Dec. 30, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith runs off the field after defeating the Detroit Lions 26-24 at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

PFT: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Could Name Lovie Smith as Interim Coach to Make Sure He Stays in Tampa Bay for 2014

Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk believes that the NFL might be past its “hard-nosed college coach” phase with the failure of Greg Schiano. And since the team that currently employs Greg Schiano will eventually need a new head coach, he has a creative idea for the Buccaneers to make sure they get the best coach possible.

Florio opines in this article that Love Smith would be the “obvious choice” for the Buccaneers, and because he’s available now and can be named interim coach and be allowed an extended interview.

The most interesting part of Florio’s hypothesis is how this factors into the NFL’s rules for hiring coaches.

  • While the official process won’t begin until January, it would be foolish to assume that teams will wait that long.  And because Smith is a minority candidate, the Bucs technically could hire him as the interim coach for the balance of the season — and then instantly make him the permanent coach in January without conducting any further interviews.

Smith is going to need to prove that he can get out of the way of his team’s offense and allow them to succeed, as it’s obvious that he’s a fully capable defensive coach. But Smith is a veteran coach who won quite a few games in Chicago and will command plenty of respect from NFL players.

Lovie Smith is not my first choice to be the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But to be perfectly honest, Andy Reid wasn’t a guy I saw have a ton of success in Kansas City, either.

And sometimes, all it takes is a level-headed  head coach who has an identity and respect to come in and assemble a roster into a cohesive team.

That’s what Smith could do for the Buccaneers, and that’s why I am fully on board with the idea of giving Smith an extended interview by making him the interim head coach.

Of course, for that to happen, the current coach has to be fired. And as of the time of this article, Greg Schiano has yet to be fired, which throws a wrench into that plan.

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