Former Bears head coach Lovie Smith, who became a top-flight assistant under Tony Dungy with the Buccaneers, is going back to Tampa as the head coach. Per multiple reports, Smith is working on a contract to replace Greg Schiano, who was fired after two seasons. FoxSports was first to report the move.
It's a good move for the Bucs. Smith is a settling presence who will help the team rebound after two moribund seasons under Schiano, whose rigid approach was met with resistance from several key players, including recently acquired cornerback Darrelle Revis. Schiano's teams went 11-21 in his two seasons as head coach. The Bucs were 4-12 in 2013.
Smith was the Bears head coach from 2004-12 and was a combined 81-63. He led the Bears to the Super Bowl after the 2006 season. Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts beat Chicago in the title game.
Smith, 55, led the Bears to a 10-6 record in 2012, but was fired by first-year general manager Phil Emery, who replaced Smith with Marc Trestman.
Smith was the Bucs' linebackers coach from 1996-2000 before moving on to become the Rams' defensive coordinator from 2001-03.
With Smith going to the Bucs and Penn State coach Bill O'Brien agreeing to a deal with the Texans, the Browns, Lions, Vikings and Washington are the only teams with head coaching vacancies.