After a span of 13 years with just two head coaches, Tampa Bay hasn’t been able to keep the clipboard from changing hands every couple seasons.
Lovie Smith survived Black Monday but still couldn’t avoid the axe, meaning the Buccaneers will open the 2016 season with its fourth head coach since 2009.
The team officially announced Smith’s dismissal with a media release at 10:21 p.m. Wednesday and general manager Jason Licht held a press conference Thursday afternoon. During the 16-plus minute session, Licht was asked why a prospective future coach should want to take over an organization that never seems to take its finger off the trigger.
“I would tell them that this organization has done everything it can to find the best head coach,” Licht said. “They are committed to winning. They are committed to finding the right guy. And now they’re confident that we can find the right guy and they’ve placed that confidence in me. I’ve been around some great organizations. I’ve been a part of a coaching search in Arizona and it resulted in a pretty good head coach [Bruce Arians]. I’ve had a lot of experience with that – good coaches.
“I don’t think it’s going to deter a great coach from coming here,” Licht continued. “It’s an excellent situation. I’ve already been shown that by the interest we’ve seen that people want to come to Tampa and coach.”
The Bucs are certainly not outliers when it comes to shaking up coaching staffs and front offices, and Tampa Bay became the fifth confirmed vacancy this offseason. Other organizations beginning their searches are Cleveland, the New York Giants, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Miami and Tennessee finished the year with interim coaches.
Licht was asked later in the press conference why Tampa Bay should be perceived as an attractive destination for coaches. In addition to praising the Glazers again, Licht included rookie quarterback Jameis Winston as a selling point.
“I’ll start with, once again, ownership that is not afraid to spend money. I’ll then go into quarterback – a 22-year-old quarterback who I happen to believe is a franchise quarterback and that’s a very strong asset to have. That’s one that not many teams can say that they have.”
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This is a great area to live. GM won’t have any problems finding a HC especially with Winston as the QB. Go Bucs!
If they end up hiring anyone besides Koetter we are looking at another multi-year re-building with a new offensive coordinator which will set back Winston’s development. If that happens, I’m not renewing my season tickets for more of the same.
Like most of us, any potential hire for the HC position or to replace the assistants who were in the conga line out the door, can see that personnel wise, the team is not far off from at least being competitive.
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