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Lovie Smith on Bucs firing: They fired Tony Dungy too

Illinois Athletic Director, Josh Whitman, left, introduces new Illinois football coach, Lovie Smith, at a press conference at the Bielfeldt Athletics Administration Building in Champaign, Ill., on  Monday, March 7, 2016. (Heather Coit(/The News-Gazette via AP) AP

We hadn’t heard from Lovie Smith since the Buccaneers fired him in January.

But as he was welcomed to his new job at the University of Illinois, he took a shot at his former owners by noting they had also once fired Tony Dungy, who went onto Indianapolis to complete a Hall of Fame career.

“As far as Tampa Bay, you just have to kind of take it,” Smith said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “You know, there’s a coach going in the Hall of Fame this summer that was also fired by the Buccaneers so you just take it and move on. I’m not saying that in a bad light, that’s just our profession. That happens. When something like that happens, by me leaving there, it gave me this great opportunity to really have an impact on young men’s lives.’’

Smith’s firing took people off guard, not because he was 8-24 in two seasons, but because he had authored a six-game improvement in one season, and things appeared pointing in the right direction with quarterback Jameis Winston on board.

Smith also said he had no plans to go back to the NFL, perhaps feeling a little burned by the way his last job there went.

“I signed a six-year contract. I’m not going anywhere,” Smith said. “This is the start of the third quarter of my football career. This is where I want to finish my football career. So what better commitment I can show everyone that we’re here for the long haul than that.’’

Smith hasn’t coached at the college level since 1995, when he was an assistant at Ohio State. The 57-year-old joked that he’s going to have to become more social-media savvy now.

“I think it’s a misnomer that I’m some old guy that doesn’t know what’s going on right now,” Smith said. “And I can adjust to social media right now. I’ll be able to make that switch fairly easy. I don’t have a Twitter account currently but I will get one.’’

When he does, he can @TonyDungy and the two of them can commiserate about being fired by the Glazer family.

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26 Responses to “Lovie Smith on Bucs firing: They fired Tony Dungy too”
  1. shogunassasin30 says: Mar 8, 2016 6:31 AM

    It was a 4 game “improvement” not 6. And sure if you want to consider a top 3 worst pass defense of all time an improvement. And I believe the worst as far as completion percentage of over 70 percent. He had zero to do with Jameis Winston’s development. There is a reason Tampa made Kotter the head coach instead. It is absolutely amazing how short sighted and simple (derrrr) the media is in their support of Lovie. Do a little research, and you’ll find that Loves coaching tenure was a disaster in Tampa. His scheme, the players he brought in, his inability to adjust. If you want him then you can have him, see how that works out for you.

  2. jimthebuilder27 says: Mar 8, 2016 6:38 AM

    Big difference, Dungy worked and changed his scheme for players and knew how to manage players. Lovie won’t change his scheme for players, nor does he have a clue how to manage.

  3. imjustsayin412 says: Mar 8, 2016 7:05 AM

    Definitely shouldn’t have been fired, Lovie had that team on its way up. I don’t know why teams are always so quick to fire their coach, it doesn’t fix anything.

  4. jojopuppyfish says: Mar 8, 2016 7:07 AM

    He’s a good coach. Don’t be surprised if he does great things at Illinois

  5. bucnblood says: Mar 8, 2016 7:10 AM

    LMAO! I like you Lovie and wish you the best but please don’t compare yourself to Dungy!

  6. lingsun54 says: Mar 8, 2016 7:13 AM

    Tony Dungy wasn’t a great coach either.

  7. raven4531 says: Mar 8, 2016 7:14 AM

    Mr Smith,
    You went 8-24 and made a nice salary for the lackluster performance you gave the fans here in Tampa Bay.
    As far as not wanting to return to coach in the NFL, I don’t blame you. However, I don’t think your results will be any better in the Big Ten with Urban and Harbs lurking on your schedule every year.
    I admire you sort of grouping yourself in with Tony Dungy, but you should be comparing yourself more with the likes of Raheem Morris and Shiano who also were fired by the Bucs and will never be Hall of Famers.

  8. captainstagger says: Mar 8, 2016 7:21 AM

    Did Lovie just compare himself to Dungy….you sir are no Dungy. And what happened after Dungy got fired, Gruden won the Super Bowl.

    Lovie’s firing had less to do with his record and more to do with the incompetent job he did with the defense. He wouldn’t fire his son, who is a horrible coach. Management said…..hire a DC, Lovie said no so they showed him the door. Too stubborn for his own good. Tampa fans, and Bears fans agree……Lovie is not a good coach.

  9. joetoronto says: Mar 8, 2016 7:34 AM

    Tony Dungy shouldn’t be in the HOF, so there’s that.

  10. topcide says: Mar 8, 2016 7:41 AM

    yes, they fired Dungy, and brought in Gruden and won a title.

    Then Dungy went to Indy, and had one of the greatest QB’s of all time to ride.

    Sorry, but I think Dungy is the most overrated modern coach.

  11. johnnybuc says: Mar 8, 2016 7:41 AM

    Lovie, You’re a great guy, but to try and compare yourself to a HOF coach is beyond ludicrous. I don’t remember Dungy allowing a division opponent to get a 56 point lead in a single half of football. Nor did Dungy have two sons coaching for him because they couldn’t find coaching jobs anywhere else.
    I wish you all the luck n the world, but please quit making such ridiculous comments.

  12. 6ball says: Mar 8, 2016 7:44 AM

    .
    Let’s not be revisionists. It was St Tony and his media allies who put the knife in Greg Schiano. Lovie’s Bucs sucked. Being a Patriots fan, it was hell on earth watching the endless array of mindless penalties and mistakes that Belichick simply wouldn’t endure .

    St Tony used the media to get a coach canned and get himself elected to a now worthless HOF. He’s as phoney as a six dollar bill.
    .

  13. bueller101 says: Mar 8, 2016 8:08 AM

    Dungy was fired because if he had let his offensive coordinator do anythng, the Bucs would have won 3 Super Bowls with that defense.

    Lovie said at his hiring press conference the Bucs were playoff ready now. Then he cut Derelle Revis and a bunch of other guuys who had lots of success elsewhere. Then he goes 2-14. Year 2 he goes 6-10 and the defense was still worse than when he took over the team.

    I know the national media doesn’t follow the Bucs much, but that is why Tony and Lovie were fired.

  14. abninf says: Mar 8, 2016 8:12 AM

    But the coach they fired that’s going to the HOF should not be going to the HOF.

  15. breadmeatcheese says: Mar 8, 2016 8:42 AM

    Tong Dungy is also a member of the Absentee Father Hall of Fame.

  16. liner113 says: Mar 8, 2016 8:53 AM

    Worse than firing Dungy, the Bucs had the nerve to win the Super Bowl the following year. What were they thinking?

  17. tastethejace says: Mar 8, 2016 9:01 AM

    Going from 2-14 to 6-10 is a 4 game improvement, Darin.

    Look I know you can couldn’t actually give two squats about the Bucs, but you can at least do basic math.

  18. captainstagger says: Mar 8, 2016 9:25 AM

    Taste, don’t just look at the W & L’s like the national media does. Look deeper. Winston and Koetter got us those wins, while Lovie’s defense did everything they could to lose.

  19. tastethejace says: Mar 8, 2016 11:12 AM

    My post was correcting Darin’s lack of fact checking, not a defense for Lovie. I’m in full agreement that those 6 wins were in spite of him, and change was warranted.

  20. jonathankrobinson424 says: Mar 8, 2016 11:15 AM

    …..lets also remember Lovie took off a year after he was fired by the Bears, possibly because he was already burnt out coaching in the NFL and/or because no one else was banging down his door for his services. Lovie’s time has come and gone in the NFL. You could tell he didn’t have any ‘fire’ left in him, by watching him on the sidelines, week-in, week out. Glazers mad a mistake hiring him, but corrected it by hiring Koetter.

  21. NFL Sage says: Mar 8, 2016 2:59 PM

    Love is just not a good NFL head coach. He’ll do well in college where his name will be an asset in recruiting and his limited defensive schemes will still work.

  22. a1b24312 says: Mar 8, 2016 3:28 PM

    See also Kelly, C.

    NFL Sage says:
    Mar 8, 2016 2:59 PM
    Love is just not a good NFL head coach. He’ll do well in college where his name will be an asset in recruiting and his limited defensive schemes will still work.

  23. tbf22 says: Mar 8, 2016 11:40 PM

    I doubt he will do well in college either. In college you have a bunch of enthusiastic teenagers running around having the time of their lives. Lovie is such a Debbie downer in the locker rooms. He is always soft spoken and emotionless. He is a terrible motivator. Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh will coach circles around him. The Fighting Illini will continue to be bottom feeders. He might be able to recruit a few extra players but his coaching is still garbage.

    Bears fan hate Lovie… Why would a Bears fan want to play for Lovie Smith?

  24. bucnationblog says: Mar 9, 2016 10:30 PM

    It was honestly a good thing we fired lovie smith the worst teams this year put up a lot of points on the bucs. For example, Tennessee, Jacksonville, st. Louis, Carolina twice in a row, Washington that came all the way back and beat us from a 24-0 nothing lead on them, and the giants. So yea we really need a defense.

  25. bucnationblog says: Mar 9, 2016 10:35 PM

    It was honestly a good thing we fired lovie smith the worst teams this year put up a lot of points on the bucs. For example, Tennessee, Jacksonville, st. Louis, Carolina twice in a row, Washington that came all the way back and beat us from a 24-0 nothing lead on them, and the giants. So yea we really need a defense. Not that Carolina was horrible but u guys get what I’m saying.

  26. LargoBuc says: May 10, 2016 11:42 AM

    Kirk Cousins: “YOU LIKE THAT!?!”…
    Courtesy of Lovie Snith and his sieve of a defense.

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