Get Off The Field!

January 20th, 2016
Bucs DC Mike Smith wants his defense off the field more than getting a takeaway.

Bucs DC Mike Smith wants his defense off the field more than getting a takeaway.

Mike Smith was introduced as the new Bucs defensive coordinator this afternoon. Already he is singing Joe’s song.

The thing that annoyed Joe about Lovie Smith was he weekly whined and cried and bellyached that his defense wasn’t getting enough takeaways. His press conferences were as predictable as the sun setting in the west. Lovie always moaned a lack of takeaways by his defense.

Lovie was so obsessed, it was as if everything else was secondary. Joe even once talked to Lovie about this. Hearing Joe’s notion that takeaways were not of the utmost importance actually got Lovie hopping up and down like a boxer in a ring ready for the opening bell.


Getting off the field is equally important. If all a defense is concerned about is takeaways, and your defense is getting run up and down the field all game, that defense will be cashed and gassed in the fourth quarter. That failed defense stifles your offensive production, not to mention scoring opportunities.

Well, Mike Smith is a big believer in takeaways, too, but not at the expense of the defense as a whole. Today, he discussed his three goals for his Bucs defensive unit.

“I think what you have to have to be success on the defensive side of the football is you have to have the ability to stop the run when people are trying to run the football,” Smith said. “Because if not, it is a slow death.

“The other thing that you have to be able to do is take the ball away. And you have to win on third down. Ultimately, as a defensive coach, you are going to be judged by how many points you give up. That is the bottom line. It is not yards, it is not rushing yards, it is not about sacks. Ultimately, it is about keeping them out of the end zone

“But we have got to focus on getting off the field on third down and taking the ball away and stopping the run. Those are the three things I am going to be talking about with our guys from the very beginning.

“A third down stop is like a turnover. You get the ball back for our offense. If you don’t’ stop them on third down, you are out there playing another set of downs.”

If Lovie Smith was watching video of Mike Smiht’s press conference, he may have soiled himself hearing the concept that getting off the field is more important than a takeaway.

That drove Joe crazy about Lovie. Just think the way America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, was able to move the ball, if the Bucs could have had, say, two more possessions a game, it is conceivable the Bucs could have had a winning record and a wild card berth — and Lovie would still be here.

Joe talked to an NFL general manager about this very topic yesterday at the East-West Shrine practices in St. Petersburg. Joe told the general manager, “Punts are takeaways, too.” The general manager looked at Joe, smiled and said, “You’re right.”

59 Responses to “Get Off The Field!”

  1. Elle Says:

    Imagine that, a DC whose main concern is stopping the opposing offense and limiting the points they score. Who would have tunk it.

  2. Couch Fan Says:

    “Getting a stop on 3rd down is like getting a turnover”. FINALLY!! Some competence is back in the building. I been harping on this the whole 2 years Lovie was here. 3rd and long and 3rd and short were basically automatic 1st downs for the opposition. No matter who it was. They simply couldn’t stop anybody. Was pathetic. Heres to Mike Smith getting us back on track!!! GO BUCS!!!

  3. RealityCheck Says:

    This is so refreshing.

  4. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Just watched the presser. Man i didnt like Mike Smith as the falcons HC. But i am quickly starting to become a fan. Philosophically he has basically read my mind. From getting off the field, to using the strengths of your players and not expecting them to do something above their ability.

    The biggest one was that the coaches job, his only job, is to put the players in a position to succeed. That means preparing them mentally and physically. Knowing what they can or can’t do. And setting a defense that will work to the players strengths and minimize their weaknesses.

    The last thing that got me excited was that the guy wrote a motivational leadership book. It’s obviously something he is knowledgable and passionate about. Im excited for this bucs team moving forward.

  5. Mr. D Says:

    What’s very exciting for me is the fact that he talked about finding out his player’s strengths and weaknesses and putting his guys in the best position for success, and having a flexible scheme.

  6. GhostofTedford Says:

    At Couch fan. Third and short and third long meant a quick slant pass as our corners were a good 7-10 yards off the receiver and easy first down conversion. I am already excited to see the 2016 edition of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Go BUCS!

  7. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    “you are going to be judged by how many points you give up. That is the bottom line. It is not yards..”

    Hot damn. That’s what I’m talking about.

  8. GhostofTedford Says:

    At TrueBucFan22 – A buddy of mine said it was a good read. Starting to really like Mike Smith.

  9. Buc1987 Says:

    Lovie Smith wrote a book called Money For Nothing.

  10. Howard Cosell Says:

    The optimism this year is very different from previous years. The optimism this year seems to have some weight to it. It feels very tangible.

    It all seems very surreal.

  11. Bob in Valrico Says:

    good news, hope we also adopt the novel idea that if you keep the offense on the field gaining first downs and touchdowns good things will happen.
    Lovie gave the ball to opposing offense repeatedly in spite of the fact that defense was usually on the field much of the game and they could not stop
    a vcold with the scheme and players in place.
    defense tries to get off the field,offense tries to stay on the field.Simple as that.

  12. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Joe hit the nail on the head…….I hated Lovie always sounding like he was “whining” every week.

    I just watched the presser……oh man!!! Mike Smith is impressive to listen to…….I sure hope turns the defense around…….

    I haven’t been this excited to have a DC since Monte Kiffin left many moons ago!!!!

  13. flmike Says:

    I never understood how an experienced NFL head coach could think you could actually game plan take-aways, it just always boggled my mind whenever he said something like that.

  14. K2 Says:

    Interesting that our new DL and Special Team Coaches were named by ProFF in their best list.

  15. Raymond Jameis Stadium Says:

    2 + 2 = 4!

  16. Buccaneers Says:

    I like Mike Smith. I always thought he was a good coach in Atlanta and was puzzled when they fired him. I’m not surprised they have been getting worse since he left.

  17. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Lovie Smith wrote a book called Money For Nothing.

    I think you’re close 87..but I believe he gets credit for writing the song
    “Money For Nothing”…remember Dire Straits and Sting on MTV?

    As for the topic…Lovie’s obsession created a really poor tackling the first of the year even LVD was whiffing horribly on tackles.

    First….stop the ball carrier! Stop the ball from moving forward!! THEN if you have a chance and you sure the ballcarrier is stopped of course you start going for the ball. I HATE watching a defender come up to tomahaw or upper cut the ball only to watch the ball carrier blow right by him when the ball doesn’t come out.

  18. Buccaneers Says:

    Well I guess we could just chalk that up to another Lovie failure. He talked a big game about turnovers but I never really seen that materialize. We weren’t that adept at taking the ball away.

    For what it’s worth I think getting turnovers is something you can get good at. Seen a lot of Stealers teams do it and the Ravens were good at it. Of course our Bucs from the original Tampa 2 days. Where would we be without Rondes INT in that NFC Championship?

  19. Pawel Says:

    Lovie Smith never mentioned getting off the field and I was mad that I barley saw any blitz packages especially with speedy instinct killer LVD and KWONZA

  20. Buccaneers Says:

    The three things Mike talks about is like saying I like women with long legs a big chest and soft skin.

  21. Buccaneers Says:

    Well Mr Smith you got some work to do buddy……..Against the Saints we couldn’t get off the field on 3rd-19, 3rd-17 or 3rd-22.

    Shameful day to be a Bucs fan that was.

  22. Brent bull/buc Says:

    Maybe our corners will be better under ms. Moore banks verner I mean. Maybe we don’t need a corner in first 2 rounds? We’ll see,

  23. Chromolly Says:

    We’re so use to a crap storm here in Tampa that getting excited about smith is the consensus here…Count me in…having a competent coaching staff,which we have now,automatically = 4 more wins that love dove lost….EXCITED!

  24. Buccaneers Says:

    I’ve been thinking that too Brent. Though it can’t hurt to bring in a young corner if the talent is there.

    Most intriguing to me is Verneer. He has shown flashes of having the ability to make splash plays. They have just been to few and far between. Wonder if better coaching get put him in the right position more often. Our lack of pass rush could, possibly, be the biggest factor for this too.

  25. RustyRhinos Says:


    Wow! You just typed my first thought exactly,

    “I think you’re close 87..but I believe he gets credit for writing the song
    “Money For Nothing”…remember Dire Straits and Sting on MTV?”

    Thank you for a great laugh today.

  26. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Dire Straits – Money For Nothing music video

    Compliments of StPeteBucsFan

  27. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Thanks LUVMYBUCS…I’ve got it playing in the background as I type.

    I always for nothing and YOUR CHICKS FOR FREE
    oogah boogah.

    And that Mark Knofler guitar riff…just awesome.

    Hopefully Lord C gets to listen…

  28. Brent bull/buc Says:

    @ Buccaneers I agree adding cb may be wise. I know banks and verner had some talent prior to lovie. Banks 2nd Ed pick who flashed as rookie and verner was and all pro. Both still young. Hopefully I’m not wishful thinking but it’d be nice if new coaches could get something out of them.

  29. Buccfan37 Says:

    The pic of Smith looks different than what I remember he looked like when he was in Atlanta. Older and wiser immediately come to mind. No more clueless action disguised as defense. Everybody senses the uplift.

  30. pelbuc Says:

    Finally some common sense and competent coaches at OBP. Watching 3rd string QBs light up the Bucs defense last 2 yrs was hard to swallow. Lovie was a terrible coach but his incompetence got Bucs JW and some competent coaches. Need to weed out the trash on defense and get Evans and ASJ to get their heads screwed on correctly.

  31. ColoradoBuc Says:

    I dreamed last night that the Lovie Smith era never happened and we had Keotter/M. Smith instead, kept Revis, etc., and went to the Sper Bowl in the second year (2015).

    Well, I said it was a dream…but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen for real a couple of years later!

  32. ColoradoBuc Says:

    Sper Bowl? Why no edit function?

  33. NewDayInTampa Says:

    His speech is exactly like Lovie Smith takeaways get off the field on third downs don’t commit dumb penalties and if you get off the field on third down its like a turnover the same exact speech. I guess defensive coordinators all think alike I hope coach Mike has better success getting through to this team. Go Bucs

  34. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “Hopefully Lord C gets to listen…”

    Well Joe apparently is fine with links to established artists . Not the struggling ones looking & desperate for any and all exposure like me haha

  35. finishers Says:

    I think we got the right DC!

  36. gotbbucs Says:

    A flexible defense that tries to scheme to it’s players strengths? Who woulda thunk that could work?

    The Koetter/Smith combo feels like a very well networked duo. Lots of connections around the league. I like it.

  37. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Yep ghostoftedford. I plan on reading it soon. I could use some motivation in my life too so it’s win/win. Lol

  38. Dave Says:

    Sapp Brooks Barber Lynch —-
    They went 3 and out first and foremost. They were great at turnovers, and it should be strived for, but stop them first. Make the tackle. I hate when players are trying to strip a ball while the offensive guy gets 5 more yards.

  39. tdtb2015 Says:

    Lets not forget passes caught beyond 10 yards have the possibility to get us a 1st down.

    Get us a receiver coach Koetter!

  40. Mike Johnson Says:

    Ok Coach Smith..Get off the Field? Nice mantra can get it to work there sir! You say you will work with what you have? > Good luck with that. Cause your defense as of now sucks eggs. Get off the field? Couple yrs of below 500 and you and Koetter will be..Off of the Bucs field for good.
    WE WANT WINS BABY..By any means necessary.

  41. ATrain Says:

    I have a dund question and maybe one of the Lovie Train Boys like Kevin can help me out..

    Where are all the teams wanting LOVIE???

    He is excellent

  42. SteveK Says:

    Mike Smith’s words are refreshing to say the least!

    At last! The Tampa Defense will be able to defend a slant pass in 2016! Next step, find a player that can net 10+ sacks in one season!

    We are going places.

    I am really excited for Jason Licht’s Encore to last year’s draft. Also, I am curious to see who the 11 starters are on Defense are next year? I hope Licht can draft the next Michael Bennett, Robert Nmdmiche (sp).

  43. Sapp, STFU Says:

    When he speaks, does anyone else see some Don Rickles.

  44. Elle Says:

    Finally managed to get home and watch the presser. What a great hire! If he can coach as good as he can talk, we’re in business. A few things that stood out to me:

    – Joe trying to get him to comment on the fact that McCoy isn’t well liked by some fans, but he dodged that. Nice try tho, Joe haha ^^

    – The emphasis on “for” whenever he said “I’m looking forward to work FOR coach Koetter.” I found that curious. Perhaps he doesn’t want to undermine Koetter in any way and give the wrong impression.

    – Finally, my favorite quote, in regard of penalties. “We’ll be looking to play on the edge, not over the edge.” Maybe, just maybe we won’t see dumb penalties anymore.

    Overall, he made a great first impression.

  45. LargoBuc Says:

    As long as what Mike Smith is preaching sinks in, Im good. Its not so much the message im concerned about, so much as it gets across. As much as Lovie loved turnovers, I doubt that’s to blame for a lack of effort of defense. Lovie’s problem was not doing enough to fix the defense, all but a couple players brought just completely bombed.

  46. bringbucsback Says:

    Derrick Brooks recently came on the radio and talked about how the champ Bucs D had a “defend-every-blade-of-grass” mentality. He thought todays’ Bucs D had lost that. Perhaps we can regain it with DC Mike Smith.

  47. Pat Says:

    Like that word -flexible- Finally, we will see that square peg shaved around the ‘edges’ to fit the round hole. What a relief! Before that, it was an exercise in futility & madness. GO BUCS!

  48. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Its amazing to hear someone actually say something other than takeaways. I agree that a 3rd down stop is the same as a takeaway. The field position would more than likely be better with a takeaway. But an extra possession is an extra possession. I am excited to have Smith as our DC. He proved to me while in ATL that he isn’t the best HC. But to give him one specific task, to run our defense. I think he will do great things with our exciting young D. Throw in some solid free agents. And another round of great picks in the draft. We could have a top D in the league.

    I personally think he is the biggest POS in football right now. But, Greg Hardy coming off the edge would be a huge boost for our D. He will be available and shouldn’t cost too much considering his issues. But he is worth it IF he continues to stay out of trouble. If Licht was willing to get Jameis with his off field baggage. Then signing a potential bargain shouldn’t be an issue either.

  49. Elle Says:

    If Greg Hardy comes here, I’m not gonna spend a single cent on this team until he’s gone. Just saying.

  50. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Nope. Im glad licht was smart enough to approach hardy and look into possibly signing him, knowing we desperately need a DE. But im even more proud that he was smart enough to know when to walk away, no matter how talented he might be.

  51. Joe Says:

    The three things Mike talks about is like saying I like women with long legs a big chest and soft skin.


  52. Bucs Fan #7423 Says:

    Me like women with big chest =)

  53. godzilla13 Says:

    There is still some speculation on how Mike Smith’s defense here will be any different from his defense in Atlanta? Same as Tampa it was bad draft picks that spelled his demise. In 2011, Mike Smith gave up five draft picks to get Julio Jones. Never give up draft picks. There defenses had a lack of talent and in his last year his offense had no RB. That is why this years draft is so important and FA as well. I know Smith likes big strong DT and it all starts and ends in the trenches. My best player for our first pick is not a CB or a Safety or a WR or even a DE, it is a DT. I have not seen such speed by a big man to the QB since Aaron Donald. Watch the film, he chases down a RB from behind. One that will be the next Aaron Donald. DT Andrew Billings Baylor (6-2 300). Pair Billings with McCoy and sign two DE’s. Go get Mario Williams and Denver might be forced to release DeMarcus Ware. Don’t make the same mistake twice and pass on another Aaron Donald.

  54. Tampabaybucfan 1988 Says:

    Godzilla 13 I personally think that was the GMs fault not mike smith the GM traded all those players not mike smith if u don’t believe me look at Atlanta now they are rebuilding their defense from scratch the GM is making bad decisions like signing Matt Ryan to a big contract. If u can tell me two players that the GM drafted in Atlanta beside jones, freeman and rayn I start to worry but I felt like Atlanta GM should have been fired not mike

  55. sho nuff Says:

    …It’s refreshing extinguishing the last gasp of Dungy’s overrated “tree”..
    Love had the same control Dungey did with the same never being able to finish results…Remember Dungy did not win it all until he was told to stay away from the offense…They are and always will be exceptional coordinators and mediocre head coaches.Which is fine…just not a leader we need

  56. Bucsfanman Says:

    He’s saying all the right things (as have other HCs and DCs)!
    To keep the balance here, don’t forget that when your offense goes three and out, that isn’t the Ds fault. There were a LOT of drive-killing penalties, drops, and bad decisions that led to the defense being on the field that long.
    I like what he preaches. Doing and saying are different animals.
    Sorry to bring it down!

  57. Bucsfanman Says:

    All of the blame and none of the credit! Shocking.

  58. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:


    I’m sure the Glazers will be just fine if you choose to not “spend 1 cent”. I doubt we will sign him. But is talent is obvious. The other is horrible. But this is a league about winning at all cost.

    I’m not saying we sign him to a huge multi year contract. But give him a 1 or 2 year deal tops with incentives. It would be worth it. Dallas has already got the majority of the backlash out of the way. The media has other things to worry about now. It won’t be as big of deal now compared to last off season.

  59. Joshua Says:

    Hopefully, we will get on track. If we had even a semblance of a competent defense, we’d have been 10-6 no problem