There's definitely a honeymoon period when anyone starts a new job. There is literally no part of a new job that should seem melancholy or stressful. It's an exciting time filled with endless opportunities. As time progresses, the success or failure that person sees will dictate the type of work environment that surrounds him/her.
Lovie Smith was hired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the calendar flipped from 2013 to 2014. The Glazer family made it a priority to get the coach they wanted before making sure a new General Manager had even been thought of. With no GM under contract, it is my assumption that Lovie Smith was either given or thought he had the final say and power within the Bucs organization.
The Buccaneers would not hire Jason Licht for another 3 weeks after the arrival of Lovie Smith.
"That union with the general manager and the head coach is one of the most important things that has to happen," Licht said days after being hired by the Bucs. " It's a 'for better for worse' affair. You're going to be with him every step of the way, and with Lovie I felt like there was nothing that could be left unsaid. You could be yourself, and I think we share the same vision."
Maybe it's just me, but after Jason Licht spent a majority of his career with successful franchises like the Patriots, Eagles, and most recently the Cardinals, my guess is that he didn't envision being so aggressive with ex-Chicago Bear castoffs. However, Licht also pointed out during his first press conference with the Bucs what his strategy will be for building a team.
"We're not talent collectors, we're looking for good fits," Licht said. "It's not about signing the best players, it's about signing the right players for your team."
As the losses continue to pile up with the Bucs now 3-17 since Lovie and Licht took over, it's only natural to start second guessing the guy next to you. Lovie Smith was the one that wanted Michael Johnson to be HIS pass rusher. Lovie Smith was the one with the strong relationship with Josh McCown. Lovie Smith brought in Alterraun Verner because he was a good fit for HIS defense.
Do you think Jason Licht had the master plan to sign any castoff player who had played for Lovie Smith or had prior experience in the Tampa 2 defense this past off-season?
I'm not saying that it's happening yet, but sooner or later, if the Bucs continue to lose, a divide between coach and General Manager is inevitable. That divide could grow faster than some expect if the Bucs lose to the Jaguars this Sunday.