The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waited until two days after Black Monday to decide they were going to jump into the head coaching carousel. The team announced the decision to release head coach Lovie Smith from his duties this evening.
Smith joined the Buccaneers in 2014. He had previously the head coach of the Chicago Bears from 2004 to 2012, including leading the Bears to a Super Bowl appearance in 2006. With the Buccaneers, Smith tallied an 8-24 record over two seasons, including a 6-10 performance this season. It was his second time working in the Buccaneers organization, having been the team's linebackers coach from 1996 to 2000.
The move to fire Smith came as a surprise, with NFL Network's Ian Rapoport tweeting, "Tough to find a breaking point for the #Bucs. Lovie Smith wasn't asked to fire coaches. They'd really only started meeting.
The firing of Smith adds the Buccaneers to a group of teams looking for a head coach including the Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers, and Philadelphia Eagles.