The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired a head coach before they hired a GM, which caught a lot of fans off guard. But according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, there’s good reason to hire Lovie Smith first.
Lovie Smith’s contract contains the clause that gives him final say over all personnel matters on the Buccaneers' final 53-man roster.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 5, 2014
Smith’s power over the roster means that a general manager would be a “GM in name only,” and that Lovie ultimately runs the show and approves any decisions. This is something we at the Pewter Plank suggested when Smith was hired.
This is a classic case of the “if they want me to cook the dinner, they should at least let me shop for the groceries” mentality made famous by Bill Parcells. As head coach and decision-maker on personnel matters, Lovie Smith now gets to play a major role in constructing the roster he’ll coach on Sundays, meaning there will be no disconnect between GM and head coach.
That disconnect between the front office and the sidelines was likely present during the previous two regimes, as Mark Dominik built a roster loaded with talented pieces, but it never came together under the head coaches hired to run the team on Sundays.
This won’t stop the Buccaneers from hiring a GM, as Kansas City director of pro personnel Chis Ballard remains a top candidate for the job. But it means his job will be toned down a bit, and any decisions he makes will have to run through the head coach, first.
And with an experienced coach like Lovie Smith, that’s definitely a logical way to run the team.