Critics have shredded the fluff piece that is The First 100 Days of Head Coach Lovie Smith quite thoroughly, so I’ll spare you (and writer Scott Smith) my opinion on the novella. What can be garnered from the 32,000-word article is an insight into the new regime and what can be expected of it in the short term. Fortunately for you, I have read the article for you so you do not have to and will summarize the high points in 500 words or less.
If you knew nothing else about Head Coach Lovie Smith before, you know after reading the article that he is a details guy. He plans. He has lists. He keeps a schedule and has lists. He values punctuality and checklists. Did I mention he likes lists? Measurables are important in all his hires. He has a list of five attributes he looks for in a coach, including loyalty and honesty. His coaching style is one of “Stern Teacher”, and it is what he looks for in all of his coaches. The same goes for players. He loves the combine as a way to see how players stack up against the competition on the same day, in the same environment, in the same exercises. For all positions there are a list of criteria he looks for in a players: size, speed, playing style. He has a plan and he is sticking to it.
During Smith’s first public appearance, he asks for patience. The front office had not yet been assembled and Smith anticipated some rebuilding. That changed upon the hire of General Manager Jason Licht. Shortly thereafter, the duo was blowing up the offensive line and winning free agency. When asked how the Bucs would address its needs, Licht gave a political non-answer, stating they would build through the draft and free agency. The article makes no bones about either contradiction or the coach’s change of tune, and repeats them quite frequently.
By throwing caution to the wind and aggressively revamping the roster, Smith and Licht were making a statement. There was no time for patience. 4-12 was simply not good enough. They are playing to win and fans should expect the team to be competitive. The players hired were carefully selected and would address the needs of the team. They were building a team for today. Of course the article goes into detail about the roster moves (and romanticizes them in the way only a fluff piece can), but the general point was “This is what we need to do to win now.”
So there it is, folks. 100 Days of Lovie in a nutshell. All 32,000 words of it.