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Lovie Smith geting "more involved" with Buccaneers defense

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers weren't entirely dreadful on defense last year, even though the first few weeks certainly seemed to point in that direction. But they certainly weren't good, which was a little surprising given Lovie Smith's history of defensive excellence. Lovie Smith has a plan to fix that: according to the Tampa Bay Times, he's going to be more involved with the defense this year.

"I'm just saying, when you come in initially, there's a lot of things as a head football coach you have to get into play," Smith said. "We've gotten those things into play. My expertise, I'm a head coach because of what I've done on the defensive side. I've been very involved every year I've been a head coach."

That may explain in part why last year's Buccaneers defense was one of the three worst defenses Lovie Smith has ever coached, as the head coach has set a standard for excellence on defense throughout his coaching career -- much more so than defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.

That doesn't mean Lovie Smith will necessarily make the defensive playcalls, as he's generally let his coordinators handle that aspect of the defense. But the specific playcalls are less important than the overall defensive design, especially making sure that every player knows where they have to be, something that stifled the Bucs' defensive efforts repeatedly last year.