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Jason Licht: After eight wins in two years, we were patient enough

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Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht met the media on Thursday afternoon and called Wednesday one of the most challenging days of his career because of the decision to fire head coach Lovie Smith.

Licht said that he spoke to Smith on the phone to give him some advance warning about what would happen at a Thursday meeting with ownership and, as reported earlier, Smith figured that it wasn’t worth coming into the office to be fired face to face. Smith then spoke to co-chairman Joel Glazer and the move was made.

While discussing the reasons for the firing, Licht said that it was not an “emotional decision,” but the result of “very thoughtful” evaluation that left ownership feeling that the “franchise needed a new face.” Licht said he didn’t want to delve into the details of that evaluation and what the negatives were with Smith. He did say he didn’t think making a coaching change after two years was a sign of impatience on the part of the organization.

“When you have eight wins, and three home wins, in two years, you’ve been patient enough,” Licht said.

Licht said that the decision was not influenced by outside interest in hiring offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who he called one of the many quality football coaches that the team will consider as their next head coach. Licht said that other teams have contacted Tampa about interviewing Koetter for their head coaching openings and that they’re obligated to accept those requests, but that the team doesn’t feel that they are in a “tug of war” for Koetter’s services.

Licht also said that he now has control over the 53-man roster, although he allowed for wiggle room about responsibilities based on the coach that the team winds up hiring at the end of their current search.

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119 Responses to “Jason Licht: After eight wins in two years, we were patient enough”
  1. bengalsfan2079 says: Jan 7, 2016 2:28 PM

    Rookie qb this year should have at least been given another year to see if improvement was made which it was this year. I think a weak finish was what made it an easy decision but I don’t think it was smart. Not saying Lovie is an elite coach but he should have been given another year.

  2. ReligionIsForIdiots says: Jan 7, 2016 2:29 PM

    This was a PHENOMENAL move by the Bucs. Lovie and his minions are living in the 90s.

  3. tundey says: Jan 7, 2016 2:30 PM

    Someone check his pants; they’ve gotta be on fire!

  4. mrheavyhustle says: Jan 7, 2016 2:31 PM

    Its a miracle they even won 6 games with some of the players on that Defense. 3 Coaches in 5 years isn’t patience that’s why many teams stay at the bottom. Never consistency see. Your Rookie QB has some success this season and you decide to change the Offense on him. We’ve all saw this picture many times before. I dont care who you are you’re not going to adjust to the NFL if Offense and staff keeps changing on you. And Jason Licht at least be good at your job before you start critiquing others. That was a pathetic Defense you gave to Lovie, weren’t many playmakers outside of LD.

  5. funshipm174 says: Jan 7, 2016 2:32 PM

    It didn’t help that Lovie had the talent of a high school football team to work with last year.

  6. coltzfan166 says: Jan 7, 2016 2:33 PM

    Is he forgetting that they wouldn’t have even gotten Jameis Winston if it weren’t for that 2-14 season?

  7. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 7, 2016 2:33 PM

    Rookie QB, two of your five offensive linemen were rookies, your veteran WR missed half the games, your defensive signal caller’s four-game absence coincided with a four-game losing streak. There was progress made. Patience, however, was not in play. Many of us immediately thought they were worried about losing Koetter to some other team, which is what led to the curious timing of this. To attempt to frame it this way is disingenuous at best.

  8. thekingcoleman says: Jan 7, 2016 2:33 PM

    Hard to go from dumper fire to playoff in two years, I don’t care who your coach is.

  9. eazeback says: Jan 7, 2016 2:34 PM

    lovey didn’t get it done, although the trigger was pulled rather quick in my opinion.

  10. YourTeamIsTerrible says: Jan 7, 2016 2:34 PM

    The GM builds a terrible roster, so the GM fires the coach. Makes sense to me!

  11. iowahbr says: Jan 7, 2016 2:34 PM

    How many new faces are needed and how often?
    Badly handled and strange since he gave you everything he was equipped to give the franchise.

  12. jakeman21co says: Jan 7, 2016 2:35 PM

    What a Moron. You give him crap players and a rookie (who will hopefully improve) QB and only 2 years to develop anything. This is why you are perpetually bad.

  13. bucrightoff says: Jan 7, 2016 2:35 PM

    Licht has a nice pedigree (former NE/AZ guy) so I hope he’s involved in most of the football decisions and the Glazer boys have nothing to with anything.

  14. riflemanlax says: Jan 7, 2016 2:36 PM

    He said she said

  15. i thumbs down your comment says: Jan 7, 2016 2:36 PM

    Why on Earth would you warn someone that you are about the get fired at the next meeting?

    I wouldn’t show up either

  16. bigearl61 says: Jan 7, 2016 2:36 PM

    So if licht has control of the 53 shouldn’t he be fired also, due to the lack of depth of the roster and some questionable trades, and draft picks?

  17. tyelee says: Jan 7, 2016 2:37 PM

    8 wins in 2 seasons; only 3 home wins in 2 seasons; last game of the season they weren’t at all competitive scoring only 10 points and letting the Panthers score 38 with so little resistance…

    It was time!

  18. realfootballfan says: Jan 7, 2016 2:38 PM

    This was clearly driven by ownership, but hopefully for Buc fans and Winston who I hope they don’t ruin, they let Licht make the hire on his own similar to how that was handled when he was still working for Arizona and Keim hired an outsider in Arians when everyone thought Ray Horton had that job wrapped up. Koetter is not cut out to be a head coach as evidenced by his Arizona State days. You don’t get better at it when the job gets harder, lol.

  19. buccaneersforlife says: Jan 7, 2016 2:38 PM

    With all the Koetter speculation, I was watching the Jason Licht interview looking for clues on anything leading to that argument and he definitely made it clear Koetter is “a very strong candidate.”

    Lovie had to go…this team is too young to expect it to be self managed. You can get away with that if you are the NE Patriots with a bunch of vets, not the second youngest team in the NFL.

    I hope Gerald McCoy is next. We need more Winston and Kwon Alexander type of mindsets.

    BTW…I love Todd Myers tweet: Dirk has been the man since we walked in the door.”

    GO BUCS!!!

  20. ninerfan81 says: Jan 7, 2016 2:38 PM

    Message to next coach: “you have a very short runway, regardless of your resume’, to win big”

  21. ivanpavlov0000 says: Jan 7, 2016 2:38 PM

    Translation: Given a choice between Lovie Smith and Dirk Koetter, the Buccaneers prefer Dirk Koetter.

    Yarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr matey.

  22. Florio Believer says: Jan 7, 2016 2:38 PM

    Liar Liar pants on fire!!

    Not a Lovie fan but your Team sux!

    Good luck in your future endeavors….

  23. The Solar Nanjing says: Jan 7, 2016 2:40 PM

    If Koetter is not hired be ready to feel a breeze as all the air will be let out of all the Bucs fans balloons.

  24. wantsomecheesewiththatwhine says: Jan 7, 2016 2:40 PM

    if i’m a good coach why would i want to work for you with that kind of patience. you think 6 wins with a rookie QB is bad? check Cam Newtons stats in his first year. they’re almost identical to winston’s
    mr. licht i hope your owner is just as patient with you as you are with your coaches

  25. weepingjebus says: Jan 7, 2016 2:40 PM

    The Bucs should fire their ex coaches out of a cannon, like the late Hunter S. Thompson. I mean, you already have the boat.

  26. jonathankrobinson424 says: Jan 7, 2016 2:41 PM

    Lovie Smith may be a good guy, no doubt, but he is a awful game day coach. Go back and look at all the games the BUCS lead in the 4th ,and they lost. Too many! I’m sorry but that’s game management. This team has a lot of talent and should have been 9-7.

  27. livelikeurdying says: Jan 7, 2016 2:43 PM

    Eight wins in two years? Yikes!

  28. scrp2 says: Jan 7, 2016 2:43 PM

    They probably wanted to fire him last year but financially couldn’t do it.

  29. zampft says: Jan 7, 2016 2:44 PM

    Lovie made some bewildering command decisions… not having an offensive coordinator for his first year being the biggest. Keeping his defensive coordinator but calling the plays himself the second.

    Signing free agent bust after bust didn’t help either, particularly when he let quality talent like Revis go without a fight.

    And for a guy who was supposed to bring respect and a disciplined team, he couldn’t stop them from making penalties, committing turnovers, and getting ejected.

  30. mvp43 says: Jan 7, 2016 2:45 PM

    If Koetter is hired and has 8 wins after 2 years, he better be fired.

    Lovie inherited a horrible team for the most part. It takes more than 2 years to turn a team around particularily with a rookie QB. He deserved 1 more year for sure.

  31. vancouversportsbro says: Jan 7, 2016 2:45 PM

    Jason Licht is exempt too. He’s assembled such a great team after all.

  32. damnsureis says: Jan 7, 2016 2:47 PM

    So they might hire they guy who ran the offense that got them 8 wins in 2 years?

  33. jim699 says: Jan 7, 2016 2:48 PM

    They went 6-10 this year right. So much variance in a 16 game season. 6 wins is often 3 plays away from being 9 wins.

    I don’t know though. I’m not a Lovie fan. Just speaking generally.

  34. hehateme2 says: Jan 7, 2016 2:49 PM

    Dumb franchise

  35. outlaw53 says: Jan 7, 2016 2:49 PM

    Of course, as a Saints fan, I was happy that they didn’t get a better coach over the past two seasons, just for the sake of keeping Tampa in the rear view mirror. Ohio seems like a logical landing place for Lovie….

  36. mandings36 says: Jan 7, 2016 2:50 PM


  37. 6ball says: Jan 7, 2016 2:54 PM

    Even with this year’s improvement, the Bucs were largely irrelevant among the Tampa locals. They only won three home games in two years and were blown out in most of the others.

  38. ben444 says: Jan 7, 2016 2:54 PM

    Green Bay needs a new Defensive Coordinator. Anything is better then the mummy we (they) have now.

    Please oh Please fire Capers at the end of the season.

  39. coltzfan166 says: Jan 7, 2016 2:56 PM

    Besides, I thought coaches were supposed to get a free pass their first year on the job? Should’ve gotten at least one more year

  40. summitmech says: Jan 7, 2016 2:57 PM

    After a 300% improvement on your record over the year before – no, that is NOT patient enough.

    Your constant changing of coaches is the problem. Everyone who commented against you on this thread literally understands football better than you do.

    What a terrible GM.

  41. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 7, 2016 3:00 PM

    Glazers are terrible owners.

    They are among the group of owners who care absolutely zero about wins, only about giving enough lip service to the fan that the money machine keeps rolling full speed ahead.

  42. jvw1982 says: Jan 7, 2016 3:01 PM

    How many wins would have been enough in 2 yrs? they won 2 the first yr, if he won 12 in two yrs would that have been enough? so you expected them to win 10 games this yr…..lets see if his impatience cost him his job in the next couple of yrs….

  43. dryzzt23 says: Jan 7, 2016 3:01 PM

    Why does everyone defend Smith? He did a TERRIBLE job of coaching. If the Bucs next year, ya’ll would scream “one more year….blah blah”.

    NFL owners want return on their investment and Smith made the Bucs WORSE, that mandates firing him.

    Get over it. I wonder if ppl feel sorry for him b/c he’s black. He still gets $10 million walking out the door so you can stop the pity party for Smith.

  44. tommykramer9 says: Jan 7, 2016 3:03 PM

    It’s all just a blame game. Blame problems on someone else so you can keep getting over compensated for the job you are doing.

  45. dietrich43 says: Jan 7, 2016 3:03 PM

    Who wants the job? They’re the Cleveland Browns south. So many coaching changes, that they won’t attract top talent if they worried about getting fired after going from 2-14 to 6-10.

  46. tjacks7 says: Jan 7, 2016 3:07 PM

    This guy is comparing Smith to Reid, Zimmer and Gruden who all took teams to the playoffs within a couple seasons. But, he’s comparing apples to oranges.

    Reid and Zimmer took over teams with a lot more talent than the Bucs had. The Redskins were more talented but also in an extremely weak division.

    I never thought much of Smith as a coach. But, the GM should be looking at the poor job instead of the coach. The Bucs simply don’t have enough talent to compete. That’s the GMs job. You can only coach guys up so much. They should have stayed the course in my opinion.

  47. learysdisciples says: Jan 7, 2016 3:07 PM

    Up your nose with a rubber hose Mr. Koetter.

  48. jeffsnow7 says: Jan 7, 2016 3:07 PM

    you still have to pay the guy $10M this year and next year… this fire makes no sense at all

  49. smokehouse56 says: Jan 7, 2016 3:08 PM

    Hey Jason, only 8 wins in two with the players you gave him, under your watch. You started your in job in January of 2014, seems to me you think the fans were patient enough with you, but not with Lovie. How did that happen? I’m white and they call me a racist in not believing in affirmative action hires but with Lovie, I think he deserved better. Some one will give him another shot as a coordinator or head coach. He deserves it. That job is the current plumb in the NFL right now. They have an elite ready QB, Jameis Winston, ready to perform at an elite form.

    One last thing. On December 17 in Tampa Jason Licht also said “We knew we were going to struggle at times this year (2015).”

  50. 4sacroc says: Jan 7, 2016 3:09 PM

    In a league of parity (aka – mediocrity) you had better turn your program around real fast, especially in a perennially weak division as the NFC South.

    Only 11 teams with a winning record.

    The NFL has become a really bad product.

  51. whispersd says: Jan 7, 2016 3:09 PM

    How many wins did he expect the Bucs to get in a season following a 2-win season? From my standpoint, 6 seems entirely reasonable.

    Maybe Mr. Licht should take a long, hard look at his own role in the team’s lack of success. I guess it’s easier to blame Lovie.

  52. tylawspick6 says: Jan 7, 2016 3:12 PM

    Finally, someone calls out Lovie SMith for his mediocre (At best) coaching.

    I swear, some of these coaches get recycled when it’s clear they’re really not that good in the first or even second place they coached at.

    Rooney Rule working in reverse, apparently.

    Lovie Smith is not a Licht here, either. Licht would probably due a better coaching job.

    Some people are just not cut out to be leaders of the whole team like Rex Ryan, Lovie Smith, Marvin Lewis, etc, etc, etc etc. You have to be a leader and these people are not.

    They stumbled into head coaching jobs for various reasons, had some middling succeses and try to pass it off as consistent success.

    Lovie Smith had LOADED teams in Chicago for years and did next to nothing over his total tenure, outside of one legit, deep SB run in 2006.

  53. mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports says: Jan 7, 2016 3:14 PM

    I didn’t even count last year for Lovie. He inherited a dumpster fire. This year, they started 6-6. They lost 4 games by 8 points or less. They showed progress and he handled Winston well. I would’ve given him a 3rd year, but hey…this is why bad teams stay bad.

  54. cchead says: Jan 7, 2016 3:14 PM

    As a Bucs fan I would love to see any NFC team looking for a head coach or a defensive coordinator.

  55. edelmanfanclub says: Jan 7, 2016 3:16 PM

    Im convinced Licht won a power struggle with Lovie. When Lovie was hired he had final say on the roster, so Licht wants final say and his own guy coaching. He won. Lovie got fired. Let’s see how it goes.

  56. whispersd says: Jan 7, 2016 3:17 PM

    “Lovie had to go…this team is too young to expect it to be self managed. You can get away with that if you are the NE Patriots with a bunch of vets, not the second youngest team in the NFL. ”

    The Patriots are actually a fairly young team, esp. if you average ages according to snap count.

    Regardless, they are very far from “self-managed”. Nobody has ever accused Belichick of having a hands-off management style. Players who free-lance get benched, and if they insist on continuing to do that, they get traded or released.

  57. bjwbrown2011 says: Jan 7, 2016 3:18 PM

    You look at Lovies career and he was the type of coach who could put you between 7-9 and 11-5 each year.

    Even these bucs weren’t a dumpster fire team that didn’t show up each week. In many ways they seemed like the 2011/2012 Panthers but without the winning streak the 2012 Panthers had at the end, a team that is growing and scrappy but isn’t a contender yet.

    I hope Lovie gets a third chance. Put him in Philly and he’ll be able to contend for a division crown every year, put him in Cleveland and he’ll be the best coach the new browns ever had.

  58. krismn22 says: Jan 7, 2016 3:23 PM

    “It takes more than 2 years to turn a terrible team around.”

    Mike Zimmer: “Um….huh?”

  59. joetoronto says: Jan 7, 2016 3:24 PM

    It’s astonishing an NFL GM could be this short sighted. He took over a terrible team that showed noticeable improvement this year.

  60. toolkien says: Jan 7, 2016 3:24 PM

    Again, Smith didn’t get fired for what he did in Tampa, he’s getting fired for what he did in Chicago.

    Tampa thought they’d be one of these “great defenses, don’t screw it up offenses” like the Ravens have been for years (until last year), but then they win the Winston lottery and they are suddenly “let’s do a great offense and a bend but don’t break defense” instead. Smith isn’t going to be that guy, and Chicago was the proving ground for that. Tampa didn’t want to have Winston and be, at best, a 10-6 team with little shot come the playoffs.

  61. dcapettini says: Jan 7, 2016 3:25 PM

    Some of the Bucs players will be playing for their 4th coach in 5 years. That is no way to run a railroad. If the GM had given Lovie the players, they would have won more games. Pretty simple. Now they will start all over again. And with each coaching change, qualified candidates see that nothing good will happen with current management.

  62. petedutcherjr says: Jan 7, 2016 3:26 PM

    So…Jason Licht is the man who signs free agents, works trades, resigns players, runs the scouts AND has gotten credit for the draft.

    I guess Lovie had no power at all. He was hired to be Jason Licht’s scapegoat.

    People can claim Lovie brought in bad free agents, but he actually did not. Jason Licht was in charge of the free agents. Lovie’s hands were tied, and no good coach wants a job like that.

  63. immafubared says: Jan 7, 2016 3:26 PM

    I lke Lovie as a d coach not a head coach. I agree 8 wins in two years for a guy who got draft picks, top free agents. et al and had head coaching experience, this is a no brainer.

  64. thetooloftools says: Jan 7, 2016 3:27 PM

    A bunch of Buc ups.

  65. raiderlyfe510 says: Jan 7, 2016 3:27 PM

    Wrong when a coach takes on a rebuild the 3rd year is usually the breakthrough year. Two years is not being patient enough.

    I understand the move though. They want their young QB to have offensive stability. Really these defensive minded head coaches need to stop being lazy and learn offense in the offseason. There are a lot of college programs out there where you can learn offensive concepts from. That’s what Belechick has done. Just because you’re labeled a defensive minded coach doesn’t mean you have to be non functional offensively…but I digress.

  66. a1b24312 says: Jan 7, 2016 3:27 PM

    Koetter, a coach on that same team…

    who is going to work under a guy that azed his head coach?

  67. dal1as says: Jan 7, 2016 3:28 PM

    Bad decision, they were getting better. Lovie is a good coach. 2 years is not enough unless it was a mistake to hire that person in the first place (San Fran). They will go backwards again

  68. albundy4tds1game says: Jan 7, 2016 3:31 PM

    So many clueless morons. Lovie was there before the Gm. lovie had total control. They have also hit on almost all their draft picks and got Kwon alexander in the 4th who was a legitimate defensive rookie of the year till his suspension

  69. buccedup says: Jan 7, 2016 3:45 PM

    People criticizing this move haven’t watched the bucs since Gruden was at the helm. Lovie had final say on roster moves. Those moves included running Revis, Zuttah, Larsen, Goldson, Swearinger, and Barron out of town. They’re all doing well on other teams. Don’t forget Michael Johnson who did nothing for TB, but is starting for Cincy.

    Lovie couldn’t coach up anyone. The defense, his specialty, was terrible. The secondary was a revolving door because he couldn’t make a decision and loved Mike Jenkins and Tim Jennings for odd reasons.They got torched by Ryan Mallet and Case Keenum. The arrow was pointing down.

  70. reprob8 says: Jan 7, 2016 3:47 PM

    Licht must have a GREAT relationship with the owners…otherwise, bad GM coaching hires can cost a job too.

    The smoke he’s blowing about losses & an open interview process doesn’t wash. Lovie didn’t lose any games after Sunday, so a “lose the game & you’ll lose your job” decision could have been announced on Monday. (was someone on vacation?) Additionally, Dirk may not stick around if another head coach comes in. So, the open coaching search & the “freaked out because Miami has been sniffing around” scenarios counter each other out.

    There’s GOT to be more to this firing o_O

  71. jmachete77 says: Jan 7, 2016 3:48 PM

    Tampa 2 defense is dead does not work in today’s NFL .. Next they need to release or trade McCoy ..

  72. whysomanylosers says: Jan 7, 2016 3:50 PM


  73. NinersRule says: Jan 7, 2016 3:54 PM

    Gotta agree with Licht– No real reason to not move on from sub-mediocrity.

    They have a talented young QB — No time to waste on mediocre coaches.

  74. vetdana says: Jan 7, 2016 3:59 PM

    They should have unloaded the GM too !….he had to sign off on the inept players that were brought to the roster, who had next to no NFL talent and could not compete ! The Grim Reaper is going to be sitting in at all of the future meetings waiting to have his way with Mr Licht.One long losing streak and the sickle goes in for the harvest.

  75. rcali says: Jan 7, 2016 4:02 PM

    Um, Mr. Licht…….Bill Parcells is not walking through that door. In two years there will be another coaching change and a long deserved GM change.

  76. kfoyo808 says: Jan 7, 2016 4:08 PM

    Rock and hard place. Yes, they definitely improved 6 wins looking up. Lovie not an O guy – and the improvement was due to the offense, Jameis progressed and run game looked good. But was 2 years enough? I’d say no. Koetter hiring will look bad to players though…like Koetter undermined Lovie.

  77. tonebones says: Jan 7, 2016 4:13 PM

    I just blame the owners. That last paragraph tells the whole story. It says Licht has control of the 53 man roster but allows for wiggle room. I hate the wiggle room part of it. If any coach in the world knows more about personnel than a guy who’s worked in personnel his entire career, you’ve got big problems. I think position coaches who put in the required film work should be consulted when choosing their position, but you can’t allow coaches to bring in bad players. It seems like the wiggle room part of it isn’t an attempt to work together, but rather a built in excuse.

  78. footballfan72 says: Jan 7, 2016 4:15 PM

    Koetter you see how they treat coaches in Tampa. Run while you can!

  79. jeagan1999 says: Jan 7, 2016 4:16 PM

    As a long time Bucs fan, I think I can tell you why Coach Smith was let go….

    1. 8-24 record over 2 seasons was just NOT acceptable to the Glazers. Schiano won more than that…with less talent!

    2. Led the NFL in penalties….again NOT acceptable. You can’t keep shooting yourself in the foot all the time like the Bucs did this season….it cost us games!

    3. Allowed opposing QB’s to complete nearly 70% of passes! Lovie was supposed to be a defensive guru, and he just could not get this defense to generate a pass rush, or prevent opposing WR’s from catching passes!

    4. Dirk Koetter! Jameis Winston and the offense were really the lone bright spot on this team this season, and I think the Glazers were afraid of him being offered a HC job with another team.

    My guess is that next week…after the token interviews are complete….Dirk Koetter WILL be the next Head Coach in Tampa (unless the Glazers can somehow entice Chucky back to the sidelines!!) and they will hire a good, young Defensive Coordinator to help rebuild that side of the ball. Whether or not this was a wise move….guess we’ll have to wait and see, but I do like Koetter and I think he can be a good Head Coach, while still grooming Winston to be an elite level QB!

  80. blynch67 says: Jan 7, 2016 4:23 PM

    Hey, Mr. GM, that’s a pretty weak rationale to can the coach.

  81. shaggytoodle says: Jan 7, 2016 4:25 PM

    No two years is NOT enough, if you can’t give a GM or head coach 3 seasons don’t bother parting with whomever u have at the helm.

    It takes one year to clean up the mess from the previous coach or GM, another season to get your scheme solidified with the team a long with drafting and acquiring players that can do well in as far as style 3 4 or 4 3 D cover 2 or a power run or west coast whatever the coach chooses to run…. and the 3rd season you grade the complete picture. Then decide…

    There are coaches better than Smith out there, but he deffinetely had the team trending in the right direction and he certainly deserved on more season.

  82. willking55 says: Jan 7, 2016 4:27 PM

    Bring in Marty Schottenheimer! Yes Marty ball..
    Give 22 450 carries a year 1500 yards
    Dink and dunk with 3, I’m talking about 9/14 130
    Play solid, sound D and special teams
    You’ll be in the playoffs next year

  83. willking55 says: Jan 7, 2016 4:33 PM


  84. arun4fun7 says: Jan 7, 2016 4:37 PM

    Hmmm, interesting how the 2 minority coaches had a shorter leash than the non-minority coaches! And now, a non-minority is in play to replace a minority. If/when the non-minority sucks in 2 years, is he fired too, or does he get a longer leash?

  85. 49er33 says: Jan 7, 2016 4:40 PM

    So many excuses for Smith. Is two years enough to evaluate? Probably not, but Jason Licht only has one year with the team and did a solid job. Ownership pointed to lack of progress on the defensive side which is Lovies forte.

    It looks like Licht won the power struggle if he brings in his own HC. If they being Koetter as the new HC it may mean they value Winston and want to give him continuity on the offensive side which is underrated.

  86. a1b24312 says: Jan 7, 2016 4:45 PM

    they coulda had Schottenheimer last time around – reports were that they were close to a deal until it wasnt (pft speak lol).

  87. ninjapleazee says: Jan 7, 2016 4:50 PM

    Well considering he brought half of the worst Chicago Bears defensive group with him to Tampa ( Chris Conte, Major Wright, Henry Melton, etc), Lovie was the same way in Chicago and stuck to his guys… In Rex we trust.. Aka Rex Grossman…. Yeah that didn’t work out quite well did it.

  88. donnyfootball says: Jan 7, 2016 4:57 PM

    I love you morons who have no idea what actually happened in Tampa passing judgement. I have watched every game the last 2 years. FYI-Lovie had complete control of personnel UNTIL TODAY. It was his guys he brought in that sucked, and somehow the guys he deemed unworthy went on to play and start for other teams. His defense was horrible-70% completion rating. He made journeyman QBs look like HOFrs. Yes he “improved” from 2-16 to 6 and 10, but do the math. Thats 8 and 24 in 2 years. He took a 4-12 team and MADE IT WORSE. Idiots

  89. myhawks1976 says: Jan 7, 2016 5:09 PM

    My guess here, is that most are barking up the wrong tree. The article states that Licht called Lovie to give him a headsup what was going to be discussed at the meeting. It didn’t say that he was going to be fired at the meeting.

    My guess, and watching Lovie for the last decade plus, is that he was told on that phone call that they wanted to make some organizational changes (letting coaches and coordinators go) that Lovie did not support, and so they fired him instead.

    It’s a hard sell, to say you didn’t improve enough. I know you’re coming from 2 wins, but tripling your wins year 2 with a rookie qb is the RIGHT direction. I think I most likely would have given Lovie another year and seen whether he could keep the upward trend going.

    It’s on Licht now. Whoever he hires, and the fact that he is taking control of the personnel, means the fire is squarely under his rear now.

  90. jag1959 says: Jan 7, 2016 5:10 PM

    Licht has been there the same amount of time as Smith. Banging on him for being the impatient one is being pretty naive about the way things work from a functional standpoint. Look at the timing of the announcement last night versus the press conference today. Obviously the Glazers pulled the trigger last night and threw Licht under the blame bus today.

  91. donnyfootball says: Jan 7, 2016 5:15 PM

    Also for you internet smart guys who say no one will want the coaching job in Tampa, consider this:
    1) 22 year old FRANCHISE QB who should win rookie of the year.
    2) No state tax. I know that doesn’t mean anything to most of you who live in Mommy’s basement, but to those who have a job, that’s a lot of cash.
    3) Lots of cap room. Now that Licht is making personnel decisions instead of LovieDovie, Tampa can offer big $ to quality free agents. Now refer to #2.
    4) Owners who will spend $. They are not shy about paying multiple coaches (Lovie walks away with 10 mil) and will spend on free agents.
    5) Paradise. I hate to rub it in, but it is sunny and in the 70’s today. Beaches, fishing, boating….Suck it.

  92. youdrivemenutseagles says: Jan 7, 2016 5:22 PM

    I think Lovie still should have gone to the meeting. He made it easy for them with the no-show.

  93. king102282 says: Jan 7, 2016 5:31 PM

    Bucs are a joke!!!! Pissed about the way they did lovie smith

  94. realfootballfan says: Jan 7, 2016 5:34 PM

    The people here blaming Licht are off base. If you have heard any of this press conference, the guy clearly sounded rattled and out of sorts. He’s just being the mouthpiece for the owners who we all know are clueless. Since their dad died, they will have hired 4 head coaches after this next hire in roughly 10 years. You have Buc fans and even more clueless media members in Tampa who actually think this team was talented enough to be in the playoffs, which is a huge part of the problem because the owners being clueless seems to fit right in with the mindset down there. I said before the season their ceiling was 6 wins, and they hit it on the head. Koetter or any competent OC would have “developed” Winston. I think this is what some of us told you before the draft. He’s kind of good, so trying to attribute that to Koetter is silly. The better metric for why he’s going to fail if they promote him is his Arizona State days. Coaching in the NFL, kind of tougher than Pac 10 football.

  95. dreadnok89 says: Jan 7, 2016 5:35 PM

    Hmmm, interesting how the 2 minority coaches had a shorter leash than the non-minority coaches! And now, a non-minority is in play to replace a minority. If/when the non-minority sucks in 2 years, is he fired too, or does he get a longer leash?

    1 1
    Report comment


    80 percent of the league is black, lol. Kinda hard to argue about who is a minority

  96. bubbahotepp says: Jan 7, 2016 5:40 PM

    Well, you know, that storied franchise clearly has an incredible legacy to live up to.

  97. doggeatdogg says: Jan 7, 2016 5:43 PM


    The GM builds a terrible roster, so the GM fires the coach. Makes sense to me!

    This is why I don’t like the GM to hire / fire the coach OR Powerful Coach to go hire / fire the GM. Every team should have a senior executive of football that is the direct boss over the GM and Coach. Each answers to the exec who hires or fires them according to performance and competence. The coach and GM should know they need to work together or they won’t have a job.

    The way the NFL does it is stupid, not a real business or org structure. The coach doesn’t want to go there unless he brings his own GM or the GM does not want to work there unless he brings his own coach.

    They need to fix it.

  98. titans4evr says: Jan 7, 2016 5:44 PM

    I liked thekingcoleman says:

    Hard to go from DUMPER fire to playoff…

    I mean, like, that’s a BAD FIRE. It would be really hard to get to the playoffs after that. Really REALLY hard.

  99. jdillydawg says: Jan 7, 2016 6:08 PM

    I think we’re going to see more and more coaches get canned after two seasons. It’s pretty unrealistic to expect a coach to turn around a train wreck in that amount of time, but that’s what owners expect. And as long as they expect that, more coaches are going to fall short and get fired.

  100. therealzeitgeist says: Jan 7, 2016 6:11 PM

    The GM-coach dynamic is the side-show. The real dynamic is the coach/QB dynamic, as shown by the Darth Hoodie/Lord Shady shtick that pays such dividends in Tea Town.

  101. granadafan says: Jan 7, 2016 6:11 PM

    ninjapleazee says:
    Jan 7, 2016 4:50 PM
    Well considering he brought half of the worst Chicago Bears defensive group with him to Tampa ( Chris Conte, Major Wright, Henry Melton, etc),

    Conte was one the top tacklers on the team and is a top 10 strong safety in the league (tackles). Wright and Melton weren’t very good though.

  102. bucsorbust says: Jan 7, 2016 6:13 PM

    The offense went from 30th overall to 5th overall, due to Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter. Last year, the Bucs pass D improved for the last six games, and they kept all coaches and most players. But it started weak again this year, and ended the same, worse overall from last year only now leading the league in penalties. I liked Lovie, would have given him another year, but it keeping Lovie means losing the Koetter and impeding Winston’s growth, so long Lovie. We’d be throwing the baby out and keeping the bath water!

  103. abninf says: Jan 7, 2016 6:14 PM

    Tom Landry was 4-20 his first two years.

    Jimmy Johnson was 8-24.

  104. bucsorbust says: Jan 7, 2016 6:14 PM

    Odd that the Bucs fired most D coaches and kept all of the offense and special teams coaches. This tells me Koetter is coming. This was throwing the bathwater out without the baby, and a good call.

  105. bucsorbust says: Jan 7, 2016 6:20 PM

    While I like Lovie and would have given him one more year, there is this fact: I’ve spent $48K on season tickets in the past 8 years and have not seen a Bucs playoff game. Meanwhile, Lovie walks about with $10 million for an 8-24 record, only three wins at home. Who’s crying now? Not Lovie!

  106. fanofpft says: Jan 7, 2016 6:35 PM

    8 wins in 2 seasons is enough to fire him. In fact after last season with just 2 wins was more than enough.

    Firing the HC after a 2 win season seems more fitting than a 10 win season. I felt bad for Bucs/fans after that. And will keep feeling that way I suspect if they don’t make an all out effort to find a good replacement. And not this hire from within I’m hearing about.

  107. bucsorbust says: Jan 7, 2016 6:41 PM

    The article is incorrect. Jason Licht did not say the organization was patient enough. He said the fans have been patient enough. Let’s get the facts straight.

  108. atrain413 says: Jan 7, 2016 6:41 PM

    You all seem to forget Lovie had full control over the roster and those were HIS free agents that all went bust. You waste $50 million of your bosses money and see how long you last. The guy brings in the same guys that got him fired in Chicago and what do you expect? The tampa 2 is long past is usage and he will not change. Blow 3 leads by shutting down your offense cuz you think your defense can hold a lead? Egomaniac, same as he was in Chicago. Just the bucs didnt wait 9 years to have to figure that out. Great move, go destroy someone elses team, Cleveland seems like the prefect fit.

  109. thermanmerman99 says: Jan 7, 2016 7:22 PM

    Love Smith can make a career out of being the token Rooney Rule interview for the rest of his life. How could you beat that? Charge a team 500k to “interview” you each year, he could make millions doing nothing.

  110. accipiterq says: Jan 7, 2016 8:02 PM

    Considering they’re emulating Cleveland at this point, who exactly do they think they’re getting that’s better? I get that there’s a franchise QB in place, but organizations run like this can ruin that potential. If you think other coaches aren’t looking at this and putting TB at the bottom of their list of desired destinations, you’re nuts

  111. alwaysaz says: Jan 7, 2016 8:11 PM

    You all that are calling for Licht’s head are downright silly. Lovie was the problem and now Licht will steady the ship.

  112. bucsorbust says: Jan 7, 2016 8:27 PM

    The Bucs have had some issues but are not close to emulating the Browns. Don’t suck them down that rust belt toilet. How many QBs have the Browns drafted as their franchise QB who did not work out? How many GMs and coaches have been through AND how many Super Bowls has Cleveland played in. Not even close. The Lovie firing is all about Jameis and his OC.

  113. bucsorbust says: Jan 7, 2016 8:32 PM

    Most don’t know a few things. First, Lovie was hired before Licht. Licht had final say on draft picks and Lovie had final say free agents. Lovie went out and got high priced guys who didn’t perform, then he brought in his old players who didn’t perform. Lovie took over calling the D and they got worse. Lovie wanted to draft Mariota. Licht wanted to draft Winston, and did. And he also got Mike Evans, Charles Sims, Kwon Alexander, Ali Marpet, and Donovan Smith. I’d say six starters in two drafts is pretty good, wouldn’t you?

  114. 1trojan33usc says: Jan 7, 2016 9:40 PM

    I fault Lovie for being brave enough for taking over a Dumpster Fire !! No O-line, D in chaos and absolutely NO QB ! Like the general consensus on here, Lovie should have at LEAST been giving one more season with his new QB. Management is NOT serious about improving this team. The irony is that Lovie will have left this team a GREAT deal better off than when he took it over. Ridiculous !!!!!!!!!!!

  115. bringbucsback says: Jan 7, 2016 9:53 PM

    The improvement in the Bucs’ record this year was due solely to the improvement of the offense, in only Koetter’s first year as OC, with a rookie QB.

    Lovie’s 2015 Bucs’ defense gave-up more yards & more points than the “2-&-whatever” 2014 Bucs.

    Now, largely because of his success this year, Koetter is now fielding HC interest from a few teams & the Bucs wisely don’t want to lose him.

    So, what would you rather have: Koetter, offense consistency & a bad D OR Lovie , a bad D & a new offense?

    The last couple of drafts have been good; FA’s have not. Some here claim that Licht is responsible for the drafts & Lovie FA. I don’t know; it was probably shared. However, the FA pick-ups were heavy with former Bears players.

    This firing came from the owners, who fell out-of-love with Lovie. Licht, who liked Lovie & was hired by him is, in this instance, the mouthpiece, as GM’s often are.

    Lovie was a lame-duck coach who was probably going to be fired 360 days from now anyway, primarily due to his inability to build a defense, in spite of his perceived “defensive specialist” status.

  116. bassplucker says: Jan 7, 2016 10:58 PM

    Last I checked McCoy and David are consensus top 5 in the league at their respective positions. Plus the 2nd leading rusher in the league. So enough already with the talk of the Bucs having no talent. Teams with less talent in tougher divisions had equal wins (e.g the Bears) so the critique of Lovie was warranted.

  117. turbo2728 says: Jan 8, 2016 2:21 AM

    This came down to a choice between Lovie and Koetter.

    Koetter was more important to the success of our football team this season and so was the obvious choice between the two. It also means consistency for Winston and the offence. The defence was going to experience a lot of roster turnover anyway.

    They’d better make sure Koetter takes over as HC. It’s the only way this move isn’t a terrible decision.

  118. wyrdawg says: Jan 8, 2016 3:18 AM

    I’m filing this one into the “well, let’s see” file.

    So, if he can’t field a winning team in two years (yeah, I know.. he’s been there longer).. then YOU’RE gone, right?

    I got plenty of time to sit and watch this train wreck unfold.

    Good luck with that kharma thing, by the way.

  119. Florio Believer says: Jan 8, 2016 11:14 AM

    Only YOU could make me feel sorry for Lovie….

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