Lovie’s final say could make it harder to get a G.M.

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Whenever a team has vacancies at both coach and General Manager and hires the coach first, the message becomes clear.

The coach will be running the show.

Coach Lovie Smith will indeed be running the show in Tampa.  According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Smith’s contract gives the former Bears coach final say “over all personnel matters.”  This presumably includes the draft, free agency, and the crafting of the final 53-man roster.

Giving that power to Smith could make it harder to hire a General Manager.  For starters, any G.M. who wants final say won’t want the job.

There’s another potential issue.  If the Buccaneers want to offer a promotion to a front-office employee from another team, the job needs to entail final say over personnel or the candidate’s current team can block the move.

Whether that would happen with leading candidate Chris Ballard, the director of pro personnel in Kansas City, remains to be seen.  Last year, the Packers didn’t block John Dorsey from leaving for the Chiefs, even though coach Andy Reid presumably has final say over personnel.

Regardless of the contractual niceties, Lovie Smith will be doing something he didn’t do in Chicago, where G.M. Jerry Angelo and then (for a year) G.M. Phil Emery ran the roster.  The key will be for Smith and his G.M. to work together, making consensus decisions that won’t entail Smith having to play his trump card.

38 responses to “Lovie’s final say could make it harder to get a G.M.

  1. Giving Lovie final say was a terrible terrible decision. This guy can coach defense, and is a good motivator, but Tampa was nuts to give him final say. He used his influence he gained after the Super Bowl and engineered some terrible moves when he was with the Bears (like the Archuleta trade), and eventually Jerry Angelo didn’t let him have as much input.

  2. Coaches having final say is almost always a mistake. Most recent championship teams (Giants, Packers, Ravens, Steelers, Colts) have strong GMs.

    And what has Lovie Smith ever done to earn that much power anyway?

  3. Well, if the team does poorly, the owner couldn’t fire the G.M. as it would be Lovie who was shown the door.

    A young, first time G.M. could ease into the role, make a nice living, gain experience and then hopefully get the power when Lovie is canned in the future or move on to another team after some years of experience.

    Yes, this would make it harder for some to want or get the position, but it makes it easier for many who are on the lower rungs.

    I mean if I were an assistant G.M. somewhere and say 30 yrs old, I’d take this knowing it wouldn’t be a forever position either, just to be able to put G.M. next to my name and on my resume.

    So it only makes it harder to get a certain type/kind of G.M.

  4. Tampa is setting Lovie up to fail by giving him this power. They could have hired him as coach only and he would have said yes because he wanted to coach again. Now by making him gm will only lead to him getting fired that much sooner in a few years.

  5. It may be common for the head coach to want final say, but I would have concerns giving Lovie this much power. Lovie couldn’t even get his coaching staff right: letting Ron Rivera go, making one bad OC hire after another. He lets his ego get in the way, not to mention always hiring his friends instead of someone that may challenge his views.

  6. For those who think a GM with final say is better, I can give you two words to change your mind…

    Jerrah Jones

  7. this is where KC made the right decision. let the coach pick a GM he can work with. HOWEVER, the coach does NOT have final say over draft decisions and player signings etc. that is on the GM(John Dorsey)

    I just don’t think that many people can handle multiple roles, its hard enough to do one well

  8. I love the Lovie hire but they need a GM that can do more than manage the cap or whatever. Most coaches that try wearing too many hats ultimately fail.

  9. Brian Xanders (now with Detroit) held this role for a 1/2 Dozen years with Denver. A former Seminole, he seems ready made for this slot with Tampa.

  10. Well, exactly IS the GM’s job if he doesn’t have the complete say in player acquisition and related matters? Does he come off the bench, go for coffee or is he placeholder on kickoffs? Why not OFFICIALLY assign Lovie both positions and be done with it. Anyone who becomes GM with these parameters will be a laughing stock.

  11. Lovie couldn’t even manage overseeing the OC and DC in Chicago. How the hell is he supposed to pick the players too? Tampa is making a big mistake.

  12. Poor Tampa fans. The year after the Bears lost in the Super Bowl and Lovie got his fat new contract, he also got increased personnel input. His first two draft choices he personally pushed for were Daniel Bauzuin in the 2nd and Michael Okwo in the 3rd. In fact, if you look at the list of Pro Bowlers Jerry Angelo drafted for Chicago, you will notice zero were picked after Lovie received that new power. It wasn’t a coincidence. My condolences, Bucs fans.

  13. “They want you to cook the dinner; at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries. Okay?”

    Duane Charles “Bill” Parcells

  14. I don’t blame Lovie for making sure he got this written into his new contract after sitting back for years while Angelo handed him trash to coach and Angelo’s successor just handed Jay Cutler stupid money, which is evidence that he’s out of his mind.

  15. Not sold on this being a horrible decision…yet. You never know, a year off from the game could have him with a new mindset and eager to get it right this time.

    With that being said, I’m pretty sure Ballard is going to be the guy because of his past with Lovie. The two have worked together in Chicago where he was a scout (Tillman and Forte were two of his guys) and he has a good sense of the game as he used to coach.

    Everyone is trigger happy to rip on the Bucs for everything they do, but I have a feeling things will work themselves out this time.

  16. i was the GM of the bucs from 2013 to??? if it goes good im telling everyone its on me if it goes bad hell i told em not to do that they didnt listen to me so dont blame me !!!!

  17. Was womdering why he never interviewed with the Lions…mystery solved. They need a coach, not a personnel guy

  18. Who cares just take Jeff Ireland off our hands please. He does a wonderful job!!!! How stupid getting a coach before the General Manager, but then Tampa suck anyway.

  19. *In all reality, Glazer’s children have final say. No one else will have the power to even pick what color they want to paint the walls in the locker room or chose what pregame music the players are forced to listen to. Guess it’s Lady Gaga again….

  20. In college there are no GMs. the head coach runs the recruitment, and the head coach hires his coaching staff and the good head coaches get hired in the NFL where he answers to a GM who don’t know squat about evaluating talent but has final say over personal. Now does this make sense? If Im good enough to coach NFL ballers then Im good enough to draft them. The head coach always has a draft board and more then likely knows the talent level of each college player, to ad another mouth to the equation is redundant. And more times then not, creates tension between HC and GM which causes problems in the locker room. Hire a “development player personal” person to scout college players and help the HC make informed decisions. Thats “help” the HC.

  21. Let’s be honest, no known head coach was going to take that job after the Schiano debacle! Lovie Smith was the best option available for the Bucs and they are lucky to have him.

    It now gives them credibility in moving forward and if they had to give up control then so be it. Also, because of his reputation real offensive and defensive coordinators are going to come to Tampa to work for him.

    Look at the Skins. No self-respecting person that has already been a head coach would take the job, so they are left with a bunch of coordinators just looking for an opportunity to be a head coach.

    Lovie Smith may not win 5 Super Bowls but I will guarantee that the team will at least be competitive every year.

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