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NFL Notes: Lovie Smith, Los Angeles, Buccaners, Panthers, & Ravens

Lovie Smith

  • Jay Glazer spoke with former Buccaneers HC Lovie Smith following the team’s decision to fire him on Thursday.
  • According to Glazer, “to say he was blindsided is an understatement!
  • Glazer mentions that the reason Smith was good for the Buccaneers was because: “[T]hey needed a grown up to end years of drama there. Instead they fire him over phone but asked if they should come in next day to fire him in person.”

Los Angeles

  • Jason Cole reports that Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, who has been a supporter of the Carson project, was silent during Wednesday’s meeting and appears to be backing down.
  • The Carson stadium project has been considered the favorite for some time now, but there is still some influential supporters who prefer Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s Ingelwood project for a variety of reason.

Buccaneers

  • Bucaneers GM Jason Licht said the decision to fire Lovie Smith on Wednesday was “one of the most challenging days of his career.” (Greg Auman)
  • Licht said that OC Dirk Koetter is a “very strong” candidate for the job, but there has already been lots of interest from good coaches. (Greg Auman)
  • Licht pointed to the fact that Koetter has a good resume while helping them achieve “historically best offense we’ve had here.” (Greg Auman)
  • Licht said of the fact that Smith only got two years on the job: “When you have 8 wins in 2 years, 3 home wins, (owners) have been patient enough. While you’re building a good team you can compete.” (Ian Rapoport)
  • According to Licht, he called Lovie and told him over phone that the planned meeting wasn’t going in a good direction. Lovie responded by asking Licht to ownership to call him. (Mike Garafolo)
  • Regarding the change in leadership, Licht said: “We felt this franchise needed a new face, a new coach, to get us back to winning.” (Jason La Canfora)
  • Licht wouldn’t offer a timetable to hire the next head coach, but added that they will be diligent and careful in their interviews and decision. (Greg Auman)
  • Licht confirmed that he now has power over the 53-man roster now that Smith is no longer in charge. (Albert Breer)

Panthers

Panthers GM Dave Gettleman offered a great line about everyone wanting him to sign a number a veteran free agent receivers following the injury to Kelvin Benjamin.

“When Kelvin went down, people wanted me to sign every 95-year-old receiver who ever put pads on,” Gettleman said, via Black & Blue Review.

Gettleman said that the biggest move he made during the offseason was signing OT Michael Oher, adding: “And I got killed for that,” via Black & Blue Review.

Ravens

  • Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said he’s hopeful that they put together a football team without redoing QB Joe Flacco‘s contract. (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • HC John Harbaugh announced that there will be no other changes to the Ravens’ coaching staff. “The same guys will be in place.”  (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • Injured OLB Terrell Suggs told Newsome that he doesn’t want to leave the game coming off injury. (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • Regarding first-round WR Breshad Perriman, Newsome said he expects him to be fully recovered and be ready to start the offseason program. (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • Newsome said that they’re unlikely to be very busy early on in free agency: “I don’t think we’ll be as busy as some teams are in March. We never have.” (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • Harbaugh mentioned that they’ll specifically be in the market for pass-rush help. (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • Harbaugh said that he is hopeful that WR Steve Smith Sr. will be ready for training camp. (Jeff Zrebiec)