This flew under the radar with all of the free agency activity the last few days, but Lovie Smith went on Colin Cowherd's show this week to talk about his new job as Illinois head coach, and his being fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And as he did, he slammed the Buccaneers for not sticking to a plan.
"When I took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers job I thought there was a plan we had in place. I thought that plan was being put into action. When you're the boss, though, you can be impatient. But normally the franchises that do take their time and give you a chance maintain that level of success."
When asked about whether he was "blindsided" he came back to that.
"Disappointed, is what I would say. I was surprised. Didn't see it coming. Again as I said, I thought we had a plan, I thought I was part of it. I felt like I put a lot of things in place for the Buccaneers to be successful in years to come."
Lovie Smith did put a lot of things in place for the Bucs to be successful. Drafting Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, Kwon Alexander, Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet will be a big part of that, as will the healthy cap situation despite some free agent busts. And he did bring Dirk Koetter to Tampa.
But he also failed to put a quality defense on the field, which was especially disappointing in year two. Several defensive players regressed under his coaching, and the team kept finding ways to lose games. This wasn't as clear-cut a situation as those that led to the firings of Greg Schiano and Raheem Morris -- but this wasn't unjustified, either.
Still, when you pitch a plan to an employer and you carry it through, getting fired for it isn't evidence for healthy long-term planning on the part of the organization. But here's one thing I can guarantee was not part of the plan: going 8-24 in the first two seasons. Ultimately, that's what got him fired.