Players First; Scheme Second

January 6th, 2016
lovie 0106

Players over scheme.

It is clear to just about anyone now, after Lovie Smith has gone 8-24, the second-worst two-year start of a Bucs head coach, that barring a freak injury to America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, anything less than eight wins in 2016 will be all she wrote for Lovie.

And while Lovie’s defense is tailored to his favorite scheme, that may not be the smart move any longer. Just look Lovie’s defense, specifically the secondary has failed in his 32-game stretch.

Luke Easterling, who types for Bleacher Report, believes Lovie’s way (at least previously) has been a losing way to building a football team.

Look, it’s real simple, if Lovie’s scheme was so good, the Bucs would not have had the worst completion percentage allowed in the NFL through the past two seasons.

The best thing for Lovie, if he wants longevity with the Bucs, is to show he has an open mind (like he did with bringing Jameis on board). Go out and bite the bullet and hire Jim Schwartz as a defensive coordinator. Let him run the show on that side of the ball.

And, oh, yeah, sign one of Schwartz’s better former players, defensive end Mario Williams.

39 Responses to “Players First; Scheme Second”

  1. Harry/Jameis For President Says:

    hmmm, Schwartz and Mario?! I don’t know Joe. That seems to make too much sense. Not sure Lovie will figure that one out. However, in his defense (pun intended) he did hire Kotter, but even a broken clock is right twice a day…

  2. tdtb2015 Says:

    Jim Schwartz for DC is an excellent choice. Lets get some new *Lions on this defense and let Jim turn it into a top 5 defense.

    Licht will do his magic this off season. Playoffs here we go!

    *I referring to some new Jameis type of Lions. No ex-Lions please!!!

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    What is funny is when they got those “Signing’s of inferior talent” lovie told us how different his scheme was to Marinelli’s. But now we are saying that lovie’s scheme is not working and the sheep are trying to say that it is the exact same as Carolina’s defense!!!

  4. Clodhopper Says:

    I just found this Luke Easterling fella on Twitter a few weeks ago. He’s pretty good. I like this guy

  5. Tampa Tony Says:

    Lovie n Chip Kelly will always favor scheme over talent. It’s a losers mentality

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Jim Schwartz for DC? Great reputation. Not retained by Rex Ryan in Buffalo after having a very successful 2014 there. Spent 2015 in his ‘basement’ contemplating his next move. On the Browns radar right now for HC.

    Oh wait … deja vu all over again.

  7. Buc Neckid Says:

    I don’t care if it is Schwartz, Marinelli, Barry or any other QUALIFIED DC,
    Lovie needs to do the right thing and Fire himself.
    and then you can choose Player over Scheme.
    Let YOUR coaches coach and you just manage the team.

  8. Harry/Jameis For President Says:

    IMO, the Tampa 2 scheme is fine. The proof is that it works well for Carolina – I am not saying that to defend Lovie, but in defense of the scheme. In my mind, the question is not about the scheme, but about Lovie’s coaching. The evidence of that lies not only in the joke of a passing defense this year, and the fact it was with players Lovie hand picked, but also in the circus of the way the offense was handled last year (promoting Arroyo when he had NO NFL experience and staying with McCown, etc)

  9. Harry/Jameis For President Says:

    @Defense Rules Says:

    “Jim Schwartz for DC? … Spent 2015 in his ‘basement’ contemplating his next move”

    lol, but in fairness, he wasn’t retained by Rex because they ran different schemes: Rex likes a 3-4 and Schwartz runs a 4-3. That was Mario’s complaint – Mario is built to be a DE in a 4-3, not a stand up rushing linebacker.

    Schwartz can coach, but he is a dick, IMO

  10. CC Says:

    Joe..anything less than 8 wins? Why can’t you demand a winning season? Is that to much to ask? Settling for 8 wins is mediocre and falls right in line with the losers mentality.

    Lovie is a stubborn man and has proved he will not change his scheme to fit his players skill set. Him giving up as DC and hiring someone like Schwartz should be mandated by the Glazers. We shall see.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We will learn a great deal very early-on when we find out what happens with the DC position…..I’m surprised we haven’t heard anything about Leslie Frazier yet.

    If it were my guess….Lovie will not select a strong DC….will have another figurehead…..that’s and ego/control issue….if he doesn’t make some changes…he’ll go down with the ship.

    Lovie’s record had put the Glazers in a position where the can demand changes….but I suspect they won’t get involved…..too bad.

  12. mike Says:

    Luke’s tweet was spot on!
    Also, Mario Williams is done, he was terrible this year.

  13. The Buc Realist Says:


    If you are right, that will mean in the Lovie reign of futility, that he has had 3 Offensive coordinators and 3 Defensive coordinators!!!!! Is that the “Continuity that wins in the NFL”!!!!

  14. CC Says:

    If the Glazers were smart and really wanted to change the culture and turn this organization around. Why not hire Coughlin as President of football ops and step away from trying to run this franchise.

  15. Clodhopper Says:

    Speaking of Lovies crap defense, did you see this weekend, the Redskins are giving out “You like that?!” towels for the game? It would be a lot easier to get over that loss if the Skins were promoting the hell out of it!! Still!

  16. Clodhopper Says:

    I wish I was like GMC. Then I’d have been over that loss before the team went into the locker room.

  17. Ray Rice Says:

    As I said a while back. He needs to put his Mike Tomlin cap on and hire coordinators on both sides of the ball.

  18. Bama Rich Says:

    I would prefer we wait to see what Denver’s plan is with Von Miller. He’s younger and has more upside.

  19. NJBucsFan Says:

    Be weary of Schwartz if he’s going to run that wide-nine crap that he ran in Detroit his last season… without superior d-line talent all you’re doing is taking the completion percentage problem away by creating a yards per rush problem….Jim Washburn ran it there 2 years and in Philly prior and it had horrible results against the run.

  20. Bucco Brice Says:

    Can’t believe we are going into another season with an INFERIOR HEAD COACH….

  21. Bucco Brice Says:

    Lovie’s a pure bullsh*tter now…excuses and spins to hold his job…HE is the man that will hold this team back from winning next year…

  22. NJBucsFan Says:

    Tampa Tony Says:

    January 6th, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Lovie n Chip Kelly will always favor scheme over talent. It’s a losers mentality


    Agreed except it’s not just a loser mentality, it is an ego thing as well. Blinded by pride/ego to the detriment of success.

  23. CAN'T FIX IT Says:


  24. AceofAerospace Says:

    So the bar is set at 8 wins in 2016. Which means unlikely playoffs. Which means 4th year of coaching before playoffs are expected. Unexceptable. He should already be fired. Not making the playoffs next season is the only acceptable bar. Anything less, is absolute failure. If he is as involved with personnel decisions as he says, then he owns this record.

  25. AceofAerospace Says:

    I should of said, “making the playoffs next year is the only acceptable bar”.

  26. The Buc Realist Says:

    How are the Bucs supposed to win with the 4th best head coach in the division!!!

    Also, If they trade away Glennon, ( something joe has wanted since MG8 was drafted) and Jamies gets hurt, Lovie will not get a pass for not having a proper Qb to step in!!!!!!

  27. D-Rome Says:

    …anything less than eight wins in 2016 will be all she wrote for Lovie

    Yes, I agree. The Buccaneers over the past two seasons have focused on the offensive side of the football and the results on the field have shown the fruits of those personnel decisions (mostly). There are still question marks with ASJ. With a single draft there should be enough talent acquired to improve this team and continue the building process.

    As for Luke Easterling, he’s a good writer but his Twitter comment is lazy journalism in this instance. It’s easy to suggest “get the best players”. What Luke has yet to do is write an article detailing what players the Buccaneers missed in FA over the past couple of years that are tearing it up on other teams. What a lot of you seem to forget, which is a point Derrick Brooks makes all the time, if a team wants you they’ll find a way to keep you. That leaves teams like the Bucs having to take risks on players and unfortunately they haven’t panned out (see Johnson, Michael).

  28. M.Stevbobucfan Says:

    My question for all my buc fans… u think Raheem Morris would make a decent DC…he was crap as a head coach which I faulk the Glazers they should have never even thought about that but he was a pretty decent DC at Kansas St and also when he took over the Bucs defense when he was head coach or maybe Herm Edwards at DB coach he would definitely light a fire under these guys a…. they do know Lovie and the Tampa 2 system…if we don’t get better results show Lovie the door early…don’t know if I or other bucs fans can stomach another full season with what we saw the pass 2.

  29. LargoBuc Says:

    Why did we sign all of those “Lovie” players? Well, they arent long term solutions, they are here to bridge until we draft or a franchise player becomes available. I asked this before, who in free agency was “better” than what we got? Suh, sure, if you was 200 mil invested in one posistion. Trent Cole, who is past his prime, which is why he said no to us, choosing to sing with an established team with a legit qb. Who should we have signed? Mind you they werent trying to win another free agent bowl, bringing a big name player and spending millions on him, not after M Johnson bitshed out on us. If your trying to sign bridge defenders, dosent it make sense that they are familiar with the hc?
    Now i’ve said numerous times how I feel about Lovie toying with the secondary, okay. But lets try to focus on both sides of the coin. Guys like Bonzai and Onelove, who fail to acknowledge Lovie’s flaws are just as annoying as the other side. And realist, how can you matter of factly state Lovie is the worst coach in the division when Dan Quinn has yet to beat him? Dan Quinn walked into a team with an established, above average qb, and a top five receiver, thats a pretty sweet gig. Yet, they loose six straight and Lovie’s Bucs sweep his Falcons. I’ll bet your glad Atlanta finished 8-8 so you can use that as the end all be all barometer, so by that logic, Quinn must be a better coach than Payton in New Orleans too, right? How many coaches would look pretty good walking into Atlanta with a top 10 qb and top 5 wr? But go ahead, quote Bill Parcells to further your stance, I dont care.
    Btw, our defense is very similar to what they run in Carolina. Watch the tape! So saying our defense is out dated, OOOKAY! And its not Tampa two either. This year we ran ALOT of cover two man under while last year, we ran alot more cover three nine zone. Granted, we could have Darelle Revis right now, and it was stupid af, but Im getting a little tired of bringing up a move from going on two years ago.

  30. LargoBuc Says:

    Damn it, did not mean to go on for so long…AGAIN!

  31. martinii Says:

    It is obvious what happened last year. The Buc’s got their QB and improved their offense. And yes I agree Lovie got lazy and signed a bunch of mediocre defensive players who were familiar with his system. Unfortunately it did not work out, the defense collapsed and a young offense couldn’t compensate. I believe that you get the best players possible, 3-4 defensive ends if necessary, and coach them to fit your scheme. And while were talking scheme lets take a look at the merits of the cover 2. We are not winning with, can’t find any DB’s or LB’s that thrive in it, and most importantly can’t produce a pass-rush that can that can support it. Find a new DC, get Lovie out of the defense, sign and draft the best players regardless of their backgrounds, and especially focus on staff and players that have a will to win.

  32. godzilla13 Says:

    Forget about the 4-3, Tampa2 defense. I want a 3-4 defense and that will never happen with Lovie here. .

  33. LargoBuc Says:

    Kwon was a lil shaky at first but really improved as the year went on. Lavonte looked better too, but for those of you that want David to blitz more, he should be moved to sam, cause it seems like every blitz, Lansanah was in on it, while the will covered the flat. But I dont see why the will cant blitz more.
    This defense has to improve drasticaly, Lovie and Licht both know it. #playoffsorfired

  34. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Damn it, did not mean to go on for so long…AGAIN!

    Not really Largo. The content held up and it was insightful and interesting.

    Some posts here are long…yeah I’m the worst culprit…but some of the longer posters are my favorites here, but I get today’s society likes..what’s the freaking twitter limit..120 charachters? Our society has the attention span of a gerbil since MTV, the internet and everything designed to overwhelm us with rapid fire info.

    I read everybody here unless they type in all caps. If I hit a long post I start reading and as long as it hold up content wise I’m happy to continue…if it doesn’t I simply scroll….which is the advice I give to everybody put off by my length. The scroll wheel is your friend…use it!

  35. D-Rome Says:

    I asked this before, who in free agency was “better” than what we got? Suh, sure, if you was 200 mil invested in one posistion. Trent Cole, who is past his prime, which is why he said no to us, choosing to sing with an established team with a legit qb. Who should we have signed? Mind you they werent trying to win another free agent bowl, bringing a big name player and spending millions on him, not after M Johnson bitshed out on us. If your trying to sign bridge defenders, dosent it make sense that they are familiar with the hc?

    LargoBuc, you need to stop making too much sense here. It’ll hurt the eyes of the single-minded amoebas around here who don’t bother with a serious analysis of the situation and landscape of the entire NFL.

    This is why I think Easterling’s comment is lazy. It’s easy to say “get better players” or “Lovie wants to stick with his guys” but very few actually go through the exercise of figuring out which available FAs were better that the Bucs missed out on. Elite guys rarely make it to free agency so then you’re left with the 2nd or 3rd tier guys like a Michael Johnson who you *hope* you hit on.

  36. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I’m just curious posters. Forget the Tampa 2 or Cover 2 or 3 or whatever all the argument has been around what defense Lovie is actually running.

    I think EVERYBODY however can agree in the fundamental difference of a 4-3 defense and a 3-4 and the difference in player types for each defense. Excellent players thrive in either, many very good players like Mario Williams is apparently built for just one…the 4-3.

    And so my question guys…is there a strong feeling or perference on this board for either a 4-3 or 3-4 defense or do we think both can succeed given the proper players and coaches?

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

    @SPBF The Bucs defense is bad enough, with such weak talent, that no scheme would be successful with this personnel. They’re going to have to make major personnel changes to be successful, so this is a great opportunity to evaluate the scheme and see if a 3-4 defense makes sense.

    The 4-3 is the traditional pro-style defense, but the 3-4 can be adapted and provides a lot more opportunities for unconventional blitzes and disguised coverages. The main difference is at the DE/OLB position, traditional DEs like Mario Williams aren’t agile enough to drop back in coverage. It takes a special athlete to excel at the OLB position in a 3-4.

  38. Brent bull/buc Says:

    Totally agree. Bill o brien is winning because he puts his players in best position to succeed. Lovie gets one more year. He better have a good defense and 8-9 wins if he wants more than that. I say have defensive draft leaving him no excuses.

  39. duke Says:

    D Rome,

    I’m confused by the idea you propose that the Bucs didnt have a talented FA pool from which to upgrade the last two years rosters.

    I”ll list a few of the nobodies on the defensive side that were FA’s last year or 2 years ago.

    TJ Ward, DeMarcus Ware, Peanut Tillman, Dominque Rogers Cromartie, Antonio Cromartie, Bryon Maxwell, Juilius Peppers, Walter Thurman, Jason Hatcher, Chris Maragos, Talib and Revis

    Nobodies and cast offs, theyre all so bad they couldnt start for any team other…….what, wait!