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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  • Elgin Howell

    I would love to see Lovie as the Bucs head coach. He coached under Dungy and had good years in Chicago with a dysfunctional offence (partly on him partly not).

  • Centrale

    I’d be happy to see Lovie Smith get the job. I think he did really well overall with Chicago, considering their limitations on offense — I think they made a mistake in firing him.

  • RussMillerWY

    Sounds like a good idea, but has any team in the last thirty years or so ever brought in someone who was not on the current staff to be an interim head coach in midseason? In practical application, he’d have to get himself up to speed on what his coordinators were trying to do, the playbook, player strengths and weaknesses, and all the insider nuts and bolts issues we never talk about much like the trainers, the scouts, and re-signing current players. They may let the offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, or special teams coach come in sooner or later just to end the player morale catastrophe. B95h the offense and defense are catastrophes now, though, making promotions non-sensical. Maybe best just t9 wait until January and get rid of everyonw from Dominik on down and start a whole new cuoture from scratch. Lovie would be a top candidate then. I don’t think he’d accept an interim job. Too awkward, and it would put him in a position to accept some of the blame for the 2013 disaster himself.

    • LeoTPP

      It’s not practical for him to install everything he wants to do.

      But it’s not that much worse than keeping around a lame duck coach, and it provides the opportunity to learn about a guy you might be interested in hiring in the future.

  • Jsaon

    Rich Bisaccia should be our next head coach! I called for him before the Schiano hire and I still think he is the best candidate for the job! He has respect and from all over the league and the Tampa bay area and has many years of NFL experience. He can recruit coaches from all over the league and knows how to treat players.

    Rich Bisaccia

    Rich Bisaccia

    Rich Bisaccia

    Rich Bisaccia

    Lets go get him!

  • Rod Lum

    Personally, I like the idea, but it’s not feasible. There is nothing to say that he wants to coach here, and secondly maybe the Glazers don’t want him because he is from the Dungy tree.

    But he would bring some calm to the sideline unlike that raving idiot of a bully.

    • LeoTPP

      Both logical points. PFT usually throws things against a wall and hopes they stick. Would still be cool