The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are revamping their defense this offseason, and that started by bringing in Mike Smith as the new defensive coordinator. We don't know exactly how the defense will change, but middle linebacker Kwon Alexander gave us a hint today.
"It's gonna be more aggressive. You guys just see it for yourself, you gotta be ready for this season. It's going to be fun. Y'all gonna enjoy it for real.''
Of course, I've yet to see a defensive coordinator who says he'll play less aggressive defense. It's always a nice buzzword, but it doesn't necessarily mean all that much. More than that, "aggressive" is not synonymous with "good." It's very easy to be extremely aggressive and blitz every other play. It's very hard to actually play good defense that way -- just ask the New Orleans Saints.
One thing helping the Bucs: they have three outstanding blitzers at linebacker in Lavonte David, Alexander and Daryl Smith. One thing not helping them: their secondary isn't good enough to cover for constant blitzes. The best cornerback is Brent Grimes, and he'll be 33 this season. The safeties are okay, but they're not going to lock anyone down in man coverage -- and when you blitz, that's exactly what your safeties need to do.
The other thing giving me pause: Mike Smith hasn't had really aggressive defense. For most of his career as a head coach, he's overseen defenses that were fairly normal in terms of blitz frequency and overall approach. There was a period where they did some weird things with zone blitzes and it's not like the Falcons were allergic to blitzing -- but we're not talking about Rex Ryan here.