The Buccaneers’ decision to fire Lovie Smith on Wednesday night was surprising to most people in the NFL world, but it probably shouldn’t have been. Football coaching is a results-oriented business, and Smith wasn’t getting results.
Tampa Bay’s record in two seasons with Smith as head coach was 8-24. That’s the second-worst record in the NFL over the last two years, ahead of only Tennessee, which also fired head coach Ken Whisenhunt.
And Smith’s poor performance goes beyond just Tampa Bay: After a promising start in Chicago, he struggled for most of his tenure there. Going back to his time with the Bears, Smith has missed the playoffs in seven of his last eight seasons as a head coach. That’s not good.
Smith now goes down as a Buccaneers coach who had a worse record than both of his immediate predecessors, Greg Schiano (11-21) and Raheem Morris (17-31). Schiano and Morris were viewed as failures in Tampa Bay, and now Smith is as well.