Hiring Lovie Smith mid-season is not a realistic suggestion for Buccaneers

Jonathan Daniel

Even though Greg Schiano is almost certainly going to be fired at some point this year, hiring Lovie Smith before the end of the season is not going to happen.

I don't know how Pro Football Talk does it, but they consistently come up with asinine suggestions that get everyone riled up. This time, it's the suggestion that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could hire Lovie Smith before the end of this season to keep him away from other teams. This is not going to happen, for a number of reasons. I like lists, so let's make a list.

  1. The Glazers tend to be deliberative in the hiring process. It took them nearly a month to hire Greg Schiano, even though they had likely known well before the end of the season that they were going to fire Raheem Morris. They take their time to do things, which is generally a virtue. A rush hiring of Lovie Smith in the middle of the season is not generally what they do.
  2. In fact, it's not generally what any NFL team does. I can't remember any head coach coming from outside of an organization while a season is under way. That doesn't happen, because there's really no point. During the season a coach's time is consumed by immediate game-planning and a new head coach would have no time to implement or change anything. He'd have to spend all of his time playing catch up.
  3. It's a lose-lose situation for Lovie Smith. He's not going to look taking over a team mid-season when he doesn't have the chance to work with his own coaching staff, to implement his own schemes and to really change anything meaningful about the team. Moreover, he'd deprive himself of the opportunity of interviewing for other, potentially more attractive head coaching jobs in the off-season.

Lovie Smith is a very good head coach. He wouldn't be my favorite head coaching selection, but he's high up on the list. The reason is simple: his offenses have consistently been horrendous. He should be paired with a very good offensive coordinator, preferably one who specializes in developing quarterbacks.There's also an argument to be made that settling on a general manager and letting him select the head coach is a better success model, although with Mark Dominik's status up in the air that may be a little more complicated.

The suggestion that the Bucs would need to hire him now to lock him up is at least slightly insulting, though. This team has more talent than any of the other teams likely to fire their head coach at the end of the season. They have more talent than most NFL teams, in fact, except at two crucial positions: defensive end and quarterback. They have owners who have shown that they are willing to spend big bucks in recent years. They have a young core of talent on both sides of the ball locked up for the foreseeable future. And they'll likely have a very high first-round draft pick with which any new coach could select a potential franchise quarterback. Not a lot of teams could offer a package resembling that.

Hiring Lovie Smith or any other outside coach before the end of the season is simply not a realistic suggestion.

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