Over on Buccaneers.com, Scott Smith has an outstanding piece on coach Lovie Smith’s first 100 days on the job. The author was given unprecedented access and that led to a very in-depth piece.
It’s 22 chapters and could pass as a book. It’s a showcase of the behind-the-scenes logic that went into Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht aggressively overhauling the roster. There is all sorts of good stuff and I strongly recommend you read it all when you have time. We don’t have the space to touch on everything here, but there was one particular highlight that jumped out at me.
It was the coach saying the Buccaneers need to win now.
"We just decided that we couldn't ask our fans to be patient anymore," Lovie Smith said. "We needed to do whatever we could to win now, and we felt like we had a plan that would work. We weren't going to sit back and wait. We were going to attack this, and the fans were going to see that we were serious about making this team better right away.’’
Licht made a similar statement at the NFL owners meeting in March. The two statements should be music to the ears of a fan base that has been starving for a winner. And it’s not just lip service.
Tampa Bay was one of the league’s most active teams in free agency. The end result is that about half of the current 90-man roster was elsewhere last year. That’s a good thing because Tampa Bay needed change after a 4-12 season.
"We evaluated our roster and said, 'These are the positions we need to change,'’’ Lovie Smith said. ‘It's as simple as that, really. We felt we really needed more of an overhaul of the roster. The plan isn't for us to be in this situation ever again, but this is something that was definitely needed.’’
There’s no arguing the last part of that statement. Major changes were needed. The new regime definitely did its part, and the Bucs appear to be in line for a big turnaround this season.