On Monday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers parted ways with second-year head coach Greg Schiano after a disappointing 4-12 2013 season. On Wednesday, Tampa brought back a former coach and hired Lovie Smith. Smith was a member of the Buccaneers coaching staff under Tony Dungy from 1996-2000. Smith’s only head coaching experience was with the Chicago Bears where he compiled an 81-63 record including one Super Bowl appearance. The deal is a reported 4-years, $5 million per year as per reports.
Various sources around the NFL media world, including Jason LaCanfora believe that the Buccaneers and Smith will tab former Cal coach Jeff Tedford as the team’s offensive coordinator. Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier could be tabbed as the Buccaneers defensive coordinator. ESPN NFC South beat writer Pat Yasinskas tweets Wednesday night that Tampa could bring back yet another former Buccaneers coach, Rod Marinelli as the team’s defensive coordinator.
Yasinskas tweets, “Hearing that Rod Marinelli, not Leslie Frazier, will be Lovie Smith’s DC.”
While with the Bears, Smith’s teams played smothering defense, but they seemingly always struggled on offense. On defense, he inherits a team with some very solid pieces in place. LB Lavonte David, DT Gerald McCoy, S Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson. The Buccaneers have CB Darrelle Revis signed to a series of one-year deals with no guaranteed money involved but it remains to be seen if they bring the veteran corner back for another year at $16 million.
On offense, Smith will have to evaluate rookie QB Mike Glennon to see if he wants to continue with him under center or go another direction.
All in all, Smith takes over a team with more talent than their 4-12 record indicates.Tampa has had a string of bad hires after firing Jon Gruden and were under pressure to get this hire correct while adding a head coach with NFL experience.
Many Buccaneers fans were calling for Lovie Smith to replace Greg Schaino for most of the season. Well, you got your wish. Let’s see what he can do with the Buccaneers.