“It Was A Sham”

January 22nd, 2016

The Custodian of Canton believes the Bucs’ coaching search was staged. (Photo courtesy of Mark Cook.)

Even mere moments after the Bucs announced that Lovie Smith was jettisoned, Bucs fans sensed Dirk Koetter would be elevated into the opening.

So when the coaching search dragged on for a week before the Bucs’ offensive coordinator got his promotion, many of those same fans wondered what took so long.

The Bucs noted that the coaching search was extensive, despite only two other known candidates. Right off the bat, the Custodian of Canton, eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune, smelled something. In his weekly football-season visit with the one and only Chris “Mad Dog” Russo on “Mad Dog Radio” this week, part of the family of sports channels heard exclusively on SiriusXM Radio, Kaufman said the replacing Lovie was rigged all along in favor of Koetter.

Chris “Mad Dog” Russo: Was [the Dirk] Koetter [hiring] a fait accompli? He was going to get that job with the Bucs no matter what, correct?

eye-RAH! Kaufman: Your instincts are correct. I believe that coaching search – in quotes – that took about nine days; it was a sham, Chris. It was all for show. They interviewed a minority candidate who the GM knows and he is trying to get his name out there. That’s fine. They interviewed Sean McDermott. I don’t think they were going to wait for the Panthers to get knocked out of the playoffs. Koetter was the guy, Chris. He was the guy from Day One once they decided to move on from Lovie Smith.

Joe has no idea if this really was a sham, but who really knows who the Bucs interviewed outside of Harold Goodwin, Koetter and McDermott? Adam Schefter of BSPN floated the notion Team Glazer was infatuated with Alabama coach Nick Saban, which caused the delay in naming Koetter.

Joe can write this: On the day the Bucs introduced Koetter as new coach, Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht held court with reporters for damn near 20 minutes. Joe asked him if he would provide a ballpark figure on how many candidates he interviewed.

Licht looked at Joe with a huge I-just-won-a-date-with-Rachel Watson smile, paused briefly and said, “I better not.”

54 Responses to ““It Was A Sham””

  1. Chromolly Says:

    Who cares.lovie destroyed himself with his inability to coach better than reeem and shiano…Lovie probably contacting alsharpton as we speak…whaaaa whaaaaa whaaaaa lol

  2. Onetrickpony Says:

    Who cares we are better off with Dirk and smith, lovie had his chance and muffed it and walked away with more than most of us have. Good ridense,it’s a new day

  3. lurker Says:

    so what? i was hoping for koetter when he was hired…that if lovie continued to suckus maximus koetter could slide right in. and so it came to pass, despite the lovie lovers saying “no way”.

  4. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    In other news the sun rises in the east and water is wet.

  5. Buc Neckid Says:

    Rooney Rule

  6. BucsBlud Says:

    I think it was stage. However, I refuse to have sympathy for a guy who will get paid $10m not to coach. Lovie will be just fine in life. Professional coaching is a cut throat business. My Cubs did the same thing last year hire Joe Maddon. If they don’t want you, you have to go.

    I like Lovie, and actually think he did an ok job. I think we would be competitive next year with Dirk or Lovie.

    It does show what kind of character Licht and Koetter have, but in pro sports, good character gets you ate alive.

  7. The Buc Realist Says:


    Any truth to the rumor that Ira Kaufman (Custodian of Canton) is going to try to induct the Tampa 2 as a full on defensive scheme into the hall of fame??? It should be eligible, as it has not “worked” in the league the past 5 years!!!!!!!!!

  8. Tampa Tony Says:

    No one in the media knows. So they are just speculating and guessing

  9. R.O. Says:

    You all love this… Until we go 0-1 and then it’s abandon ship maties.. Arghhh!!!

  10. Tom Edrington Says:

    Last year’s Buccaneer defense was a SHAM…….how about that?

    I forget who was in charge of it…..

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Right from the beginning when we were told that Licht would do the search and make the decision….I knew that the decision had already been made.

    Look at all the national media heat the Bucs have taken for firing Lovie….they had to play it out a while.

  12. Bee Says:

    I’m ok with the sham. Anything to get Lovie Smith out the door.

  13. Clodhopper Says:

    SO if this is true, and I believe it to be. A lot of people thought this was the deal before it even happened. Licht was obviously, visibly upset at the firing of Lovie. That means, essentially, the Glazers hired Koetter not Licht?

  14. @hands2theface Says:

    Dirk was the man from day one. Someone tweeted something like that. The boys knew Lovie was in trouble after year one and wanted the backup plan.

  15. Pickgrin Says:

    Agree that it was already decided Dirk would be coach when the decision to fire Lovie was made. Nothing wrong with that. Koetter came in and in his 1st year led the Bucs offense to its best statistical year in the history of the franchise – with almost half his starting lineup at times being rookies.

    Lovie the defensive guru by contrast was in his 2nd year with terrible results on the D’s side of the ball and seemed to be regressing.

    How much of all that had to do with not enough talent on D, bad decisions on free agents brought in, all but 1 draft pick in 2 years going towards offense – and in particular the Jameis Winston factor making Dirk and all the O players around him look better than they would have otherwise – remains to be seen.

    If Mike Smith’s led Buccaneers Defense with a couple rookie starter additions quickly looks and stats like a REAL defense – then it will be obvious that Lovie’s time truly has passed as a # of people suggested and the Glazers absolutely did make the correct decision to fire Lovie – hire Dirk as HC and bring in all new coaching blood on the defensive side of the ball.

  16. JWBUCS Says:

    I say Ira displayed very poor taste in floating this idea out on XM Radio…. Lovie Smith failed this Team and the Glazer family has made the best choice for the future progress of the Bucs…. The subject is moot! Lets move forward and enjoy the development of a Winning organization…

  17. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Of course it was all a Sham, and some think it was a Coo, with Koetter and Licht conspiring to get rid of Lovie. Yes, some think that Koetter played up casual interest in his coaching services from a few other teams, into a head coaching position.
    I don’t believe it was a conspiracy, but I do think that Koetter was the guy all along.

  18. AceofAerospace Says:

    If it was a sham, then it’s only a sham because of the Rooney rule. The sham is teams being required to interview a minority, who they may or may not have an interest in, prior to hiring a white. I can’t help but notice the lack of Chinese head coaches or the lack of female head coaches. Why aren’t they represented? The whole process is insulting to our intelligence.

  19. The Buc Realist Says:


    I might agree that the rule is now a little out of date, But there is a huge advantage that came out it!! And that is, It has caused franchises to slow down and actually interview candidates! Maybe there needs to be a period of negotiation just like free agency where teams can just interview coaches without the pressure to hire their guy immediately!!!

  20. Jeagan1999 Says:

    The only “sham” is that the NFL makes you jump through all the hoops and go through a totally contrived “dog and pony show” in the first place! Koetter was the guy they wanted all along and it’s crazy that they couldn’t just come out and say it!

  21. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    How many Chinese coaches are assistants in the NFL? How many women? For the record, Norm Chow was interviewed for a head coaching job some years back, so it does happen (he is Chinese). Your disdain for the rule apparently clouds your understanding of what the rule does. Why does it bother you so much that it forces a team to have at least one extra interview? Wouldn’t you want that for your team? Hell, I hope they make them interview as many people as possible. Nobody is forced to hire a minority, so what’s the problem? It seemed to work out well for Pittsburgh, don’t you think?

  22. mike Says:

    True, is was a sham. Is was dirk and only dirk. Just like the last time, the Glazers had already decided on Lovie and guys like zim and arians didn’t get a call. There wasn’t going to be a “homerun” hire because a big name would want his own gm or total control and the glazers decided Lict was staying and would have control.

  23. Sarasotadave Says:

    The Bucs should have interviewed a woman as well to be fair for HC job,Rex Ryan hired one, when asked why he reply I want to help
    Her get foot in the door!

  24. DB55 Says:

    I think Jameis told us what was going to happen during his wk 16 press conference, we just didn’t “get it” at the time.

    Licht gets even more kudos from me for working his plan.

  25. BigMacAttack Says:

    Dear Ira, I don’t care.

  26. Erik with Clean Athletics Says:

    Dumbest narrative about our coaching hire other than the racist angle.

    Of course it was Koetter all along, but there are procedures that need to be done properly or it would create a sh1tstorm of legal issues. DUH!!!


  27. kraymuthaphukinglocz Says:

    time to move on people

  28. d-money Says:

    I think they probably had Koetter pegged from the start but I don’t think Jason Licht is a fool. I anyone had come in and blown him away he would’ve hired the best candidate.

    And all this crap about Koetter and Licht stabbing Lovie in the back. I think that’s BS but so what if they did? It’s business, yes loyalty is a great but not when it’s to a detriment of the team. You do what’s best for the company or in this case the team.

    Jason Lichts job is to build a championship football team, not to make sure Lovies feelings aren’t hurt. Trust me Lovie has 10 million reasons to make him feel all better.

    If he truly felt that Lovie was not going to get it done why should he waste another year of the fans time and players careers out of loyalty?

    Ask Lovie how his loyalty to players like Mike Jenkins or Josh Mcowen worked out for him.

  29. Buc1987 Says:

    Uh derrrrrrrrrrr.

    Thanks for stating the obvious Ira.

    Most of us, well atleast I KNEW it was going to be Koetter the day they fired Lovie. I even suggested the coaching search was all a sham on that very day.

    Thanks for catching up to me Ira…

    I need to apply for a job at the Tribune. lol

  30. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    The greatest organizations…not just in the NFL…continually try to promote from within!!! The advantages are so freaking obvious I can’t believe this discussion is that exciting for Russo and Ira!

    People wonder why Hayes is coming here from a relatively stable and successful position with the Bengals…DUH..he and everybody else knows that if Smith is successful he’ll immediately be one of the top candidates and have an inside route…and he SHOULD. That’s how great organizations work..always keep future management in the pipeline!

    If I’m going to play this game I gotta go back to last year not this one.
    Lovie went 2-14, made one of the most boneheaded decisions I can remember by forcing Josh McClown and leaving us in the dark about MG8’s TRUE value.
    Not only that but many of us suspect (and not just the MG Mob) that we could have won more games with MG8 that Lovies sorry selection.

    Think that disturbed Licht? Think Licht saw the beginning of the end for Lovie LAST year after that 2-14 DISASTER!!!

    Perhaps Koetter was brought in as an insurance policy which as it turned out eventually had to be cashed in. Not that Licht brought him to fire Lovie…but brought him to cover his butt in case Lovie had a second unacceptable year.

  31. OnlyGodnoles Says:

    Oh boy these are the kind of stories that makes Stephen A look mainstream. Herm Edwards mentioned the sham angle of the rooney rule and how it would discourage minority candidates from stepping forward to be interviewed. I think it’s kind of sham the bucs should not be associated with if true.

  32. James Marlow Says:

    Kaufman needs to dial it back. Does he want to destroy the Bucs from the outside in? This kind of accusation can have severe ramifications for a ball club trying to get going in the right direction. The players know all of this went down. They are not naive. We have enough bad press, and one of our writers is throwing fuel to the fire… shame on him! Businesses should be able to hire who they want regardless. It is the Rooney rule alone that make this whole process look suspicious. The Rooney rule has turned itself into a mockery, and that really sucks, but it is true in this case. The fact is that the organization needed change at the head coaching position and they knew who they wanted. Move on!

  33. Buc1987 Says:

    The Rooney Rule. LOL What a sham.

    How about they implement The Sally Rule?

    You have to atleast interview ONE woman for the job.

    The Rooney Rule…..F-ing libs.

  34. The Buc Realist Says:

    The only question is, this is what Ira really thinks?? or did the Tampa2 mafia pull his string???

  35. OnlyGodnoles Says:

    @buc1987 f bombing libs is not the answer the fact is with this kind of accusation more often than not doesn’t end well for all parties involved. If JW plays this well he could end up being the REAL king behind the throne, not that am suggesting he is in any shape or form manipulating the situation. If anybody is still any doubt about JW’s maturity or intelligence just look at the way he is staying above the fray. Something which is not going unnoticed with the brass at one buc place.

  36. Mike Johnson Says:

    Of course the coaching search was a sham as was Lovie’s firing. That’s why Lovie didn’t even want to talk with the Glazers once he got the news he was gone. He was like, OK you don’t want to build a champion, you want to go the local media and fan route? Screw you and give me my millions owed. Like I’ve repeated countless times, We Bucs got our Golden Boy Koetter. HE can do no wrong..right now. And because he is well liked, he’ll probably get 3 yrs to turn us around. And he’d better. No excuses. He is the..anointed one who can do no wrong. I put nothing past this organization. Just research its history of how certain people are/were treated. I have no faith in Management nor ownership. We shall see if this NEW product they put on the field is worthy or Bogus. This is a desperate franchise who will do anything at the drop of a dime. And desperation usually breeds..Losing. Welcome aboard new Regime. YOU are now on the clock. And with us old heads who have been with the Bucs since its inception? There shall be no mercy nor praises until you WIN..consistently.

  37. Bucsfanman Says:

    It’s amazing how a story about hiring (not firing!) Koetter as head coach turns into a Lovie bash session. Let it go people, he’s gone already!
    Incidentally, this happens everyday in the workplace. More times than not, companies are just going through the motions when hiring because they already know who they WANT. And it is sometimes about who you want, as opposed to who is more qualified. I’m not saying that’s the case here. Koetter appears to be both wanted AND qualified (let’s hope!).
    Not news, who cares, move on……..

  38. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I don’t see how this is even newsworthy. Sham or not, they gave the fans what they wanted by keeping Koetter. They gave Winston what he needed by keeping Koetter.

    ’nuff said.

    It’s done.

  39. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    You are right. From the first comment on, the haters jumped on Lovie.

  40. Frank Pillow Says:

    The sham was the product Lovie put on the field for 32 games. The only thing he got right was tanking last year’s Saints game to get into the #1 slot- and I’m not even sure that was on his order. Joe can talk all he wants about how Lovie handeled Jamies. Fine. But the Lovie’s greatest failure was not putting his players in the best position to execute/win. Instead, he ran through DB after DB desparately trying to find Charles Tilman, Ronde Barber and John Lynch. Guys good enough to cover-up the holes in the Tampa 2. Not a realistic approach. Banks, Vernor are servicable CBs IF you scheme to their strenghts. That’s what Dirk did on O. He schedmed to what Jameis did well and maximized what he had to work with on the OL at RB and WR. Listen too to Mike Smith’s presser on this key point.

    Lovie’s record here speaks for itself. Some of those losses were among the most embarassing in franchise history- THINK ABOUT THAT! Opening day this year was an abomination. The Skins’ game even worse. The man should’ve been fired last year and/or after any handful of terrible losses. The mere fact that Koetter is a skilled coordinator and was already in the building made it much easier to see just how bad a coach Lovie was for us.

  41. DavidbigBucsFan Says:

    Then there is the moron 1987 whining and crying the Rooney Rule is because the liberals once again spewing your rush limbaugh tea party rhetoric. It’s because of people like you and the good ol boy system that has been part of the NFL from the beginning. You were in Culverhouses pocket when he wouldn’t pay Doug Williams. Suckers like you cry whine and wet yourselves because I bring up race????? One of you grand ol party punk types called me a hypocrite but you spew your political crap by calling out liberals. Some of you guys are ridiculous. The Rooney rule i a sham but like Kaufman said it does give these guys a chance to get interviewed because the NFL is still about recycling even the not so good good ol boys.

  42. Buc1987 Says:

    David…I own you.

  43. Buc1987 Says:

    Btw…it’s going to be a long 8 years for you pretty soon.

  44. BUCSFAN68 Says:

    Buc1987 Says:

    January 22nd, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    David…I own you.
    Naww, you and some other folks are putting your bigoted views for all to see

  45. Mike Johnson Says:

    I can’t wait to see how fans judge Koetter record after 32 games. Remember now? No excuses or spinning. Lets see what kind of coaching and product the..Golden boy will put on the field. We are waiting..and watching.

  46. Buc1987 Says:

    BUCSFAN68 Says:
    January 22nd, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Buc1987 Says:

    January 22nd, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    David…I own you.
    “Naww, you and some other folks are putting your bigoted views for all to see.”

    Let’s see. Tony Dungy is one of my heroes, and I defended Jameis Winston like a brother in here for 3 straight months leading up to the draft. Some fans even used the dreaded N-word to describe JW and I shot back at them with full force. I’ve only truly had one best friend my entire life that I can trust and he’s black. Not a bunch of black friends excuse, but ONE friend for the last 20 years. Guess what? His wife is white. Oh the horror I know.

    So spare me your BS about bigoted and black done wrong garbage. Go watch another Hollywood movie about blacks being done wrong in the past. There’s 10 new ones a year just to keep reminding us what a horrible country that we are. The latest one. Woodlawn. Go watch that. It’s black football player on an all white team and the stuff he had overcome because of his color. Yeah same old crap from Hollywood. Can’t just let it die and why? It’s because people like you, David and Mike Johnson LOVE that crap. You eat it up like candy. The country will NEVER move forward if you people keep being stuck in the past.

    BTW my only friend (the black guy) agrees with everything I just said and he grew up in the hood. So once again STFU with this rubbish when you know not what your talking about.

  47. Buc1987 Says:

    Mike Johnson…..I’m going to use every excuse you used for Lovie.

  48. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Mike, why do you think the fans would support Koetter if he ends up tanking? Fans want to win, if koetter can’t do it then we move on. Are you trying to say fans would support koetter no matter what his record would be? I think that is rather silly. The fans are cheering for koetter because he did a good job last year, but make no mistakes. If he starts showing incompetence like Lovie did, then koetter will get kicked to the curb too.

    The exciting thing is that bucs fans have already seen what they will get with koetter. And i think that has the typical fan a little more excited over koetter, more so than maybe someone else new brought would get.

    I get you liked lovie for whatever reason. But no need to post the same stuff on every article.

  49. Buc1987 Says:

    Don’t come into my playground and start crap with me. I’m the last person on here that you want to ef with. There’s NOT a single racist bone in my ENTIRE body, but I will dice you up with words if you poke a stick at me.

  50. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Also if the glazers are racist the way you like to accuse. How did morris get 3 years and schiano 2. And how do you even hire another black coach if you are racist. It makes no sense man. I get that racism exists in the world, but it has no place in this discussion.

  51. BUCSFAN68 Says:

    So spare me your BS about bigoted and black done wrong garbage. Go watch another Hollywood movie about blacks being done wrong in the past. There’s 10 new ones a year just to keep reminding us what a horrible country that we are. The latest one. Woodlawn. Go watch that. It’s black football player on an all white team and the stuff he had overcome because of his color. Yeah same old crap from Hollywood. Can’t just let it die and why? It’s because people like you, David and Mike Johnson LOVE that crap. You eat it up like candy. The country will NEVER move forward if you people keep being stuck in the past.
    Actually Buc1987, folks like you are the reason this country will never move forward. It’s easy to be in denial about something you don’t experience and pretend it doesn’t exist anymore. Please spare me with the my only friend a black guy. I’ve heard that so many times. I’m also a wordsmith as well so you don’t phase me at all. When folks on here deal the “card” from the deck, don’t be upset when it’s played.

  52. Buccaneers Says:

    1987 get a clue and please shut your yap. You obviously are completely uneducated with anything concerning segeration\racism issues that have resulted in many brutal situations in this country.

    I apoligize to anybody who is reading this just wanting to read sports.

    87 how old is your dad bro? Think about the year he was born and relate that to the year blacks were given the rights to vote…….mull on that for a second. If you think for a second there are not white-hating or black-hating people living in this country that spread their beliefs to their family…,……well that’s why I call you uneducated because you obviously don’t know this. What in the world does your best friend being black have anything to do with racial issues?

    They are currently airing a Super Bowl One on NFL Network. That was 50 years ago. There isn’t a black player on the field. Is that fair? Do you think these fairness issues get solved overnight? No, my guess is you have never been close enough to a segregation issue to even understand it. That’s why I said to keep your yap shut, please do.

    The fact is that the Rooney rule may seem a bit scamish but it is one of the things that makes us acknowledge racism. The Rooney rule helps us realize that Equal Rights are fair. If we had no rules and laws concerning race and minorities then the segregation views of many folks would spread and some people in our country would be allowed to treat minorities unfairly. Many of the people who have these backward views concerning segregation are older and lived in a world much different where race hate was bad, violent, accepted and unfair. You may not personally know any of these people but they absolutely do exist, and to varying degrees of racism.

    87-Realize the context of the arguments you choose before conducting them. A lot of folks here have brushed off the Rooney Rule and that’s understandable since they probably don’t don’t realize what good it actually does. If you haven’t gotten it yet the Rooney rule does good by bringing unfairness to light.

    When you take such a big stance against all this 87, you are being extremely offensive and purely insensitive to anybody who had to suffer the many pains of segeration. You are also being extremely insensitive to the fact that views of segeration and racism still exist today. As I have already stated, rules and laws like the Rooney rule are what keeps Our country fair.

    87-When you comment here you are representing our fan base. Being uneducated is one thing. It is a separate thing to argue an offensive point of view. Do our community a favor and avoid these types of issues……..,…. Of course we do have freedom of speech, that is only fair after all!!!!!!

  53. The Buc Realist Says:

    Any truth to the rumor that Ira Kaufman (Custodian of Canton) is going to try to induct the Tampa 2 as a full on defensive scheme into the hall of fame??? It should be eligible, as it has not “worked” in the league the past 5 years!!!!!!!!!

  54. Brandon Says:

    FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    January 22nd, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    As far as the Tampa 2 goes. It is past its time.


    That’s news to the Panthers and Seahawks. Tampa 2 is a coverage, genius. The team was rarely in Tampa 2 throughout the season. The style of defense is a 4-3 one gap attacking under defense, called that because they employ an “under defensive tackle” technique almost all of the time. The Panthers and Seahawks employ the exact same defense. The Falcons, Cowboys, and Jaguars run it too. Tampa 2 is a coverage that EVERY team in the league will use from time to time, even teams running the 3-4.