Lovie Smith and Tom Coughlin – two of the most respected coaches in the NFL – were both fired after going 6-10 this season.
Bart Scott can understand why the Bucs did what they did, but the Giants? Not so much.
“I think they definitely made a mistake with Tom Coughlin,” Scott said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I don’t think Tom Coughlin has lost his ability to coach. I think he has about two, three more years in him, but I think they fired the wrong guy.”
The right guy, Scott said, would have been general manager Jerry Reese.
“Tom Coughlin was forced to coach, I believe, one of the worst rosters in football, especially from a defensive level. Aging veterans, guys that really don’t fit a system, no true pass rusher, nobody at the second level as far as linebackers, defense not being bale to stay healthy – his draft picks have underwhelmed other than Odell Beckham and possibly (Ereck) Flowers, who looks like he could be okay.”
Coughlin, it is worth noting, won two Super Bowls with the Giants, so perhaps he should have been given the benefit of the doubt. Smith, meanwhile, led the Bears to a Super Bowl appearance in 2006 but has coached a team to the playoffs just once in his last eight seasons. He also went 8-24 in two years in Tampa Bay.
“You know what? That’s a tough situation,” Scott said. “I think last year with all the talent and all the hype and all the anticipation when you first got the job, you look at the roster and said, ‘Man, this team is loaded.’ You think about Vincent Jackson, (Mike) Evans, Doug Martin, you bring in (Josh) McCown. I don’t understand why Mike Glennon isn’t more highly regarded. I think he’s a solid player, just as good as a Sam Bradford or a Nick Foles. He’s kind of like the forgotten man.”
That was by design.
“Lovie came in and kind of pushed him to the backup role and they lost games,” Scott said. “I think this team has underachieved for a while. I think they showed flashes under Jameis (Winston), but you think about some of the moves he made with Michael Johnson – spending some big-time money on pieces – only to release them the next year. He cost the organization money. I think they must have their eye out on somebody that they really want to get, maybe somebody within the division that they want to get. You think about some of these offensive minds. You have a great young quarterback, so you want to surround him with a young offensive mind that’s going to open this offense up and take it into the new generation (with) millennials (in terms of) how you spread everything out and (increase) tempo. (They want to) provide that for Jameis.”