Monday Column: Lovie Smith on the Hot Seat

We are ¼ of the way through the 2015 season. The Buccaneers have a 1-3 record. It’s time to ask the question: are they better at this point in the season than they were four games into 2014?

Looking solely at the record (1 win vs. 0), the answer is yes. But looking at the big picture, the answer is no. And that’s why I’m putting Lovie Smith under my personal hot seat.

He has now been the head coach of the Bucs for 20 games. He has lost 17 of them, including all ten at Raymond James Stadium. Many of those home losses – including the first two this year – have been by double-digits, and his team has not been competitive. That brings up a somewhat obvious statement: Smith does not have this team ready to play.

Sure, there are plenty of areas to point the finger at. He has a rookie quarterback whose five turnovers yesterday single-handedly gave Carolina a win. Many fans are already saying Tampa Bay drafted the wrong quarterback. I’m holding off on that for the time being.

The kicking game has been atrocious. In case you haven’t heard the news, Kyle Brindza was finally cut today. Who his replacement will be remains to be seen.

Smith is also calling the shots on defense. The result so far: the Buccaneers have the third-worst scoring defense in the NFL behind the Bears and Chiefs.

In the end, it all comes back to the head coach.

When the team is struggling, something has to change. If you believe what you read on social media, there is talk that Smith could get fired if he loses at home to the Jaguars next Sunday. Since he hasn’t won a home game in ten tries, that outcome is certainly possible. The Bucs have their bye week after that. Consider this: the Dolphins used the start of their bye week to kick Joe Philbin out of town. His overall record was four games under .500. If Philbin can get ousted for that, then it stands to reason why the Bucs should not be any more patient with Smith.

We, the fans, are angry. And most of our displeasure is directed right at Smith. This is his team, his players. If they are unable to turn this sinking ship around, then he deserves to go sooner rather than later.

Photo Courtesy: AP

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