Mike Smith Had Little Help

July 29th, 2019

“I have no idea why Gerald McCoy or anyone else would sit in a deep freeze after practice.”

Yes, the Bucs defense redefined the word “atrocious” last season. Joe would even go a step further and suggest it was a football atrocity.

But disgraced former Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith was hurt by injuries.

Yes, injuries are part of football. But last season, the Bucs defense was so ravaged, it was one of biggest M*A*S*H outfits in the NFL in years.

Joe owns the “Football Outsiders 2019 Almanac” but did not publish the following because whenever someone compiles stats and uses the word “adjusted,” to Joe, that is playing with numbers and that practice supports something Joe learned in high school: You can twist numbers any which way you want to prove a point.

But leave it to hot dog eating contest-protesting, mock draft-scowling, L.L. Bean-wearing, Second Amendment abolitionistMike Florio-arguingparrot-insensitive, chewing-with-his-mouth-open, soup-gulping, California train-romancinganti-football proliferationouthouse-admiringairline-nappingsteerage-flyingYogi Berra-worshipingurinal picture-takingvideo game-playingTaylor Swift-listeningpickpocket-thwartingBucs-uniform-frowningAllie-LaForce-smittenBig-Ten-Network-hatingpedestrian-bumpingolive oil-lappingpopcorn-munchingcoffee-slurpingfried-chicken-eatingoatmeal-lovingcircle-jerking, craft beer-chugging, cricket-watchingscone-loathingcollege football-naïvebaseball-box-score-readingNPR-honkfilthy-hotel-stayingfight-instigatingbarista-training social activist Peter King of NBC fame to use the following stat.

And Joe figured, if it is good enough for King, well, then it’s good enough for Joe to mention.

In short, the Bucs had three-times the number of injuries on defense more than the average NFL team, and quite possibly the most-injured defense this century.

Tampa Bay had the most injured defense of any team since at least 2001, based on adjusted games lost (which accounts both for games missed and for games where players do play but are not 100 percent because they’re injured). They had 92.0 adjusted games lost in 2018 on defense, from starters and important situational players. The average for the league was 36.1 adjusted games lost on defense.

Was this the sole reason the Bucs had a horrid defense? No. Remember, the previous season the Bucs had the worst defense in the NFL and there weren’t near as many injuries.

Did the injuries hurt the Bucs chances of rebuilding the defense on the fly after Smith was ousted? Sure.

Joe heard something interesting, as part of the fallout from the rash of injuries. Joe was told that Dave Kennedy, who was the head strength and conditioning coach, wasn’t exactly hip and open-minded when it came to sports science. He’s no longer with the Bucs.

Would it surprise you to learn he was hired by Lovie Smith? Folks, Joe has stated this and will again, the Bucs are still climbing out of the hole that Lovie dug for this team. He set the team back so far with dumb decision after dumb decision.

37 Responses to “Mike Smith Had Little Help”

  1. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:


  2. BucEmUp Says:

    Pretty sure half of those injuries were players that could havr played through but knew it was a lost cause playing for the worst coach in not just the nfl….but on the planet.

    You could have given him an all.madden team, he would have lined then up 12 yards off the line and they would have gotten roasted. D lineman wouldn’t have time to make a play because the wrs are open at “HIKE!!!!”

    Comon sense, simple math and that is why he will never coach in the league again

  3. Race to 10 Says:

    It doesn’t take that long to rebuild a defense, it’s already better and it was bad coaching plain and simple. Injuries come from soft camps that donr prep for the physicality of the game. This season will prove that point. Koetter was just as bad as lovie

  4. K2 Says:

    When I was a kid, I thought those stories about scary things in basements were just make believe. Now we know just how real the horrors that climbed out of Lovie basement…still terrify poor defenseless Buc’s fans.

  5. WestChap Says:

    Smitty looks great. Stay retired and the heck away from our Bucs! If he lands at TIA send an armed guard to escort him back to Atlanta. Heck, if he even books a flight to Tampa mobilize MacDill. Injuries, my arse!

  6. Buc1987 Says:

    Look Realist!!!!!!

    It’s your hero again!!!!!

    Baaa baaa baaa

  7. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    I’ll forever have Mike Smiths smirk etched in my mind during that National televised beatdown 50 something to not much….Lovies Bucs vs Smiths Falcons

  8. Snook Says:

    People have no idea how important the strength and training staffs are to NFL teams. Injuries are one of the key differences in the NFL between playoff teams and non-playoff teams.

  9. Steve in Mad Beach Says:

    To this day, my friends and coworkers bring up Love Smith to me all of the time just to set me off on a tangent!

    There is no person in the universe who I’d rather fight than that smug, condescending, dumb, arrogant, stubborn, stupid, idiot, do the same thing over and over expecting a different result (definition of insanity), loser Lovie!!!

    The fact that the guy continues to get paid millions of dollars per year to be the worst, most outdated, ‘my system works, how dare you question it’, hateable loser, just makes me want to channel Bucs fans frustrations and smash his face into the dirt, after he looks on dumbfounded that the other team scored after giving up the quick slant 15 times in a row with no adjustment

  10. BucAllNight Says:

    its over for Peter King so many better options for insight


    are the NEW AGE NFL QB’s

    he’s holding on to the era of

    who like PRINT Media are all yesterday’s NEWS

    please stop giving us this recycled garbage, him Polian and others don’t even watch or follow the Bucs

  11. D-Rome Says:

    Would it surprise you to learn he was hired by Lovie Smith? Folks, Joe has stated this and will again, the Bucs are still climbing out of the hole that Lovie dug for this team.

    I know this might shock you but Dirk Koetter and Backstabbin’ Jason Licht had three years to replace anyone on the coaching staff they deemed necessary.

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    So if Lovie’s hand picked strength and conditioning coach sucked – then why did Koetter (and Smitty) keep him on staff?

    Same question could be asked about the DB coaches Maxie and Hoke…

    Same question could be asked about QB coach Bajakian….

    Same question could be asked about OL coach Warhop…..


  13. Joe Says:

    please stop giving us this recycled garbage, him Polian and others don’t even watch or follow the Bucs

    Not true. Polian has worked a couple of Bucs games in the past two years working for BSPN. Ira’s even interviewed him before a game. King returns to Bucs training camp tomorrow.

  14. Buc1987 Says:

    Per the Chicago tribune 2019 : Lovie Smith didn’t mince words about Illinois’ defensive performance last season: “We were one of the worst defenses in college football.”


  15. Joe Says:

    then why did Koetter (and Smitty) keep him on staff?

    You can drive yourself nuts doing this. Why did Coach-X keep a horrible assistant? Nearly every team not coached by Bill Belicheat can be asked this.

    Shoot Don Shula for years had a rotten defensive coordinator and he wouldn’t replace him. Tom Olivadotti (Awfuldotti).

  16. tmaxcon Says:

    Polian lol… game past that bum buy years ago… betweeen all the senior citizens and the has beens joe constantly referencing the only logical reasoning is joes desire for AARP man of the year award. Joe’s clearly not interested relavent topics for today’s nfl. But when you cover a team that has no chance and that is closer to a B circuit circus than nfl franchise you have to be creative so kudos to joe for supporting a group of nobodys to make them feel relevant one last time… compassionate joe

  17. DB55 Says:

    First, no one is ever 100% during the season, most just play through the pain.

    Second, did we have that many injuries during the first 5 games of the season? I think not but wtfdik

  18. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Every NFLer has their own personal trainer & the NFL strength guy sets up & maintains the players through the season and liason to the NFL in regards to supplements, etc. College strength guys are the heart & soul of the team and production not so much the NFL these days. Tons of excuses in bucland that always equals one thing LOSING

  19. I’m a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    Smith was a Joke!!! Wonder if Dork would hire him again if he were in a position to???

  20. mark2001 Says:

    Lovie drove Chicago into the ground, after not being able to get the job done and he failed in spite of Urllacher and company. I saw those games up North, and knew it was a horrible choice. But what can one do but batton down the hatches and suffer, which we did and still are as a result of the blunder.. I juet wonder who the Glazer’s were listening to that gave them a seal of approval on his hiring? Any idea Joe? In my mind, there was no reason to believe he would do anything other than what we saw…been saying it for years before and since the first day he walked back into One Buc.

  21. mark2001 Says:

    Now he is Illinois problem…the gloss has all worn off…and all that is left is the “Santa” beard. Letter to Illini…

    Dear Illini…

    Please retain Lovie…he is a great coach. Forget about wins and losses.

    Signed.. in all Formality….

    Buckingham U. Badger.

  22. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Lovie and Mike Smith

    The two poor souls at the front of a long, sad line of bad Buccaneer Coaches.

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    Hmmm, so the “most injured defense of any team since at least 2001” … 2.5 times the NFL average … stunk last year. Surprise surprise, especially considering that the talent level wasn’t that good to begin with. Scapegoat Smitty served us well, until he didn’t.

    IMO Smitty had spent too much time as HC away from being the defensive honcho (7 yrs away from being the DC is a bunch). His Falcons teams did great from 2008-2012 (won 56, lost 24) but his defense absolutely fell apart in 2013-2014 (won 10, lost 22). For new 2015 HC Dirk Koetter to hire him as his DC wasn’t exactly the smartest thing to do, given that the Bucs had a marginal defense to begin with & Smitty wasn’t exactly ‘current’ in NFL defensive schemes.

    Still, that’s water under the bridge. Rehashing our shortcomings from 2015-2017 won’t change those seasons’ won-loss records one iota.

    The one great point to come from this article deals with the Strength & Conditioning Training staffs. Dave Kennedy was hired by Lovie to fill that role in 2014 & stayed on until Koetter was fired in 2018. Bucs injury record during his tenure was abysmal, and not just in 2018. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d expect that the performance of each coach would be evaluated in depth every year … by MANAGEMENT as well as by the HC. Someone’s not doing their job.

  24. Greg Says:

    Joe says:
    “Would it surprise you to learn he was hired by Lovie Smith? Folks, Joe has stated this and will again, the Bucs are still climbing out of the hole that Lovie dug for this team. He set the team back so far with dumb decision after dumb decision.”

    Unbelievable but so true, you’ve got to wonder how much longer it will take to overcome his stupid decisions, and, more than likely, all the dumbs**t decisions Licht has made in regards to the past three drafts and free agency signings/resignings.

  25. mark2001 Says:

    Santa Smith coach… quality number 2…if you know what I mean, and Mike Smh…. who? Nature can sometimes be kind… blotting out the memory of the entire episode. I don’t remember any professional football in Tampa during 2014 and 2015. Do you? Who?

  26. JimmyJack Says:

    The dumbest part about hiring Mike Smith was he run the same freaking defense Lovie ran. Lovies scheme was failing two years straight then you hire a replacement that changes basically nothing. Also factor in a head coach who didn’t meddle with the defense. Did he even talk to them?

    Bowles is such a breathe of freash air. I personally wanna thank him for taking a match to the Tampa2 playbook.

    I like the change of direction and I like these players we got. Led by Devin Vita Suh & LVD. They are going to own the middle of that field. I don’t know who to talk about in the secondary. It’ll be fun to see who were talking about in week 8. Maybe we’ll get a glimpse of who emerges from the secondary next week vs PIT.

  27. mark2001 Says:

    But frankly, I also feel badly for the players that watched two years of their careers go under the bridge during those years. Of course, they got paid, but still you would like to play for a good team. In College, at U of I, for instance, if a coach is really bad, you can transfer out, though losing something in the process; which a number have at Illinois since Lovie has been there, BTW. But in the Pro’s, until your contract runs out, you are stuck.

  28. tmaxcon Says:

    Remember how many of you living in past optimists posted for days after the bad character lovie Smith and the family plan hiring… at least our defense will be great…. lol how’d that turn out

    BA will bail before he competes with bad character lovie for worst coach in bucs history

  29. Greg Says:

    @ Tmax, unfortunately, I’m thinking the same thing about BA, nothing about his hiring feels permanent, and more like they are just going through the motions.

  30. stvcl Says:

    90% of it was the scheme. Never playing press coverage, trying to play an outdated Tampa2 that every team in the NFL now knows how to exploit it weakness and playing so far off the ball the slant was open all. day. long. I’ve never been so happy to see someone go as Mike but Gerald my brother, you were a close second.

  31. Waterboy Says:

    2 years of Lovie didn’t set them back that far. Koetter made the decision to keep him and 3 years to replace him if he was inadequate.

  32. WestChap Says:

    No, no, no. BA is all in and he’s got an incredible staff. Write it down: BA gets hat trick with 3rd Coach of the Year award. I was worried when I thought he was reluctantly being dragged out of a comfy retirement to save his fellow Bama JW… but everything so far says he couldn’t wait to get back to his craft and his crew jumped at the chance to get the band back together. He’s here to build a team, win a championship and cement his legacy. Count me in.

  33. unbelievable Says:

    I’ve been ranting and hollering about our strength and conditioning coach for years!

    Glad we finally replaced him!

  34. Buczilla Says:

    Ugh, IMHO Peter King and a handful of his “holier than thou” northeastern buddies are preventing Lynch, Barber, and Rice from getting into the hall of fame. Brian Dawkins over the aforementioned dude’s? Borderline criminal. C’mon man! 😀

  35. Tom S. Says:

    LOL the MINUTE Jason Licht pulled his “et tu Brute?” act on Lovie he could’ve had a new strength and conditioning coach. The same GM who hired all these numbskulls since then is the one who’s responsibility it rests on.

    Blaming Lovie for a Strength coach who outlasted him for 3 more seasons is blind hatred for a coach and ignorance of the role of the GM who had no problem canning coaches to save his own skin since then.

  36. Tom S. Says:

    Joe might as well complain about Greg Schiano and Josh Freeman’s escapades at this point. Maybe John McKay’s ghost has something to do with the recent cellar dwelling slump as well Joe?

  37. BigMacAttack Says:

    Fat lazy players, yeah he sucked and so did the idiot that hired him.