Lovie Smith, the former Chicago Bears head coach, is going to be the next coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports. Smith, who was the defensive backs coach in Tampa in the late 1990s, will inherit a 4-12 team that has no GM, no quarterback, and underperformed significantly in 2013.
The Bucs have talent, there’s no denying that – Vincent Jackson is a very good receiver, a healthy Darrelle Revis is among the best at his position, and they have emerging young players like linebacker LaVonte David, running back Doug Martin, and safety Mark Barron. Greg Schiano, who was fired Monday, never provided the adequate leadership.
[UPDATE: Smith's offensive coordinator will be Jeff Tedford, formerly of California. Smith's defensive coordinator will be Rod Marinelli, who was on the Tampa staff in the late 90s.]
Among Tampa’s biggest decisions: What to do with Revis (they can cut him with no financial penalty, and avoid giving the Jets a 3rd round pick instead of a 4th); whether or not rookie
Sean Mike Glennon is their starting QB for next year (unlikely, but you never know; Smith got the Bears to a Super Bowl with Rex Grossman at QB), and what to do with the 7th pick in the draft.
The Bucs were an average defense last year, but putrid on offense, given the changes (Freeman traded) and injuries (Martin out for the year). Do they grab a QB with the 7th pick, or bolster the defense? Other needs include the offensive line, tight end and a pass rusher (only had 35 sacks). I had Tampa going with a linebacker in my mock draft last month, but I could see an offensive lineman or an edge rusher like UCLA’s Anthony Barr in that spot, too. The idea of Johnny Manziel running some read option with Doug Martin is very enticing, as well.
Assuming, of course, Manziel falls that far.
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