Lovie Smith has a new team to get into shape for the 2014-15 NFL season – the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Having just fired their former coach on Black Monday, the Glazer family wasted no time finding a replacement. Smith, former head coach of the Chicago Bears and well known for his strong defensive strategies, will replace Greg Schiano with a reported four-year deal. Having worked under the man who created the infamous “Tony Dungy Tampa 2 Defense,” it seems fitting that if Lovie left Chicago it would be to return to Tampa. Only this time not as the linebackers coach, but as head coach. With the Bucs defense being ranked 21st in the league, it’s no surprise that management would be in search of a leader that had his defensive wits about him.
Tampa Bay Cornerback Darrelle Revis, known for his lock down defense coined “Revis Island,” takes to the Twitter feed to let his 380,000 plus followers know what he thinks of the news that he will be getting one of the best defensive minded coaches in the NFL.
I'm excited about the future for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Heard some great things about Lovie Smith & can't wait to finally meet him.
— Darrelle Revis (@Revis24) January 2, 2014
Smith was let go in Chicago last year with the reasoning that the Bears wanted a more offense-driven team. As a former defensive coordinator, his offense may have been lacking in some areas. But his defensive strategies are far above the norm. Tampa Bay was an obvious fit for Smith as he worked under Tony Dungy as an assistant coach during Dungy’s tenure with the Bucs.
Dungy doesn’t hide his opinions, evident in his recent tweet:
Congratulations to the Bucs. I think they made a very good choice in hiring Lovie Smith. Now I'm excited about watching the Bucs next year!
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) January 2, 2014
Smith is reported to have a few changes in the staff at Tampa. He will bring with him former Cal coach Jeff Tedford as offensive coordinator and is rumored to be adding Rod Marinelli to the mix as defensive coordinator. With the Buccs having fired Mark Dominik during the Black Monday onslaught, the general manager position is also up for grabs. This could prove to be very valuable to Lovie Smith who can gain much more control and influence over his staff, players and personnel with the position vacant.
Whether or not his offense gets a overhaul, Smith will bring a quiet and respected class to the franchise that it was sorely lacking. Lovie Smith is rarely seen with anything other than a calm expression on his face, leaving the torrid remarks and zoo-like antics to the other coaches. His passion for the game is evident in the quality of players he has coached and the strategies he is known for. Not only is Smith a great coach, he’s a good fit for Tampa Bay. Maybe fans will see the Bucs at the 2015 Superbowl.
Image via Wikimedia Commons