By now players, fans and media alike realize that the Tampa 2 system can take time to learn as players have to trust different – and sometimes unusual concepts while working as a cohesive unit. And while there was noticeable improvement from the defense towards the end of the season, many players were slow to adjust early on, causing Tampa Bay to lose multiple games by a wide margin.
As the 2015 season approaches, the focus remains on the players and how another offseason will make them more comfortable in the scheme. However, little has been made about the defensive coaches and the fact that, they too, are entering their second year.
After practice last week defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was asked how a coach, similarly to a player, can evolve from year one to year two as they become more familiar with the system, as well as the personnel.
“I think it is equally beneficial,” Frazier said. “You have a better feel for the players and what they can do. What their strengths and weaknesses are… A year ago, everything you’d seen was on tape in another system. You were trying to project how they would fit into the system we were going to introduce. Now, we have actually seen Lavonte David, Danny Lansanah and Gerald McCoy play and function in our defense.”
Along with better being able to align player’s strengths with their assignments, Frazier believes that just having that experience from last year alone, will help the coaches take a step forward in 2015.
“We kind of know what their strengths and weaknesses are within what we do so we can better utilize their gifts, their talents and have a better understanding of what they are best at doing,” Frazier said. “Sometimes that only happens through experience. That experience should help me, should help our defensive coaches and our players as well.”
PewterReport.com asked linebacker coach Hardy Nickerson last week if he feels he has improved as a coach as well.
“I would say I think we have all grown by light years,” Nickerson said. “I am pretty comfortable what we have going scheme-wise and coaching the guys up. When you go through a season, you always self-evaluate. Of course I have gone back. That is part of the process of getting better as a coach and I am always looking for ways of getting better as a coach and getting my players better.”