Former Bears head coach and former Bucs linebacker coach Lovie Smith is first in line to succeed Greg Schiano as the Bucs 10th coach. Smith is the first candidate that the Glazers have reached out to, and it's very likely that's as far as the search will go.
Smith has spent this past year, after being let go by Chicago, lining up a coaching staff, and he's ready for a return.
Lovie's biggest problem with the Bears after making it to the Super Bowl in 2006 was matching an offense to go along with a tough defense.
Reportedly he's already lined up former Cal head coach Jeff Tedford, who has a strong history of developing quarterbacks.
Smith has already interviewed with the Houston Texans and FOX 13 Sports has learned that Smith is planning to interview with one other team, possibly with the Washington Redskins.
The Glazers need to act fast and not allow their search to turn into a bidding war.
A more important hire for the organization is finding the right general manager or team president, a position that would formalize the organization's overall philosophy.
There are two candidates who could do that.
Rich McKay held the Bucs together during the search for ownership back in 1995 and then formed the foundation that lead the Bucs to a Super Bowl championship in 2003.
In 11 seasons as general manager, the Bucs went to the playoffs 5-times under McKay. His overall record during that span was 91-83, 8-games over .500.
Since McKay has been gone, the Bucs have not won a playoff game. They've made it to the postseason just twice and have had five losing seasons. The team's record since McKay was forced out by Jon Gruden is an abysmal 30-games under .500, 66-96.
A bigger hit for the Bucs than bringing back McKay from the Falcons would be to get Tony Dungy to return. Dungy would instantly restore credibility to the franchise and bring structure to a team that is in desperate need of strong leadership.
The Glazers couldn't choose a better person to restore hope to a fan base that given up in masses. Dungy has said in the past he would never coach again, but an offer to lead his old franchise would be an opportunity that could draw him out of retirement and off the set at NBC.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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