Last week reports surfaced – after being observed at camp – that Lovie Smith would takeover defensive play-calling duties from Leslie Frazier, who handled the responsibility last season.
When asked about the decision Saturday, Smith said that he has always been heavily involved on defense, one way or another, and that it doesn’t change the approach much from last season.
At his press conference on Thursday Frazier spoke on the matter for the first time, reiterating Smith’s comments that his role, nor the overall strategy, will really be affected by the directional shift on game day.
“There were times a year ago when there would definitely be communication on the head sets – and it won’t be any different this year,” Frazier said. “He’s going to be involved as he always has been with our defense, and he’s going to do the majority of defensive play calling. That really doesn’t change my role from a year ago; it really doesn’t. My role is to come in and help our defense prepare for every ball game and help our team win. It really hasn’t changed anything I have to get done.”
Frazier, who expressed his confidence in an up-and-coming defense throughout his time at the podium, said that he’s looking forward to Smith’s added involvement on defense. During his nine years with the Bears, Smith led numerous top five defenses, all of which ran a similar scheme to the one in Tampa Bay.
“I’m excited for it,” Frazier said. “I think his background – the defense he installed is the one he ran in Chicago – so it should be good for our defense and for our team. I think we’re all looking forward to just building off the momentum we had this offseason and also what we gained that Monday night.”
From a players’ perspective, defensive captain Gerald McCoy said their job is to execute the call Kwon Alexander relays on the field, no matter who it initially comes from.
“The play is signaled in, Kwon Alexander says what the play is and I play it. It’s as simple at that,” McCoy said. “There’s nothing more to it. You play what is called, and after that, everybody needs to just do their job instead of being concerned about who’s calling (plays). Whatever is called, do your job and worry about everything else later.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
The “Buc” stops here…with Lovie. If you want to own it, then you own it, for better or worse. Just manage the clock correctly this year..ok?
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RHIP – Rank has it’s privileges! When you da man, you da man! lol.
any one else see the video report where hardy actually radios the plays to alexander? I’m sure it comes from frazier-lovie..but interesting
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