Several changes have to be made for any football team that is in need of improving off a 2-14 season. The Buccaneers understand that.
Per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Bay’s head coach Lovie Smith will be calling the defensive plays this season. Stroud described how it looked from camp on Thursday.
Smith stood near midfield during the Bucs 11-on-11 period Thursday, giving the defensive play calls to linebackers coach Hardy Nickerson, who relayed them via the helmet communicator. [Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier], with practice script in hand, was not involved in the process during the team period.
Stroud adds in his report that Frazier’s title will not change.
After their debacle on the offensive side of the ball that featured their offensive coordinator never returning after health complications and a young, inexperienced one taking over, it was evident changes needed to be made there. But the defensive side of the ball was one many were extremely optimistic about yet unbelievably underperformed.
There issues within the defensive unit that made the overall appearance of team look like there was a collective effort to fail, and fail miserably. Talk of Lovie Smith already being placed on the hot seat stirred up but tempered now with the understanding that a rookie quarterback is taking over.
While in Chicago, Smith took over the defensive play-calling in 2008 after then Bears defensive coordinator Bob Babich was questioned for the plays called. As a result, Chicago finished 12th in total defense that season.
Changes needed to be made and Smith — so far — has understood the situation and has addressed the problems. We’ll see if this decision brings different results for 2015.