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Did Jason Licht just take a shot at Lovie Smith or does he just like Mike Smith?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We haven't heard much on Mike Smith out of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, outside of Smith's inaugural press conference, but Jason Licht appeared on Sirius XM with Pat Kirwan. He talked about Smith's role as the defensive coordinator, and applied some less-than-flattering things about the way Lovie Smith wanted to run his team. JoeBucsFan has the transcript:

"[Mike Smith] is more of a, which is a great thing for a scout and for the GM, is that he's more about fitting the pieces into a scheme, utilizing the players as what their best attributes are," Licht said. "And fitting the scheme around them, as opposed to trying to find the, you know, schematic fit [while scouting]. And that's music to my ears. It's a lot easier to do that. And you know, the intelligent coaches can do that. So that's going to be a good thing for us."

Well, that's good to hear, I guess. Certainly Mike Smith has shown more versatility than Lovie Smith did in his time in Tampa. The first Smith has run more 3-4 principles, and had a more varied group of defensive back than Lovie Smith wanted -- though the issue in the secondary was less a question of fit, and more a question of everyone's-playing-like-week-old-lasagna.

We shouldn't pretend that Lovie Smith wasn't adjusting at all. He had a defense and he was a stickler about how it had to be run, but that defense was plenty varied. The Bucs played a lot of man coverage, Cover 1 and Cover 3, and blitzed a decent amount as well. The Tampa 2 was certainly a part of his philosophy, but that will be a major feature in Mike Smith's playbook too.

Does it help that Mike Smith is more willing to adjust his scheme? Sure. But it's no panacea, and you're unlikely to see a complete paradigm shift. In the end, Mike Smith has historically run defenses that are pretty similar to Lovie Smith's.