Lovie Smith was formally introduced to the media and fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday afternoon, and he started putting pressure on his players to succeed right away.
During his opening statement, Smith said “It’s time for us to become relevant again.”
Smith was introduced as the 10th head coach in team history by team owner Bryan Glazer, who said that Smith was highly regarded around the league, and that he was a strong leader with a proven track record.
Afterwards, Smith took some time to talk to the media and answer questions, and here are some of the highlights from his time at the podium.
- Smith said that he feels the foundation of the team is in place to make a quick line to the playoffs.
- When talking about his staff, Smith said he’s received a great response from potential coaches and hopes to have a full staff in place soon. He did confirm that Jeff Tedford and Leslie Frazier will be his offensive and defensive coordinators.
- In regards to Tedford, Smith said that in his year off from football, he sought out a QB guru to help him run his offense once he got back into the NFL. Talking to players and coaches, he was directed to Tedford, who he believes can help run the offense Lovie wants to run.
- As far as defense goes, Lovie believes Leslie Frasier is a great man and someone he respected as a competitor in the NFC North.
- Smith continued to kill rumors that Darrelle Revis wouldn’t factor into his plans, specifically mentioning the cornerback and saying that “we’re a 4-3 team, and there’s a reason why the Tampa 2 coverage is attached to this team,” but adding that “we don’t play cover two every snap,” and that there is a place in his defense for a physical corner who can do everything.
- Offensively, Lovie said he wants to run the football with a power running game, and said he has a great tailback in place to do that. He commented on the skill of his receivers and their ability to be a part of a downfield passing attack. He had some praise for rookie QB Mike Glennon, but added that the roster would be evaluated when a GM is in place. That said, Glennon made a very good first impression on his new coach, introducing himself when Smith arrived in Tampa.
- One of the most encouraging things Lovie Smith mentioned was his desire to draw upon the traditions and history of the franchise. He said that all former Buccaneers are welcome to come back, because he wants to put that pressure on his players. He wants to see his guys look up to those who did it the right way for the Buccaneers when they were previously relevant.
- He specifically compared Lavonte David to Derrick Brooks, and is open to having Brooks around in whatever capacity he can.
- Lovie also was asked about his power over the team, and while he did dodge the question a bit, he repeatedly talked about working with a GM when he’s in place, and did say he doesn’t have the power to hire front office personnel.
Smith was very happy to be “back home” in Tampa Bay, and his connections to the area are something he made sure to mention and take pride in.
So what is your first impression about Lovie Smith as a head coach? Let us know in the comments below.