NFC Franchise Notes: Buccaneers, Glazer Family Lauded For Hiring Lovie Smith
ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas cited sources as saying the Buccaneers last night "agreed to contract terms with Lovie Smith to be their new head coach." The Glazer family, which owns the Bucs, "didn't fare well with their past two coaches, Raheem Morris and Greg Schiano," but they "got it right this time." It is "clear that Smith will bring balance to an organization that desperately needs it" (ESPN.com, 1/1). In Tampa, Tom Jones writes the Glazers' "extensive coaching search didn't seem to have been very extensive." But that is "just fine." Jones: "If you believe you have the right man for the job, why waste your time kicking the tires of a bunch of other guys you really have no interest in hiring." This "went down so fast that the Bucs, you would have to believe, had Smith in mind well before the season ended" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 1/2).
BACK TO WHERE IT ALL BEGAN? In Atlanta, D. Orlando Ledbetter cited reports as saying that Falcons President & CEO Rich McKay, who has "not been heavily involved in football operations since 2008, could be ready to return to Tampa Bay." McKay was the Buccaneers GM from '93-'03. But Buccaneer beat writers "did not mention McKay as a possible general manager candidate" (AJC.com, 12/31).
NO TROUBLE AT THE TOP: In Newark, Jordan Raanan noted Giants President & CEO John Mara "made it clear that the changes in the Giants organization will not be involving the head coach or general manager." Mara on Monday said of GM Jerry Reese, "I firmly believe he is the right guy going forward. I've spent enough time around him to know he's the right guy. He's not afraid to make tough decisions and he knows what the risks are, and sometimes you have to take those risks" (NJ.com, 12/30). But in N.Y., Ralph Vacchiano wrote Reese is "most definitely on the clock." It is not that Reese is "in any trouble," but he is "the one who has to fix it. Fast" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/31).