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Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Bucs have competition for Lovie Smith

By Pat Yasinskas

TAMPA, Fla. -- Early indications are that former Bears coach Lovie Smith is at the top of Tampa Bay's wish list as the Buccaneers search for a new coach.

But it’s unclear if the feeling is mutual. There’s a report that Smith is expected to interview with the Detroit Lions. There also is a report that the Washington Redskins have an interest in Smith.

The Bucs have several things going for them. Smith formerly was an assistant in Tampa Bay and knows ownership. Tampa Bay has first-class facilities and a good salary-cap situation. Smith, a defensive guru, also could be enticed by Tampa Bay’s defensive talent, which includes defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, linebacker Lavonte David and cornerback Darrelle Revis.

But the one major criticism of Smith when he was the head coach in Chicago was that he didn’t have a prolific offense. That’s where Detroit and Washington could have an edge.

Washington already has an explosive young quarterback in Robert Griffin III. Detroit has an established quarterback in Matthew Stafford and one of the NFL’s best receivers in Calvin Johnson.