Monday, December 11, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

In surprise move, Bucs fire head coach Lovie Smith

The Bucs have fired head coach Lovie Smith, changing direction again after a 6-10 season ended with a four-game losing streak.

Tampa Bay went 8-24 in Smith's two seasons, and while the team made progress in improving from 2-14 last year to 6-10 in 2015 with rookie Jameis Winston at quarterback, the Glazer family clearly didn't see enough to keep Smith on for a third season. The team will pay more than $10-million remaining on Smith's contract as it searches for its third coach in four seasons.

"After careful consideration, we informed Lovie that we have decided to make a change," Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer said in a statement. "I want to thank Lovie for his hard work and dedication to the Buccaneers during his time here. This decision was difficult on a variety of levels. I am disappointed that we were not more successful these past few seasons, but we are committed to doing what is necessary to give our fans the winning team they deserve."

Smith had addressed the media Monday, speaking with optimism about the team's chances to improve to a playoff team next season. The move was met with surprise and shock from players on social media Wednesday night.

"This is stupid," linebacker Lavonte David wrote on Twitter.com. "We can't even have a consistent coach, 3 coaches in 5 years."

Smith's firing comes with speculation that the Bucs could promote offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who helped the Bucs reset their franchise record for total offense, with Winston passing for more than 4,000 yards and Doug Martin finishing second in the NFL with 1,402 rushing yards.

"Dirk has been the man since he walked in the door," tight end Brandon Myers wrote on Twitter.

Bucs general manager Jason Licht, who will address the media at 2 p.m. Thursday, will oversee the search for a new head coach.

Comments
Could report of rift relate to Jameis Winstonís damaged brand?

Could report of rift relate to Jameis Winstonís damaged brand?

TAMPA ó What we have at One Buc Place is a game of Clue. The whodunit in this case is the person(s) who put out the information that quarterback Jameis Winstonís relationship with coach Dirk Koetter is on cracked ice.Was it Winston in the weight room...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Explosives? On 40-yard plays, Bucs among NFLís worst

Explosives? On 40-yard plays, Bucs among NFLís worst

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has key statistics that he puts great value in, finding a close correlation between success in those areas and success on the scoreboard. Winning the takeaway battle is always first among those priorities, but he and his staff...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Another close game that got away

Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Another close game that got away

Greg Auman looks back on the Bucs’ 24-21 loss to the Lions.
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Do Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter get along?

Rick and Tom podcast: Do Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter get along?

The Bucs guarantee another losing season after turning the ball over five times in a 24-21 loss to the Lions.
Updated: 9 hours ago
The Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship: It’s complicated

The Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship: It’s complicated

† TAMPA — There are lies, damn lies and statistics, none of which are working in favor of Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter avoiding a split in the near future. Even before the Bucs turned the football over five times and lost to the Detroit Li...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Report: Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship ‘is not in a good place’

Report: Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship ‘is not in a good place’

Jameis Winston is displeased with how coach Dirk Koetter has handled Winston's shoulder injury and the Bucs offense, according to an NFL Network report Sunday. “The relationship between quarterback Jameis Winston and Koetter is not in a good p...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Jones: Why Bucs coach Dirk Koetter won’t survive this

Jones: Why Bucs coach Dirk Koetter won’t survive this

† TAMPA — Dirk Koetter isn’t going to return as coach of the Bucs next season. That’s not official. No announcement has been made. No press conference is scheduled. It’s not an absolute fact. Not yet. And this isn’t a...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated: 12/11/17
NFL Week 14: What we learned

NFL Week 14: What we learned

Aaron Rodgers is ready to return, but is he needed in Green Bay? Backup QB Brett Hundley is 2-0 in OT; Rodgers is 1-7. The Pack has its Mr. Clutch, right? Yeah, right. Its 27-21 OT win at Cleveland keeps it alive for a wild-card spot. Mr. Rodgers, yo...
Published: 12/10/17
Bucs-Lions journal: Backup lineman was most unlikely of targets

Bucs-Lions journal: Backup lineman was most unlikely of targets

TAMPA ó The Bucsí unlikely comeback to erase a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter was capped by the most unlikely of targets. Tampa Bay tied the game when Jameis Winston threw a 2-yard pass to 305-pound Leonard Wester, a backup lineman who lined ...
Published: 12/10/17
Gerald McCoy leaves game with shoulder/bicep injury

Gerald McCoy leaves game with shoulder/bicep injury

Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy left Sunday's  game against the Lions in the second quarter with an injury to his shoulder/biceps muscle. The team says his return is doubtful.The Bucs were tied 7-7 with the Lions when McCoy was sidelined. He'...
Published: 12/10/17