What May Have Brought Lovie Down

January 6th, 2016
Former Bucs coach Lovie Smith.

Former Bucs coach Lovie Smith.

Joe honestly is sitting here tapping on his keyboard absolutely stunned. Lovie Smith is no longer the Bucs coach.

No, Lovie did not do a good job. In fact, one could say he did a terrible job (with the exception of one major task) and perhaps worst job in Bucs history. He took a team — granted, only a four-win team — completely gutted the roster, added his hand-picked players, and ran it into the ground.

There was, however, a silver lining: hope that came with America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston. The Bucs actually got into a playoff hunt with Jameis, before it all collapsed. An ugly four-game losing streak, three of those losses to garbage teams, and then there was the curb-stomping at the hands of the Stinking Panthers for the final nail in the coffin on Sunday.

Before the season, Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer stated he was looking for “a growing year.” There was growth, until the final month of the season.

The last four weeks were Raheem-esque in nature. After the final game, with defensive players laughing in one corner of the locker room and the rookie franchise quarterback seething so much at the loss he had steam coming out of his ears in the other corner, it turned out to be a bad scene for Lovie.

Team Glazer does not like bad finishes, growth or no growth.

In the end, Lovie’s Swiss cheese defense, a defense in which he was supposed to be the guru, and his inability to find answers to fix that garbage defense, did him in. Add in his horrible free agent pick-ups last year (which burned through tens of millions of Team Glazer loot), and the final month of the 2015 season was icing on the cake.

Joe has to believe both of the following speculations are at play here. One, something happened in a meeting with Lovie and Team Glazer. Perhaps Team Glazer suggested hiring a new defensive coordinator from the outside and giving him total control of the defense (Jim Schwartz?) and Lovie balked? Or did Team Glazer suddenly become infatuated (again) with availability of Chip Kelly or Tom Coughlin?

Maybe both elements are at play?

Joe was more than confident Lovie’s perfect work with Jameis bought him a return in 2016. Scuttlebutt in the offices at One Buc Palace in late November said the magic number for Lovie’s return was six — as in six wins.

But it was a lesser number (four losses) which sent Lovie packing.

59 Responses to “What May Have Brought Lovie Down”

  1. Lovie Is Dog Poo Says:

    I think I’m more surprised than the Gruden firing even if this is more deserved. I’m not sure I want Koetter but we’ll see who they get.

  2. Walter Says:

    The way the season ended is unacceptable. From being in the playoff race to insignificant again, it sucked

  3. Bronze Badger Says:

    Maybe those free agent signings will look competent with a good defensive coordinator? Also, send Joe Cullen and Leslie Frazier packing too.

  4. BucSeason.section139 Says:

    What brought him down is that he didn’t want to fire his sh)! head son…
    Do you have any idea what his son did as an intern at the Bears??????

  5. WalkdaPlank Says:

    Lovie, a defensive coach, failed to make even a slightly respectable defense in two years, when other coaches turn entire teams around in less time.

    Simple as that.

  6. NewTampaChris Says:

    I’m not a huge Lovie fan but I was in the “stability” camp. Panthers fans wanted to run Rivera out of town a couple of years ago. I hope the Glazers have a plan.

  7. CarlosT Says:

    Tom Coughlin!!!! If the Glazers saw his press conference they had to be impressed with his energy and passion. Not to mention 2 Lombardi Trophies.

  8. BucSeason.section139 Says:

    Trust me… They definitely talked with #3 first…
    It’s gotta be Dirk here…

  9. Kevin422 Says:

    I hope they are promoting Dirk Koetter to head coach to prevent him from leaving as a head coach elsewhere. Lovie’s team was undisciplined and per Jameis not all on the same page which falls on Lovie.

  10. road warrior Says:

    Thank you.

    Mr Licht and the Glazers for making the right decision.

  11. BucSeason.section139 Says:

    Folks –the fact that Jason is till here means that JASON had some real concerns that have been brewing for a while..

  12. WalkdaPlank Says:

    “I’m not sure I want Koetter but we’ll see who they get.”

    Koetter has an excellent track record with creating top 10 offenses, and even turned around the Bucs last ranked offense with all the injuries. Last 3 Bucs coaches to get fired have been defensive coaches, maybe it’s time for some offense.

    Case in point, I’d take Koetter over Chip Kelly or a college coach.

  13. PhillyBuc Says:

    Halle-freaking-lujah!! And make sure his two resume-less sons go with him

  14. StopyankingWattsnuts Says:

    This keeps Dirk from talking to the Eagles

  15. Rojas Says:

    Please Glazers do the right thing an promote Koetter, stay away from Chip Kelly.

  16. KnoxvilleBuc Says:

    No on Coughlin and absolutely positively NO on Chip Kelly!

  17. Marques Says:

    Dirk Cotter will be the Bucs next coach.

  18. Trubucfan22 Says:

    I was never “for” lovie gettin fired but i didnt have high confidence in him. What im most happy for in this is that we will see new position coaches. I feel the position coaches on the defense were some of the worst (except linebackers). We should try to retain Nickerson.

  19. Minnesota bucs fan Says:

    Trade for Sean payton like when they traded for Jon gruden

  20. bculaw Says:

    IMO, the lack of discipline is what did him in, but not in the way most think. The penalties were damning, but even more so was the fact that the team let its emotions ran rampant on national TV versus the Rams and again last Sunday while getting embarrassed in both games. Young teams need discipline, fundamentals, and motivation , none of which seemed present this last month. Easy to excuse the defense given the lack of devoted picks, the injury to GMC, and Kwon’s suspension, but the team’s demeanor this last month is inexcusable, and lies directly at the coach’s feet. Jameis saw a lot more than we did, and I guarantee you the Glazers saw it too.

  21. Lovie Is Dog Poo Says:

    NewTampaChris Says:
    January 6th, 2016 at 11:00 pm
    I hope the Glazers have a plan.

    Scary thought…

  22. Buc1987 Says:

    Jameis’ presser did this.

    How much do I like this kid?


  23. Waterboy Says:

    The coaching carousel continues what quality coach would want that job?

  24. 1nebuc Says:

    After we get a coach the next big surprise move will be trading GMC… The BUCS have a real deal qb and they are not going to let that old school slow poke play style hold Jaboo back .

  25. Buc1987 Says:

    Trubucfan22…you mean you didn’t like Mikal Smith?

  26. Buc1987 Says:

    Waterboy…does it matter at this point? They just fired a coach with no quality….so what’s the dif?

  27. JBF Addict Says:

    Are we the freaking Browns now or something? WTF?

    Lovie should have been given one more year. Just one more. I think between the smart drafting and the wake-up call he appeared to be experiencing about his defense, he was going to have a legit chance to improve to an above-.500 year next time out. This stinks of opportunism more than anything. And if we get Chip Kelly it will ruin Jameis. CK needs to go to the Titans or back to college and stay the hell away from Tampa!

    Granted, the 4 game meltdown was inexcusable and embarrassing, but I think Lovie showed all the proper impatience and irritation and chagrin about it as it unfolded. I had the impression he had turned a corner philosophically about how he was going to handle the team (and certain players with lax attitudes) moving forward.

    I wanted to see one more year. Lovie, as Joe wrote, was PERFECT WITH JAMEIS. This is “a quarterback-driven league”, and he set up a great environment for Jameis to come in and learn and grow. And in the NFL, you have to keep that solid/productive/winning QB thing going, first and foremost. Next year Jameis could start looking almost great, perhaps, with some attitude adjustments and personnel tweaks at WR and TE – that could still happen with the receivers, but what about that QB environment?

    I hope at least that Koetter sticks around. I doubt he’d remain as OC, though. If he doesn’t get HC I’m sure he’s gone, and that might be the worst thing this firing does for the team.

  28. Waterboy Says:

    We’ll be back in the coaching hunt again 2 years from today mark my word on that.

  29. WestCoastBucsfan Says:

    Jason will actually get to be a real GM for once and shape the team.

  30. Steven Says:

    What about Mike Smith, former Falcons HC?

  31. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Like someone said..stay away from Kelly and just promote Koetter..which I believe he wanted the job in the first place..when his name came up in different teams as a head coach potential..I told myself..Glazers got to do whatever he wants to stay in Tampa..

    I personally think it was a bit too early to fire Lovie..who the heck is going to want to coach the Bucs in fear they will be out in two years!!?? It’s insanity at best!!

    This team has many youngens..some barely old enough to drink and they need time to develop..it’s like being a foster child and going from home to home..not knowing who is your guiding light…

    I wish Lovie a lot of success in whatever path he chooses..

  32. JayBucsBoi Says:

    Media helped with this too Joe. We all know the Glazers pay too much attention to the ignorance of some fans. Kats who know nothing about football or process for that matter.
    All I can say is a deal better be in place to name Dirk Koetter or new Head Coach.

  33. Danati74 Says:

    Im all for Koetter!! No matter what I am happy with the decision.

  34. Seminole Bill Says:

    God help us if another team hires Koetter.

  35. Z-Bucs Fan Says:

    We’ll find out more in the next few days, but it probably came down to the Glazers asking Lovie to give up either control of the defense or the roster decisions. Both of which are areas he was terrible at. Licht has proven that he can draft good players. But the rest of the roster decisions were horrible.

    Wasn’t a fan when Lovie was first hired, and he has proven to not be an NFL caliber head coach. Keep Koetter, either as HC or OC, and bring in a fire and brimstone DC to whip that pack of underachievers into shape.

  36. DavidbigBucsFan Says:

    Man there’s a WHOLE lot of names I’ve never seen before! I guess good/bad news travels fast.

  37. Lovie Is Dog Poo Says:

    WalkdaPlank Says:
    January 6th, 2016 at 11:04 pm
    “I’m not sure I want Koetter but we’ll see who they get.”

    Koetter has an excellent track record with creating top 10 offenses, and even turned around the Bucs last ranked offense with all the injuries. Last 3 Bucs coaches to get fired have been defensive coaches, maybe it’s time for some offense.

    Case in point, I’d take Koetter over Chip Kelly or a college coach.

    I mean for sure on the last point, but I’m not even remotely sure who could be in consideration. It’s the Glazers, who knows what will come next. They obviously like Licht, so guys connected to him like Todd Haley and Josh McDaniels or even Matt Patricia.

  38. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The only reason I would have given Lovie a third year is if he still had the locker room….perhaps he lost it. I think continuity is important, but it has to be positive.
    My confidence level hit an all-time low after the beating in Carolina…but I thought we were stuck with him.
    The Glazers have some cajones.

  39. Im tired and 87 is right Says:

    Ive posted it before during the Carolina loss, that Lovie would be fired. Im sure Koetter will be named head coach, and I think you are right in that we will bring in Jim Schwartz as the D-coordinator.

  40. Buc1987 Says:

    Bonzai is going to be punching the wall in the morning….

  41. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Checking twitter accounts from Bucs…the mood is somber…even reporters at NFL network reporting utter shock..

  42. Costa Rica John Says:

    Can we get the Glazers to run the White House. Obama should have been gone four years ago.

  43. 1BucFanNsaintCountry Says:

    Gruden or Coughlin. Only choices to justify this firing.

  44. Dave Says:

    First let me say I WAS WRONG. I Did not think they would do this and everyone who said they would or should, I have been calling out as morons. I was wrong. The morons are the glaziers

    Thank you glaziers
    You have made the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a laughingstock again. The entire football world saw what Lovie and Licht we’re building. For the first time in seven years they had a foundation where one good off-season and they were a perennial playoff team.
    Instead you have the fourth coach and seven years, the only teams that do that are laughing stocks. It is a joke. You have now pissed off your franchise quarterback, LVD and Kwon, GMC, most the team basically and probably made it impossible to re-sign your franchise running back.

    If this was to keep Dirk around, they should have talk to him and Lovie, paid Dirk tremendously, with the expectation of taking over after a couple of years of something they know nothing about – – – stability.

    They just set the team back another two years. It’s F@@king ridiculous. Dungy was because of their father, and Gruden was kind of lucky and also because of their father I believe.

    It’s a joke.

    I hope Dirk takes the job and they bring on a great DC, because of not they are going nowhere for another decade and are about to ruin Winstons promising career.

  45. Marques Says:

    Afraid of loosing Cotter so they canned Lovie. Let’s face it. Dirk far outperformed Lovie. This was an easy decision.

  46. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Ain’t no lovie in the heart of the city
    Ain’t no lovie in the heart of town
    Ain’t no lovie and it’s sure nuff a pity
    Ain’t no lovie cause you ain’t around

  47. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    1BucFanNsaintCountry Says:

    January 6th, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    Gruden or Coughlin. Only choices to justify this firing.

    And I will add Koetter in the mix…No Chip Kelly!!!

  48. Eric Says:

    I was a big Lovie guy but even I could not defend that end of season collapse.

    Hate to see this cause he brought us Jameis but maybe it is best.

  49. The Fuzzy Red Coin Purse Says:

    Welcome Back Koetter! Dude is a firecracker and that’s exactly what we need. This laid back BS isn’t working. Running out the clock at the half instead of trying to score? Later Lovie, good luck.

  50. mac Says:

    Chip Kelley makes no sense… Tom C. is done… Its either Koetter or an outside pick but not Tom C…

  51. Mo_Downs Says:

    Good Luck, Lovie.
    Good Luck, Jameis
    Good Luck, Koetter
    Good Luck, “Kwon “Da Juice” Alexander. You could have saved Lovie’s job.
    Good Luck, V-Jax
    Good Luck, Mike “Big Baby” Evans (AKA…OPI-Machine)

    FTR, The NFL-CBA doesn’t allow HC’s to FINE players for penalties, OK..!!

    Some will argue that Koetter turned around the offense. I’d say he lost as many games as he won because of his in-game strategy/adjustments.

    So, fans that claim Koetter was the reason for whatever success this team had forget who hired him and who drafted the players he needed for success.

    Lovie neglected to draft for his defense and instead drafted for the offense.
    In the end it cost him his job. So much for the old meme of: “Lovie doesn’t know offense”.

    Does anyone really think the Buc HC didn’t tank the last few games in 2014 to get the #1 QB..??

    FTR, Where would this team be if Lovie drafted DE Aaron Donald instead of QB Jameis Winston?

    Wouldn’t that have been more like a coach who “only knows defense” and is trying to milk his contract?

    Could Koetter have really “coached-up” Glennon?
    Or, would we be talking about firing the OC instead of the HC?

    FTR Lovie, take the cash and don’t look back…!!

    I appreciate the job you did in the time you had and the talent you had to work with.

    The NFL is a business, not a family.

  52. Kent Headrick Says:

    Hey Mo,

    Aaron Donald is a DT and was in the same draft as Mike Evans….

  53. Another J Says:

    Mike Jenkins, Mike Johnson, and the Cover Who?!; Defense did him in, but It was Mike Jenkins, Thank You, Mike Jenkins!

  54. JackH Says:

    Yep, I think Coach Smith’s loyalty to his defensive staff cost him his job.

  55. Jack Says:

    Yep, I think Coach Smith’s loyalty to his defensive staff cost him his job.

  56. FortMyersDave Says:

    I believe Joe is spot on in that Lovie did not want to give up control of the D and/or some of the personnel decisions. that led to his downfall. I bet he feels like a moron if he did tank any of those games vs. New Orleans, St Louis and Chicago…. The loss to the Rams was expected but J***s Lovie, you had to win another game at home for us fans and instead you went turtle and cost yourself a job. BTW: I bet you won that DC game now Lovie, hold that 24-0 lead and you ‘d have a team at 7-9 (maybe better) and a definite quagmire in the NFC east with a likely sub 0.500 in the playoffs (Coughlin???) instead of a resurgent Deadskin team that would have fired Gruden that Monday if Lovie just put down the hammer….. Lovie shaped the playoffs this year indirectly through his ineptitude in DC!

  57. dmatt Says:

    To b successful in any business u have to b willing to adapt to changes n trends. Failure can be a result of stubbornness. Lovie came in last year with a winning attitude but refuse to adjust to changes. His negatives outweighed the positives i.e., JMcCown, ASmith,MJohnson,MJenkins,TJennings,ASJ, HMelton,CConte,GJohnson,cover two, not taking chances, faith in Bobby Rainey after repeatedly proven to have fumblelitis, not letting Jameis loose after he proved he’s at his best in the no huddle offense.

  58. SchlomieBarMitzvahCircumScissorStein Says:

    Lol, the fans “DON’T KNOW WHAT WE THINK WE KNEW.”…This quote from the stammering-stuttering-newspaper reading-on air-show host….He just got punked. He loves to say the Glaziers don’t have the money to pay coaches while bringing in new coaches. He’s dead wrong. They could pay 10 coaches at once if they wanted to. He is so clueless. Wonder what his spin will be today.

  59. Jeagan1999 Says:

    It was the right call. Koetter will continue to build up our offense, and he will bring in a good, young defensive coordinator to toughen up our porous D. I see bright skies ahead for this team.