On Thursday Tampa Bay Times Bucs beat writer Rick Stroud wrote that Tampa Bay head coach Lovie Smith would be taking over the defensive play calling from defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier this season.

Following practice on Saturday, Smith was asked about the switch, but didn’t give many details or confirm the change in the order of command.

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“First of all I have been involved defensively, every year I have been a head coach. Some years I am more involved than others. Simple as that. I have been in the same role, been doing the same thing since training camp started. I don’t see that being much of a story really.”

Smith was then asked to comment further.

“I’ve been involved some form every year I’ve been a football coach. Some years more so than others. This year, with our situation on the offensive side, I can be a little more involved on the defensive side.”

A source confirmed Stroud’s report to PewterReport.com on Friday evening, but didn’t provide any additional details.

In his report earlier in week Stroud pointed out this type of change isn’t unfamiliar to Smith writing, “It’s not the first time Smith has taken added defensive play-calling to his head coaching duties. After the Bears finished 28th (354.7 yards per game) in 2007 and 21st in 2008 (334.7 ypg) under then-defensive coordinator Bob Babich, Smith started calling plays while Babich retained his title. Chicago improved slightly under Smith in 2009 to 17th in total defense and tied for 21st in points (23.4).”

This change is also not unfamiliar in the Buccaneers organization as well. In 2009, in his first season as head coach of Tampa Bay, Raheem Morris assumed defensive play calling duties from then defensive coordinator  Jim Bates prior to a Week 12 road trip to Atlanta. Bates moved on from the organization following his demotion, but don’t expect that to be the case for Frazier who most likely will stay in the box for the Buccaneers during games and help relay information to the coaching staff down on the field while also being heavily involved in game planning during the week.

Coming off a 2-14 season Smith knows the team overall performance must improve, especially on defense (25th in total defense), a unit where Smith earned his reputation beginning back in 1996 as a member of former Bucs head coach Tony Dungy’s staff.

 

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About the Author: Mark Cook

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 mark@pewterreport.com
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Horse
Horse
5 years ago

Two classy guys as always. Even without a legit DE sacker, I like how Coach is adjusting to the talent he has. I do believe our Defense is better than last year. Go Bucs!

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Ronald
Ronald
5 years ago

Horse, did you see the Vikings game? Our defense was a sieve. There was not one bright spot on the defense the whole game.

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scubog
scubog
5 years ago

Ronald (what a great name): Good or bad, pay little attention to “exhibition” games. Rather than looking at the total team end result, focus on individual players. Surely you noticed the efforts of #91,#58 and #44. Especially with the first game, the real goal is player evaluation, not defeating the opponent or creating favorable match-ups. Not saying the ineffective pass defense that we all observed isn’t a concern, but it’s just not necessarily what we’ll see when it counts.

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BucFan circa76
BucFan circa76
Reply to  scubog
5 years ago

Excellent points and reply.

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Buc-Up
Buc-Up
5 years ago

Tampa 2 defenses usually look poor in the preseason because everybody has to be on the same page for it to work. If one man blows his assignment it creates huge holes. You need pressure from d-line, MLB that plugs the middle and covers down field, and good safety play. In years past it thrived with Nickerson and Quarles, but faltered with Duncan, Webster, Rudd, Foster, etc… SS was solid for years with Lynch but Baron failed. FS had hits with Robinson, Jackson, Smith but missed with Goldson. We appear set at MLB & DT, hopefully at SS & FS,… Read more »