It’s only week two of OTA’s, but already new defensive coordinatorMike Smith
has been impressing the Buccaneers defensive linemen with his ability to set up players for success within his system.
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Here is what new defensive end Robert Ayers had to say about Smith following a recent OTA practice,
"“He’s all about winning, he’s all about putting people in position to be successful. He’s all about giving you knowledge and being able to anticipate what guys are going to do or how they’re going to attack you. He wants to fill your toolbox up. He doesn’t want to send you out on the field and not be prepared for anything – that’s the thing I like.Nov 9, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith reacts against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Atlanta Falcons defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports“He’s giving us a lot of knowledge and he’s putting a lot on our plate and expectations are high, as they should be. We’re all just trying to soak it all up and let him motivate us and motivate ourselves and get better.”"
Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy echoed Ayers sentiments on Mike Smith.
"“He is just about winning, that’s all he cares about. But he’s big on guys being great teammates. He doesn’t want any arrogant guys, he doesn’t want guys thinking that they’re above the system and he doesn’t care who the leader is. He says leaders will emerge, but he cares more about guys being great teammates and them supporting each other. If you see a person who doesn’t know, go help them. Don’t be afraid to communicate and realize that we are a family here, so regardless of what happens, we have to stick together. But as far as him as a person, he’s a great guy. Great guy.”"
The Bucs have failed to have a player record double-digit sacks since 2005. With Mike Smiths new system and the offseason addition of Robert Ayers in free agency and defensive end Noah Spence in the draft, they will have an opportunity to end that streak in 2016.
It really sounds like the Bucs defensive linemen already have a ton of respect for Mike Smith, and they really appreciate his all business attitude. He wants unselfish players and guys that care about wins more than personal stats, and if his scheme really is putting guys in the right positions for success then I think we’ll see a much improved product on the field than we saw in 2015.
One thing is certain: things on the defensive side of the ball can’t get much worse than they were under Lovie Smith…