Many assumed the arrival of Lovie Smith and the Tampa 2 defense would be the strength of the franchise heading into the 2014 season. Through the first nine weeks of the season, the Buccaneers have failed to get a consistent and necessary pass rush, while the secondary has disappeared at times, opening up scrutiny of the scheme.
With that being the case, the defensive strategy has come under a lot of scrutiny by a segment of Bucs fans. But according to Lovie Smith, via Gerald McCoy, the system is here to stay and players will be held accountable.
“Coach has been letting guys know that we’re going to do things one way or you’re out of here,” McCoy said Thursday, clarifying his comments Wednesday on his radio show. “(It’s) his way. He knows the way it works and that’s what we’re going to do, bottom line. As the head coach, his way is the one he believes works.”
Although McCoy’s the captain and on-field leader of the defense, he emphasized his respect for authority. The dominant three-technique went on to reiterate his trust in Lovie Smith and the coach’s unwavering approach.
“How I was raised is, whoever is in authority, whatever rules they set in place and whatever they have set is what you do,” McCoy said. “That’s what I’m preaching and that’s what I’m trying to spread throughout the team. This is our head coach and regardless of whatever we’ve gone through this season, he’s never wavered. All he asks is that we follow simple rules and just execute the game plan the way he coaches it; simple as that. That’s really all his message was.”
At first, it sounded like Smith’s message (“do things one way or you’re out of here”) to the team was provoked, but McCoy assured it wasn’t. Instead, the fifth-year pro claimed it was about reiterating the importance.
“No,” McCoy said of it being provoked. “But it’s never any problem reiterating things of that sort. Coach Cullen, Coach Phair, and the defensive line room, they show us the same film over and over and over. You can never state the rules or show a person how to do the right thing too many times. It’s never a number to how many times you can let a person know on how things need to go.”
Lovie Smith has coached 18 seasons in the NFL. He was a member of the Buccaneers staff from 1996-2000 when the Tampa 2 originated, and he ran it for nine years as head coach in Chicago. He’s been a part of 14 top-10 defenses, while coaching five top-five defenses during his tenure with the Bears.
And while the Buccaneers are currently, or as Smith would say, “right now a 1-7 team,” it’s safe to believe that the long-time head coach will stick to the same methods that have made him successful.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
Let’s hope Lovie has evolved his Tampa 2 enough to compete in today’s NFL. I’m sure he will with a few better players. My concern is which way we go on offense after the season. Would like to see PR’s list of possible OC’s next season. Who that will be will have a huge impact on what Q.B. we may select.
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