The Buccaneers have had coaching issues. Hence the reason why they have had three different coaches in five seasons. Players haven’t been put in position to succeed and instead have been forced into roles/schemes they don’t excel in.
Enter defensive coordinator Mike Smith, who promises the team will examine each players strengths and weaknesses and put them in position to succeed, especially on defense.
“This is not going to be Mike Smith’s defense. This is going to be Dirk Koetter’s defense,” Smith said during his introductory press conference. “He’s the head football coach and the guys that are on our staff are going to be integral parts of what we put together and how we identify the strengths and the weaknesses of our players. Once we identify those strengths and weaknesses, our goal and what we’re charged to do is to put them in the best possible situations. That’s what coaching is all about.”
What a concept. One the previous regime could not figure out.
Players like Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy have had roller coaster careers in pewter so far. Although one has succeeded more often than the other in different systems, Smith is looking forward to working with the players on the roster.
“I also think there’s a core of players on the defense that are very good football players and have a chance to be outstanding players,” Smith said. “You’ve got to start up front, with our defensive tackle Gerald [McCoy]. Lavonte David had a great season. I’ve had an opportunity to talk to a couple of these guys that have been in the building, here in passing. It’s exciting to see, here in January, that there’s players that are here in the building, when they don’t have to be, so that’s exciting.”
While there is excitement, there is also an understanding that the team must carry a win-now mentality. It’s a mentality the former Atlanta Falcons head coach feels is already present.
“That’s what the fans want and, believe me, that’s what we want as coaches as well. But it’s about winning and I think we have in Coach Koetter a great leader that’s going to lead this football team in the right direction – I have no doubt about that.”