Endorsements come quickly on Lovie for Bucs job
The Bucs are still finalizing a deal that would make former Bears coach and Bucs assistant Lovie Smith the new head coach in Tampa Bay, but endorsements are turning up quickly on Twitter from his former and future players.
"Great hire by the Bucs in Coach Lovie Smith. Very excited for him!" tweeted former Bucs linebacker Hardy Nickerson, who played for Smith in Tampa Bay and was later part of his coaching staff in Chicago.
Current Bucs players, perhaps not yet sure of his arrival, were slow to respond on Twitter -- tight end Tom Crabtree tweeted a simple "pumped," and defensive end Da'Quan Bowers wrote "I'm excited to play for a coach who can bring my potential out and COACH me."
More praise came in from players who had Smith in his first stint with the Bucs, from 1996-2000, such as linebacker Derrick Brooks: "So excited tonight. Bucs got better tonight with Lovie Smith coming back as the new H/C. Words can't describe my excitement."
Perhaps the biggest endorsement came from former Bucs coach Tony Dungy, whose tweet about Smith was retweeted more than 2,500 times in less than two hours: "Congratulations to the Bucs. I think they made a very good choice in hiring Lovie Smith. Now I'm excited about watching the Bucs next year!"
Smith's former players in Chicago also expressed their happiness to have him back in the NFL -- linebacker Lance Briggs tweeted "Big congrats to Lovie Smith. Wish him the best of luck in Tampa. NFL is better with him in it." And current Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery: "Big congrats to Lovie Smith. Wish him the best of luck in Tampa."