No one wants to talk about any potential coaching change for the Buccaneers, but when a team ends up with a top 3 pick in the NFL Draft, changes are usually made. Of course, the argument is that you don't want your franchise to become a revolving door for coaches every year, but when your current coach doesn't make one right decision in a full calendar year, thinking about a coach who has gone to three consecutive conference championships shouldn't sound that crazy.
We've all heard the rumors swirling around Jim Harbaugh. Could he return to the college game to coach Michigan? Would he jump across the bay to coach the Raiders? While the Bucs are 2-12, on the fast track to the 1st overall pick, and planning to have more cap room to maneuver in free agency this off-season, why wouldn't the Bucs entertain the idea of bringing in Harbaugh to run their franchise?
The Glazers have never been shy about making bold moves in regards to their head coaching position in Tampa Bay. We all know about the firings of Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden. The Bucs were just minutes away from hiring Chip Kelly as their head coach just a few years ago, they fired Greg Schiano after just 2 years of disastrous football and distractions, and since they've hired Lovie Smith as head coach, every single decision he's made, other than Mike Evans, has been a mistake.
With Lovie Smith, you get a boring brand of football and a current team that is on pace for the 1st overall selection. We know the Glazers have longed for offense from their franchise, and have been willing to make the boldest of moves to bring offensive minds to coach the Bucs when opportunities presented themselves with a trade for Jon Gruden and a near signing of Chip Kelly. So, why not make a play for an offensive coach who has taken his team to the NFC Championship Game in his 1st three seasons as a head coach in the NFL?
I'll be the first person to say that I thought Lovie Smith would finally bring some stability to an extremely unstable franchise. With Lovie's decisions of players to let go, players to bring in, players to start, and in-game decisions, the Bucs have been led to a 2-12 record, and predictably playing a Lovie Smith brand of boring football.
Was this year just a transition year for Lovie Smith?
Are the Bucs actually on the right track with Lovie Smith?
I do know that the Bucs could possibly be very attractive to someone like Jim Harbaugh. The Bucs might even be more attractive than other teams like Michigan, the Raiders, the Dolphins, the Bears, or any other team that might try and court Harbaugh this off-season. Unlike those teams, the Bucs could give Harbaugh plenty of cap space, high draft choices, and possibly the 1st overall pick in the draft to select the quarterback he wants.
For those thinking a price tag in a potential trade for Harbaugh might be too steep, just remember a Jon Gruden trade will never happen again. Actually, if the 49ers don't just flat out fire Harbaugh, I believe Harbaugh will get to choose the organization he'd like to go to, and the cost might only be a late round draft selection.
Here is a good read on what the compensation could possibly be for Harbaugh from the Sacramento Bee.
Let's face it, the odds of the Bucs firing Lovie Smith after just one season are slim, but for an ownership group in the Glazers that have tried countless times to make their big splash at head coach, this opportunity might be too juicy for them to pass up. It might also energize a fan base that has been stagnant with boring football over the past several years.
At the very least, it should give the Glazers something to think about as their franchise gets crushed over the final two weeks of this dismal season.
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