Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bucs Make Great Move, Bears Don't

After another disappointing season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have parted ways with both their head coach and their general manager.  In a very quick turnaround move, they have signed their former linebacker coach Lovie Smith.  Smith also coached the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl in 2006, losing to his friend and former head coach Tony Dungy.
This fast hiring by the Buccaneers seems to be a great move and will make it hard for any dissenters, but he will have to make a great hire to run the offense, which if reports are true, will be former Cal-Berkeley Head Coach Jeff Tedford.  This also seems to be a good move, on paper at least.
Tony Dungy is credited with turning around one of the worst franchises in NFL (pro sports) history and taking them to within one game of the Super Bowl in 1999.  His downfall was the lack of offense any of his coordinators could or were allowed to muster throughout his tenure, finally be fired after falling in the playoffs  to the Philadelphia Eagles by a wider margin than the previous year.  Dungy's philosophy of "keeping it close until the 4th quarter" was one that I think was ultimately did him in and hope that Lovie Smith learned that that belief system is just enough to get you beat in the most important games.  When Dungy's fantastic defensive mind and schemes met up with Peyton Manning's offensive genius, the Lombardi Trophy was finally won.
On another front, the Chicago Bears announced the 7 year contract extension for quarterback Jay Cutler.  While I don't have the long term answer at QB for the Bears, on the surface, this just seems to be a bad choice for the Bears organization.  Maybe the length of it is tied to the bonus and doesn't really hamstring them financially after a year or two, but Cutler really hasn't shown that he has the intangibles to lead any team to great heights.  Sure he has ability.  He can throw some throws as well as anybody in the league.  But, he can also throw many throws like Matthew Stafford and Tony Romo.  Clutch player, great leader are not the adjectives that first come to mind when you talk about those players or Jay Cutler.
Today's winners are long-suffering Bucs fans and the players that will play for Lovie Smith!

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