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Bucs planned to meet with Lovie Smith on Thursday

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Yes, Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith was fired by phone on Wednesday night. No, it wasn’t supposed to happen that way.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, ownership had planned to meet with Smith in person on Thursday. But within the process of communicating the planned meeting to Smith by phone, Smith sensed that something was going on. One thing led to another, and it became clear that the meeting would be the last one he conducted with ownership.

At that point, Smith said he didn’t need to have a meeting. So the termination became official by phone.

Apart from the question of whether someone should have duped Smith into thinking it was a normal meeting or simply given him a “coach wants to see you, and bring your playbook”-style head’s up or simply shown up at his house at 10:00 p.m. with a cake and a canned ham, the point is that the Bucs didn’t set out to fire him by phone. They scheduled the meeting by phone, Lovie started asking questions, and before too long it was obvious what was happening.

Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter how it was communicated. Smith gets more than $10 million over the next two years, and the Bucs will have no trouble filling the job — especially with a 22-year-old potential franchise quarterback on the roster.


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80 Responses to “Bucs planned to meet with Lovie Smith on Thursday”
  1. pioniere says: Jan 7, 2016 11:24 AM

    “..or simply shown up at his house at 10:00 p.m. with a cake and a canned ham..”

    LOLed at that… nice one Florio 🙂

  2. ftblfan9 says: Jan 7, 2016 11:24 AM

    Sounds like a crazy enough situation perfect for Chip Kelly.

  3. In Teddy We Trust says: Jan 7, 2016 11:25 AM

    That’s exactly what I suggested happened, in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, on the other article. If I were Smith, I would want to know right away rather than wait to have a meeting. Sometimes there is a good reason for what appears to be “classless” behavior.

  4. typicalnipple says: Jan 7, 2016 11:25 AM

    The Cleveland team also has a potential franchise quarterback… Big John Football. Oh yea!!!

  5. bucrightoff says: Jan 7, 2016 11:26 AM

    Should have fired him by carrier pigeon.

  6. billsfan says: Jan 7, 2016 11:32 AM

    What if Lovie hadn’t answered the phone?

    Would the Bucs send him a Tampa Bay redfish wrapped in paper, sent via Fedex?

    Classy organization.

  7. thegregwitul says: Jan 7, 2016 11:33 AM

    Anyone with a functioning brain understands that this is how the firing went down. Lovie Smith is a proud man and had to have sensed what was happening and just flat out asked to be told the news right then and there. I actually credit the Bucs for giving it to Lovie straight as opposed to coming up with a lame excuse to get him in to come back to the building when he most likely knew what was coming next.

    How did Lovie know? The man won 8 games in two years and the defense was somehow getting worse over the course of the season. The Glazers need to nail down this next hire for sure, but this is a start.

  8. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Jan 7, 2016 11:33 AM

    Must have been an interesting finish to that call for the team to release news of the firing so quickly after it. 10:00 pm is hardly a normal time for that type of announcement…

  9. dapollock69 says: Jan 7, 2016 11:33 AM

    Or they could have just contacted payroll to fix the “glitch.”

  10. dapollock69 says: Jan 7, 2016 11:33 AM

    Or they could have just contacted payroll to fix the “glitch.”

  11. romophobic says: Jan 7, 2016 11:35 AM

    I hope all of the Bucs haters apologize for their earlier comments now.

  12. rcali says: Jan 7, 2016 11:38 AM

    That was a complete collapse by this Tampa Bay Football team to end the season. Still a bit surprised Smith didn’t one more year. They fact that they were so enamored with Koetter as a head coach is confusing. Either way Smith gets $10 million to watch football from the couch for the next few years…..not a bad deal.

  13. Rdog says: Jan 7, 2016 11:39 AM

    Given that info, doing it by phone seems more decent than what they could have done in that situation – let him find out on Sportscenter.

  14. kenrobinson12 says: Jan 7, 2016 11:40 AM

    Team is owned by the Glazer family.

    Same Glazer family that said they would much rather own a team in Tampa than Baltimore during the expansion process (then had to watch Baltimore get a stadium and the first of their two SB wins before Tampa got either)

    Same Glazer family that disenfranchised so many Manchester United fans that they not only protest ALOT against this top team but many fans gave up their tickets, pooled their money and started F.C. United of Manchester which has gone from nothing to level 6 on the pyramid.

    Bucs suck, we hate Man U.

  15. tennesseeoilers says: Jan 7, 2016 11:41 AM

    So the Buc’s ownership is inept rather than evil?

  16. mogogo1 says: Jan 7, 2016 11:42 AM

    Or they could have just had an admin call Lovie to setup the meeting like most top executives do with all their meetings. The admin wouldn’t have been able to answer any questions because they wouldn’t have known what the meeting was going to be about.

    Maybe the Bucs top execs setup their own meetings. But it seems more likely this story is an effort at damage control.

  17. wallabear says: Jan 7, 2016 11:46 AM

    Tampa Bay Punk-a-neers lol

  18. calpatriot says: Jan 7, 2016 11:46 AM

    Who cares how. He got ten million dollars. Any of us out get canned we get nothing even if we get fired in person.

  19. 6jaws9 says: Jan 7, 2016 11:47 AM

    Big deal….. I’ve been fired by phone…. Is Leeman Bennett or Bill Curry available?

  20. devasher says: Jan 7, 2016 11:48 AM

    Let’s not underestimate the ineptitude by ownership here however. There is a reason why these types of stories don’t come out very often, because they don’t happen.

    Given that coaches spend most of their lives in the team facilities it is usually pretty easy to get a guy to meet with you without ownership calling them randomly at 10pm to “schedule a meeting.” Gee, I wonder why they are calling me so late at home…is it because they want to give me a raise?

    Dumb Glazer babies. Dumb, dumb Glazer babies…

  21. nycdf says: Jan 7, 2016 11:49 AM

    Bucs should have se y him a snapchat. Or told him to check his finsta

  22. jagsfan1 says: Jan 7, 2016 11:50 AM

    Even if they DID fire him “by phone” – they also gave him a fantastic job and MILLIONS of dollars as well.

    Looks like a pretty fair trade to me.

  23. mortyglickstein says: Jan 7, 2016 11:52 AM

    Not sure what the Glazer family was expecting with a new QB in the first year. I would think anyone would say it was quite successful

  24. blakeden says: Jan 7, 2016 11:53 AM

    10 Mil severance package you can fire me via smoke signals

  25. jvw1982 says: Jan 7, 2016 11:54 AM

    Well if your going to be fired over the phone its best to have 10 million in severance pay waiting for you….I love these coaches who refuse to kiss butt once they don’t have to any more, first Coughlin with the walk bye and now Lovey with the don’t waste my gas or time, just do it now

  26. oneofhis says: Jan 7, 2016 11:54 AM

    I think I am more excited that Frazier won’t be back next year. Defense was abysmal. While I think they made some progress, I think they gutted the team too deep in the first year to make the progress that would have saved him. They got rid of too many players at one time (including Revis) and dragged their feet in free agency this season and missed some guys that could have made a big difference.

  27. rainsarge says: Jan 7, 2016 11:56 AM

    There need to be some qualifications for owning a franchise. The Glazers seem commited to losing. Whenever there looks like they might have stability and direction they fire the coach.

  28. captainwhodat says: Jan 7, 2016 12:01 PM

    …just cannot wrap my brain around the “poor lovie” got fired crap that’s being tossed around…defense (his specialty) was crap both years and actually got worse as this year ended, and Winston got garbage yardage in the second halves of games with the Bucs losing…plus, the man got paid: big bucks for 8-24…

  29. vetdana says: Jan 7, 2016 12:03 PM

    There is no doubt that Lovie ” smelled a fish ” when the phone rang and a meeting was announced. He is smart enough to know that his Job was on the line. The problem now , IMHO, is with the Bucs Organization.They have proven that any Head Coach there, is expected to win NOW,
    right now regardless of whether or not they have any time to address the problems at hand a put a team on the right track.The team was improving , butt, not fast enough.Any perspective Head Coach is going to think twice before coming to the Bucs, knowing his head is on a platter before he even starts !They are now another Oakland Raider or Cleveland Brown Franchise Head Coach killer and I would look the other way if I had other options.

  30. atepper001 says: Jan 7, 2016 12:04 PM

    given lovie’s defensive scheme’s inability to sniff out anything the other side is doing, i am shocked he was able to figure out he was getting fired. i wonder if he kept responding by saying, “lovie is our coach” over and over again.

    while 2 years is not fair nor enough time for anyone to turn around an nfl team, his hiring in the first place was terrible. nice guy, players love him but, his system is old and he is way to stubborn and refuses to adapt to the landscape which will cost teams games. we lived through this for years in chicago. ride off into the sunset with your $50M or so career earnings

  31. gotitan says: Jan 7, 2016 12:06 PM

    “Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter how it was communicated”

    It does matter. It is called professionalism.

    He was hired in a personal interview. I say it does matter.

  32. duffelbagsports says: Jan 7, 2016 12:06 PM

    You go 2-14. That gets you a top rookie QB. You go 6-10, that’s a normal progression. What were they expecting?

  33. elmerbrownelmerbrown says: Jan 7, 2016 12:07 PM

    Maybe there should be a rule you can’t fire a guy by phone ,it could be call the LOVIE LAW !

  34. mandings36 says: Jan 7, 2016 12:08 PM

    Would Gruden consid…. could Gruden be…. nahhhhhhhhhhh

  35. junkmtb says: Jan 7, 2016 12:09 PM

    Damage control! All they’re doing after the news broke about the firing via a phone call…….. next!

  36. belligerentbuc says: Jan 7, 2016 12:11 PM

    @ Bils fan

    If Lovie hadn’t answered the phone…we would have fired him for not picking up the damn phone!

    Having the worst defense back to back years and being known as a defensive genius can and should get you fired.

    If your defense gives up the most points & yardage while playing with the easiest schedule…that is a major red flag!

    The old man has been around the block and knew what was coming.

    Great man nonetheless!

  37. cymbaline6 says: Jan 7, 2016 12:12 PM

    Anyone with a functioning brain understands that this is how the firing went down.

    I don’t know, man. I know people who have been told by their SOs that they want a divorce over text message. We live in a weird time as far as what is and isn’t proper when it comes to communication. Glad they didn’t fire him over the phone, but not ridiculous to believe that they did.

  38. zeke2517 says: Jan 7, 2016 12:13 PM

    Phew. Thank God that one’s solved.

  39. rocketmcstonebreaker says: Jan 7, 2016 12:15 PM

    The Bucs fire coaches the same way Warren Sapp orders hookers. Stay classy, Tampa!

  40. qbarrel says: Jan 7, 2016 12:15 PM

    Hey Lovie…..sorry you had to find out this way. We meant to tell you in person, but………

  41. arcross12042004scorp15 says: Jan 7, 2016 12:16 PM

    My cooworkers and I play the lottery hoping that we can win $ 10 Million so that we can call our inept manager and quit. I would not be offended if they called me and told me I would be getting $ 10 million to do whatever I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

  42. docsweeney says: Jan 7, 2016 12:16 PM

    Apparently, according to reports, the Glazers have a daily phone conference among members to discuss all their various enterprises. Was he “conferenced in” to their call? Did the whole family fire him? It’s pretty bizarre but based on all of the reports over the years that have come out about them, that’s one wealthy, nutty family.

  43. cross300 says: Jan 7, 2016 12:17 PM

    It could’ve been worse they could’ve texted him a you’re fired knock knock joke.

  44. jrossizzle says: Jan 7, 2016 12:19 PM

    They tried to bring him in he refused what the hell do you want them to do drugging him?

  45. mrosas73 says: Jan 7, 2016 12:21 PM

    I would have given him one more year. The only way this makes sense is our OC was getting looked at by other teams and they didn’t want to see him go with the vast improvement on the offensive side of the ball and Winston. Facts are facts, our defense SUCKED and regressed this last year. Hopefully the 700 million powerball comes through for me next week and I can by the team from the Glazers.

  46. zampft says: Jan 7, 2016 12:24 PM

    Odd that you still don’t have a meeting. Lovie should have wanted a chance to make his case, and the owners should have given him that chance.

  47. thebirdofprey says: Jan 7, 2016 12:25 PM

    The Glazers could have brought in Bill Lumbergh to handle these terminations.

  48. philtration says: Jan 7, 2016 12:27 PM

    When Lovie was coaching the Bears he surrounded himself with fishing buddies and former co-workers from Tampa and St. Louis.
    He had a revolving door installed on the offensive Coordinators job before Cutler ever came to town and any Bears QB was going to bomb in that environment.
    He screwed up Rex Grossman big time.
    When the heat was being turned up on Lovie and Ron Rivera was waiting in the wings he fired Rivera and put his old pal Bob Babitch in charge of the Defense.
    There was nothing wrong with the defense but he was threatened by Rivera’s presence.
    Lovie made sure that his coaching staff was filled with grateful friends and yes men and no that could be considered as his replacement.

    People outside of Chicago wonder why Lovie was fired but the truth is that it should have happened sooner.

  49. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 7, 2016 12:27 PM

    I wouldn’t care at all how I was fired if it meant getting handed 10 mil severance pay. They could call me any name in the book, tell me what a terrible job I’d done, just wouldn’t care.

    I’d simply say thanks very much and walk out the door whistling on the way to the bank.

  50. snookau says: Jan 7, 2016 12:27 PM

    I love how non-Bucs fans know so much about what’s going on.

    Fact is, this team was 6-6 and collapsed. Because of their stubborn coach who can’t adjust in game. Ever.

  51. hunnymoney says: Jan 7, 2016 12:29 PM

    The shame of this is that the Buccaneers are rapidly becoming the toxic head coaching job of the NFL. We’re now going on our fourth head coach in 7 years with a team that started out with a roster where most of the guys on it would have had trouble making Arena league teams. It takes time and drafts to improve talent and implement systems, and the Glazers do not seem inclined at all to give that time. If I’m Dirk Koetter and the Bucs come calling I’m certainly going to explore a few other gigs first. The Glazers created this mess when they bought Man U and stopped investing in locking up their core players, and now they want some head coach to ride in like Harry Potter and wave a magic wand to make it all better. You didn’t get to the point of sucking overnight; you’re not going to get to the point of contending overnight either. It takes patience and vision to build a successful NFL franchise, two things that the Glazers have shown a glaring deficiency in lately. There are no quick fixes and as long as the Glazers keep looking for quick fixes the Bucs will continue the downward spiral they’ve been on for the last several years.

  52. futures44 says: Jan 7, 2016 12:31 PM

    I didn’t know Tampa had a team!!!

  53. hellawaitsusall says: Jan 7, 2016 12:32 PM

    Billick is a bright man. Moneyball would not work in the NFL. He’s right

  54. coopsxx says: Jan 7, 2016 12:34 PM

    People who don’t watch tampa dont realise that the improvement from 2-14 to 6-10 was in spite of Lovie not because of him!

    Without Jameis and Koetter it likely would have been 2-14 again… or worse. The D declined.

  55. dalvar1001 says: Jan 7, 2016 12:34 PM

    So what he still gets his contract paid. We should all be so lucky..

  56. athleticxsupporter says: Jan 7, 2016 12:45 PM

    Nice picture, Mike. Millennials are like: “What the heck is that thing???” 😀

  57. liongator says: Jan 7, 2016 12:45 PM

    “blakeden says:
    Jan 7, 2016 11:53 AM

    10 Mil severance package you can fire me via smoke signals”

    smoke signals are just as relevant as Lovie’s defensive scheme.

  58. iejdaniel says: Jan 7, 2016 12:48 PM

    Lucky his phone doesn’t have a headset attached; he would have never said a word.

  59. wjmoffatt says: Jan 7, 2016 12:50 PM

    I’m sorry but show me a classy organization because I cam show you a time where any of your teams weren’t.

    The Bucs made the right move of Dirk stays and becomes the head coach. I’m sorry but Lovie did a terrible job with that defense, TERRIBLE! Dirk and the offense were the reason why six games were won.

  60. vancouversportsbro says: Jan 7, 2016 12:53 PM

    Still don’t think they should have fired him. There was some improvement and he has a good record as coach. Dirk Kotter is their replacement? What has he ever done?

  61. troy43mvp says: Jan 7, 2016 12:56 PM

    The “pink slip” has come a long way from when Henry Ford dreamed up a way to evaluate his assembly line employees. Each worker had a cubbyhole where at the end of the workday, a manager would place a piece of colored paper. A white piece of paper meant their work was acceptable, a pink one meant the boot.

  62. pftreader69 says: Jan 7, 2016 1:01 PM

    Well, at least it wasn’t by email like some other teams.

  63. csbanter says: Jan 7, 2016 1:09 PM

    8-24 speaks for itself.

  64. jrossizzle says: Jan 7, 2016 1:13 PM

    Lovie refused to come in, maybe you jokers think the Bucs should have coachnapped him…

    What’s wrong with people?

    He REFUSED to meet

  65. afcnorth54 says: Jan 7, 2016 1:51 PM

    Well it was Profootball talk that wrote an article stating he was fired by phone, period. Perhaps some research should have been done first. Or at least correct the original article.

  66. noteamforlosangeles says: Jan 7, 2016 1:52 PM


  67. danoregon says: Jan 7, 2016 1:55 PM

    Three coaches hired two years fired. Three in the playoffs and then Jim Caldwell.

  68. dynaco says: Jan 7, 2016 2:28 PM

    Nice picture…what is it?

  69. therealzeitgeist says: Jan 7, 2016 2:41 PM

    If I got ten million dollar check getting canned I’d want it to be over the phone so bosses couldn’t see my smile. Lovey did alright.

  70. 49ers1970 says: Jan 7, 2016 2:46 PM

    Worst coaching move I have seen in awhile. How do you fire a coach with a 1st year QB that’s going to be MVP and probably will be much better next season. He’s not forced to lean a whole new playbook taking away from his development. They have to hire the OC.

  71. blackdonnelly says: Jan 7, 2016 2:49 PM

    After they summarily whacked Lovie:

    “Leave the gun, take the cannolis.”

    I hope this all comes back to bite the Glazers square in the arse.

  72. boomgrounder says: Jan 7, 2016 3:04 PM

    The Bucs are going to hire former Falcons HC Mike Smith as HC and Dirk Koetter will stay on as OC. Mark it down! You heard it hear first!!

  73. jvahan says: Jan 7, 2016 3:52 PM

    What a gig, to get fired and still get $10,000,000.00 and boomgrounder if they dont they are stupid.

  74. granadafan says: Jan 7, 2016 4:08 PM

    Hey, Lovie, let’s take a little fishing trip on the lake. No, I won’t be there but my rather large associate will come with you.

  75. teamnorsecore says: Jan 7, 2016 4:46 PM

    Hello Tom Coughlin……perfectly timed release once the Bucs found out Coughlin was available. Book it.

  76. godell50 says: Jan 7, 2016 5:17 PM

    … and the Bucs will have no trouble filling the job — especially with a 22-year-old potential franchise quarterback on the roster.

    Don’t be to quick guys, remember RG3…..also it is still the BUCS.

  77. djaehne says: Jan 7, 2016 5:23 PM

    Move south to Miami. They have no one.

  78. skawh says: Jan 7, 2016 6:35 PM

    IMO, Tampa owners want a miracle turnaround, and don’t want to exercise patience. Smith was given no QB the first year, and a rookie QB the second year.

    Anyone with half a brain understands you don’t win in this league without a QB. Dumpster fire of an organization. What’s up with Florida teams? You’d think having 3 teams at least one would be good? Nadda!

  79. alongthegulf says: Jan 7, 2016 10:41 PM

    Not wanting to lose Dirk Koetter was probably a factor. But Lovie stubbornness to change the original Tampa 2 , and his unwillingness to change assistant coaches were probably a bigger factor.

    I was a fan of bringing Lovie back to Tampa. After his first season with the Bucs, I would have fired him. Stubbornness cost him his job with the Bears. He said he was a changed man, but he wasn’t. Hiring OC Koetter was a great decision. The offense was better and will get that much better next year. However, Lovie has had 2 chances making the defense better. The defense hasn’t gotten any better. Playing the old school Tampa 2, it won’t get any better. In order to get the defense playing better, Lovie needed to go!

    To his credit, Lovie was a straight shooter with the players, but his HC ability was questionable and his stubbornness was out of sight!

  80. metalhead65 says: Jan 8, 2016 8:57 AM

    so because he was smart enough to know what was going on that let’s the bucs off the hook? ownership could not have met him at the building to tell him? they may have no problem getting a coach but good luck getting quality players to come there. money talks so they will sign some free agents but none that care about more than anything other than a paycheck.

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