Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, reports that Buccaneers’ ownership had planned to meet with HC Lovie Smith in person on Thursday to inform him of their decision to part ways.
However, during the communication process, Smith reportedly sensed that something was going on and it quickly became apparent that he wasn’t going to be the team’s head coach any longer.
Smith then told the Buccaneers’ ownership that a meeting wasn’t necesssary, which led them making the more over the phone.
According to Florio, Smith will receive over $10 million in the next two years as part of his contract with the Buccaneers.
Rick Stroud reports that the Buccaneers have informed DC Leslie Frazier that they won’t be picking up his option for the 2016 season.
- The contract of assistant to the head coach Larry Marme will expire as well, per Stroud.
- Other coaches who won’t have their options picked up include: defensive backs coach Gil Byrd and Mikal Smith, according to Stroud.
- Stroud adds that the Bucs will retain DL coach Joe Cullen and LBs coach Hardy Nickerson for now until they determine who will be their next head coach.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Wednesday night that they’ve fired HC Lovie Smith.
Here’s a statement from Buccaneers Co-Chairman Joel Glazer:
“After careful consideration, we informed Lovie that we have decided to make a change. 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. As we move forward, General Manager Jason Licht will oversee the process for finding our next head coach.”
This comes as a pretty big surprise, given that they just hired Smith two years ago and showed some improvement this past season.
A Bucs’ coach tells Tom Pelissero of the move: “We are all in shock.”
Former Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik expects the Buccaneers to name OC Dirk Koetter the team’s next head coach within the week. Dominik adds that the Buccaneers could still bring in a few others candidates, but it sounds like Koetter could be the early favorite for the job.
Since they hired Smith, the Buccaneers posted a record of 8-24 (25 percent). They managed to win four more games in 2015, but it appears as though the Buccaneers believe they’re better off moving in a new direction.