Tough Talk In Cornerbacks RoomJune 21st, 2014
Lovie Smith takes pride in saying his coaches are elite teachers before anything else. Screamers, disciplinarians and intimidators don’t impress the head coach.
But that’s not to say there isn’t an old school, whip-cracking mindset around One Buc Palace.
It’s easily found in the Bucs secondary. Cornerbacks coach Gil Byrd, the former Chargers Pro Bowl corner, is constantly riding his players to excellence. He gets in faces, and he’s the loudest coach on the practice field, along with defensive line coach Joe Cullen.
Second-year CB Rashaan Melvin told Joe that Byrd represents a radical change from last season’s position coach and one of Byrd’s strict laws must be adhered to.
“Coach Byrd is a lot more energetic. Obviously, he knows great play in the NFL, and wants that from us every time we step on the practice field. We have this rule, ‘No excuses. No explanations.’” Melvin said.
Joe loves the various ways Byrd expresses his intensity when a takeaway opportunity is missed. A scream at a player of “not volleyball” or “Catch that thing. Not good enough!” are a couple of favorites.
In less than five short weeks, Byrd will be one of the highlights for fans heading out to watch training camp.