Dec. 23, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA: Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Lovie Smith will be putting the Tampa back in the Tampa-2 defense as the Buccaneers are finalizing plans to bring him back, this time as head coach. Lovie made a name for himself as a linebackers coach for the Bucs under Tony Dungy in the late 90’s before going on to be the defensive coordinator for the Rams and ultimately the head coach of the Bears.
Tampa fired head coach Greg Schiano after just two losing seasons where the Bucs were about to mutiny on their head coach. Lovie will certainly bring a different perspective to Tampa, well known as being a player’s coach. His even keel and no-nonsense approach should help stabilize the team that has seen a fair share of adversity this season after an 0-8 start.
There are conflicting reports about who Lovie’s DC will be. One rumor has it that Lovie will be bringing another Cover-2 disciple, recently fired Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier as his defensive coordinator. Another rumor is that Lovie will be reuniting with his former DC in Chicago, Rod Marinelli.
The big question will be what happens on the other side of the ball, where he struggled in Chicago, finding the right offensive coordinator. According to Ian Rappaport, Lovie has tabbed Cal head coach Jeff Tedford to be his OC. Tedford spent a decade at Cal and has a strong reputation as a developer of quarterbacks. His top pupil would have to be Aaron Rodgers, who played for Tedford at Cal. He’ll need to work with Mike Glennon and build the offense around him and running back Doug Martin.