Lovie Smith is a defensive guru, but he can’t lead the defense on his own. On Wednesday, the local media got a chance to meet the man who will help Lovie continue to build upon a defense which ranked highly in 2013, but still has some work to do before it becomes a dominant defense.
Leslie Frazier had his first press conference as the defensive coordinator of the Buccaneers on Wednesday, and here are some of the highlights from his comments:
- Frazier began his press conference by saying that he sees pieces he can build with to help create a good defense in Tampa Bay.
- When asked about those pieces, he had lots of good things to say about Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David, and how they create a solid foundation for the system he and Lovie want to run.
- Speaking of system, Frazier would not specifically mention what kind of system he wanted to run, but did say that it was important to not be married to a system so much that he forgets the players trying to execute the system.
- In other words, he and Lovie will find ways to work with Darrelle Revis.
- In speaking about Revis, Frazier said there is “always room in any system for great players.” Frazier said that Revis will be a key to success on defense for the Bucs.
- Another key to a successful defense is an edge pass rusher, which Frazier said is very important to have so that a team isn’t forced to blitz all the time (something the Buccaneers did in 2013). Making sure the team has an edge pass rusher is certainly on the minds of the defensive staff.
- However, don’t expect that edge pass rusher to be Jared Allen by default. Although Frazier has a good relationship with Allen, he admitted that the GM and Lovie will decide on personnel decisions, and that former Vikings are not locks to come to Tampa because he’s here.
Frazier is a former defensive coordinator moving back to that role under a coach he respected and coached against in the NFC North, and it seems like a smooth transition for him. Working with Lovie is something Frazier seems excited about, but it will be interesting to see how much of Lovie’s influence is on the defense, and just how the staff plans to use Darrelle Revis.