Sunday, January 12, 2014

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Lovie Smith Assembles Staff Based on Didactic Approach

Lovie Smith has nearly completed his search for assistant coaches, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers new head coach has the tall order of reviving a once respectable franchise from the current gutters of derision into a unified team willing to battle for victories.

The former Chicago Bears head coach was fired at the end of the 2012 season after starting 7-1, then finishing 10-6 while narrowly missing the playoffs. Smith finished 84-66 in nine seasons with the Bears, claiming the NFC North three times, and earning a Super Bowl berth once, in 2006, losing to Tony Dungy's Indianapolis Colts.

Smith, a pupil under former Bucs coach Dungy, has assembled a group of teachers rather than drill sergeants to aid in rejuvenating a club that finished 11-21 the past two seasons. Will this strategy benefit a group of players who have been entrenched in the losing culture for the past two seasons?

Jeff Tedford, the former Cal head coach, has been brought on as offensive coordinator. The interesting yet controversial hire has Bucs' fans scratching their heads, and it begs to ask the question, "What does Lovie know that no one else in the NFL knows?"

While Tedford has successfully placed many college quarterbacks in the first round, none of them, except Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, has panned out. Can Tedford work his magic and turn Mike Glennon into first-round type talent? Probably not, and the train of thought is the Bucs may look quarterback in the upcoming draft.

Can Tedford's innovative, offensive mind be successful in the NFL? He doesn't have pro experience, which ought to be alarming to fans.

Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier has been hired as the Bucs defensive coordinator. Frazier, another one of Dungy's students, has had success in the NFL as a coordinator. In Frazier's first year with the Vikings, he finished with the 20th ranked defense - first in rushing, and last in passing. In 2008, Frazier's second year, the numbers drastically change, going from 6th overall, first in rushing, and 18th passing.

Except for his first season, Frazier's defenses didn't fall out of the top 10 while as coordinator.

Guys like Hardy Nickerson, who is responsible for making the Tampa-2 defense a power in the late 1990's and early 2000's, as the new linebackers coach, is an energy guy that has 15 years worth of experience to teach.

Tim Spencer, Tampa's new running back's coach, helped propel Thomas Jones into new heights as a premier running back. Jones was nearly a first-round bust before exploding onto the scene in Chicago.

Smith has done this before. He has been a success at every level. He knows what he's doing. Bucs fans need to trust in Smith's staff because the mistakes he made in Chicago are almost guaranteed not to be repeated.

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