Dick LeBeau Counters Lovie Smith

May 17th, 2015

dick lebeauWith the Buccaneers opening the Jameis Winston era against Tennessee in Tampa, Joe happily has begun his research into all things Titans.

And Joe found a telling nugget.

One damn intriguing element to the Titans-Bucs opener is new Titans defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, a Hall of Famer who will be 78 years old before kickoff on Sept. 13. Young Jameis will be in for quite an education. LeBeau spent the last 11 seasons in Pittsburgh and his known for his innovative blitzing and 3-4 defense.

However, LeBeau told Tennessee media last week that he can’t be pigeonholed, his 3-4 defense is not what people think, and he’s a player-first coordinator, not a dude looking for bodies to fit his scheme.

“I would venture to say there is no one in the professional level playing 2-gap defense now,” LeBeau said, per ESPN.com. “We don’t. At any given snap, we may have a player or two. I don’t want to get into too much, because I don’t want to help the guys that are sure not going to try to help us. But we don’t 2-gap. We try to utilize people’s skill.

“If they are real quick, we kind of like to watch them be quick. We’ll employ the type of defense that hopefully will enable our athletes to play to the best of their capability.

“I think that is the purpose of coaching. Some people would say it’s to get a system and then draft people to fit a system. And that takes a few years. Some of us maybe don’t have a few years. We try to accentuate what our players can do, and I think we have some players that can do some things.”

Those takes struck Joe because they are nearly the polar opposite to Lovie Smith’s philosophy. Lovie’s all about his scheme, employing “stern teachers” as assistants, and finding guys that are perfect fits.

Make adjustments on defense? Lovie’s no fan of sweeping tweaks and changes.

This presents a very different build-up to opening day for Marcus Mariota. He’ll be able to watch film and essentially know exactly what to expect. Jameis? He’ll just have to be a half-step smarter than LeBeau.

Damn, Joe can’t wait for opening day.

69 Responses to “Dick LeBeau Counters Lovie Smith”

  1. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Lovie doesn’t try to find what a players strengths are and adjust, he gets rid of players that don’t fit his scheme.

  2. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I think there is truth in both approaches. Everybody including LeBeau have preferred systems and clearly draft players to fit THEIR systems.

    OTOH flexible coaches are generally more successful than rigid ones because the draft is a 50-50 crap shoot and you can’t always draft who you need to fit your system.

    And so Lovie is correct in the broadest sense but LeBeau is certainly right to start any individual season by adapting your team to the talent you were ABLE to sign.

    If Lovie let’s Koetter not only do the scheming but also the play calling and doesn’t force Koetter into Dungyball and the boring crap that has passed as offense for decades with the Bucs then I’m going to really be impressed with Lovie. Let’s see how flexible he is before we totally write him off.

  3. Rrsrq Says:

    Coach speak, you eventually go back to what you know. There was a reason Pitt defenses were consistently good, even when not the best, you knew you were in for a battle, but then again they lost to the Bucs

  4. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    but then again they lost to the Bucs…and Mike Glennon!!!

    Ok Rrsrq I just had to toss that in to stir the pot. I’m not a member of the MGM but I am a troublemaker. 🙂

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Should be quite a matchup…….Dick LeBeau….”America’s DC” vs Jameis Winston “America’s QB”

  6. Americas Howard Cosell Says:

    That’s what the Spartans and the Navy Seals do:
    Set a standard and then get guys who fit in.
    Although I think to insinuate that Lovie won’t play
    to the strengths of his players is remiss.

  7. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    For guys using sock puppets. If you have a beef with Joe straighten it out please.

    One of the pleasures of reading comments on this blog is that I now I feel I know most of the posters and it gives their takes perspective and interest I don’t get when I read strangers.

    For people coming here regularly using sock puppets you’re just muddying the water.

    Then again you are perhaps simply trolls. And remember that “troll” in the internet meme is not the ugly dude under the bridge but is a play on the fishing term as in “trolling’ for attention. You’ll get a lot more attention if we know who you are than if you just pop in as a stranger. I am ALWAYS more interested in reading guys here who have established their bona fides as posters by using the same name.

  8. Americas Howard Cosell Says:

    The Cannon humiliated Dick LeBeau.
    Maybe the reason he’s in Tennessee now?

    (I still believe in the Winston era but man…we have a great backup QB.)

  9. Buccfan37 Says:

    LeBeau, DC from Steelers, Whisenhut, former OC from Steelers. Titan’s have become their old division mates. Sounds like a call for Glennon. Oh that’s right, he is the Bucs backup QB now. I wonder if Le Beau’s advanced age of 78 had something to do with Pittsburgh releasing him. I must admit he looks younger than his age. This far out from the opener I see a tough battle.

  10. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I disagree Bucfan37,the last thing a rookie QB wants to see is 2scheme in his inaugural game. Just put in the film of how this defence made EJ look in Buffalo last season. As for lebeau and elaborate blitz packages well I look forward to that. Jamies stood in the face off countless blitzing all last season. Don’t think that rattle him at all.

  11. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    My belief is we walk all over them week one. These troops will be anxious to get Lovies first home win.

  12. megadaveuk Says:

    This actually makes me more depressed than happy…

  13. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Megadaveuk take a ibuprofin you’ll feel better.

  14. unbelievable Says:

    I’m sure Lebeau is just licking his chops to go after a rookie QB with a highly questionable o-line.

    But, he’s with a new team, and it’s the first game of the season… so chances are their defensive schemes are not fully dialed in, and they won’t have every unique blitz package installed yet. Let’s hope. Go Bucs!

  15. Americas Howard Cosell Says:

    “I’m mega-dave from UK and LeBeau scares me.”

    Harden the **** up megadave!

  16. Strider #FamousJameis Says:

    Strider Here We going To wreck Titans go Jameis.

  17. Buc1987 Says:

    God Bless America’s Website JBF.

  18. Louis Friend Says:

    I’d never bet against a DC, any DC at all where a rookie QB making his first starts goes. Odds are against Jameis and company of looking good. BRAND NEW Oline – again – and you think that’s not going to affect the outcome of games early on?

    You guys should know better than to think this is going to be pretty in the early going. Temper the expectations, otherwise you’ll all be depressed and miserable before the season is 4 games old.

  19. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Louie friend save all that noise. Strider tell these pessimist again. We gone wreck the titans week one. Their isn’t a game I feel more confident about us winning more so than week one. I give a rat’s arse about lebeau,the Steelers didn’t look all that impressive on the defensive side of the ball the last few years. If you think the Buccs locker room is not going to amp to ensure Jamies get a little pay back on your boy marita you fooling yourself.

  20. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Review the rosters and get back with me. The Buccs flat out have a better players PERIOD

  21. Buc-A-New Says:

    Man I remember the days when our D didnt fear Any mobile QB!! I remember that game back in 01 or 02 when Mike Vick came up to DB after the game and said “Damn! I didnt know you guys were THAT Fast!!!!
    And SPBF. some have tried to make up with Joe and he won’t budge.

  22. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Buc-a-New,LVD 4.6 B.Carter 4.4 I think K.Aleander 4.5. I think we getting back to that type of speed on D. That’s why I have absolutely no fear of marita week one.

  23. cmurda Says:

    @Louis Friend.

    What about Mariota for Tennessee? Rookie going against a defense that got better and better last year and may have gotten a touch better in the offseason? The new O Line that we got certainly can’t be as bad as the O Line from last year.

  24. Buc-A-New Says:

    Oh Im all with you Nole. I think we have the back 7 to be just Nasty Quick to the ball. If the front four can get the type of pressure we need then we could be looking at that old Swarming Biting D that we all came to love during the Dungy days. And you can just call me Buc. You have known me for a long time 🙂

  25. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Buc-A-New let me ask you this in reference to what I mention earlier about Michael Bennett. Do you feel he’s not worth trading for? I ask because he and his agent are saying they want out of Seattle. My belief is DE will be our first selection next year’s draft. If not a first rounder for him what would you consider a viable trade offer for his services? In my opinion he is every bit as good as hardy is. And we know Lovie likes vets that are familiar with the scheme on that side of the ball.

  26. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Buc it is then…

  27. DallasBuc Says:

    Lavonte David was practically invisible in incompetent Lovie Smith’s defense last year.
    Cue the excuses…

  28. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Oh god,there gose the neighborhood. It’s dallasbuc.

  29. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    So tell me what do you need to see to feel good about LVD? Let me guess double digit sacks maybe?

  30. WS99 Says:

    No way bennett comes back to TB he wants to play in ATL with his old DC.

    Dick lablow, not scared, if Glennon can rip him up in Pitt then winner will kill him at home. Even though I must admit we won the pit game more so bc of Todd Hayley’s incompetence.

    Mariota won’t even start week 1. Let me rephrase I’ll be shocked and amazed (super excited too) if Mariota starts. He gets no love from his teammates. There was the video of his recvrs hanging their heads when he was announced, the kicker doesn’t want to give up his number (laughable and shameful), lowan said he “doesn’t care” who’s starting, lies. And most importantly I doubt he’ll figure out the play book by week 1 even though tenn is supposedly changing their entire offense to fit Mariota skillset, which I image poised off the rest of the offense.

    Finally, mccoy will have to win the game week 1, that’s why we paid him 100mil is to win games. He has to make Mariota pay and be afraid. Without some punishing “welcome to the NFL” pressure we be leaving winner out to dry. Mariota meet LVD, good night!

  31. Buc-A-New Says:

    @Nole. I am totally open to bringing Bennett back to Tampa but a First is Way over the top. I would say that a third would be ok but I think he is just a little bit overrated due to the line that he plays on. Not saying he isn’t better than anything we have because he is. I just think a first is too much to waste on anything outside of JJ Watt.

  32. WS99 Says:

    No way bennett comes back to TB he wants to play in ATL with his old DC.

    Lebleu, not scared, if Glennon can rip him up in Pitt then winner will kill him at home. Even though I must admit we won the pit game more so bc of Todd Hayley’s incompetence.

    Mariota won’t even start week 1. Let me rephrase I’ll be shocked and amazed (super excited too) if Mariota starts. He gets no love from his teammates. There was the video of his recvrs hanging their heads when he was announced, the kicker doesn’t want to give up his number (laughable and shameful), lowan said he “doesn’t care” who’s starting, lies. And most importantly I doubt he’ll figure out the play book by week 1 even though tenn is supposedly changing their entire offense to fit Mariota skillset, which I image poised off the rest of the offense.

    Finally, mccoy will have to win the game week 1, that’s why we paid him 100mil is to win games. He has to make Mariota pay and be afraid. Without some punishing “welcome to the NFL” pressure we be leaving winner out to dry. Mariota meet LVD, good night!

  33. Buc-A-New Says:

    Damn DB. Way to rain all over mine and Nole’s parade man.

  34. Ray Rice Says:

    That old A$$ MF is outdated. His defense isn’t what it used to be. He’s not going to change his defense. 78yr olds don’t usually change their ways at this point in their lives.

  35. DallasBuc Says:

    Nole- deny it all you want but for some reason the change from Schiano’s defense to incompetent Lovie Smith’s defense made arguably our biggest playmaker on this defense ordinary. David is my personal favorite player on this team and it was a shame to see him not making big plays last year like I was accustomed to seeing. Larger point being that incompetent Lovie Smith’s scheme is certainly not putting the best players in position to make plays and be great.
    I guarantee Kiffen or Marinelli would find a way to make David a weapon on Sundays in this same defense that somehow incompetent Lovie Smith is unable to accomplish.
    So go right on ahead denying what we all saw last year and make excuses for our incompetent HC. Call me names if it makes you feel all better about it but you know I’m right.

  36. Buc-A-New Says:

    @Dallas. I will certainly give you the fact that LVD was a Swiss Army Knife in Schiano’s D. I believe a great deal of that is because Schiano knew how Terribly undermanned we were and saw LVD for the beast he is. Lovie will learn how to use that I believe. LVD is a more athletic Derrick Brooks with the same character. Scary I know.

  37. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    DB I couldn’t have explained it any better than what Buc just did. Thanks my friend. And DB stay tuned it is my belief you will see your favorite player shine in this scheme.

  38. WS99 Says:

    Who your favorite player? Mr. #54

  39. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I wanna take a moment an divulge this,I’m more of an eye test guy tham I am a stat guy. True LVD numbers weren’t what they were under shiano but the man still was like a dirt bike racing all over the field last season. DB you refer to Lovie like many others as incompetent. Say what you will about the man his defenses while in Chicago were just as nasty as ours were in Tampa. When I review the man’s resume I don’t come away with incompetent. You don’t hire Koetter and make your first two drafts all about offense if you’re incompetent. Hate him or love him the guy deserves another season to show and prove. I’ll say it again,defensive head coach+elite QB play equals multiple superbowl wins. Ask them boys up there in the north east.

  40. Buc-A-New Says:

    WS99 Says:
    May 17th, 2015 at 4:05 pm
    Who your favorite player? Mr. #54

  41. DallasBuc Says:

    I am very practical about this and after that sht show incompetent Lovie Smith and his bobblehead lapdog GM put together last year I am rightfully going to assume he will not be able or willing to put David in position to be great like Schiano did. Seeing is believing for this fan and all my harsh judgments are based on observable, empirical games that brought us to be the worst team in all of football last year. I have no idea where you fellas conjure up this faith and optimism in incompetent Lovie Smith but I certainly hope you are right and I get to watch greatness on Sundays from 54 again. I would love nothing more than to no longer feel the need to religiously associate incompetent with my HC anymore. He needs to do a better job before he gets any love and respect from this fan. Just about everything that guy has touched since he was hired has turned to kitty poo.

  42. Buc-A-New Says:

    Hey DB and Nole. Some team is going to be Very lucky to sign this kid in about 7 or 8 yrs. He also is the best LB on the team. You will Really enjoy this

  43. DallasBuc Says:

    …and for the record, I was all in favor of hiring Lovie Smith at the time. It was his unreasonably poor decision-making, starting with the unholy hiring of his own rookie GM, that has led me to this point.

  44. ChessMaster Says:

    Schemes shmeems…the team executes and wins or does not and loses. It is football, not chess. These players are not like top chessplayers who must play different dozens of opening systems with tens of thousands of variations 20 or more moves deep to be competitive.

  45. Buc-A-New Says:

    Dallas I was all in favor of Lovie coming here also. I was NOT in favor of him having total control and picking his own GM. I think the Glaziers dropped the ball on that one a bit but I DO agree that it is also too early to make that assessment. Give Lovie at least to the end of this yr before even Starting to judge him.

  46. Buc-A-New Says:

    @ChessMaster. I have been good at Chess as a layman but I almost parallel that with being a sniper. I was a one man team for the most part with sighters.
    Football teams don’t have to be so far ahead because there are so many players. I think we have the offensive scheme for once to make us Deadly.

  47. DallasBuc Says:

    ^^^respectfully disagree. The man should be judged on his merits or lack thereof. He should not be judged on what he did elsewhere. That’s just what got him this job, has no bearing on his record as the Bucs HC. If he made good decisions and we were a winning football team in 2014 no one would have any issue judging him on his merits then. The man has a record, a really bad one so far, and deserves to be judged on it. Should not even be a debate about that.

  48. Buc-A-New Says:

    Hey DallasBuc. I moved away from the Houston area two yrs ago. How do you see the Cowboys/Texans rivalry as it sits right now?

  49. WS99 Says:

    I’m with Dallas.

    Bucnole here’s the deal and I’ve said this like a gazillion times. Lovie was only successful with Rod marinelli and Ron Rivera as his DCs. Frazier is hot garbage and will not produce the same results.

    Proof that lovie can’t coach is found in the fact that he only signs guys that have played in the system, preferably players that have been cut by Marinelli.

    Meanwhile Belli grabs dudes off the street that end up winning the SB for him and Carroll takes 5th rnd draft picks and turns them into perennial probowlers. Lovie trades away our best young talent and starts Jenkins over banks.

    And don’t get me started on Koetter cuz I don’t see where the excitement comes from.

  50. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Lil man on that video look like a future star in the making. And DB get use to Lovie face he ain’t going no where. The smartest thing he did was buy what Jason had to sale when it came to going after Jamies. Once it was brought to everyone’s attention that their was a player vote to go after Jamies in my opinion the tank theory was confirmed. Face out organizations on rare occasions do that in order to aquire a player that can potentially transcend the entire organization. I told you last year I don’t recall folks in Dallas screaming bloody Mary after Jimmy Johnson’s first year in big D. Lightin up man,or figure out a way to join the staff.

  51. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    So tell me this WS99,do you feel they will struggle on defence in Seattle now that Quin is in Atlanta?

  52. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Say what y’all want,in reference to the scheme being outdated. It’s what they run in carolina,seattle,Tampa,dallas and soon to be atlanta. I wonder why

  53. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    WS99 you mention a couple DCs as if they made Lovie Smith. Well I recall Monte Kiffin leaving the Bay and not having the same success on that side of the ball in other places. In my opinion the scheme requires good football players. A dominant 3tech,speedy LBs that can cover, length at the CB position,and some ball hawking safeties. I careless who calls the plays,give me the proper players bro.

  54. DallasBuc Says:

    Nole- Johnson made terrific decisions during that first rebuilding year while Smith’s decisions have been so absurdly terrible it can only be seen as professional malpractice. The similarities begin and end with bad first seasons. Incompetent Lovie Smith is no Jimmy Johnson.
    Now, as far as Lovie not going anywhere I have yet to call for Lovie to be fired but I fully intend to keep criticizing his poor record as Bucs HC.
    Don’t worry about me lightening up, I’m about as light-hearted as can be for a fan of the worst team in all of football

  55. Jim Says:

    When was the last Superbowl winning team that had no talent and won completely on the merits of amazing coaching?

  56. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Yes Johnson’s terrific decisions were drafting Michael Irving and Troy Aikman. Funny,Lovie has done something similar by first drafting Mike Evans and then drafting Jamies WINSton. Be critical all you want my friend but Belichick was a nobody coach before Brady emerge. All it takes for a defensive minded HC is elite QB play. Time will show you what I mean in reference to this debate my friend.

  57. BuccaneEric Says:

    The Cleveland Browns. I took them there in Madden 04! Lol

  58. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    He lost me with that merit talk as well Jim.

  59. DallasBuc Says:

    Jim/Nole- when the HC also has control over personel the responsibility for the failure of those decisions therefore rests with the HC. My critisism is mostly with incompetent Lovie Smith playing GM and turning over 50% without managing to upgrade and positions. The last HC with personel control also just won the SuperBowl.
    Once again, deny and defend all you want but all you need to look at is Josh McCown, Michael Johnson, Anthony Collins and 2-14. Merit.

  60. WS99 Says:


    My bad I thought you were talking to me with DB. Ha didn’t realize DallasBuc ha. I used to go by DB55 and buc-a-new still calls me that. Ha. All up in yo bitness.

    I would say schiano is more like JJ than lovie is. Lovie just needs to win, bottle line. No excuses or “well go back to work” or “we gotta do better than that” or “simple as that” or “we’re on the verge” or ” football really doesn’t start until November” or “we didn’t want to score points” or

  61. tmaxcon Says:

    Loive’s two biggest issues ares his stubbornness and resistance to change. The LVD posts above are fine examples.

    My biggest problem with lovie game day coach is he plays “Not to lose” versus going for the throat and playing to win” nobody and I mean nobody turns turtle and plays prevent defense faster than Lovie. He gets a 3 point lead and shuts it down. I can’t stand that.

  62. Buc-A-New Says:

    LOL DB…….I see it now too. Easy misunderstanding.

    DB I have to tell you that I am more optimistic this year than I have been since 04. I am SOOO ready for this. Gators fans Unite under Jameis Winston!!

  63. LargoBuc Says:

    I have said multiple times this offseason that Lovie/Leslie could do more with LvD. You make so many sub groups around that one guy its not even funny.
    I still belrive in Lovie. I give him the benefit that I wouldn’t be able to give Schiano or Raheem. Lovie has been in this league a LONG time and is well respected so I think he can rebound fast.
    But my good, handing Josh Mccown a starting job with no competition at all? WTF! That was the biggest mistake Lovie made last spring. Yeah the Tedford heart thing didnt help but Mccown still is a garbage quarterback, I beleive, wether or not Tedford is there or not. I hope Lovie learned and by drafting Jameis. Lovie would be wise to let Koetter do his thing and help Leslie with the defense.
    So basically I still have faith in Lovie cause he’s been there done that but he really made some bad decisions last year and anything less than six wins will have him fired as a result, or it should.

  64. Brandon Says:

    I don’t see the issue. LeBeau says he doesn’t strictly two gap, and Lovie’s D is mostly one-gap. I’m pretty sure Lovie has coached more top 10 defenses than anybody reading this blog.

  65. Josh P Says:


    “Lavonte David was practically invisible in incompetent Lovie Smith’s defense last year.
    Cue the excuses…”

    LVD was 2nd in the NFL in solo tackles and 3rd in total tackles and 3rd in FF..he didn’t have the picks he had in 2013, but he was still all over the field while also leaning a new system.

  66. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Wise words Brandon and we’ll spoken Josh. They’ll be offering Lovie a key to the city after it’s all said and done. Especially having drafted the golden ticket Jamies WINSton. I look forward to hearing some of y’alls excuses as to why this man isn’t a great coach after he wins his first superbowl. Trust me,I’ll be looking for some of you.

  67. WhatDaBuc? Says:

    @josh p THANK YOU! I just started reading all these posts and could not wrap my head around what any of these idiots were talking about. The only thing that I would add to what you said was that LVD also did that in 14 games. How these “so called fans” can sit here and say that he was not the same beast, is beyond me. If the only thing you are looking for him to do is get Int’s and sacks then he will not be the beast you want on a consistent basis. In 14 games LVD had a career year with tackles. The GREAT #55 only had one season with 5 Int’s and never had a season with more than 3 sacks. By what you are saying #55 would be lost in the system huh?

  68. DallasBuc Says:

    Nole- I agree with you that Winston is Lovie’s golden ticket and will make this team so much better in spite of the poor decision-making of incompetent Lovie Smith. I have said repeatedly that if incompetent Lovie Smith shows some actual competence then he will get my support. If this team does win a SB please come looking for me. I would be happy to give Lovie and his lapdog credit in as much as I think they actually deserve it. Let’s face it, if a SB is in our future it is because of the success of Winston not the competence of the guy that made McCown, Johnson and Collins starters in March 2014 en route to 2-14.

  69. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I look forward to the championship chat then DB,it my strong belief that we will eventually have it. Always nice debating with you my friend.