Lovie Adds Job Pressure With “Blueprint” Talk

January 1st, 2016
NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers

Lovie raises the bar on his early-2014 comments

When Lovie Smith got the Buccaneers job, within hours he told a national radio audience that the Carolina Panthers were a program he wanted to emulate because he liked how they were “set up to win football games.”

This week, Lovie reinforced that in a way that will put pressure on his job.

By way of Joe’s media comrades at BlackandBlueReview.com, Lovie told Carolina media this week, via conference call, that the Panthers have established a “blueprint” for success in the NFC South.

So if the Panthers have set the blueprint, one that Lovie liked from his Day 1 in Tampa, then Joe must look deeper.

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, fired by Lovie years ago in Chicago, took over a two-win Carolina team in 2011. That year, he was handcuffed by the asinine NFL lockout but slapped together a hybrid college offense for Cam Newton and started teaching his defense — one that is very similar to Lovie Smith’s. The Panthers scored a ton of points but finished 6-10 behind a garbage defense.

In 2012, Rivera’s second season, he was 7-9. The team surged from a 3-9 record late in the season while talk swirled of firing Rivera.

In 2013, the Panthers overcame an 0-2 start, a transition to a new offensive coordinator and more talk of canning Rivera. They surged to finish 12-4 and win the NFC South. Their defense was dominant. Only three times did it allow a team to score more than 20 points.

So Rivera righted Carolina’s ship in the final quarter of his second season and became a 12-4 division champ in Year 3. Is that the “blueprint,” Lovie?

Joe thinks expecting legitimate 2016 success for Lovie, in his third season, is fair and reasonable. He’s got the quarterback, which is 70 percent of the challenge. And Lovie has had plenty of time to teach his defense and his program thoroughly, which is at least another 10 percent of the challenge for any NFL coach. Lovie also has a mountain of cash entering 2016 free agency, and a front office that just hit a grand slam in the 2015 draft.

No more excuses exist for Lovie. Play competitive football on Sunday in Carolina, and deliver a good football team, a winning football team next year.

43 Responses to “Lovie Adds Job Pressure With “Blueprint” Talk”

  1. BrianBucs Says:

    @ Joe

    Is it time for a new Lovie Confidence Poll yet? You may be shocked how many of your readers strongly disagree with you. But they are not in a position where they have to pander

  2. Couch Fan Says:

    This kind of gives me some hope. Similarities are there. Did Rivera look as inept as Lovie does? I cant remember ever thinking Rivera is in over his head or his defense looks completely putrid.

  3. ruggyup Says:

    What’s happened to Joe’s “stinkn’ Panthers’ moniker for Rivera’s team? Actually a strike force of Jeffrey Lurie like action should come from the Glazer manse. Now!

  4. Buc1987 Says:

    Joe…me too. How come no confidence poll this week?

  5. Buc1987 Says:

    Buc Nation did a poll this week. 60% said keep Lovie.

  6. Lovie Is Dog Poo Says:

    Lovie needs Ron Rivera to run his defense. Ron was the brains of the operation, that much is abundantly clear now. Lovie has won nothing without Rivera (or Marinelli). Unless one of them is walking through that door this offseason, this will be a 6 win team at best again next year.

  7. tnew Says:

    I will give lovie 8 games next year iff, he hires a new DC and allows Licht to come up with the candidates and Koetter is retained as OC.

  8. Buccfan37 Says:

    I can’t believe someone would name their male child Lovie.

  9. tnew Says:

    Bucfan37.. How about Leslie?

  10. The Buc Realist Says:

    I thought that was last year’s moto Joe!!! No more excuses!!!! Of course it is tough talk now but the media and the sheep ( just about the same thing anymore ) will be trying to hand out free passes (excuses) next year!!!!

    Here is to the sheep who want to waste a whole another year!!!!

  11. Buc1987 Says:

    Realist…. he’s coming back anyways.

  12. The Buc Realist Says:

    Of course he is. He tripled last year from the very worst record to just terrible!!!! But Joe said after last season, no more excuses! Only to come to the end of this year with the no more excuses!!! I think we will hear the same thing at the end of next year!! !

  13. Ben Says:

    We have four great players on defense and only seven picks in this years draft. And no where near enough money to pay great free agents enough to want to play for a bad team. If we are lucky and no one gets injured or suspended, then sure, but otherwise it’s going to be another tough year for the defense.

  14. HIRE JIMBO Says:

    I hate the (he tripled his win total) argument. HE TANKED TO GET TO 14 LOSSES. we were a 5-6 win team last year with no qb or oc and a g arbage coach. This was not a 2 win team last year. Don’t you get it HE TANKED. So Imo there is no improvement at all

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This will be a very rough off-season if we have to endure the continual diarrhea from the fire Lovie crowd…..(not getting fired)……we will have to wade through the sewage to read about and discuss the draft….FA and trades….only to have constant irrelevant posts about firing Lovie before the season starts.

    I have stated many times that I am not happy with the lack of progress and many of the decisions he has made but count me with the majority who think he should get 2016…..the churning of coaches doesn’t work.

    And who among you think the Glazers will get the next pick right.

  16. lurker Says:

    old, tired re-tread coach running an old, tired defense.

    lovie’s team is undisciplined. i do not think any of riverboat ron’s teams were.

    lovie is worse than schiano who had no pro experience.

  17. crazy Says:

    Lovie says a lot of things, like how he could deliver 10 wins with his defense alone. Somehow he managed to deliver 10 losses with that same handpicked defense…

  18. Tampa Tony Says:

    Oh Lovie and his defenders will definitely have excuses for him next year

  19. LargoBuc Says:

    Lovie must know that at minimum he needs tp finish next year with a winning season, preferably a playoff berth. 8-8 or worse wont be good enough. Credit for improving on last year. Many were cpnvinced 2-14 was inevitable again, but that wasnt the case. You cant knock six wins when you were boldly claiming he wouldnt get half that amount. (You as in those certain posters). He earned a chance to furthet improve the product. Wether he will or not, we’ll see.

  20. AceofAerospace Says:

    I’d keep Lovie next season if the defensive coordinator needs a linebacker coach. Other than that, I’ve got no use for him. He created this disastrous defense. Fire him Monday or fire him a year from Monday. Either way, he’s going to be fired. Hopefully the trust fund babies will sell the team also.

  21. AceofAerospace Says:

    I might also add, I don’t trust the trust fund babies to hire a better coach than Lovie. They’re 0-3 in selecting a coach. Let your GM hire a coach or sell the team. Either way, get out of the way.

  22. Couch Fan Says:

    I could careless if the Glazers dont know how to pick coaches as long as they notice the coach they currently have is garbage and attempt to get someone better and show they care about winning football games, thats all as a fan I could ask for.

  23. Buc1987 Says:

    AceofAerospace Says:
    January 1st, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    “I’d keep Lovie next season”

    Sure he’d make a helluva ball boy, towel boy, or janitor.

  24. tickrdr Says:

    Great picture, Joes!


  25. The Buc Realist Says:

    You mean the picture of lovie congratulating another coach for manhandleding his team!!

    Joe has a lot of those kinds of pics!!!!!!!

  26. tickrdr Says:

    I mean the one of the alpha male looking at his opponent, who looks like he has his tail between his legs. That picture!


  27. ATrain Says:

    The Panthers were competative even in their losing season with Rivera..

    My problem with Lovie is not losing games so much as it is the terrible football being played.. These players are not playing to potential every game..

    Look at the Atlanta game then look at the St Louis game…

    A team that looks like it takes plays off..ATeam that has no fire .

  28. Lovie Is Dog Poo Says:

    Couch Fan Says:
    January 1st, 2016 at 2:59 pm
    I could careless if the Glazers dont know how to pick coaches as long as they notice the coach they currently have is garbage and attempt to get someone better and show they care about winning football games, thats all as a fan I could ask for.

    That’s the thing….they could always do worse. They are the Glazers, do not underestimate their ability to suck

  29. BrianBucs Says:

    Lovie managed only 6 wins this year playing a pathetically easy and soft schedule, playing one very bad team after another.
    Next years schedule is much more difficult, and people expect more wins? Nope

  30. Buccfan37 Says:

    Then again, there is always hope for the future.

  31. Couch Fan Says:

    That’s the thing….they could always do worse. They are the Glazers, do not underestimate their ability to suck

    I dont underestimate it at all but if they keep trying you would think they’d get lucky at least once. LoL

  32. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Lovie hasnt had time to develop the defense. Half of the “starters” will be gone next year. Or at least not starting. I expect to see 2 new starting DEs, 2 new CBs, and at least 1 new starting safety. Those needs means that Lovie’s defense is far from being even close to a finished product. The panthers defense has been pretty good for a few seasons. With the talent we currently have on defense i don’t see our defense being top 5 in scoring in just 1 year. Lets not forget we barely even touched the defense in the drafts the last 2 seasons. Im not trying to defend lovie for his craptacular defense. But we need to be realistic. Lovie’s defense needs a lot of work before it can be compared to the panthers Defense.

  33. Dave Says:

    I have defended Lovie because of the facts.
    1. Other than one rebuilding year with the Bears and the last two rebuilding years with the Bucs, his record is fantastic.
    2. He has consistently built fantastic defenses
    3. He went to a Super Bowl with crap at quarterback
    4. With the offense of line and running backs and tight ends and defensive tackles and LBs and Winston he has built a fantastic foundation for the future. Something Raheem and Schiano never did.
    5. They didn’t win 9 games this year because 3 things – youth on offense, no talent at DE, and no talent at CB.

    4-6 players through draft and FA and they are a 10 win team and set up to be that for years to come.

    I don’t get the hate. I really don’t. It’s not his fault the CBs can’t execute and the DEs can’t rush. He saw the flaws and changed starters at both positions a bunch. WTH else was he supposed to do? You can fault him and Licht for not brings my in better talent at the beginning but they everyone here thought verner and banks would be good enough. They weren’t. They sucked. Not every player brought in hits.
    A few additions and good moves this offseason and they are playoff bound next year. It is a time to be very optimistic about the Bucs but something tells me some of you will be miserable and negative even next year as they win 10 games.

  34. meat Says:

    He is a fool. Cant manage clock, personnel, gameplanning. No halftime adjustments. Nothing innovative in any way shape or form. Jameis is the only exciting thing on this team. Our schedule this year was a JOKE, I think we only played 4 winning teams. We play a Schiano schedule and we get killed- far worse than the 6 wins we end the year with. We will end up overpaying Martin by like a zillion dollars for a contract year in which he was good for ten games or so. We suck in all facets. We started a tackle at TE last year because Smith cannot manage a roster. He needs HOF’ers around him to be good. I can be good with HOF’ers. FIRE HIM PLEASE so I can go back to a well-run product that doesnt make me question whether I can run it better from my couch. I dont think that when I watch the Patriots… only us 🙁

  35. lurker Says:

    nice try dave but those are opinions.

    where is the o-line better? the rookies? we had an o-line that he jettisoned and made worse. didn’t we have zuttah and revis? the NFC North was soft when he was there. look at his poor record vs teams over or at .500 … really horrid. and it has just gotten worse since being here. he was fired from chicago for a reason. and who was the def. coordinator while he was at chicago?

    the problem with the buccaneer’s bandwagon is the re-treads!

  36. Danati74 Says:

    Lovie will be fired. Just not until midway into the season next year. We will be something like 2-7 and The Glazers can make the right decision to fire Lovie and say our HC for the rest of the season will be Koetter. Leaving the door open to see how he does, then sign him up for a new HC contract. Closing the doors for Koetter going elsewhere and sending Lovie back to his basement. It will be fair, it will give Lovie the opportunity he needs and time to do it.

  37. Buclife Says:

    Lovie will coach in 2016 unless Koetter is offered a head coaching job if that’s the case Lovie will be fired and Koetter will be head coach. But for all you people that think Lovies Cover 2 Cover 3 defense don’t work just look in our own division at the Panthers they run it but they also have the right players for the system. We have a bunch of losers on our defense that need to go. Hopefully a defensive draft will help but if we don’t have improvement then 2016 should be Lovies last. We have our franchise Qb we have our GM now and we have an improved personnel and scouting dept with the addition of Robinson and Biehl. If Lovie can’t get us into the playoffs then its Dirks turn so we don’t have to change our offense all up. Then go get the best D coordinator available. Not happy with the win/loss results but I know sometimes it takes time to build a team. Think lovie should get three years. Btw Schiano lost the team and they were regressing as they were with Morris. What I like With Koetter over Lovie is he is a straight shooter and can adapt to his talent haven’t seen that from Lovie.

  38. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says
    “This will be a very rough off-season if we have to endure the continual diarrhea from the fire Lovie crowd…”

    That is why I am strongly considering not visiting the website until the draft arrives. Tired of the negativity.

  39. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    I don’t believe the Glazers will fire Lovie to keep Koetter. From a fan perspective, it might make sense, but from the owners perspective I don’t think they’d do it this year.

  40. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    If we have 4 good defensive players, then hitting on 3-4 in the draft could fix the ship. No team has great players at every position. Usually it is great players mixed with okay players.

    We need a great defensive end. We need a good safety. After that, a CB (but a CB will take years to develop, so we need one in FA too). Another DE would be nice.

    If we can get pressure on the line it will make all the other spots look better. Focus on that first. Don’t sign a 30+ player to fill the role. Get a stud in the draft. Or two studs. Heck…get three if it’ll increase our odds.

    Fire Frazier and bring in a better DC that can actually call plays effectively…and develop a defense. Frazier has always sucked.

  41. ToesOnTheLine!! Says:


    I always chuckle at the Schiano lost the team nonsense some of you post. The team endured losing Nicks to a freak toe issue, MRSA, the epic meltdown of a franchise QB basically forced on Schiano at the start of the season (remember Schiano wanted to bring in that “washed up bum” Carson Palmer), and the media witch hunt for alleged ballot tampering (BS) and leaking Freeman’s medical records (we may never know if that was BS as well, but based on the NFLPA burying the whole thing I’m guessing we already have the answer as to who was full of sh!t). Even after all that the team managed to play some competitive football games with some good teams (Seahawks and Cardinals for instance). Lovie’s teams would have folded up like a tent in the wind if faced with a fraction of that chaos (as witnessed by 2014’s worst in NFL record with just one obstacle…OC loss). The Bucs were in the talk of a wildcard berth and when faced with such powerhouses as the Colts, Rams, Saints they choked! If anything Lovie has shown he’s lost the team more than Schiano ever did…the media is just going far easier on Lovie and not trying to spin things (that will come next season I’m guessing after another wasted year)

  42. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I bet Lovie replaces Frazier with Gus Bradley.

  43. Mike10 Says:

    Love what you’re saying Joe, but I have seen ZERO since his arrival to believe Lovie can turn us into a winning program (again?).