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March 26, 2014 @ 8:08 pm
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Smith On Goldson's Tackling, Importance Of Nickel CB Spot

Written by Scott
Reynolds
Scott Reynolds

Scott
Reynolds

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Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith touched on whether FS Dashon Goldson working with a tackling coach was a good thing, the role of the nickel cornerback in the Tampa 2, and the competitive advantage Jeff Tedford's new offense brings to Tampa Bay. This is the third installment of a four-part transcript of Smith's hour-long interview with the media.
ORLANDO – Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith discussed free safety Dashon Goldson hiring an offseason tackling coach, the importance of the role of the nickel cornerback in the Tampa 2, the surprise element of Jeff Tedford’s offense and mock drafts in an hour-long interview with PewterReport.com, the local Bucs beat writers and the national media at the NFC coaches breakfast interview at the NFL Owners Meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

This is the third installment in a four-part transcript covering Smith's interview on Wednesday morning:

Smith on having a competitive advantage with Jeff Tedford’s new offense:
“Yes, I do. As we talk about the offense, what will we be offensively? I think guys can look defensively and every year I’ve been in the league we’ve based things out of our 4-3 front. You can get some of those things. But you have a year off, you have a chance to tweak and add a few things. And offensively people really don’t know or (on) special teams what we’re going to do. That is an advantage. It’s not like we’re going to show everybody what we’re going to do before our opening game. It’s always good to have a little intrigue like that.”

Smith on Bucs free safety Dashon Goldson hiring a tackling coach during the offseason:
“I think sometimes we run with some stories that really aren’t there. What Dashon really said was he had a coach previously and this offseason no one else can work with him, so he’s wanting to improve his game in the offseason. The guys that will be coaching Dashon on tackling will be us. It will be me, it’ll be Leslie Frazier, it’ll be Mikal. We’ll be the ones that will be coaching all of our players. As a general rule, our guys will have one coach. While they’re off, they can get as much help as they possibly can. There’s some simple things you have to do for Dashon. First off, lower your target. Start with that. Did he have those problems before? We feel like we can handle that. If that’s the least of our problems, we’re going to be in pretty good shape.”

Smith on playing against Chicago in the NFC North in his first year in Tampa Bay:
“I think it’s good. I know that division better than any other. We feel like we know the division, the personnel, which should help us. But besides that there’s not a whole lot more. I know I used to be the head coach at Chicago, but that’s one of the 16 games we’re going to play next year. It’s as simple as that.”

Smith on what he thinks the teams in front of the Bucs in the draft will do:
“I’m sure everybody has a mock draft. We have mock drafts too that change constantly on what we think. But it’s a guess. That’s all everyone is doing. The one team that’s in full control of course is Houston. I don’t know if they know right now, but they can go a lot of different directions. For the rest of us, it’s about reacting to who’s available. That’s why you try to evaluate as many players as possible, look at all the different scenarios that you can possibly come up with, which is kind of endless. I just know that, as you look at the depth of the draft, if we stay at the seventh pick, we’re going to get a very good football player that will help us win games. I feel confident in that.”

Smith on whether he looks at media mock drafts:
“No, I hear. When you throw stuff out, unless something comes to me directly, I just … in my years as a head coach, I think it’s best to read as little as possible, especially locally because I want to be able to interact with guys on a professional basis. Unless there’s something, somebody is personally attacking some of our players and I need to know it, I don’t know what you’re doing. You’re reporting the news, which in sports, everyone wants to know about and you kind of go with that. So have I read your mock draft? I haven’t. Believe me, I’ve got mock drafts from grandsons, friends, all types of advice. I don’t need any more advice. We’ve covered it all, believe me.”

Smith on the decision to release Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis:
“There are a lot of tough moves you have to make, but you have to define what’s tough. Darrelle Revis ended up going to a great organization and a great situation, so that was good for him. For us, we were able to get Alterraun Verner plus other players. I feel like both of us won. It was a tough decision, but I think it was a good decision for both parties and we’re both excited about it.”

Smith on Revis potentially not fitting in his Tampa 2 system:
“A lot’s been said about guys fitting our system. You know who fits our system? Good football players. If you just start with that, most players fit in most systems. We just kind of started off with that basis. Since we’re talking about the cornerback position, we only play guys that play Cover Two. Guys haven’t watched what we do. We play Cover Two and if there’s a third-and-long situation and there’s a pass, then Cover Two’s a good coverage to play. Besides that, you want a cornerback that can intercept the ball, that can play man, and that can tackle and do all those kind of things. We just kind of look at it that way and try to put as many good football players together as we possibly can and we feel like we’ve done that.”

Smith on whether a starting cornerback would move inside to play the slot in nickel defense, and which players are in the mix for the nickel CB role:

“That’s a very good question. The nickel position as a whole, some guys can do it. Ronde [Barber] has done it and others have. But just think about having to become an expert at two positions. As a general rule, we don’t do that an awful lot. Our No. 1 and No. 2 corner, whoever that is, they’re going to stay outside. Our nickel position is a position in itself. We have a coach, Larry Marmie, that will coach only it, and every second he has will have guys in the nickel room being coached at that position. As far as who that will be, that’s still up for debate right now. We have options, some that you mentioned and others that we have on the football team. But I see, as you look on the offensive side, really there are 12 positions. I count that third receiver as one and I count the nickel position as the 12th position on defense. As we introduce our team [on Sundays], both of those guys will probably get introduced with the starting lineup.”

Smith on whether he considers a nickel cornerback to be a slot cornerback:
“Yes, for the most part. As a general rule, yes, our nickel will be inside at the slot. The nickel position, just talking about it, most people say you can put anybody in there. Well, if you only play man every snap it doesn’t matter. But for us, we’re going to blitz that position, we’re going to play all the different zones from that position, so I think there’s a little more to it.”

Smith on the nickel cornerback role being modeled after former Buc Ronde Barber:
“One year at training camp when I was with Chicago, I put a Hall of Fame starting lineup at every position, with coaching, from defensive coordinator to every position on the defensive side and Ronde Barber has played the nickel position as well as anybody in our system. So, yes, we will be modeling it after that and doing some of the things that Ronde did, which he did well. Ronde Barber will never get credit for the blitzer that he was. Zone coverage – everything you’re looking for – he would tackle. If we can get somebody to be close to the play that we got from Ronde we’ll be in pretty good shape.”

Smith on establishing his own identity with the team:
“I think it’s a must. I think as you come in there’s not a whole lot of time and you have things that you want to get done. To me, I assume every coach is going to do it his way. You’re brought in for that reason. There’s a reason why they hired me. In my interview, I mapped out for our ownership exactly how we would do it in every situation and they chose me as the head football coach. So of course I’m going to come in and do it the way I think it should be done.”

Smith on assessing the roster and making changes:
“I think it’s a new year. To me, it didn’t really matter what happened last year. It’s about going forward, the best situation, the best group of men we can get together for our needs going forward. It’s as simple as that. And then with that there are tough decisions you have to make. Every year there’s going to be change. That’s a part of the business that we all know.”

Smith on Gerald McCoy getting the opportunity to get more sacks in this defense:
“Yeah, there definitely is. I think you judge a defensive lineman pass-wise, can they win the one-on-one battle? Gerald can. That’s why it was important for us to get a defensive end that’s a great player where you can’t just concentrate on Gerald. To us, a win is getting Gerald in a one-on-one situation against that offensive guy, whoever that offensive guard might be. We feel like things are going to go our way quite a few times. Gerald had 9.5 sacks. That’s hard to do for an inside player and he missed a few. We feel like, even though he’s considered a great player, Joe Cullen will do a great job coaching him and we feel like he can take another step.”

Smith on who is Tampa Bay’s starting right guard at the present time:
“I can’t give you a good answer for that. I’ve talked about some of the positions coming in like our starting rotation at quarterback. But most of the others I think right now I’ll just say everybody will get an opportunity. We have some options at the position and we’ll just kind of let it all play out. The offensive line, even though there’s been a lot of subtraction, I like the additions that we’ve added and George Warhop is an excellent offensive line coach and we’ll get a good group together.”

Smith on using the draft and the second wave of free agency to continue to fill holes in Tampa Bays’ roster:
“I see it as constant throughout. Free agency is still going on until we’re told to stop. The draft is ongoing. Everything is ongoing right now. We’re evaluating still and adding as we go along. We still have options. We haven’t filled that roster completely.”

Last modified on Monday, 31 March 2014 10:33
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  • avatar


    i got goose bumps.
  • avatar


    Don't you just love Lovie? He is being just as honest and transparent as he can be without divulging any important secrets that would hurt our chances to compete for a championship this year. I agree with everything he said! I think we are very fortuanate to have him and the elite asst. Coaches he brought with him.
  • avatar


    That's great that the Offense and Defense will introduce that 12th player at home games.
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