Smith promises 'return to relevance' for Bucs - FOX 13 News

Smith promises 'return to relevance' for Bucs

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Lovie Smith returned to Tampa on Monday, hoping to bring some of the success of the Tony Dungy era back to the languishing Buccaneers franchise.

"This is an exciting day as we begin a new chapter in our franchise history," team co-chairman Brian Glazer said while describing Smith as "the right man at the right time" for the team.

Smith, 55, served as the Bucs' linebackers coach under Dungy during several of the seasons when the Bucs were known for their dominant defense. Now, while being introduced as the franchise's 10th head coach, Smith thanked his mentor as he reflected back on those days in the late 1990s.

"There was a certain brand of football you expected from us. You knew we'd be relentless, we'd play hard, and be physical…it was hard for opponents to come in and win," he said. "We have gotten away from that a little bit and it is time as we head to the future for us to be a relevant football team again."

Smith returns to Tampa after nine years as the Bears' head coach, but he said his family has maintained a home here through all that time. He said he spent his year off preparing for the possibility of returning to coaching, which helped him be ready to get coordinators in place quickly.

Jeff Tedford will oversee the offense while former Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier, who worked under Dungy in Indianapolis, will helm the defense.

Monday's press conference came only one week after the Bucs fired head coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik. While the team moved quickly to get Smith in place, there's not been much talk of candidates for the GM position.

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