Time is not something Mike Smith - or the Buccaneers for that matter - have a lot of. Coming off a pitiful defensive season in 2017, Mike Smith knows he - as well as his buddy and head coach Dirk Koetter - have a short leash.
With the offense relying on Ryan Fitzpatrick to start the season against the Saints, Eagles, and Steelers, there isn’t any time for the defense to “get in to a groove.” They have to come out of the gates bucking like a pissed off bull ready to mow down some rodeo clowns and leave a trail of destruction behind them.
Smith was asked about the defensive line rotation following Wednesday’s practice and how long he believes it will take to figure out the rotation;
“No I don’t think it will take three or four games. I think we’ll have an opportunity to evaluate these guys in the preseason. Each and every week is a completely different dynamic about who you’re lining up against, what they’re going to run, how we’re going to try to defend it. It’s going to be something that I think it is going to be fluid throughout the season. The great thing that these guys know is that it’s an open competition. There’s nobody that’s guaranteed a starting role on this defense.”
If it takes three or four weeks for the defensive line to get their rotation down and figure out each person’s role, then this team is in deeper trouble than we thought. This defense has to come out firing or it’s going to be more of the same for the Bucs and their fans.
With as much as Jason Licht worked this off-season to get the defensive line built up from virtually nothing, Mike Smith better figure out how to use these players long before week one.