“I Don’t Care If It’s July”March 25th, 2014
Lovie Smith is steadfast in his expectations: every single one of his defensive players will pursue the football all-out hard on every snap, and his special teams will be a relentless band of brothers.
The offense? Well, that’s a mystery. But we’ll soon find out.
Joe recommends this Buccaneers.com video feature on special teams coordinator Kevin O’Dea, a 20-year NFL veteran, who in addition to working with Lovie in Tampa during the glory years, also was in Chicago with him, among other stops. Prior to his NFL days, O’Dea actually coached alongside Greg Schiano at Penn State.
The link above is Part II of the feature. Joe found O’Dea’s takes on what makes a special team player and loafing to be noteworthy.
“I don’t care if it’s July,” O’Dea says, in illustrating how players who don’t play hard for their teammates are the wrong players to have. “Cancer” was his choice of word.
In Part I here, O’Dea details how his grading system for players is fully transparent, so the roster knows who is performing and who isn’t. For example, he wants Doug Martin to know who’s excelling at blocking on the punt return team. It’s part of Lovie’s philosophy of accountability and building chemistry.