No Love for Lovie
The Buccaneers surprised many by firing Lovie Smith after just two seasons. On one hand, any coach that wins a total of 8 games in two seasons can hardly feel secure. On the other hand, the Bucs improved from 2-14 in Smith's first season to 6-10 last year, and seemed on the right track given the strong rookie play by 1st overall pick Jameis Winston. Yet, ownership dismissed Smith with very little explanation. The team quickly moved to promote Dirk Koetter from offensive coordinator to head coach, and the team added veteran defensive leadership in Mike Smith as the new defensive coordinator.
Since the Glazers never gave us an explanation for Smith's firing (other than the team's poor record), let's consider a few possible reasons:
- Poor overall record -- As we've established, the Bucs won 8 games in two seasons
- A disappointing finish to the 2015 season -- Although the Bucs won 6 games (vs 2) last year, they lost their final four games and gave up 119 points
- Defensive disappointment -- Lovie took over the defensive play-calling last season yet success was fleeting. The team finished 26th in points allowed
- Lack of discipline -- The Bucs set a franchise record for penalties last season
- Coveting Koetter -- The Buccaneers clearly feared losing OC Koetter to another team, perhaps for one of the open head coaching jobs