Bucs GM on patience: 8 wins in 2 years means 'you've been patient enough'

The Buccaneers fired Lovie Smith on Wednesday night in a move that surprised just about everybody -- including the players.

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said, "I honestly have no idea what's going on," while linebacker Lavonted David ripped the Bucs' "stupid" decision to send Smith packing.

On one hand, we get the bewilderment; Smith's dismissal seemed to come out of nowhere. On the other hand, Smith went 2-14 and 6-10; coaches have gotten canned after having better seasons -- and that includes Tampa Bay.

Of course, the latest move does nothing for the continuity players want -- and all good teams have -- but sitting around for another season apparently wasn't an option for general manager Jason Licht.

And so Smith spoke with Licht by phone on Wednesday night about a Thursday face-to-face meeting. But that meeting never happened. According to several reports, Smith sensed something was wrong and said the meeting wasn't necessary.

Next up: finding a new coach. And while several candidates will be interviewed, the frontrunner appears to be Bucs offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.

The Lovie Smith era lasted two seasons and eight wins. (USATSI)
The Lovie Smith era lasted two seasons and eight wins. (USATSI)
CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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