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Bucs Welcome New Head Coach Lovie Smith

lovie_bucs.jpg
buccaneers.com

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially introduced new head coach Lovie Smith today.

The team hasn't seen the playoffs since the 2007 season. Smith said he's optimistic about turning those struggles around.

"It's easy for me to sit up here and say, 'Hey, this time next year we're not going to be having this type of [talk],' I'm talking about as far as where we are in the playoffs and doing different things, but I do think though, nowadays, you can improve quickly."

Smith returns to the Bucs after the team fired former head coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik last week. A replacement for Dominik still has yet to be named.

Smith was the linebackers coach for the Bucs from 1996-2000 when Tony Dungy was the head coach. Smith says he's going to try to bring the team back to how it used to be during those years.

"We did lay a foundation for Tampa Bay Buccaneer football. There's a certain brand of football that you expected from us," Smith said. "You knew we'd be relentless, we'd play hard, physical, but there was a brand of football you did get from us each week."

Smith was head coach for the Chicago Bears from 2004 to 2012, posting an 81-63 regular season record, 3-3 in the playoffs. He was fired after the 2012 season in which the Bears went 10-6, but missed the playoffs.

Now, he has a five-year contract with the Bucs. He's already hired former University of California head coach Jeff Tedford as offensive coordinator and former Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier as defensive coordinator.

"[I'm] excited about being here, excited about taking the next step and just improving our ball club to eventually get back to where we belong," Smith said.