“Everyone Gets Yelled At”May 28th, 2014
The biggest prerequisite for a Lovie Smith assistant coach is to be an astute, effective teacher of the game.
Teaching is No. 1 on Lovie’s list. But Lovie does not seek quiet clones of himself.
A majority of Bucs coaches, however, seem to take on that subdued Lovie way. Watching practice, one might not even know Hardy Nickerson and Leslie Frazier are employed by Tampa Bay.
But there are loud, animated voices on the Bucs’ staff. Joe’s already told you about cornerbacks coach Gil Byrd. Defensive line coach Joe Cullen is another standout for his stereotypical football coach kind of demeanor. He’s loud, with a unique voice and a piercing New England accent. And he gets after it.
Joe spoke 1-on-1 with Gerald McCoy about Cullen yesterday. McCoy said Cullen stands out for his no-favorites, no-preferential-treatment approach.
“Everyone gets yelled at, and it’s not in a negative way really,” McCoy said. “Coach Cullen told us, ‘Your best friend in this profession is the one who gets the best out of you.’ And he’s committed to doing that for each guy. No favorites.
“He told us he wants everyone to have a career year, including himself. And you see that every day.”
Cullen is a Rod Marinelli disciple, working under Marinelli in Detroit. Lovie, of course, is close friend of Marinelli, who recently took over as Cowboys defensive coordinator.
McCoy, amazingly, is on his sixth defensive line coach in just his fifth season. Before Cullen were Todd Wash, Keith Millard, Grady Stretz, Bryan Cox and Randy Melvin.
Yesterday, McCoy talked about how Warren Sapp keeps reminding him about the hard work he’ll need to put in to perfect his role in Lovie’s Tampa-2 defense. Joe hopes Cullen is a steady voice for McCoy for years to come.