Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Frazier confirms Lovie Smith will call defensive plays


Bucs Thursday Recap

The Buccaneers had their second day of practice this week as they prepare to take on the Cleveland Browns in their third preseason game of 2015 on Saturday night. After signing Kicker Conner Barth and adding Punter Jacob Schum on Wednesday, there was a lot to talk about. Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier and DT Gerald McCoy spoke to the media before practice and HC Lovie Smith gave a brief presser after practice.

Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier

The big news from Frazier’s time with the media was that he confirmed that Lovie Smith will be handling the majority of the defensive play-calling this year. It’s been reported that this was the case, but this is the first time anyone with the Bucs has confirmed it.

“I’m excited for it,” Frazier said of Smith taking over the play-calling. “It should be good for our defense, good for our team.”

It can’t be all that exciting for a defensive coordinator to hand off the play-calling duties, but if Smith feels like he needs to do it, there’s not all that much that Frazier can do about it. At least he’s having a good attitude for now.

DT Gerald McCoy

McCoy stressed that the defensive line can be great if they work together. He emphasized that no one player has to be amazing, but everyone has to do their job and they can be effective.

“Teams who have a high sack number, not individually, but as a team, they usually work together well,” McCoy Said.

Besides advocating teamwork, McCoy also said the best four rushers need to play, regardless of their position. Henry Melton, for example, is traditionally an interior lineman but started at DE in Jaquies Smith’s absence.

McCoy said he could even play outside if he needed to. He made it clear that if the best four pass rushers play together then they’ll figure out a way to get pressure on the QB.

Head Coach Lovie Smith

The first question Smith received was about the signing of K Connor Barth. Smith acknowledged that Barth lost a close kicking battle to Patrick Murray last year and said he felt like bringing Barth back helped improve the kicking position. And that’s about all he would say concerning the addition.

“Patrick is still our guy, but we want competition at every position,” Smith said.

Other than that, Smith did let everyone know that C Evan Smith was back at practice, so that’s good news.

The Bucs will have a walk-through tomorrow morning and Lovie Smith will address the media one more time tomorrow afternoon before Saturday night’s game against the Cleveland Browns. Stay tuned to The Pewter Blank as the Bucs third preseason game of 2015 draws near.

Next: Russell Shepard gives the team a lot to think about