We’re still not entirely sure how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense will change with Lovie Smith in, and Mike Smith out. Both coaches are somewhat similar, though the latter is slightly more aggressive and versatile and generally practices slightly different techniques. But in an interview with ESPN’s First Take, Lavonte David said there was one other difference.
“We’re getting guys are more comfortable playing this scheme, guys playing football the way they know how to play football. You know, not thinking too much, not thinking about playing a certain technique. They’re just out there playing football, being the best athletes that they can.”
That’s an interesting statement, because Lovie Smith’s system was based entirely around getting players to do exactly that. The Tampa 2 philosophy is to put a somewhat limited, repetitive system in place so that players can perfect it, and learn to play it without thinking about what they’re doing. That’s the theory, at least. Apparently, it wasn’t the actual result Lovie Smith got — whether that says something about his coaching or his players remains to be seen.
It does suggest that Lovie Smith may just have needed a little more time to get his players to do what he wanted them to do, which is what he had in Chicago. Then again, it never took him that long at his previous stops, either.
Of course, no coach goes out there and wants his players to be thinking about every tiny move, to not be the best athletes they can. So whether this actually changes remains to be seen.