Translating LovieMarch 10th, 2014
Joe apologizes for getting all Sesame Street here, but the number of the day for Lovie Smith is the number “4.”
One thing the Bucs couldn’t do last year is top of mind for Lovie entering free agency. And it’s all about that magic number.
Tampa Bay under Greg Schiano absolutely could not/would not rush the pass passer with four down linemen. Schiano wanted to but didn’t think he had defensive ends capable of such heroics. So the blitzes came and came, and the Bucs overinvested in their secondary to compensate for the granny-like push up front.
It’s this structural/philosophical mess that, Joe believes, led to the following Lovie quote to Roy Cummings of The Tampa Tribune.
Coach Lovie Smith has expressed a strong desire to reshape the roster he inherited when he took the job in January.
“We have systems that we want to run and this roster wasn’t set up with our systems in mind,’’ Smith said recently. “Not that it’s going to be that different, but we have some changes we have to make.’’
Lovie is a 4-3 defense guy. So was Schiano. So were Schiano’s on-staff mentors in Butch Davis and Dave Wannstedt. It was Wannstedt who even said last week that Lovie’s inheriting “good crossover from talent and scheme” for his defense. But it’s that missing edge rush that is everything.
With news this morning that Michael Bennett is about to sign in Chicago, the Bucs’ options to fix the defense the Lovie wants it fixed are dwindling.