Could this be Lovie Smith’s final game on the sidelines as the Buccaneers’ head coach? The speculation is swirling and the realistic answer should be yes.
Reality is, Smith has done far less with way more on the roster. Greg Schiano had less talent overall and did a bit more. That’s saying something. Smith had billboards welcoming him to the bay area just weeks after Schiano had billboards forcing him out. Granted, things under Schiano were pretty bad within One Buc Place but still, Smith’s 3-17 record is reality.
I too felt Smith deserved another year regardless of how bad this season went. However, my theory was based off his offense being led by a rookie quarterback and the defense improving from last season. Instead it’s Smith’s own defense -- the defense he now calls the plays for -- that has regressed. His defense -- the defense that showed progress ending 2014 -- continues to make mediocre quarterbacks look like Hall of Famers.
And let’s not even get into his personnel decisions.
I chuckled when an article published in a local paper discussed how Smith is not on the hot seat because he is tied to a rookie quarterback. While I once believed that as well, it also hit me that it’s a silly statement. Smith is actually not tied to quarterback Jameis Winston. If he is fired tomorrow, Winston will still have his offensive coordinator. Winston will still have his quarterbacks coach. Winston will be fine without Smith.
It’s not because of Winston that Smith should be fired. That’s too easy and naive. It’s because of what he has done so far in his tenure in Tampa Bay, which is nothing. Smith is continuously lying to himself at press conferences saying the team is getting better and making progress. He says that each and every time he is at the podium. The last time a coach made those statements a change was imminent.
The sad reality is that Smith is probably not going anywhere whether you like it or not. Regardless, a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars should be the straw that broke the camel's back. Simple as that.