Lovie Smith is getting a much deserved second chance to coach a NFL team, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are giving him a shot.
Smith will be hired by Tampa Bay and the two sides are finalizing a contract on Wednesday night, Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reported. Tampa Bay fired Greg Schiano on Monday and wasted very little time in hiring Smith, the former coach of the Bears.
Although Smith put up a 81-63 overall record with the Bears, including one NFC championship, he was also known for being fairly conservative. He was curiously fired after a 10-6 season in 2012 and sat out last year.
The Tampa Bay job is a pretty good one. The Buccaneers have a lot of talent in place, but were miserably coached by Schiano and went 4-12. Many of Tampa Bay's best players are on defense, such as cornerback Darrelle Revis, tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David, and Smith came up in the NFL as a well-respected defensive assistant. He should have the Buccaneers' defense among the best in the league next year. With another year of positive development from quarterback Mike Glennon, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Buccaneers in the playoff hunt in 2014. Smith went to the playoffs three times in nine seasons with Chicago.
One reason Tampa Bay acted so quickly to hire Smith is he would have been a coveted candidate by the other five teams with an opening. Smith interviewed with the Texans, who hired Penn State's Bill O'Brien, and every team with an opening was rumored to be interested.
Smith is off the market now, and it looks like a good fit for him in Tampa Bay.
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