Dumped Players Helped Doom Lovie

January 7th, 2016
Talent evaluation -- and the ability to maximize talent -- helped sink Lovie Smith.

Talent evaluation — and the ability to maximize talent — helped get Lovie Smith fired.

It’s not just a horrible won-loss record and a bad defense that got Lovie Smith fired yesterday. Stories like this one on Dashon “Hawk” Goldson played a role.

There’s also the tale of last year’s other Bucs safety, Mark Barron, who was a force in St. Louis this season and finished 15th in the NFL in tackles. Lovie gave up on Barron when he was 24 years old. Remember, iconic Bucs safety John Lynch called the trade of Barron a “colossal failure.

Don’t forget booted-in-2015 safety D.J. Swearinger starts for the No. 2 seed Cardinals and their strong defense.

And those three examples only represent the safety position.

Shall Joe move to cornerback? Some dude named “Revis” was rejected by Lovie and the Bucs went on to sheer misery at the position.

And how do you think Team Glazer feels about paying Michael Johnson to start for a Bengals playoff team allowing just 17 points a game?

Enter Donald Penn. A former Pro Bowler just broke down film to show how Penn was worthy of the Pro Bowl this season, after making his 140th consecutive start.

Sadly, there are too many other examples of Lovie’s inability to maximize and effectively evaluate the talent on his roster. Team Glazer surely saw the trend, their seasoned head coach being wrong too often.

There’s no doubt Lovie was fired because his team didn’t show up after a 6-6 start this season, and his defense declined steadily with no apparent end in sight. But the big personnel picture on Lovie had to play a significant role. Lovie made the calls on the Bucs he thought could or couldn’t help him.

37 Responses to “Dumped Players Helped Doom Lovie”

  1. mike Says:

    amen joe!

  2. AC Says:

    Didnt want to see Lovie go but the more i think about it..it was just his time to go. DJ Swearinger, Mason Foster, Revis, Penn, next season it was about to be Jonthan Banks. You let players like this go but sign Bruce Carter, George Johnson, Tim Jennings, Mike Jenkins, etc the list just goes on. On top of that the Defense sucked a$$. I recorded the bucs final game last week and when i got the update on the score i came home and immediately just erased the game from DVR didn’t even want to watch it because all year it has been the same $hit. I am not for switching coaches every 2 years but ENOUGH is ENOUGH is it really that hard to find a coach and players who want to WIN?! i hope this next signing is the real right man for the job or soon enough this time will be in the relocation talks just like the Chargers, Raiders and Rams

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    Don’t forget that on defense, the star players best year was still under Coach Schaino!!!!

  4. Destinjohnny Says:

    Lovie the gm killed lovie the coach.
    The players didn’t play for him and tell me im wrong

  5. The Buc Realist Says:


    In Lieu of the every popular “lovie confidence poll” should you do a ” next head coach poll” or the “Glazer confidence poll”!!!!!

    was does the air smell so crisp this morning!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!

  6. T in Orlando Says:

    Lovie may be a good person, but make no mistake, he earned this.

  7. Eric Says:

    True but pretty good drafts.

    I see the Glazer boys pulled their gutless wonder fire the man over the phone approach.

    Just like with Gru.

  8. Tampa Tony Says:

    The list of loser Lovie’s crimes against Bucs nation is long

  9. AceofAerospace Says:

    He should’ve been fired after last season. He’s fortunate to have had a second season. He owned that 2-14 record. I don’t care that he lost his OC. He promoted the inexperienced QB coach to the job. His bone headed moves far outweighed drafting Jameis. You get no brownie points from me for sucking bad enough to get the first draft pick.

  10. ATrain Says:

    Why are the Radio Guys defending Lovie and saying this firing is stupid…

    He Let several players go all of whom are playing somewhere else and most starting.

    He brought in players to replace and all of them are gone or on the bench except Mankins..

    Lets not forget the Lovie was blown out by a rookie first game QB and a Coach who was fired..

    The Problem with this team is no HEART even Jamies sees that and it starts with THE HC …

  11. Sapp, STFU Says:

    I agree with all of this, including the firing of Lovie. But let’s not forget, without Lovie’s ineptitude, we wouldn’t have scored the #1 draft pick last year. We do have him too thank for getting us a solid franchise QB

  12. Erik with Clean Athletics Says:

    Wow! I just saw the Lovie news when I got to work this morning. I am stunned. In a good way. I didn’t think for a second that the Glazers would sack up & make this kind of decision this year, but I’m so happy they did. I’m riding a high bcuz of this.

    We better promote Koetter to HC. That would be the best choice by a longshot.

  13. I know why Says:

    Yeah Buc Realist, that Dominik just was terrible, Barron leads Rams in tackles, Goldson leads Redskins in tackles, Revis 3rd straight PB, or is this when Schiano gets all the credit for only the good things and the record is the GM’s fault…how is it being a sheep yourself?

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    As with most things….I’ts not getting rid of players that’s the problem….It’s their replacements…..I don’t think Goldson or Barron did a very good job for us at all….but the replacements made it worse.
    In the Revis case…the same thing….Verner and (pick who you like) replaced for the $16 Mil didn’t work.

    My suspicion is that Lovie had his gloves all over the Revis & Barron exit….along with many other FA failures…..and Licht didn’t.

  15. Dean Says:

    It is one thing to come in with an opinion of the best schemes offensively and defensively, to get a losing team back on the winning track. But look at the Bucs to see the difference in how each side was handled.
    Offensively, the Bucs were not predictable. Dirk adjusted every game to the attack he thought worked best throughout the game. Not always successful, but at least he adjusted.
    Defensively, Lovie was set in what he was going to do and continued doing it as the defense floundered and swooned. Just maybe, he didn’t know any different. Couldn’t make adjustments. So pig-headed he wouldn’t make adjustments.

    We have a great opportunity. Keep Koetter at all costs. HC or OC, whatever he wants. Geat a great Defensive coordinator to come in and build an attacking, basic 4-3 defense. Let Jason and his staff load up in the draft with defensive standouts and add some real difference-makers though free agency. After all we have almost 50 million dollars to spend.
    This could be the start of something really big.

  16. NJBucsFan Says:

    Proof that scheme does not trump talent.

    Glad the defensive Chip Kelly is gone.

  17. Warrenfb12 Says:

    Tell me joe. Not sure how lovie gets a pass from media. 8 wins in two years doesn’t cut it. Kinda simple as that.

  18. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I’m like a lot of people who others here would call a “Lovie supporter”.

    I never defended the quality of his job performance here as it’s been indefensible.
    I have defended giving him at least the opportunity of one more year given the challenges he faced and “some” improvement in the team.

    Tom Jones piece in the Times this morning is exactly how I feel. Do I feel sorry for Lovie and think he might not have been given a totally fair shake given the circumstances…yes…but like Jones do I have the “feeling” that he’s not really the right guy to lead us forward…yes and so I do not disagree with the firing.

    I do not see how I can feel comfortable with any other coach than Koetter though. Dave has posted of the fears of lack of continuity along with many others…it’s a LEGITIMATE fear. Koetter keeps the continuity..he is a KNOWN quantity here among players, media, and fans, and most importantly the only man who really counts right now Jameis Winston.

    Any new coach will come in blind to all the challenges, and especially the horrible culture and bone headed attitudes among some of the kids on this team. Koetter already is well aware of what needs to be addressed.1

    More will perhaps come out. I just find the timing odd unless Licht and the Glazer boys had this planned all along and just needed to make sure Koetter/??? would take the job. Perhaps the Glazers were going to give Lovie another year but their demands and stipulations offended his pride and they told him don’t let the door hit you in the butt. We may never know the true story.

    It might be as simple as Licht staging a successful palace coup and now gaining the “real” job as GM and not just the figurehead position he had under Lovie.

    The new coach would presumably answer to Licht and I suspect the Glazers also trust Licht now with personnel decisions.

  19. nate_tweetz Says:

    I was not one calling for Lovie’s firing after this season, but I’m not shedding any tears either. Lovie was hired to make an instant positive impact for the Bucs. The Glazers hired Lovie because they were tired of watching 2 previous head coaches “learn on the job”. They expected Lovie to come in and turn things around right away. Lovie came in and told us all (including the Glazers) that he was going to put a winning product on the field immediately. Watch his very first press conference.

    The Glazers gave Lovie their American Express Black card and told him to shop at his heart’s desire in order to start winning. That act of trust and commitment from the Glazers to Lovie was rewarded with the worst fee agent signing off season in Bucs history. Tens of millions of dollars down the drain, and the worst record in the NFL. In addition to signing terrible players, he let some others go as Joe noted. Lovie then started blaming his failures on the “fact” that he didn’t have his players! (huh?)

    As the last two seasons went on, Lovie spent more time designing excuses than game plans. HIS defense, that he took control of was consistently unprepared, poorly coached, and lacked discipline. Things were being done schematically, that left simple layman scratching their heads. Getting torched by almost every QB they faced.

    Bottom line… Lovie did not turn this franchise around immediately like he told the Glazers he would. He was getting paid handsomely to make that happen. He wasn’t getting paid to go 8-24 or to just have his team ready to play the “real season” that doesn’t begin until November/December (according to Lovie).

  20. Sapp, STFU Says:

    I’m less worried about who wil be HC. More worried about what happens tot eh defense. Is Marinelli available?

  21. Supersam Says:

    He HAD to go. He was a terrible coach and a putrid talent evaluator. Great person, terrible coach.

  22. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Damn lol that escalated quickly.

    Glad we are making the move now if we are gonna make it.

  23. Makie Lovie Says:

    The question is will someone even hire Lovie as a defensive coordinator after this?

  24. The Buc Realist Says:

    @Lord Cornelius

    agreed, there are very important decisions to make, Coaches, assistants, possible front office staff replacement, before we can even get to dissect the player roster!!!!

  25. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    Vindication…Schiano was a better Bucs HC than Lovie and had a better eye for player talent. I could give two sh!ts about where he coached before or what Lovie accomplished a decade ago…in the here and now in Tampa the fact is the fact. Schiano got rid of guys with off field concerns and loafs (letting Bennett walk is teally the only bad decision). Lovie got rid of guys who were better than who he brought in not because of character issues but because he was too stubborn to adapt to their strengths. Non doubt that was part of what did him in beyond the 2nd worst win pct. in Buc’s HC history.

  26. D-Rome Says:

    It’s interesting to see how so many of you give Jason Licht the pass on the free agent signings. According to you guys, Jason made the picks in the draft and Lovie made the picks in free agency. Every good pick it was because of Jason and every bad pick was because of Lovie.

    NEWSFLASH: There wasn’t a single player transaction made in the past two years that Jason Licht was not part of. Jason Licht was hired in January 2014 and all roster moves that the organization made that year started in March.

  27. bucrightoff Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says:
    January 7th, 2016 at 8:52 am
    As with most things….I’ts not getting rid of players that’s the problem….It’s their replacements…..I don’t think Goldson or Barron did a very good job for us at all….but the replacements made it worse.

    You are sort of leaving out the fact those players did a very good job elsewhere. It’s not like they were cut and struggled elsewhere but the replacements were awful. They went elsewhere, played well, AND the replacements were awful. Salt in the wound obviously.

  28. bucrightoff Says:

    D-Rome Says:
    January 7th, 2016 at 9:22 am
    NEWSFLASH: There wasn’t a single player transaction made in the past two years that Jason Licht was not part of. Jason Licht was hired in January 2014 and all roster moves that the organization made that year started in March.

    Lovie had full roster control. Licht didn’t hire Lovie and has admitted he “serves the coach”. Not anymore obviously haha. But Lovie is responsible for the players on the roster at the end of the day.

  29. feelthepewterpower Says:

    we let go Leonard Johnson who is playing well….

  30. Chris Says:

    I for one will be happy to see a db closer to the line than 20 yards off the ball…..for the people upset with the firing, you have your own agenda…the Glazers obviously care more about winning than you. And…, if it was a racist move like some are yelling… the Glazer family hired two black head coaches during their ownership. I don’t hear anyone alleging racism agains the teams that have never hired or even seriously considered hiring one.

  31. celly Says:


    What’s funny is that most people on these boards were more than happy to see these people jettisoned from the team (maybe, with the exception of Revis).

  32. D-Rome Says:

    we let go Leonard Johnson who is playing well….

    Uhhh, no he isn’t. Go watch that Dolphins game (I know you won’t). He was burned repeatedly. When he was in he was the worst player on defense for the Patriots.

  33. mac Says:

    In hindsight getting rid of Revis after one season was not a great move… However, at the time the decision was made most thought it was a solid idea because Revis was grossly overpaid because of MARK DOMINIK’S HORRIBLE CONTRACT which paid him $16 million… He made FOUR MILLION LESS PLAYING THIS YEAR…


  34. tnew Says:

    This is the major reason he was fired and it led to this drafts that we had to make. Bringing in McCown. That was the start. The Bucs should’ve seen what they had with Glennon in that season. Now we are in a better place with Winston, but we didn’t have to be. As far as the only drafting Offensive players, we wouldn’t have been required to without the Zuttah and Penn moves. Ryan Delaire can somehow warrant playing time on the Panthers but not for the Bucs. We are now forced to make a defensive draft due to the secondary issues, because we released Barron (turns out the kid can play) Gholston and Revis (who while no longer be “Revis Island” could’ve been the best player on our defense)

    Double this with the fact that he sees Mike Jenkins as THE MAN in the secondary.

  35. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Goldson is the main reason refs target us with penalties. Even after leaving, they still hold a grudge.

  36. GermanBuccaneer Says:

    How would you devide the blame for those personnel decisions between Lovie and Mr Licht?
    Are those solely on the HC?

  37. Jonny Says:

    This article is full of such biased rubbish it made me laugh out loud. You are really justifying Lovies firing because of Mark Barron, Dashon Goldson and D.J. Swearinger? Barron wasn’t good enough to play safety for us or the Ramsbso he got moved to LB due to injuries and all he can do is tackle he can’t cover which is why he was terrible here. The Redskins defense is not very good and Goldson is having a decent year but nothing amazing except I guess for his leadership. Swearinger is only playing for the Cards because of injury yet you make it sound like he earned that spot or something.

    Revis was let go to make room for other players not because Lovie didn’t think he was a good fit. Same thing with Donald Penn. We’re those good decisions? Obviously we know now they weren’t but this article is ignoring the fact that Licht was a part of those decisions and pinning ALL the blame on Lovie.