Feb 20, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Tampa Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith speaks during a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Draft Will Set Tone for Lovie Smith Era in Tampa Bay


Today is the day.

I woke up this morning with an extra pep in my step.

It was about 7:30AM; hours away from the start of the 2014 NFL Draft, but I was still giddy.

Before looking up and down my refrigerator for some combination of foods I could call an excuse for breakfast, I summoned my laptop and immediately started searching.

Had I missed any rumors?

Did any reports leak out while I slept?

I needed to know.

As it turns out, I didn’t miss much. The same rumors that we’ve been hearing for about a week or so are the same ones that are still being talked about today. A huge debate has sparked about two Texas A&M stars and if the Bucs will select either one with their first round pick.

What if they trade up? Or down?

Where is Mike Glennon going to end up? Will he stay in Tampa?

Whatever happens, there is no denying one thing: tonight will set the tone for a new era in Tampa Bay Buccaneer football.

Think about this: the Bucs haven’t hired a coach with previous NFL head coaching experience since they hired Jon Gruden before the 2002 season. That was long overdue. And now that we have someone (that we believe to be) competent at the helm, aren’t you excited for what’s to come?

Aren’t you pumped?!

Think about the constant misses. Think about the few hits.

Think about turning around a franchise that, after the late 90′s and early 00′s, seemed destined for better.

Think about returning to glory.

Lovie Smith has coached in a Super Bowl before. It was against Tampa’s beloved Tony Dungy, whom he learned under, and he came out as the losing coach.

Don’t you think that eats away at him?

Don’t you think, now that he has a 2nd chance at life in Tampa Bay, that he’ll do anything and everything in his power to bring home another Lombardi Trophy?

That all starts today.

This year’s selection of players will set the tone for years to come under Lovie Smith. They will be seen as “Lovie’s guys” and he will ultimately be judged on whether or not they succeed at the next level.

As fans, whether or not we agree or disagree, it’s time to climb aboard the ship.

If Johnny Manziel is sailing the seven seas with us, then it is time to trust his cannon fire.

If Sammy Watkins turns out to be our buried treasure, we must hope he’ll bring us more booty (the pirate kind, maties).

Whoever the Buccaneers select in the 2014 NFL Draft, we must blindly oblige, for now.

In Lovie Smith, we trust.

How these players perform, especially if they’re one of the controversial figures in this group of prospects, will determine if that trust lasts.

Tags: Lovie Smith Tampa Bay Buccaneers