Mike Smith Wanted Hargreaves

May 9th, 2016
Bucs CB Vernon Hargreaves possesses what Mike Smith wants.

Bucs CB Vernon Hargreaves possesses what Mike Smith wants.

Last week, Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht appeared on “Schein on Sports,” hosted by popular sports radio and television personality Adam Schein, heard exclusively on SiriusXM Radio.

There, Licht explained that cornerback Vernon Hargreaves had everything the Bucs wanted.

Actually, he had all the traits Mike Smith wanted.

After Dirk Koetter assembled his coaching staff, Licht picked Smith’s brain on what he desired at various positions. It just so happened that every asset Hargreaves has, the Bucs believed, was a blueprint for a corner Smith wanted.

“First of all, [Hargreaves] jumped off the screen for myself and all of our scouts and our coaches in terms of being just a great athlete,” Licht said. “He is a ballhawk. He is tough, he is sturdy, and he is great in the run game as well. It’s not like he’s an undersized guy who can just cover and that gets beat up down the field versus size. This guy has an ego – which I keep mentioning over and over and I mean that in a good way. He’s not afraid. He is very competitive. He feels he can match up with just about anybody in the league.

“All of those things combined, that’s we were looking for. When Dirk Koetter assembled his staff and I met with the defensive coaches, one of the first things that Mike Smith said he wanted in a corner was a guy that was extremely confident. That’s where the ego term comes in. We felt like it was a perfect match for us.”

Just about everyone believes if the Bucs have a decent season, and the defense improves (how could it not?), then Smith likely will bolt for a head coaching position. (Are you feeling the heat yet, Gus Bradley?)

Before the draft, Joe asked Licht if Smith — who may be gone after one season — beat the table enough against drafting a guy Licht wanted, would the GM hold firm or throw in his cards. Licht said he probably wouldn’t draft said player.

Joe thought this was very interesting — that a coordinator who may only be around a year would wield that much influence in team building. So what happens if Smith bolts and the new defensive coordinator doesn’t think much of Hargreaves? Isn’t the team screwed at that point?

Or was the entire coaching staff and the front office, not just Smith, also sold on Hargreaves?

35 Responses to “Mike Smith Wanted Hargreaves”

  1. Phil Says:

    If Hargreaves plays well then the only DC we could bring in that wouldn’t like him would be Lovie because Lovie doesn’t like cover corners.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Kind of getting ahead of ourselves a bit…….Smith gone after a year and new coaches not liking Hargreaves……not even close to a worry of mine…

  3. BigHogHaynes Says:

    @Phil: LOVIE got a job, and if they came calling, the first thing he would do is fire the BACK-STABBER!!

  4. d-roca Says:

    Exactly. Least of our worries right now. I hope smith does get a hc job if he gets a chance. We need to just find another dc who fits his scheme around the talent. Lovies one of the dying stubborn breed who wont budge on that stuff. Go bucs

  5. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    I think it will take more then one good season for Mike Smith to leave Tampa, and get a head coaching job.

  6. ndog Says:

    Big Hog the only back stabber around here recently was Lovie Smith himself. He stabbed all of the fans and his players in the back by bringing in horrible coaches because their were related or his friends. He wa paid to put a winning product on the field not give favors out left and right. No one back stabbed him he back stabbed us by lying about trying to win and instead just worrying about his giving people jobs.

  7. voice of reason Says:

    joe loves getting folks worked up about the outside chance of a decent coordinator moving on.

    The day Dirk Koetter was introduced to the Tampa Bay media, Joe asked Koetter whether he wanted to be a head coach ASAP. Joe deals in reality. –Joe

  8. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    One of the great things about this year’s Bucs is the GM/Coaching staff. Everybody seems to be on the same page and Licht said that any of the top members would have veto power on a draft selection.

    This is a group that works by consensus with Licht/Koetter having the final say.
    I think all of these guys have enough confidence, are comfortable enough in their own skin, to appreciate each other and those coaches who work for them.

    I suspect Mike Smith trusts Jay Hayes with the DL a lot more than what has happened here historically…at least since the glory days.

    We have a staff of talented men committed to winning. If the team wins..HC..DC positions will all follow. Jon Robinson is just the first. When the team starts winning other organizations will want our people. And that’s a good thing!

  9. Dave Says:

    Have to think Jay Hayes is DC in waiting. I’m sure he was on board.

  10. Wausa Says:

    I think there’s a strong chance Mike Smith gets an NFL head coaching opportunity after one year on the Bucs staff. If that happens my guess is our DL coach will get the promotion to DC.

  11. BigMacAttack Says:

    I think Head coaches that regress to Coordinator positions after removal may not always jump ship so fast for another head coaching gig. I think it’s also about winning and building a championship team. I believe if Dirk and Mike kick ass this season, they would be inclined to stay together and finish the job. I’m a homer but I think the Bucs finally hit on the right combination. The Bucs paid Kiffen a lot of money to be the DC. Mike Smith may do the same thing. Let’s see where this goes before we worry about Mike Smith jumping ship. We have much bigger fish to fry.

  12. Anthony Says:

    What the… Why is Joe playing the what if game???
    How about… What if Hargreaves is an all pro after his rookie season and everyone loves him???

    What if … What if … What if…

  13. Buccfan37 Says:

    Dirk and coaching crew, Super Bowl baby. Hurry up and wait.

  14. Buc1987 Says:

    Buccfan37 ….I can’t stand smartphones. It’s a calamity watching me try to answer my wife’s smartphone. I took it to the ER once for the long wait time. What a pain in the ass. Had to ask people in the ER how to dial out on the damn thing.

  15. Scurvy Dogs Says:

    I guess if you are just trying to put things together for a story, then yes, Mike Smith wanted Hargreaves. I think it was more of he wasn’t against us going after him than him pleading to Licht to draft the kid. If that’s the case, which it likely is, it doesn’t matter who the D Coordinator is one year from now.

    It’s a stretch to say that Hargreaves is Mike Smith’s personal pick. It sounds like everyone was on board with this, including Jay Hayes…our likely next defensive coordinator.

  16. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    I know M.Smith had aspirations to get another HC gig, but he and Koetter have unfinished business stemming all the way from their days in Jacksonville. I don’t hear anything hinting at a three or four year plan. These two want to win immediately and I fully expect them to rid that locker room of it’s loser mentality. Even if Smith is here for one year he can still accomplish a culture change. It’s a new day in Tampa Bay.

  17. BUC55 Says:

    Let me get this straight – Because we might have an improved defense and that might cause our DC to get hired away as a HC, then our GM should give less weight to the opinions of the DC??? What?? Huh??

  18. dave Says:

    i think if smith leaves we hire from within the bucs org. and just continue with the same plan smith is setting out for. this is all assuming we have a good season

  19. briandorry55 Says:

    Ideally, if Smith does leave after this season…we would promote from within and keep the same scheme.

  20. The Buc Realist Says:


    Any scheme except the passive, outdated, fiasco lovie cover 2!!!! That was the most painful football we had to watch the last 2 years!!!!

  21. Buc1987 Says:

    I’m sending Realist a signed picture of Lovie for Christmas.

  22. The Buc Realist Says:


    Just make sure that you draw the target circles and points so I can use it for a dart board or archery practice!!!!!

  23. The Buc Realist Says:

    And is still think Joe should have gotten a lovie Penyata for the draft party!!!!! I might have gone just to take a couple of whacks at it!!!!!!

  24. Guzzie Says:

    What if game, oh, i want to play, what if the Lovie Smith era never happened, we wouldn’t have Jason Licht, Jameis Winston, or Dirk Koetter, remember Garth Brooks song That God for unanswered prayers (or whatever it’s called), thank you for bringing us the Lovie Era, we got 3 saviors during his coaching Era

  25. Guzzie Says:

    Meant thank God for unanswered prayers

  26. gotbbucs Says:

    It could be that Mike Smith wants to remain a coordinator from here on out too. The same thing was said about Monte Kiffin year after year too. Rod Marinelli found things out the hard way once upon upon a time too. I’m worried about the 2016 , beyond that is out of every bodies control.

  27. Architek Says:

    I guess I just want to set realistic expectations for the kid so that he’s successful as well as the team.

    It took Talib a little while to become who he is and we should be patient with this kid too.

    As for Smith – I think the end state for this defense will continue on even after Smith departs (if he’s given a shot to HC again). It seems that the organization is big on continuity now.

  28. Born again bucs fan Says:

    Even if Mike Smith lands a HC job we already have our DC in place….. Jon Hayes.

  29. Mike Johnson Says:

    Mike Smith has got to prove to Bucnation he can win some games..period. The man was fired by the Falcons after a couple of dismal lackluster seasons. His Defense the last couple of seasons got ran over! You don’t lose your job for winning. No excuses. Lets see what you can produce there Mr Smith..Sir!!

  30. The Buc Realist Says:

    You mean the Dismal lackluster team that danced all over lovie????

    As soon as they put Mike Smith Name on his office door that alone was a huge upgrade of the incompetent coach my scheme!!!!!

  31. godzilla13 Says:

    While there is a lot to like about Hargreaves, I just don’t think an NFL team should build a defense with the secondary first, then the defensive line. I would have taken Sheldon Rankins in the first round, especially with the lack of depth at defensive tackle. Hargreaves was the top rated CB in the draft (unless you include Jalen Ramsey). What I like about him is how he closes on the ball. He is always trying to make a play. Hargreaves has the best footwork and ball skills in the draft. There is no better coach for the rookie than Jon Hoke and Brent Grimes. The word at camp is that Hoke has the CB group working on footwork and fundamentals. They are also working on back-pedaling, which they did not do last year.

  32. Eric Says:

    I’ll believe this crew CB play defense when I see it on the field. Till then it’s the same old offseason bragging.

    They do it every year. With everyone who has coached them.

  33. Mike Johnson Says:

    BUC un..Realist..get over your hate. Lovie Smith is gone. Coaching at a major university and still collecting a Buc paycheck. More than you are doing. The big question is.. Can Coach Smith deliver on Defense? That’s what concerns Real Buc fans.

  34. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Mike don’t do him like that, he can’t help it, it’s an inbred type thing!

  35. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Ndog thanks for your insight, but I’ll stick with my version, expectations are running high for this high IQ, Teaching, Mentoring, coaching staff! We shall soon see!