Schiano started out hot but an 11-21 record over two years with multiple long losing streaks, no progression, a lost "franchise" quarterback and general disarray (don't get me started on the MRSA stuff, though that's unrelated in my opinion) of the franchise, the Glazers did what they have become accustomed to doing; they pushed the reset button.
Enter Lovie Smith.
Lovie was the linebackers coach under Dungy which represents the glory years of the Bucs franchise. Lovie has had success in the league after the Bucs, both with the St. Louis Rams (DC) and Chicago Bears (HC). While there are some warts on Lovie, he brings NFL experience, something which was lacking in both previous coaches, and an undersatnding of the organization from his days here.
This also represents a chance for the Glazers to let things play out. Whether it's admitted or not, Morris was a financial hire with Gruden still being on the books. They also (allegedly) didn't want to miss on the next Dungy and pushed Morris up two levels, whether he was ready or not (he wasn't). Year 1 for Rah was always going to be awful, regardless of the coach. Year 2 had hope but Year 3 was a disaster. Enter Schiano with no real NFL experience. The hot start quickly faded with multple reports of no leadership and a clash of personalities. Lovie presents a more laidback personality, a silent leader who is content to be in the background, not changing the landscape or re-inventing the wheel.
The hire has been almost unanimously praised on Twitter with Dungy, Lance Briggs (former Smith player), Nickerson, and others all voicing their support of the coach (expected) and the person (a bonus). Lovie is someone that can bring the organization back into the mainstream in a positive light. Some of that will be done by simply not saying anything, the rest should be accomplished by taking on a talented team and molding them, something the former coaches failed to do.
Lovie will potentially bring an offensive mind in Jeff Tedford to assist with SMith's primarily defensive background. His defensive coordinator? I've heard Marinelli who is still under contact and Leslie Frazer. There are also rumors floating that Lane Kiffin may head this way as the Wide Receivers coach. I'm not a fan of Kiffin as a HC or coordinator and don't know enough about his experience with receivers but would prefer the circus not come to town.
A surprising part of this is how the Glazers got this done. They typically fly under the radar with a surprise move but this was the most obvious and most reported hire the Glazers have had. I don't know if that means it was that obvious or that secrecy isn't as big of a deal when you go 11-21 with MRSA outbreaks and long losing streaks.
I believe Lovie is the perfect hire for this team. His defensive style may be a tad outdated in today's NFL but with an offensive mind in Tedford and a successful run in the NFL, there is no reason to doubt he can adapt. The Bucs and legacy Bears pair up nicely when you think about it. Big wide receiver (Marshall and V-Jax), shifty do-it-all running backs (Forte and Martin), strong linebacking presence (Briggs/Urlacher and David), and a strong DL.....ok that's up for debate here.
The Glazers picked the right person, even in a somewhat limited market. Of course, this all hinges to on who the GM will be and how they mesh but from a purely coaching standpoint, I applaud the hire. This is a hire that most fans will be onboard with unlike the empty bandwagons of Schiano and Morris. This is the hire that rights those wrongs, even if it did waste five years of my fan life. On a non-football note, it's nice to have a headcoach who is revered as a person and who Tony Dungy calls an exceptional man. I see no reason that this hire doesn't succeed with the current roster and have high hopes for the next few years. The playoffs are in reach next year just by changing the man at the helm.
Will Lovie and cast bring us back to the future and re-create the glory years? Tough to tell right now but the hiring of Smith seems to be the first needed step of many to restoring the team, the franchise, and the fanbase.