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Bucs fired Lovie by phone

Lovie Smith AP

When the Buccaneers fired Lovie Smith last night, they didn’t even call him into the office for a meeting with the Glazers (or the Bobs).

According to multiple reports, the Bucs informed Smith he was fired via a phone call. Shortly after they called Smith, they announced the move to the public.

Some people close to Smith seem unhappy about that. As one source told ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, “You don’t hire a coach over the phone, so why would you fire him over the phone?”

The reason the Bucs fired Smith over the phone may be that they were trying to act quickly in an effort to keep offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. The Bucs reportedly want to retain Koetter and are now planning to promote him to head coach, and they were concerned the franchise could lose him entirely when the Dolphins reached out to ask for permission to interview Koetter for the head-coaching vacancy in Miami.

Interestingly, the job search in Miami is being run by Mike Tannenbaum, who used to be Koetter’s agent. By creating a market for Koetter’s services, Tannenbaum may have done more for Koetter’s career this week than he ever did during his time as Koetter’s agent.

What we don’t know yet is whether Koetter wants the Buccaneers job. Assistant coaches almost always want to become head coaches, but that doesn’t mean Koetter wants this specific job — especially if he has options, and the Dolphins’ interest is legitimate.

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers can’t just hand the job to Koetter immediately. To comply with the Rooney Rule, they have to interview a minority candidate first. That would be following the letter of the Rooney Rule while ignoring its spirit: The idea behind the Rooney Rule wasn’t for NFL teams to first decide to hire a white coach and then set up an interview with a black coach.

So there’s a lot about the Buccaneers’ move to fire Smith that is less than ideal. Starting with last night’s phone call.

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145 Responses to “Bucs fired Lovie by phone”
  1. tennesseeoilers says: Jan 7, 2016 9:46 AM

    “That moment you made the Dolphins’ front office look first class.”

  2. mvp43 says: Jan 7, 2016 9:48 AM

    What a classless move by the Bucs. I hope Koetter takes the Miami job.

  3. smoythe says: Jan 7, 2016 9:48 AM

    Stay classy Tampa. You will be regretting this in a few years when Winston is in his prime.

  4. niners816 says: Jan 7, 2016 9:48 AM

    Savage. What a couple of dumb Bucs.

  5. vikingforlife says: Jan 7, 2016 9:49 AM

    WOW!!! Real classy Bucs organization!! God help the next guy coming in!! Lovie, you are better off!! Take your millions and run, run like the wind!!!!

  6. rams645 says: Jan 7, 2016 9:49 AM

    Low class and disrespectful to let someone go by phone, I don’t care if it’s a coach or a janitor

  7. corporatemediaprostitute says: Jan 7, 2016 9:49 AM

    What’s the criteria for when you decide to defend the indefensible? Hmmm… I wonder.

  8. vickisgarbage says: Jan 7, 2016 9:49 AM

    The Rooney rule is outdated and its ridiculous that the Bucs have to jump through hoops to hire them man they want considering that their last coach was black…out of their last 5 head coaches, 3 were black, so this is idiotic.

  9. bassplucker says: Jan 7, 2016 9:49 AM

    That’s weak. Teams who do garbage like that deserve to be perpetual bottom feeders.

  10. jimmybrock says: Jan 7, 2016 9:50 AM

    Didn’t the Browns Jimmy Haslam fire Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer by email?

  11. lenthevikesfan says: Jan 7, 2016 9:50 AM

    Maybe the Rooney Rule shouldn’t be applied if a team promotes from within.

  12. norseyapper says: Jan 7, 2016 9:50 AM

    Irregardless of their reasons, that has to be one of the lowest class moves in NFL history, right up there with how JJ dealt with Tom Landry.
    Smith is a veteran coach who has earned respect. Fire him if you want, that is the prerogative of the owners, but doing it over the phone??? There is no reasonable excuse for that.
    If Koetter has any sense, and if it is legally possible for him to do so, he should run from that puke pile as fast as he can.

  13. logicalvoicepft says: Jan 7, 2016 9:50 AM

    Dan Snyder is the best owner in sports. #ThankGodImaRedskinfan

  14. cheapglazers says: Jan 7, 2016 9:50 AM

    The league may need to step in and find new ownership for this team.

  15. awdlmd says: Jan 7, 2016 9:51 AM

    He wasn’t checking his Slack.

  16. realfootballfan says: Jan 7, 2016 9:51 AM

    Miami is trying to hire Hue Jackson because of his connection with Mike Tannenbaum or Dam Gase because that’s who the owner likes, so fail on the Bucs part again. Koetter was a pretty terrible college HC, so this won’t end well if they plan on promoting him. Offensive coordinator and head coach are 2 different jobs, and honestly Jameis Winston would make any offensive coordinator look good. Dumpster fire.

  17. baller2 says: Jan 7, 2016 9:52 AM

    Gutless

  18. therealtrenches says: Jan 7, 2016 9:52 AM

    Mr. Lurie, you could do worse than to hire Lovie to be your defensive coordinator.

  19. logicalvoicepft says: Jan 7, 2016 9:52 AM

    They should have told him to come to midfield at Buccaneers Stadium and fired him Vince McMahon style. #You’reFIRRRREEEEEEDDD

  20. mikelitoris1 says: Jan 7, 2016 9:53 AM

    Stay classy Tampa 😐…. I bet I’ll be at least the 10th one to say that by the time this comment is posted.

  21. mikenjess143 says: Jan 7, 2016 9:53 AM

    They had Dungy escorted out by security, Fired Gruden after 3 South championships and a Super bowl Win.
    Raheem well whatever. so Lovie fired by phone isn’t surprising to me. If its not cutter it will be a Big name.

  22. jrossizzle says: Jan 7, 2016 9:53 AM

    Head Coaches should never answer the phone the first week in Jan…

  23. shackdelrio says: Jan 7, 2016 9:54 AM

    Adele fired Lovie Smith

  24. psubeerman21 says: Jan 7, 2016 9:54 AM

    Is koetter some kind of wonderboy? Never heard of him before this post.

  25. seatownballers says: Jan 7, 2016 9:54 AM

    Thanks for all your effort. No need to mail in your keys, we already changed the locks. Your personal effects will be mailed to you

  26. bigdawg24 says: Jan 7, 2016 9:55 AM

    Lovie Smith was way to soft on his players. If the players wanted him to stay, they should of played harder. The Defense was super soft.

  27. romophobic says: Jan 7, 2016 9:55 AM

    Meanwhile, the Buccaneers can’t just hand the job to Koetter immediately. To comply with the Rooney Rule, they have to interview a minority candidate first. That would be following the letter of the Rooney Rule while ignoring its spirit: The idea behind the Rooney Rule wasn’t for NFL teams to first decide to hire a white coach and then set up an interview with a black coach.
    —–

    If you think that any team follows the “spirit” of the Rooney rule, you’re out of your mind. They interview underqualified position coaches to satisfy the racist rule and it must be stopped.

  28. fatguystrangler says: Jan 7, 2016 9:55 AM

    If an organization wants to terminate someone, fine, that’s within their discretion.
    But, over the phone? That’s weak.
    Why not just send a text message, at that rate?

  29. antikytheraeagles says: Jan 7, 2016 9:55 AM

    I don’t see what the rush was about since Miami would have needed to interview a minority candidate as well before making the hire.

  30. Pitt_Fan87 says: Jan 7, 2016 9:56 AM

    How did Lovie get fired before Jeff Fisher?

  31. meximyke says: Jan 7, 2016 9:56 AM

    They should of Twitter or emailed him! He took the wrong QB!

  32. gibbskins9 says: Jan 7, 2016 9:56 AM

    Rooney Rule is a JOKE

  33. wagerhope says: Jan 7, 2016 9:56 AM

    Couldn’t the Bucs have just said “No” to the Dolphins?

  34. Shilen Patel says: Jan 7, 2016 9:56 AM

    the bucs have what only 1 other team looking for a coach has – a young franchise QB. If Koetter sees something in Miami or Philly or SF that he doesn’t see in Tampa, i would be shocked. none have a better recent track record of patience with coaches (philly and SF fired pretty successful coaches), none have a QB that compares, the other 3 are still figuring out their power structure, and all the others require him to settle into a 3rd city in 3 years

  35. manningcheats says: Jan 7, 2016 9:57 AM

    That was a $10 million phone call…I thought my bill was high.

  36. babygaga19 says: Jan 7, 2016 9:57 AM

    Raiders fired Lane Kiffin and left him at the airport.

  37. ballreaper says: Jan 7, 2016 9:57 AM

    It doesn’t get much LOWER than that. Even the Cleveland Browns are SHAKING their HEAD.

    .

  38. jbfazz1213 says: Jan 7, 2016 9:58 AM

    Not a Good Optic At All. Coach Smith Should Have Been Given A 3rd Year Or A Face 2 Face. Not A Good Look At All Tampa

  39. elmerbrownelmerbrown says: Jan 7, 2016 9:59 AM

    Lovie has been phoneing it it for years himself,,, very appropriate I must say !

  40. fullhouseofcards says: Jan 7, 2016 9:59 AM

    The Rooney rule needs to go away and this of world we live in needs to end. How do you end racism? As Morgan freeman once said, “you stop talking about it.” Attaching color labels to people is what keeps this going. You don’t say we need to interview black coach xyz, you just say we need to interview coach xyz.

  41. billytodd2013blbaad says: Jan 7, 2016 9:59 AM

    holy crap, didn’t see this coming, Lovie actually had that team heading in the right direction. guess there is a reason this team has sucked for so long and will continue to suck.

  42. billswillnevermove says: Jan 7, 2016 10:00 AM

    Yeah, that is pretty low. Not a huge fan of Lovie, but they were competitive this year and are getting better. I think they made a mistake.

  43. mrone50 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:01 AM

    Hello from thee other siiiide.

  44. cymbaline6 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:01 AM

    Classless.

    The Bucs didn’t look too bad this year. Pretty decent record for a team that’s rebuilding and on the upswing. I think the NFL is being hit by a wave of impatience among owners. Not sure why – it never ends well.

    I also have no idea why you would fire your coach right after you draft your new face-of-the-franchise QB. If he was such a bad coach, why did you let him get his hands on your new most important player in the first place? And did you really expect a 11-5 season from a rookie QB?

    Idiotic and classless both, really.

  45. shakethenbake says: Jan 7, 2016 10:01 AM

    deals all done with koetter. just jumping through the hoops….

  46. kevinlawrencecantor says: Jan 7, 2016 10:01 AM

    @Smoythe – Why would they regret their quarterback having success?

    I have a feeling this was more about the long-term strategy of the team than his performance the last two seasons (which is closer to bad than good.)

  47. noteamforlosangeles says: Jan 7, 2016 10:01 AM

    At least Pettine got an e-mail…not that that’s much better…

  48. 1pwrightt says: Jan 7, 2016 10:01 AM

    It’s so sad to see two dis functional teams in Florida. South Florida is now considered a basketball town. Maybe these two inept teams should pull there money together and hire Basketball guru Pat Riley who could show them out to run and act like a class organization.

  49. tommykramer9 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:02 AM

    To celebrate Lovie’s firing, Jameis Winston went out and accidentally stole some fresh lobster for dinner.

  50. icup89 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:02 AM

    Token minority coach interview coming up..

  51. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Jan 7, 2016 10:02 AM

    So in addition to moving on to their 4th HC in 5 years they fired their most recent one over the phone then announced to the media before he even had time to get a statement ready.

    Yeah that would make me want to sign on as their new head coach. I mean who wouldn’t want to play for an ownership that prizes their people that highly and treats them with such respect.

  52. doc2105 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:03 AM

    Personally I think the Rooney Rule is a joke. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea. I just think it gets subverted all the time. Plus there’s that coaching mantra you constantly hear from a team from the ownership on down – We are going to pick the best available player at our draft pick position. I’m not sure how I’d feel as a “minority” applicant applying for a head coaching job when you know the only reason you are there is to fulfill “The Rooney Rule” because everyone and their mother knows that the club has already decided on their candidate. I don’t know how I’d feel about accepting a job knowing the previous head coach was unceremoniously let go. I like Lovie. Liked him when he was in Chicago. He had a rapport with his players. His problem is even though he’s a good defensive coach he never really could find the right offensive coaches.

  53. blaine428 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:03 AM

    This could scare other head coaches from wanting to go to Tampa.

    If this is how they treated Lovie, how would they treat anyone else any differently?

    Only someone who desperately wants to be an NFL head coach seeking their first crack would want to go here (along with Cleveland, maybe).

  54. bygd1 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:03 AM

    If you already have or had black coach why would that not satisfy minority catch

  55. willycents says: Jan 7, 2016 10:04 AM

    “The idea behind the Rooney Rule wasn’t for NFL teams to first decide to hire a white coach and then set up an interview with a black coach.”
    ___________________________
    To those of us old enough to remember the implementation of the Rooney Rule; at the time, the main reason given was to get black coaches some interview experience so they had a better chance of gaining a head coaching job, not to ensure some quota of black head coaches.
    Anyone who declines an interview, even when they have no chance of the job, is being foolish. It is a resume builder, and gets your name on the “list”.

  56. thegregwitul says: Jan 7, 2016 10:05 AM

    While a phone call isn’t ideal whatsoever, I have to chuckle at the difference between media that report on the entire NFL and fans that don’t follow the Bucs compared to local media and fans.

    Let me put it to you nice and simple like – 8-24.

    Lovie Smith is a nice man. He’s a players coach. Yes, in year one, the team didn’t have a ton of talent. They had a solid draft, but their free agent signings were mostly terrible. 2-14.

    This season, the Bucs had a very nice draft and found a leader in Jameis Winston. At 6-6 the team was still in the chase for the wildcard, but a combination of Kwon Alexander getting suspended to the defense being unable to stop anyone, led to Lovie’s dismissal.

    It was pretty telling that you had defensive veterans joking around in the locker after getting curb stomped by Carolina while Winston was steaming.

    8-24 is not good enough. The Bucs have a good GM in place and Jon Robinson has done wonders with his scouting group. The next hire has to be a good one. No team can afford to be hiring and firing coaches every two seasons.

  57. manningcheats says: Jan 7, 2016 10:05 AM

    Let’s be realistic though…..the guy was 8-24 over two seasons with a pretty talented roster. Add to that his track record in Chicago and you start to see a trend. It’s not like we’re talking about Vince Lombardi getting shafted.

  58. 6ball says: Jan 7, 2016 10:05 AM

    .
    You raise an interesting question. Which job is better, Miami or Tampa? Ross or the Glaziers? AFC East or NFC South? Tannehill or Winston?

    Ding, Ding !!!! We have a winner!
    .

  59. whynotjustadmitit says: Jan 7, 2016 10:05 AM

    Wow. Wait til Lavonte David gets ahold of this news.

  60. durkland says: Jan 7, 2016 10:06 AM

    First of all the Rooney Rule is a joke, it doesn’t do anything for anyone. I know I would feel great being brought in for a phony interview just because of the color of my skin, get real.

    Second, he is not a great coach, a decent coach yes, maybe fits better as a coordinator somewhere.

    Third, I would expect nothing less from a second class organization with nothing good in their past, present or future.

  61. billmiller1991 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:06 AM

    That had started to turn things around. I sense this is maybe like Theo Epstein firing Rick Renteria from a mediocre but ascending Cubs team… only because Joe Madden was suddenly available. They want someone who is available right now.

  62. deadeye says: Jan 7, 2016 10:07 AM

    Their next coach will be fired via a text message. And the coach after that will be fired via Twitter.

  63. dirtysouthironmen says: Jan 7, 2016 10:08 AM

    Koetter needs to take into consideration how Lovie was fired before accepting the HC job in Tampa. If they are willing to dump Lovie in this manner, they can’t be the best of a management team for which to work.

  64. theoz3035 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:08 AM

    As a life-long bucs fan I have to say that was a terrible move. As much as I want koetter to take over I almost he screws them over on principal. No how you handle business in any profession!!

  65. flankerright says: Jan 7, 2016 10:08 AM

    If Koetter has any respect for the man that hired him, when the Bucs offer the job, he should tell them to kick rocks…

  66. laxcoach37 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:09 AM

    I’m sorry…. you lost me at Tannebaum was involved in orchestrating a plan. My apologies to the Bucs Fans, I had no idea he was going to ruin more than one Florida Team at the same time.

  67. nflsecurity862 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:10 AM

    The Browns would like to thank Tampa Bay for taking the spotlight of incompetence off of them!

  68. realdealsteel says: Jan 7, 2016 10:15 AM

    That was a bush league move by Bucs management. Still the classless organization it’s always been.

  69. lambeaudungbarn says: Jan 7, 2016 10:15 AM

    A Classless act by the Bufooneers!
    Smith is a quality Coach and good Person.
    Dungy built the Super Bowl team that Gruden rode
    the shirt tails on. Smith did a great job this year with a Rookie QB, watch the team (next year) do well then
    the team will tank again.
    The Finns or Browns need to snag Lovie..
    And If I were the Browns I would be trading the Cowboys their #1 pick for Manziel, Jones is enough of a chump to go for it.

  70. coolhandgianluca says: Jan 7, 2016 10:15 AM

    It must suck to be the African American candidate who’s only being interviewed so the Bucs can comply with the Rooney rule. How could he give a good interview knowing he’s just the token black guy? Poor bastard.

  71. gochargersgo says: Jan 7, 2016 10:16 AM

    Am I the only one who would be more upset if they made me drive all the way to work just to fire me? People are too emotional with this stuff.

  72. riflemanlax says: Jan 7, 2016 10:17 AM

    Can’t wait for Stephen A. Smith to chime in on the firing of a black man and presumed hiring of a white man.

    In any event, this was a classless move by a classless family that’s more focused on a soccer team several thousand miles away.

  73. bigbluefan1 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:19 AM

    WOW
    How low can you go

  74. daramsman says: Jan 7, 2016 10:20 AM

    As a St. Louis Rams fan on the verge of losing his team, I can say that Mark Cuban is right about the NFL. It is going down a road of no return soon. You cannot stay on top forever. The NFL organizations are 32 bottom line businesses. It doesn’t matter who they leave in their wake. It will implode. Concussions, the continuous police blotter, domestic abuse, raising ticket prices annually, etc.

    Man Lovie is one of the good coaches and respected guys in the NFL. And he had that team headed in the right direction. The Glazers just chew through coaches like like orange peels. Its amazing. These greedy bastards have turn into greedy monsters.

    We just had Stan Kroneke take a 29 page dump on St. Louis with alot of it been inaccurate and we fans do not get to respond. So go ahead and send them to LA. LA look out for what you’re getting…Its the new and approved version of the NFL. She’s
    gonna look good for a few years but she is gonna turn you and before you know it you’ll be saying what have we gotten ourselves into?

  75. zinger92 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:20 AM

    Should have pulled a page from the Eagles, interview a minority assistant and check it off your list.

  76. canesgiants says: Jan 7, 2016 10:21 AM

    the lions def coord is this years token rooney rule interview

  77. zinger92 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:22 AM

    Franchise that doesn’t deserve a SB. First they botch the Bo Jackson draft, now this?

  78. ballreaper says: Jan 7, 2016 10:24 AM

    Let’s be realistic though…..the guy was 8-24 over two seasons with a pretty talented roster. Add to that his track record in Chicago and you start to see a trend.
    @manningcheats
    —————————————–
    Please don’t post stuff you have no clue about.I had no idea he had a franchise QB when he arrive there in tampa ,and when it comes to Chicago, Well lets see under Lovie… the Bears went to the Super bowl with a back-up QB , Then they proceed to fire him after he went 10-6 without a franchise QB and Elite receivers.
    The Bears record AFTER they fire him, 8-8 , 5-11 and wait for it 6-10,And oh yes they brought in Elite receivers after they fired him along with a better QB.
    .

  79. MichaelEdits says: Jan 7, 2016 10:24 AM

    You should always fire someone in person. Always, always, always. That way, you can laugh at the expression on his face.

  80. zampft says: Jan 7, 2016 10:24 AM

    Really dumb if they are planning on elevating Koetter. Now he can go to whatever teams he wants and the Bucs will be there waiting for him if he strikes out playing the field.

  81. kfoyo808 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:28 AM

    I don’t know if I would take the Bucs job if I were Dirk…because the players are going to be pissed since they all liked Lovie. Probably will feel like Koetter tried to undermine him….and that’s not a good basis to start on as HC.

  82. bk813 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:29 AM

    cymbaline6 says:
    Jan 7, 2016 10:01 AM
    Classless.

    The Bucs didn’t look too bad this year. <<<<

    There is no way you watched this team this year; I watched every game and it was painful. The D was a dumpster fire and most penalties in the NFL doesn't equate with having an "experienced coach". The problem with Lovie was he was too much of a players coach and it affected the discipline of the team. Does anyone really think Lovie would have made the playoffs or won 8 games next year? This is why they are playing the game…so make the change now before we lose the best OC in Koetter we have ever had.

    When you win 8 games in 2 years….you get fired in the NFL.

    I think some of you calling the Glazers classless dont know them either. In my opinion, Lovie was told change the DC/ D scheme (Tampa2 is outdated and requires players that NFL parity doesnt provide quickly), give up personnel control or be let go. He didnt want to betray Frazier and they all got fired. Keep it simple.

  83. qbarrel says: Jan 7, 2016 10:30 AM

    After their outstanding treatment of Lovie Smith, I’m sure that dozens of top-fight coaching prospects will be lined up outside their doors.

    Way to screw the pooch Tampa.

  84. deweyaxewound says: Jan 7, 2016 10:31 AM

    While I think the firing by phone was a low-class move, I also get the Lovie firing, because here’s the low-down on Lovie as coach:

    The positives are that he will run/maintain a disciplined team, and players always like him and respect him. He is a coach of character and consistency. He would take a firing in defense of his players (unlike, say, a Marc Trestman, who will stab his own players in the back/thrown them under the bus to save his own skin).

    However, he is also myopic and stubborn, cannot see the big picture, refuses (or is unable to) make in-game/half-time adjustments in any way, lacks any sense of creativity, innovation, imagination, or understanding of modern offensive football, he is clueless about personnel matters and insists on driving square pegs into round holes, he’s also loyal to a fault to his own people (coaches and players), terrible clock/time management, and worst of all, is almost always out-coached in terms of X’s & O’s.

    People say “he got the Bears to a Super Bowl with Rex Grossman” and point to his W-L totals during his time with the Bears, but the fact is his coaching blunders actually COST the Bears a Super Bowl in 2006 (see: Benson > Thomas Jones!), not to mention other successes those teams SHOULD have had in that era, given the amount of talent on defense that team had.

    In short, Lovie is both overrated and fatally flawed as a head coach (Peter principle at work) – he is/was much suited remaining as a DC.

  85. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Jan 7, 2016 10:34 AM

    manningcheats says:
    Jan 7, 2016 10:05 AM
    Let’s be realistic though…..the guy was 8-24 over two seasons with a pretty talented roster. Add to that his track record in Chicago and you start to see a trend. It’s not like we’re talking about Vince Lombardi getting shafted.
    ________________

    The point here has little to do with the decision to fire him but rather the method. Whether you think he deserved to be let go or not the doing it over the phone and then announcing it to the press without giving him a reasonable amount of time to prepare a statement is taking disrespect to an almost unheard of extreme for such a high profile firing

  86. annes22 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:34 AM

    How very rude is that. They sack him by phone? Maybe the Bucs need a lesson in how you deal with people, because they obviously have no clue. That’s disgusting, and the Owner should be ashamed No wonder this team sucks.

  87. bubbahotepp says: Jan 7, 2016 10:36 AM

    Loser franchise.

  88. In Teddy We Trust says: Jan 7, 2016 10:41 AM

    The idea behind the Rooney Rule wasn’t for NFL teams to first decide to hire a white coach and then set up an interview with a black coach.
    _______

    The Bucs didn’t decide to hire a white coach. They decided to hire a specific person they know well to be the coach, and he happens to be white.

  89. firecracker87 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:43 AM

    What I don’t get about the Rooney Rule – how does skin color translate to qualified NFL coach?

  90. In Teddy We Trust says: Jan 7, 2016 10:45 AM

    On the other hand…

    “Hi Lovie, it’s Malcolm. Can you come into the office tonight?”

    “Why? I was just about to sit down to dinner.”

    “I can’t tell you over the phone. Please just come in as soon as you can.”

    “Okay, I’ll be there in a couple hours. Man, I was really looking forward to watching that new Hallmark Movie.”

    [Lovie drives to the facility, walks into Glazer’s office.]

    “Okay, now what’s so important I had to come all the way down here?”

    “You’re fired.”

    “Man, couldn’t you have just told me that over the phone?”

  91. senatorblutarsky says: Jan 7, 2016 10:46 AM

    Phone call? COLD!! Doesn’t speak well of the team or ownership.

  92. ilikethefalcons says: Jan 7, 2016 10:47 AM

    This was an idiotic move by the Bucs. Lovie had that team going in the right direction.

  93. kcflake says: Jan 7, 2016 10:51 AM

    Not a Bucs fan, but I have no respect for them now. Firing a good coach who was poised to lead them a winning season next year. Shady business. Very Cleveland Esque.

    In contrast, my Chiefs started 1-5, and Clark Hunt gave Reid/Dorsey his full confidence, and they turned it around and are in the playoffs. It is amazing how some philosophies work and others don;t.

  94. hippieway says: Jan 7, 2016 10:53 AM

    Two Things

    I have never thought that Lovie was really head coach material, the Bears were average at best under his tenure. However, to play out a scene from Back to the Future II is shameful and unprofessional.

    The Rooney Rule that once was maybe a good reality check, has now not only become a sham but also a hindrance. Perceptions have changed. The audience cares less about color and the NFL’s color preference has become green.

  95. Youknowimright says: Jan 7, 2016 10:55 AM

    Steven A Smith will have field day with smith and frazier being fired.

  96. granadafan says: Jan 7, 2016 10:55 AM

    Lane Kiffin would have preferred to have been fired by U$C over the phone or email. At least he wouldn’t have been left at the airport with a dead cell phone.

  97. thetooloftools says: Jan 7, 2016 10:57 AM

    “Lovie never got a chance to tell his side of the story… those cowards” – Sue Paterno

  98. Youknowimright says: Jan 7, 2016 10:58 AM

    ….and by the way I don’t disagree with him. If John fox or jeff fisher was the coach in TB, I think they would not have been fired.

  99. artvan15 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:58 AM

    Who cares how they fire you. Your walking away with another 14 million. Not feeling real bad for you at the moment because you feel dis-respected.

  100. hippieway says: Jan 7, 2016 11:04 AM

    Even Trump brought them into the office.

  101. coloradobuc says: Jan 7, 2016 11:08 AM

    Lovie wasn’t cutting it. He had to go.

  102. hawks52 says: Jan 7, 2016 11:12 AM

    So many people saying it would be worse to make him drive in just to be fired. Well of course it is. But a phone call is NOT the only other option.

    Show some respect and drive to Lovie’s house to meet and discuss face to face.

  103. tmaczoozoo says: Jan 7, 2016 11:13 AM

    Bucs suck. Feel bad for JW….cage match with Jay Glazer.

  104. lionswinsuperbowl says: Jan 7, 2016 11:14 AM

    Always look a man in his eyes

  105. mannyicey says: Jan 7, 2016 11:15 AM

    I’m going to go into business as the NFL Rooney Rule Head Coaching Candidate. My job is pretty easy: NFL teams call me, I come down to their office, have a cup of coffee, fill out an application and leave.

    I say this in jest, but there has to be something that they can do to ensure fair hiring practices without insulting people’s intelligence with this Rooney Rule.

  106. duffelbagsports says: Jan 7, 2016 11:20 AM

    For all of you complaining about the Rooney Rule please tell me who is harmed by it? African American coaches get experience interviewing and their profile is raised. Todd Bowled directly credited the rule with getting him a head coaching job. So where is the harm?

  107. mogogo1 says: Jan 7, 2016 11:22 AM

    Always fun when employers treat employees like garbage but then immediately expect to attract top-level people to replace them. Because people in high demand can’t wait to be treated like crap?

  108. toolkien says: Jan 7, 2016 11:33 AM

    In the end, I think Smith got fired twice for his performance in Chicago – once in Chicago and now in Tampa. With Winston, Tampa felt they were going to go in a different direction and didn’t want to be the Chicago Bears 2.0 – under achieving offense and a solid defense.

  109. snake11s says: Jan 7, 2016 11:35 AM

    He got 4 more wins than the previous year with a rookie QB many said is the next Jamarcus Russell.
    That’s not progress?
    He deserves better.

  110. a1b24312 says: Jan 7, 2016 11:36 AM

    Is it just me or is it coming to the point in the NFL where her head coaches need to worry about their assistance doing subterfuge against them? Let’s call this virus Tomsulaitis.

  111. canusmellwhattherockiscookin says: Jan 7, 2016 11:42 AM

    I wonder if they FaceTimed him.

  112. Brown Anchor says: Jan 7, 2016 11:43 AM

    Poor Lovie. Hopefully he makes it as a good Defensive Coordinator somewhere.

  113. nycdf says: Jan 7, 2016 11:43 AM

    The Bucs usually conduct their business via snapchat. At least they called him. In Cleveland when you get fired they send some dude to your house with a pizza with the pepperoni spelling out you’re fired

  114. bonitalocal says: Jan 7, 2016 11:44 AM

    1pwrightt says:
    Jan 7, 2016 10:01 AM
    It’s so sad to see two dis functional teams in Florida. South Florida is now considered a basketball town. Maybe these two inept teams should pull there money together and hire Basketball guru Pat Riley who could show them out to run and act like a class organization.
    ———————————————————————–
    OK…..I give up……which is the functional team in Florida?
    And I live here!

  115. steelcitywhitty says: Jan 7, 2016 11:59 AM

    Rooney helps in that a prospective person atleast gets an opportunity to demonstrate his knowledge.

    Hopefully when the Bucs decision makers talk with other guys in decision making positions, they might say, “We were going to hire Koetter anyway because he was a know quantity already in our organization but that guy gave a surprisingly good interview. You might want to check him out.”

    Other than the actual hiring, this is the value of the Rooney Rule.

  116. jonwill57 says: Jan 7, 2016 12:10 PM

    The Rooney Rule…for Black men it’s the Catch-22. For White folks, ask yourself what circumstances led to this rule? And by the way, Blacks aren’t the only minorities in football…

    Ron Rivera

  117. bk813 says: Jan 7, 2016 12:11 PM

    In my opinion, Lovie was told change the DC/ D scheme (Tampa2 is outdated and requires players that NFL parity doesnt provide quickly), give up personnel control or be let go. He didnt want to betray Frazier and they all got fired. Keep it simple.

    Just like I wrote this morning, it is now out in media that Lovie was called (Wed night) and asked to come in on Thursday morning; HE declined and said lets do this now and it was done via phone. He didnt want to change Frazier and it cost him his job…loyalty can be blind. It was his choice…..you cant blame ownership when the coach declines to come in for meeting.

    Other reasons he was fired:
    his D was 28th in NFL on 3rd down
    his D was unable to get a pass rush regardless of the opponent.
    He was overly loyal to players and brought in too many old Bears players who didnt perform and get job done.

    Bucs have not been in playoffs in 10 years. The Glazers want to win and they knew Lovie was not going to get them there.

    Finally, if you ever met Lovie…you love him as he is so real and personal…great man and person. I wish him the best but this is what was best for the team.

    Koetter will be the Bucs coach by Monday. I would recommend that you go google his press conferences…as fans we love it…his brutal honesty in the pressers reminds me of Parcells…

  118. larrydavid815 says: Jan 7, 2016 12:11 PM

    At least they didn’t text him.

  119. howiehandles says: Jan 7, 2016 12:11 PM

    This team has SOME talent, but they’re young, and he finally has a franchise (potential) QB, but this team still had holes to fill.

    Lovie’s weakness has always been on the offensive side of the ball, with the Bears it was finding a really good OC.

    They haven’t been good for some time, and I actually thought they were gonna turn the corner next year, but they don’t want to lose Koetter. We’ll see if this was a smart decision. Based on the Glazer way of doing things, I’m betting no.

    For any potential HC, none of these openings look good to me. Either the GM and/or the ownership groups are nuts, and just keep spinning their wheels.

  120. packer4life4ever says: Jan 7, 2016 12:16 PM

    Welcome back Koetter?

  121. dunstonjones14 says: Jan 7, 2016 12:22 PM

    I’m not a bucs fan and I’m not the biggest Lovie fan but it was still suprising. I thought they would have given him one more year to have a go and see if they could make it or not to having a winning or 8-8 record. This makes the 4th coach the bucs have had and fired in the past few years. It so dysfunction because they can’t seem to keep a staff for more than 2 years at best

  122. brownsalwaysrebuilding says: Jan 7, 2016 12:32 PM

    Office Space reference LOLLL

    just watched it again last night, classic

  123. collectordude says: Jan 7, 2016 12:33 PM

    This is why the bucs will never win another Super Bowl.

  124. vancouversportsbro says: Jan 7, 2016 12:44 PM

    Classless move. He’s not even a bad coach either. No wonder this org is a joke.

  125. roobalones34 says: Jan 7, 2016 12:47 PM

    NFL teams don’t decide to hire “white coaches.” They decide to hire coaches. Period. I am all for having minorities in coaching and executive positions, but SO tired of the race discussion coming up everytime someone white is hired.

  126. colt13 says: Jan 7, 2016 12:54 PM

    I’m shocked, but I shouldn’t be. I was the one who thought Schiano and to some extent Morris got raw deals. Now Smith is shown the door quickly. Cleveland may be less stable, but not by much.

    Should be noted-Dungy/Gruden 2-coaches- 13 seasons-since then? 3 in 7 seasons, soon to be 4 in 8.

  127. darkneptune73 says: Jan 7, 2016 1:04 PM

    Too bad Lovie can’t stomp a mudhole in the Glazers’ behinds.

  128. guachosporlife says: Jan 7, 2016 1:24 PM

    “Interview a minority first.” As a minority don’t do me no favors and hire the guy. What a stupid country we are.

  129. notmanning says: Jan 7, 2016 1:32 PM

    Has Miami interviewed a black coach yet? If not seems like they are on the same timeline as Bucs, and therefore Bucs could have axed Lovie in person.

  130. dryzzt23 says: Jan 7, 2016 1:37 PM

    Ya’ll act as if Lovie was some elite coach or something. He is/was a mediocre coach at best. He is/was NOT Tony Dungy, Chuck Noll, John Madden, etc.
    Lovie is/was more of a Rich Kotite type of coach. He’ll get you some wins but he won’t take your team to the next level.

  131. Treat manning like Brady says: Jan 7, 2016 1:45 PM

    Michael Wilbon, when asked if he would prefer one of two coaches replied that he would like to see the teams do a real search of college coaches under the Rooney Rule. That wasn’t even the question but it just goes to show that some people only think about color.

    To comply with the EEOC, our company has hired both qualified and non-qualified minorities. The good employees have to live under the shadow of being hired, allegedly, based only on their race or gender and the bad ones had to struggle and fail in a job they were never qualified for in the first place and that would never have been given to them had they not been a minority so, who won here?

    That said, under this non-discrimination rule, why haven’t any non-male candidates be interviewed? Doesn’t matter if they aren’t interested.

    oh, snap!

  132. a1b24312 says: Jan 7, 2016 1:47 PM

    phone? That’s so old technology. Why not Skype? LOL

  133. thirdand43 says: Jan 7, 2016 1:48 PM

    There were 5 black head coaches in the NFL and now there are 4. That’s 12.5%, or exactly the same percentage of the U.S. population that black Americans represent. FWIW. Owners and GMs don’t care what color their coaches are anymore. They just want them to win. Black coaches should unanimously ask for the Rooney Rule to be eliminated because it feeds the misconception that blacks need special treatment in order to be successful. The soft racism of low expectations only serves to harm blacks getting head coaching positions. It’s time for the NFL to turn the page and for all coaches, regardless of their race, to be evaluated and promoted on based on merit not color.

  134. juicyjwebb says: Jan 7, 2016 1:53 PM

    Lmao please explain to me how the Rooney Rule is racist?

    Maybe not effective, but the entire intent of the rule was anti-racism, like come on.

  135. Treat manning like Brady says: Jan 7, 2016 1:53 PM

    We can argue the point later but for this discussion let’s agree BB is the best coach in the league. There should be no reason I have to interview ANYONE else of ANY color or race if that’s the guy I want.

    If I’m not going after a specific guy, then opportunities should be given to qualified candidates.

    So, who is qualified? A guy who has been coaching at the NFL level and has been fired by one or more teams for poor performance? A college coach who has no NFL experience? How does one get experience? Is coming up through the ranks the only way?

    Remember when the Orlando Magic refused to play for a white coach? That’s where you’re headed.

    Does anyone else think it’s strange that the only qualification to be a player is, you have to be capable of playing at that level and color doesn’t enter the picture? Blacks represent 13% of the population but comprise the majority of players in the NFL. That’s a merit system, and it’s still the best system out there, if you want to succeed that is.

  136. rcosborne59 says: Jan 7, 2016 1:54 PM

    What a low class organization. They’d better promote from within because you’d be crazy to work for the owners of the bucs.

  137. stevegrogannakedbootleg says: Jan 7, 2016 2:26 PM

    Rooney rule addendum just announced if you fire a minority coach you must interview a woman , Aluetian islander and a soccer coach.

  138. painsyndicate says: Jan 7, 2016 2:35 PM

    Waaah. Some people make their living whining about how bad they’ve got it. Man up and get yours by your own hard work.

  139. bringbackwayne says: Jan 7, 2016 2:52 PM

    Tampa’s next coach will be fired by them talking to him via his headset while he was on the sidelines during a game.

  140. jgedgar70 says: Jan 7, 2016 3:15 PM

    Good grief, some serious panic had set in with the owners! What, did Koetter’s agent tell the GM that if the Bucs even so much as allowed Koetter to interview in Miami, he had worked his last day with the Bucs? About the only explanation I can come up with for deciding to fire the coach, do so over the phone and start jumping through the required hoops to hire Koetter all in one evening.

    Keep at it, Bucs. Either the Falcons or Panthers will win the NFC South title for the next 20 years.

  141. coloradofort says: Jan 8, 2016 8:08 AM

    I would proudly take that call……check please.

  142. qwerty650 says: Jan 8, 2016 10:00 AM

    TB Version of the Rooney Rule:
    1. Dismal team hires black coach
    2. Coach increases wins from 2014 to 2015 by 200% (2 wins to 6 wins).
    3. Coach keeps rookie QB out of trouble from draft to end of season (a record amount of time for this QB to go without doing something stupid/illegal).
    4. Coach earns respect of players.
    5. Organization abruptly fires aforementioned black coach over the phone in order to keep a white assistant.
    6. Organization interviews another black coach to comply with the Rule.

    Dear TB: It is clear you have a firm grasp of the Rule. You can waive Step #6. Sincerely, League Office

  143. satchseven says: Jan 9, 2016 7:40 AM

    The Rooney rule needs to go away and this of world we live in needs to end. How do you end racism? As Morgan freeman once said, “you stop talking about it.” Attaching color labels to people is what keeps this going. You don’t say we need to interview black coach xyz, you just say we need to interview coach xyz.

    the idiot who posted this is a fool. I have seen whites try to promote white HS grads into positions over blacks with master degrees

    whites play the race card everyday .it comes into to play in,where they live, who they date and who they hire and where they go to school. white kid gets taken home by cop, black kid gets shot or taken to jail

  144. satchseven says: Jan 9, 2016 7:43 AM

    He got 4 more wins than the previous year with a rookie QB many said is the next Jamarcus Russell

    those folks really do not know pro football

  145. satchseven says: Jan 9, 2016 7:53 AM

    To comply with the EEOC, our company has hired both qualified and non-qualified minorities. The good employees have to live under the shadow of being hired, allegedly, based only on their race or gender and? the bad ones had to struggle and fail in a job they were never qualified for in the first place and that would never have been given to them had they not been a minority so, who won here?

    do you say this crap about the unqualified whites, or all whites are great hires? that mess you are talking is bs. they never hire blacks with weak resumes anywhere in america

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