Backwards Thinking

February 11th, 2016
The four-letter is still crying.

The four-letter is still crying.

Boy, oh boy. Lovie Smith must really have done a lot of favors for the Bristol crowd. The way they cry about his firing — still — you would think the Bucs had a bouncer toss Joe Gibbs on his rear end.

Joe isn’t much for “power rankings.” It’s easy filler and really means nothing. However, as we wait for the NFL Scouting Combine — no, not the massive machine that whisks corn off the stalks but the machine that helps feed the NFL with fresh stock each winter — BSPN has the Bucs as the No. 28 team in the league while the football calendar turns to another year.

The main reason the Bucs are so low, types BSPN? No Lovie.

The Bucs improved in 2015 with a rookie quarterback running the show — Jameis Winston posted the third-highest passing total for any rookie since the merger — but then fired the head coach, which isn’t the surest way to get the Power Rankings committee excited. There are also questions about whether Vincent Jackson and Doug Martin will return in 2016.

The byline-less writer should have stopped at the first sentence and re-read what he typed. A rookie quarterback got a horrid team — let’s be honest, good teams don’t have the No. 1 overall pick unless they trade for it  — into a wild card hunt in December. So this rookie quarterback won’t improve in his second year?

Any defense of Lovie seems to overlook or blatantly ignore his terrible defense the past two years. It couldn’t have gotten much worse. So the defense can’t improve with a different coach? That’s a terrible assumption.

The Lovie apologists scream Tampa Bay improved under him, which it did. But the offense, which outside of Lovie agreeing to draft America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston and hiring Dirk Koetter (now the head coach), had little to do with him.

And, yes, Joe gives Lovie major props for these two moves. Joe will forever thank and acknowledge Lovie for Jameis and Koetter.

Joe cannot remember a coach having such a rotten two-year period — and so many people being outraged and standing up for the guy. Joe hopes the same folks who seem to have their noses up Cam Newton’s rear end utilize the options on to actually watch Bucs games and then try to defend Lovie’s rotten defense.

50 Responses to “Backwards Thinking”

  1. SteveBucsFan Says:

    What people don’t realize is that Lovie created the 2-14 season. It was because of his cuts and decision not to bring on a competent OC. We were 4-12 the year before and got worst under him. How does that not get mentioned? It must be the Tampa 2 mafia… Is Tony the Don? It’s all making sense…

  2. Luther Says:

    I don’t blame Lovie for the OC being terrible. You can’t change an offense in the middle of the season. I blame him for starting McCown when Glennon was better. I blame him for not being more flexible with his defense. I blame him for releasing guys that went other places and perfomed. I blame him for bringing in “his” guys for “his” system that sucked. His best two moves were to draft Jameis and hire Koetter.

    That is why he was fired.

  3. Phil Says:

    Lovie was Richard Williamson bad. Enough said.

  4. Buc believer Says:

    Lovie dovie made Leeman Bennet look like a hall of fame coach.

  5. The Buc Realist Says:


    You are wrong, there are several examples of teams firing and hiring New OC, in the middle of the season!!! And lovie knew Tefford was bad shape before the first game of the season started!!! I don’t know what lovie did all preseason, just like his secondary its like he had to see several bad games to realize that something is not working!!! I really think that lovie thought that his defense was “getting it” as they dominated against Arroyo and McClown led offense!!!!

    I did hear yesterday the Stroud said that Dungy is still “very mad” that lovie was fired!!! So that is the pft and Nbc source!!! I am tracking the tampa2 mafia as best I can, I need one of those “evidence boards” like in the Tv shows, Tampa 2 will be in the middle, then the suspects will be posted around it with thumbpins and string linking them!!!!

  6. Doc Says:

    Coach Smith is blamed for everything that went wrong. This GM is given credit for everything that went right. If you think this team is going to win under this GM , watch. This GM made coach Smith firing a issues,when he was not fired.

  7. mike Says:

    The national media have no clue. I don’t blame them… why pay attention to a team that has been a joke for almost a decade. Fortunately times are changing.

  8. ndog Says:

    And for the last time outside of the draft picks THIS TEAM DID NOT IMPROVE! They only improved in the run game and passing game and that was due to a rookie qb and two rookie lineman. Our defense was still a sieve, we still committed a ton of penalties, we still did not get the most out of our players. People say they won more games but they forget that our schedule was much easier. We beat the Eagles (fired their coach), Atlanta twice (a rookie coach with zero defensive talent), Jax (one of the two franchises worse than us ), Saints (only because Brees was hurt) and the Cowboys (without Romo, who they never won without). And oh yeah we lost or 1st game of the year by 28 and the last by 28 so how did we improve?

  9. ndog Says:

    Mike, cause that’s their job!

  10. Luther Says:

    @Realist, just because teams do it, doesn’t mean it’s effective nor does it make you right. Changing and offense in the middle of the season is not good. They needed someone who knew the offense and could call it better. The problem was not having a competent backup.

  11. DallasBuc Says:

    Realist- I am dying to see your evidence board!

  12. The Buc Realist Says:


    The biggest mystery is who was the ” fired by phone ” source!!! Unlike lovie’s defense formations, this has been disguised pretty well!!!

  13. dave Says:

    cant believe how many writers that are paid to do this are so completely @$$ backwards on what happens in tampa. on absolutely everything. lovie, free agency, draft, etc. it really is terrible.
    i feel like they never even watch any bucs games and just read stats and watch a little film.
    thank you joe for actually having good information, articles, and point of view.

  14. Trubucfan22 Says:

    “good teams don’t have the No. 1 overall”

    gotta disagree Joe. A lovie coached “good” team could easily find a first overall pick. Terrible coach is terrible.

  15. tmaxcon Says:

    Lovie should have been fired and there are a few coaches that should have been in the Hall of Fame before Dungy Tom Flores and Jimmy Johnson. Like ndog said in a previous post Dungy’s legend has surpassed the truth.

    Dungy has zero credibility and I for one lost all respect for him over the michael vick situation. not that he was helping vick out but some of his BS statements dungy made trying to justify vick’s mistakes. Dungy, Lovie and the rest of that crew (mafia) are just a bunch of self serving hypocrites. Lovie fired himself.

  16. DallasBuc Says:

    ^^^ “Lovie fired himself”

  17. MTM Says:

    Lovie made his bed and at the end of the day it cost him his job. ESPN is just running out of NFL story lines now that the Superbowl is past. It was Cam for 3 days now its time to move on to coaches who got run in the NFL etc… Usually they save baseball and steroid allegations for this time of year.

  18. Pick6 Says:

    media types patting lovie on the back for barely surpassing schiano’s worst W-L season after 2 years of total control.

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I believe Lovie could have saved his job if the suggested hiring a strong DC…..firing his sons and concentrating on HC…..but, I doubt he did any of that.

    He’s gone….let it go.

  20. Buccfan37 Says:

    BSPN media bobbing heads were and still are mesmerized by the word Lovie.

  21. BucTrooper Says:

    The Bucs didn’t so much as fire their head coach as much as the replaced their defensive coordinator. Of all the coach firings that have happened in the last decade, this one should have the least impact on the day-to-day operations of the team.

    The offense will improve for no reason other than familiarity.

    The defense will improve because you now have a coach who will mold the scheme to the player and not the other way around.

    Truthfully, in any analysis of the Buccaneers, you have to assume that no one is watching every game. They get their SC highlights and 60 seconds on PTI, but that’s about it. This is evident in the fact that you NEVER see the Bucs in any national TV spot. It NEVER happens. You see the Dolphins and Jaguars before the Bucs.

    (however I was very excited to see the Bucs represented during the SB in the “Super Bowl Baby” commercial. I about fell out of my chair)

  22. The Buc Realist Says:


    I think your wrong that Lovie could have done anything to save his job!! He was on the verge of being fired after the first year!!! To many blowouts!!!

    As far as the “letting it go” that will be the real issue!! The Tampa2 mafia is mad! Just wait and see once the season starts and how quickly they will disparage and try to clown the Bucs over the most trivial of things!!! I tried to tell you last year that the players in the locker room were not happy and looked how that turned out!!! I am telling you now that once the season starts, the Tampa2 mafia and their sheep will be coming for the Bucs!!! Pay attention!!!

  23. DB55 Says:

    The best way for Lovie to prove us wrong is to GET A JOB! Until then bspn n the mafia can go suck a lollipop.

    My focus is straight ahead, ain’t nobody got time to be looking back.

  24. JP4 Says:

    Agree that there is little debate on why Lovie was fired. But before everyone crowns Mike Smith as the savior of the defense, let’s see what his scheme will accomplish on the field, first. Everyone said Schiano’s defense (with Sheridan at DC) would bring the Bucs back to def dominance (or, as so many internet posters like to put it ‘they will have a dominate defense’). Revis improved the league’s worst pass D somewhat, but Schiano didn’t get it done in his 2nd year. Surprise…he got fired!

    I am pulling for Koetter/M Smith/Monken to finally revive the defense, and to FINALLY bring some offense to Tampa. But, first we need to see if these guys can get past their 2nd Bucs season.

  25. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I’ve read plenty of comments here about…let’s wait until these guys chalk up some victories before we crown them.

    I get that and respect it but again we are freaking fans! We are SUPPOSED to be optimistic.

    Now what is our optimism based on. Well our QB is 6-12…what has he done?
    Duh. He had a great rookie season so is it wrong to believe or at minimum have optimism about the Bucs at QB or do we have to wait until #3 gets us to the playoffs to be excited?

    Same with Koetter…he has a record of success EVERYWHERE he’s been including as a head coach. He virtually elevated Boise State into national prominence and won back to back bowl games at ASU for the first time in 20 years at that school. He has worked successfully with our franchise QB and helped turn the worst OL into a competent one. Shouldn’t that have us excited.

    Schiano was one game over .500 at mediocre Rutgers!!! How did we get excited about that?

    Mike Smith has a record of SUCCESS…..Jay Hayes has a record of SUCCESS.

    Again…the best predictor of future success is past success!

    That’s why I’m excited and optmistic and you’ll just have to forgive me if I don’t want to wait until next season to be a fired up Buc’s fan. If you choose to wait and be skeptical the choice is yours.

  26. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Oops 6-10 unless we start playing 18 games. LMAO

  27. CalBucsFan Says:

    Lovie? Lovie who?

  28. JP4 Says:

    StPeteBucsFan says:
    ‘Oops 6-10 unless we start playing 18 games. LMAO’

    Wait, you were just posting about optimism, don’t you WANT the Bucs playing 18 games a season? Or, even better, 19 games?

  29. Buc1987 Says:

    The Buc Realist Says:

    “I did hear yesterday the Stroud said that Dungy is still “very mad” that lovie was fired!!! So that is the pft and Nbc source!!! I am tracking the tampa2 mafia as best I can, I need one of those “evidence boards” like in the Tv shows, Tampa 2 will be in the middle, then the suspects will be posted around it with thumbpins and string linking them!!!!”

    LMAO you’re out of control Inspector Gadget.

  30. LargoBuc Says:

    Lovie made far too many mistakes. Jennings and Jenkins over Banks and Moore, with a blunder like that you bettermake the playoffs, and when it mattered most we saw how much the players liked him. Their performance on the field speaks louder than their words. And that was after the 2014 blunder.
    I really like the fact we got Koetter to keep up the continuity w Jameis and the offense, and Mike Smith will work wonders being able to focus exclusively on defense. For

  31. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    LMAO…got me there…yes I hope we play 19 next year! I’m hoping for a bye.

  32. 813bucboi Says:

    @realist…10wins and a playoff berth or your boy dirky is on the hot seat…now that I think about it he already is on the hot seat…licht stated the obvious with this hiring which is at least 10wins and playoffs…dirky has it a lot easier than lovie did when he became HC…dirky only has to fix the defense which should be easy by drafting all or mostly defense…the same exact thing lovie would’ve done if he were still here…how many games win dirky win next year? 4,6,8?..the schedule is not as tough as you and other TRY to make it seem…we just played 3 playoff teams and we’re scheduled to play 5 playoffs teams..of those five I bet at least 2 take a step back just like the cowboys,lions,ravens, we would play the same strength of schedule…as the old sang goes, be careful what you wish for, you just may get it…or is it the glass isn’t always greener on the other side…or maybe what goes around comes around…

  33. 813bucboi Says:

    *greener….GO BUCS!!!

  34. biff barker Says:

    Well Joe, judging by the replies in this thread, it appears your Lovie’s confidence poll is bearing out statistically.

    The good news for most of us is the “fully” confident” loonies are now shedding their cloaks here.

    Lot’s of Boo Hoo’s here for a guy who canned coordinators like Del Monte.

  35. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    SteveBucsFan Says
    “What people don’t realize is that Lovie created the 2-14 season. It was because of his cuts…”

    GM handles salary cap cuts. Move on.

  36. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Lovie made plenty of mistakes…I really don’t see why people feel the need to blame him for the ones that were not his. Oh wait…Jason Licht Apologists!

  37. biff barker Says:

    Lovie had full say over the 53 man roster and cap room was never an issue for him.

    Simple as that.

  38. Mike Johnson Says:

    Yes..I choose to wait and be skeptical of this new, Gloden Boy Koetter regime. Did they win a superbowl in ATL? Now watch us pick up more Falcon straglers along the way. I’m not giving the Glazers, new coaching staffm nor YOU the fans credit for nothing.. until I see playoffs. Ubtil then? its all hot air being blown to get hopes up high. I’m done with Lovie. Still think he should have had time to draft and develop defensively. And our GM..Dr. Slick…Licht shares a lot of blame for the losing seasons also. So be optimistic all you’s want. Bathe and shower in it. I’ll wait to see if we made the right decisions or just brought in more Spinmasters. You gotta get above 500 first. Then you get breathing room. As of yesterday and now..Our Tampa Bay Bucs are still..CELLERDWELLERS!

  39. SteveBucsFan Says:


    Wasn’t it Lovie who said he didn’t need Revis in his system? Do you think Licht cut him? What do you think Lovie was doing in his basement for a whole season? He even stated he identified players he wanted to target. Come on man, use some facts.

  40. D-Rome Says:

    I completely agree with Mike Johnson’s sentiments above.

    All I know and care about right now is that the Buccaneers are 58-102 over the past ten years since Malcolm Glazer’s sons took over day to day operations. ESPN’s rankings as of today are fair. Sure, they may not know the day-to-day goings on at One Buc but they *do* know that teams who have a history of firing coaches every two years don’t all of the sudden turn it around with the next guy.

  41. Mike Johnson Says:

    That’s right D-Rome!1 I’m so sick & tired of these fair weathered fans throwing around the…perfume and pleasantries to this new regime. Its..sickening!! They haven’t done squat. And the Glazers? Well, they are owners who..give the impression they don’t know what they are doing. Golden Boy Koetter had better save the day. If not, I along with more of You’s need to run him out of Tampa on a Rail! A record of 58-102 means..You suck to holy hell and beyond!
    And I for one will not throw roses and pedals for new coaches yet. Show me, Show us..Get to the playoffs next year. Then I’ll be the 1st to done good. This Bucs team is and has been the laughing stock of the NFL. Jameis and Koetter can throw for a zillion yards. Who cares. Better win. Winning is all that matters. Tampa deserves better.

  42. The Buc Realist Says:

    @mike johnson

    where were all these expectations when you thought lovie was going to get a 3rd year??? seems like everything was just rosy then!!!

    Now that the Bucs have competent coaches, they first need to see what they can salvage out of the roster and coach the lovie out of them!!! It is now finally heading in the right direction!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!

  43. BucFan20 Says:

    Mike Johnson
    ” A record of 58-102… You suck to holy hell and beyond!”
    Lovie was 8-24 of that. So Yes he did. And” fair weather fans” is the term most use when the team is winning and people jump back on board. Fans have said they approve of the change that needed to be done to try to improve to start winning again. Then you will see “fair weather fans ” return.

  44. Mike Johnson Says:

    Note to BucRealist and BucFan… Keep sprinkling the sugar on the yet to be made Buc dougnuts. That’s your right. As it it mine to say, I’ll sell no Wine until I SEE the time the Product Wins. Until then, the proof is in the pudding. And the pudding says WE..thats right WE..the Tampa Bay Bucs..Suck to holy hell and beyond. Our record since our last superbowl clearly shows this..of course..Unless you guys are wearing Sun blinders. Lets see Who you guys put the blame on when ATL south (our Bucs)starts losing…

  45. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @ mike Johnson
    Iwould much rather be Atlanta south than Chicago south. Only Lovie would want mediocre players from a mediocre team.
    Lovie patched together a staff that included two sons and his ex high
    school coach. The new staff are more experienced and better teachers. If you cant see that you might also be confused about who is wearing the blinders.

  46. satchseven Says:

    I still say the hate for lovie is rooted in are talking about florida a known redneck haven.

  47. Bob in Valrico Says:

    The key to bulding a team is through the front office.From 2002 we had
    key changes to general manager and front office staff.We went from a team stocked full of talent to cellar dwellers in the years following.
    during the Gruden ,Bruce Allen years we had 51 losses.The focus seemed to be on bringing in veterans (some aging or injured)and less on building a team through the draft.
    If you get some Quality players to supplement the draft then that system has worked for other teams.But no. 1 goal should be a quality draft.
    So if you think about you get a free agent with maybe half his career left and
    you can pay twice the price due to the free agent marketplace.

  48. Bob in Valrico Says:

    24 losses,terrible free agent signings,coaching decisions,and inferior defensive
    staff and total frustration with Lovie would be my only reason.

  49. BucFan20 Says:

    There is another idiot playing the race card.

  50. Jerseybuc Says:

    Satchseven let me ask you a question. All these racists here…are they not rooting for a team that is primarly African American?

    We are so much better now then we were in December it isn’t even funny. For someone who makes a living writing about the NFL to not know this is laughable.

    In just two seasons, with a GM firmly UNDER his control and money to spend on the free agents he targeted, he took the team backwards. Halfway thru the 2014 season made it clear to me that Lovie was out of his element and not the man for this job. My biggest issue was his lack of adjustment to what was happening during the game. Repeatedly gashed by the same plays game after game no matter who the QB was and no change in the beloved “scheme”.
    Personnel decisions were almost always wrong, starting with McCown over Glennon, and ending this year with his bizarre defensive back round robin that has us questioning the value of every CB on the roster.
    Lovie Smith puts up the worst display of football ever seen in the history of Raymond James Stadium. Blown out on national TV by a team that actually fired it’s own coach at the end of the season.
    He inherits a 4 win team, insults the previous coach on only winning 4 games and proceeds to win 2. He is somehow credited with being “smart” in tanking games to get the first pick. His treatment of coach Arroyo was a disgrace, putting an obviously over his head young QB coach in a position where he flailed and failed, while as the head coach he neither jumped in or assigned another coach to help out. Almost like he was looking for a scapegoat. What was his record in both Decembers when the stakes get higher?
    This change was a breath of fresh air.
    I am even thinking of getting my old season tickets back next year.