In an effort to put to bed rumors of Darrelle Revis not factoring into his plans with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Lovie Smith had a strong statement directed at the All-Pro corner during his Monday press conference.
When talking about his defense, he mentioned Revis by name, and said although he runs a 4-3 defense and is known for the Tampa 2, he “does not run the Cover 2 every snap,” and that there is a place in his defense for a physical corner who is as good as Revis.
Lovie did say that he will use the Cover 2 in certain situations, as it’s a valuable part of third down defense, but that he loves the personnel the Buccaneers have in place and mentioned Revis along with Lavonte David, Gerald McCoy and safeties Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson as key members of his defense.
Smith used multiple defensive looks during his time in Chicago, opting to put a corner in man coverage against Calvin Johnson, while also mixing in Cover 3 looks and other various defensive options. He’s definitely still a 4-3 coach, and believes strongly in the front four with a three-technique defender like Gerald McCoy. But his defensive backs will allow him flexibility to put together a defense different from those that led to his rise through the NFL as a “Tampa 2″ coach.
Leslie Frazier was confirmed as Smith’s defensive coordinator, and Frazier was once himself a man-free and bump-and-run cornerback with the Chicago Bears in the 46 defense. So it’s safe to say that Frazier knows how to operate a defense with a talented corner left alone on an island.