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Bucs’ Lovie Smith has one of the NFL’s hottest seats, says USA Today

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For Tampa Bay Bucs coach Lovie Smith, the seat is getting hotter.

At least, according to USA Today, it is.

Smith took the biggest jump of any coach in the newspaper’s hot-seat rankings this week, jumping from seventh to third in the rankings. He trails only the Colts’ Chuck Pagano and the Lions’ Jim Caldwell (a former Bucs’ assistant) in the rankings.

Smith is ranked 10th at

Smith seemed to admit Monday that he didn’t have a very good game himself against Washington. Of all the Smith critics in Tampa Bay, well, he’s one of them.

For instance:

There was Washington’s recovery of an onside kick. We didn’t line up properly on that play,” Smith said. “I’ll just go on that. [We] didn’t execute the way [we wanted]. It starts with us first, as coaches. We didn’t have the guys lined up in the right position on that play. It’s kind of as simple as that.”

There was the winning touchdown pass by Washington. “Bad on our part,” Smith said. “Starting with the coaches, then to the players. The onside kick, same thing. Bad on our part as coaches, then how we executed it.”

There was the offensive series where the Bucs couldn’t close out the game with a touchdown on three straight runs. “The ball should go a different place for [that play],” Smith said. “We didn’t handle the situation. It wasn’t on Jameis or anything like that. It starts with us as coaches. We didn’t put the guys in the best position to be successful in that situation. That’s about all I can say. It’s on us; we didn’t put the guys in the best position there.”

There were the 16 penalties. “Sixteen for 142 yards, it can’t be that,” Smith said. “We’ll keep working on it, just like we’ll keep working on everything else.”

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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