were on board based off of his information

  17. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Hey Joe,

    Just read 2 reports on the Panthers DC, Mcdermont, meeting with the Bucs today in regards to the HC job. WTF?

  18. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Also a report on licht and McDermotts past history together. Did not see this coming

  19. Trubucfan22 Says:

    “We want Lovie fired”

    “I understand”


  20. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    Agree with some others…I do believe Lovie is a good human being and Licht probably does consider the man a colleague and friend. At the end of the day he probably realized his job was tied to the HC’s performance. The film didn’t lie nor did the free agency flops. I’m sure it was very difficult recommending the firing of someone who gave him his chance at GM, but at the end of the day Licht has a job to do…working together with a coaching staff to field a competetive NFL team that has a realistic chance at Super Bowl appearances…it’s where the big money is at…everyone loves a winner (and will pay $ on merchandise, tickets, and primetime appearances)

  21. R.O. Says:

    Glazers I’m sure wanted Lovie to make defensive coaching changes. Hire a real DC and relinquish control of the 53 man roster and free agents to Licht and he said “No”. Change or die. Lovie still wasn’t willing to change.

  22. lightningbuc Says:

    If ever there was a reason for Licht to jump in his swimming pool with his business suit on, it would be after hearing the news of Lovie being fired.

  23. Silent_Partner Says:

    He did what his bosses told him to do. If you take anything else from that press conference, those are some good drugs. The Glazers are making these moves as always, don’t kid yourself. Unless someone else besides Koetter is hired like what happened in Arizona when his old boss hired Arians, you’ll know they’re the ones calling all the shots, and he’s just doing what he’s told, which wouldn’t be a bad thing except, well it’s the Glazers. They’re kind of dumb.

  24. Mike Johnson Says:

    Licht probably did want to give Lovie another yr to turn things around. A lot of us did. But remember, Lovie had a chance to redeem himself with the glazers in a meeting this week. He refused to offer changes. Had he fired his DC-frazier and a few secondary coaches..including his beloved son, he might have saved his job. Instead he suggested bringing in a consultant from Chicago..alledgedly. That, sealed his fate with the Glazers. Licht being the friend he was to Lovie got the orders from the Glazers and tried to give Lovie heads up. But it was already done. I lwanted Lovie to stay. But don’t get it twisted..I feel no remorse for a man who will make millions from the Glazers over the next 2 yrs for money owed on his contract. Hell, Lovie is..financially set for life. And we the real fans? Are left with more losing in the cellar as our new golden boy comes to the podium weekly..making excuses. We are truly the..Sad sacks of the NFL. GO BUCS?

  25. DavidbigBucsFan Says:

    All I know when they called him to have a meeting and he couldn’t at least show them that much respect to oblige them since they did hire him out of the basement then he deserved the “Dear Johnny” call. He got the burn notice over the phone!

  26. DavidbigBucsFan Says:

    Buc4Life that was funny! Self preservation son!

  27. Mike Says:

    Lots of idle speculation.

    Is it idle speculation that perhaps Licht stabbed him in the back to get control of the roster?

    McDermott. Was he not fired in Philadelphia after taking over from Jimmy Johnson?

    Granted that Keotter did a good job with JW, but is he head coaching material? Will he last more than two years if he does not win? Who is to say that JW won’t regress like RG3, Colin Kaepernick, and a few others?

    I and you don’t really know why he was let go, but this is the usual lack of stability move that haunts the Bucs.

    Many of you were bitching that even with the weakest schedule in the NFL, the Bucs could not win. What happens next year with a far tougher schedule? Do you start calling for the “new” HC’s head?

    I think some of you would bitch even if the team was 16-0.

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if DK went to another team?

    But I guess if I had a 4 year contract that was guaranteed, and was fired after two years, then what the hell, I would be pretty comfortable in a state that has no income tax.

  28. StopyankingWattsnuts Says:

    Why does it always comes to money with most of you clowns so i guess real fans can’t be rich should have chose another path in life instead of being broke

  29. StopyankingWattsnuts Says:

    For all the yards our Bucs put up where were the points to go along with that. 2Oth in points scored 5th in rushing 5th in total offense where are the points

  30. Pickgrin Says:

    If the Glazers – once they thoroughly read and discussed Licht’s report regarding scouts and coaches performance – informed Jason of their “recommendation” – then it was ultimately Licht’s decision to fire Lovie. Otherwise, they would have informed the GM of their “decision”.

    I believed that Lovie deserved a 3rd year and that he had a good chance of turning this team into a winner sooner than later.

    But if the GM who IMO has actually proved that he knows what he is doing – did not feel that Lovie was the right person to orchestrate the turn around – then I am glad they let coach Smith go.

    I absolutely trust Licht’s decision making more than I trusted Lovie’s. I sort of thought of L&L as a package deal – but apparently Jason Light is coming into his own now and hopefully will figure out the way to ACTUALLY lead this Bucs franchise back to “relevance” through his hiring and personnel decisions with the degree of power and control that the Glazers have apparently now entrusted him with.

    We all hope you succeed Mr Licht. Now go find that Head Coach that will inspire his players to exceed their capabilities and lead this team to a Super Bowl.
    (Something tells me he is already in the building if the right DC can also be acquired.)

  31. satchseven Says:

    Granted that Keotter did a good job with JW, but is he head coaching material? Will he last more than two years if he does not win? Who is to say that JW won’t regress like RG3, Colin Kaepernick, and a few others?

    shaking my head at this crap, rg3 and kap got zero pro style qb training in college. they never played in the big games in college jw did. bringing teams from behind on numerous occasions is great training.

  32. FanOfBucs Says:

    Better question!

    Did Lovie fight for Lovie?!

    No. Let’s just handle it over the phone (sigh)