NFL NEWS: Lovie Smith
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith is in an all too familiar scenario as his mentor once had, a punchless offense and we’re not even in the regular season yet.
Following the Bucs’ 16-10 defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the preseason opener, Smith’s faced criticism over the offensive guard play leading to just 97 total yards and a 44-yard field goal from Connor Barth in the first half.
Quarterback Mike “future of the franchise” Glennon played most of the snaps completing 11 of 19 passes and a touchdown while starter Josh McCown and third-stringer Mike Kafka only completed two passes each. While the defense gave up nine points, seven were provided by McCown on an interception returned for a touchdown.
Before we hit the panic button, this is preseason and this is kind of thing teams have to sort out before they’re considered ready, unless I need to remind of a certain 4-0 preseason team in the 2008 Detroit Lions and how they did.
Some of the concerns that followed Smith are justified since his days as Chicago Bears head coach. The lack of offense despite a Super Bowl appearance, ultimately cost him his job, like his mentor and long time predecessor, Tony Dungy. Dungy was fired after six seasons and numerous playoff appearances as Bucs head coach before Jon Gruden took the team over the hump in 2002.
Now with Smith in the reigns, fans have been longing for a Dungy-type presence after the last two tenuous coaching stints of Raheem Morris and Greg Schiano.
So what other positive can the fans take to them when they play against the Miami Dolphins at home? How about the fact that the first and second team defense gave up only 58 yards and surrendered no points in the first half?
As Tampa Bay fans, it’s easy to forget how far the team’s gone since the glory days. Winning is winning. If fans truly longed for the days of Dungy again, we have to remember how long it took for him to be successful here. He finished his first season as head coach in 1996, 6-10. Think of what Smith has to contend with.
Defensive lineman Da’Quan Bowers was one of a number of players who could attribute how “Schiano got to him mentally.” Prior to his departure from the team, cornerback Darrelle Revis called the atmosphere “real tense.”
“Guys didn’t like coming to work,” Revis said.
If there’s one definitive thing to get out of the first week in preseason is to just not read too much into it until week three, that’s when the starters will play the most before the season starts.