“Dr. Smith”

May 28th, 2014
"Dr. Smith"

“Dr. Smith”

You have heard the cliche by now, “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.” Yes, it started with a TV ad.

Bucs coach Lovie Smith is a football coach, a family man, a dad, a husband, and as he self-confessed yesterday after Tuesday’s OTA, not much else. That is, until he plays “Dr. Smith,” whose specialty is hamstrings.

Joe knows Bucs fans in some circles are wringing their hands in anxiety because first round draft pick Mike Evans already has a hamstring injury — not even a full week into his pro career. These same fans are wiping their brows over Vincent Jackson having the same injury.

Both players were only spectators at practice yesterday, but Dr. Smith doesn’t see the need to throw them out on the practice field in May unless 100 percent.

“The hamstring is getting better, but I’m not an expert on a lot of things, but the hamstrings I’m an expert on – Dr. Smith talking here,” Lovie said, referring to Mike Evans’ injury.

“It is getting better, but you don’t come back right away from a hamstring injury and we’re not getting ready to play right away, we want Mike to get well and all of our hamstring injuries, Vincent Jackson has had one. We’ll take our time with them. There’s so much Mike Evans can learn besides getting on the football field running, I mean the mental part of the game and he’s doing that, he’s doing everything that we’re asking him to do and in time he’ll be back out there.

“You to prepare for [injuries] – it’s not if, we are going to have injuries during the year and it’s always about the next guy stepping up. It’s safe to say Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson are going to be on the team playing for us this year. We do need to learn about the third, fourth, fifth receiver, sixth if we decide to go that direction or seven, so you don’t know exactly how many we’re going to keep, I’ve got to throw that in there and we’ll see how they work.”

That’s just it. There are positives to this negative. Rookie Robert Herron has really caught Joe’s eyes with his speed. On down-and-outs or crossing patterns, he simply runs away from defenders. Explodes.

The goal is to get through training camp and the preseason injury-free with starters. That’s a rarity, but one way to do it is not forcing guys with gimpy legs to play underwear football in late-May.

7 Responses to ““Dr. Smith””

  1. Architek Says:

    The video link you posted of Herron at the senior bowl was ridiculous. He is explosive in all his routes and he accelerates gracefully. I’m really hoping for him to become a threat and a consistent contributor.

    He’s a steal and Chris Landry loves him.

  2. Mike Says:

    I’ve watched everything I could on Herron. Absolute bullet! If we could utilize him plus our towers….. I’m stoked for this season! Haven’t felt like that in a long time either. I’m just trying not to get ahead of myself, but we’ve got to be a lot better right now. I just hope everything clicks

  3. Mike Says:

    Hey Joe! How’s Martin looking out there? Haven’t found much on him, at least not as much as I’d like too

  4. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    What are these guys doing differently in the pros than when they were in college? Hamstrings, etc. never seemed to be an issue with them before turning pro.

  5. Macabee Says:

    Let me speak as a fan. Coaches know way better than me how to get their players in shape. But, I would be perfectly happy to see the team stars, players whose positions are secure, just do the mental reps necessary to demonstrate they know the playbook. The players that really need to be tested in OTAs are late round draft picks, UDFAs, and those signed to reserve/futures contracts from last year who must compete for roster spots. I think that’s why they are voluntary.

    The Mike Evans circus catches will help to sell season tickets, but as you see can be risky. If everybody came together in mandatory mini-camp and demonstrated their proficiency with the playbook, particularly the skill positions, I would be happy. Training camp is where it all comes together when they have the big boy pants on. Just my opinion, but will always respect the coaches approach to OTAs.

  6. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Wow Joe hope Herron’s flashes are not just “underwear football”. Speed is the one commodity you can never get enough of. Imagine either Demps or Sims in the backfield…Wright at one TE position and Herron in the slot with the “Dunkaneers out wide and Oh is there room for Jenkins?

    This team has the potential to create some real matchup nightmares. Whether it’s the “Dunkaneers” in the red zone or the speed merchants in space.

  7. JoeMan(Ziel)CrushFan Says:

    I haven’t been at the practices but just reading up it sounds like Herron’s hands are somewhat questionable. I feel like it was either a TD or a drop in these OTAs, so is he a boom or bust type of prospect? Hopefully the drops are just a fluke because that speed is something special.