Mama’s Boy

July 11th, 2016
Mom taught Mike Smith right.

Mom taught Mike Smith to care for his players.

Until the Bucs check in at One Buc Palace to report for training camp, Joe will try to get in the mind of defensive coordinator Mike Smith.

Joe will regularly deliver excerpts and/or highlights from Smith’s book, “You Win in the Locker Room,” available on Google Play and iTunes.

Simply put, the Bucs’ defensive coordinator is a mama’s boy. Despite the fact that he is a grown-@ss man and a leader of men, his mom is not ashamed or embarrassed about scolding her NFL coaching son when she deems it necessary.

And Smith is not too full of himself to not heed her words.

In a portion of his book, “You Win in the Locker Room,” a key ingredient in becoming a successful NFL coach, Smith writes, is you must care about those you work with and who work for you, and with you, specifically players. If you are a phony, players will sniff that out quickly and a coach is all but doomed.

Smith noted he learned about caring for others from his mother, and he detailed that his mother has never stopped caring for him, making sure her son acts like a gentleman. In fact, Smith said in against New Orleans, he thought the NFL zebras were about to steal a win from him and his Dixie Chicks troop. He went bananas on the sideline which drew a sharp rebuke from his mom.

“Speaking of texts and caring, my mom is a great woman who cared and taught me to care greatly. During a game against the New Orleans Saints, we were leading in the fourth quarter. The Saints had moved the ball for a couple of first downs and the momentum was starting to shift their way with just under two minutes to play. Our right cornerback, Brent Grimes, made a spectacular play and intercepted Drew Brees’ pass inside of our 15-yard line. It was a game-ending play because we were going to be able to run the clock out by snapping the ball and taking a knee. When Brent made the play, of course, our sideline and the fans in the Georgia Dome went crazy. As the play was ending, I saw a penalty flag thrown by the back judge flying through the air. He called us for defensive pass interference. I absolutely lost it, and in an instant the Motorola headset that I was wearing was on the turf, where it busted into about five pieces. …

“After the [win] I talked to the team and had my regular postgame wrap-up meeting with our vice president of communications, Reggie Roberts, before going to the press conference. The message light on my cell phone started to flash. I picked up the device and saw that it was a text from my mother. I don’t think I had ever received a text from my mom prior to that day. When I opened it up, it started, ‘KENNETH MICHAEL’ – and let me tell you, when my mother calls me by my first and middle name, I know what is about to hit the fan. She went on: ‘YOUR FATHER AND I DID NOT RAISE YOU TO ACT LIKE THAT IN FRONT OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEIOPLE. THAT WAS NOT A VERY GOOD EXAMPLE THAT YOU SET FOR YOUR DAUGHTER, SEVEN BROTHERS AND SISTERS, AND ELEVEN NIECES AND NEPHEWS.’ I think you probably get the gist of her message. Needless to say, my mom will always be my mom. … This is one time I wished the cell phone had never been invented.”

So there you have it. If you think you are being nagged by your parents, imagine an NFL coach just moments after a big win getting a text from his mom scolding him for behaving badly.

But that unshakable standard of his mother rubbed off on her son, which partly made him the successful coach he became.

7 Responses to “Mama’s Boy”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Mama knows best. And it appears that Coach Smith learned her lessons well … sounds like he’s developing some excellent relationships with his players on defense. Bucs defense will be much-improved this year I’m convinced.

  2. OneBuc55 Says:

    Mom…the one person in the world that can scold you or even smack some sense into you; no matter how old you are or how big you get…that’s some power my friends, gotta love the “I brought you into this world, and I’ll take you out of it” mentality they have…don’t mess with mom..nice story…

  3. Bob in Valrico Says:

    good story ,Joe.Also heard Mike Smith is respected by the media as well.But
    recounting that story shows Mike Smith has his fair share of humility and
    a sense of humor.Traits that can help bring a lockerroom together.

  4. SB with Jameis Says:

    In the darkness of the Off-season you are a beacon of Hope Joe. Thanks

  5. Buccfan37 Says:

    Good story, love conquers hate every day, it’s human nature of the highest order. Go Bucs!

  6. America's QB Says:

    I recall Brent grimes doing that to tampa when we had our 10 win season with Freeman in charge. Tampa was driving in what was prob our last huge meaningful g American in terms of a playoff push. Anyway Freeman throws a pick to grimes who made a great break ok the ball on the left sideline. Sure am glad grimes is with us now.

  7. Buc4lyfe79 Says:

    Sorry but unless your team literally scored a TD that is then verfied by replay but yet still taken away anyway by the zebra’s which is then followed by the most insincere “Our Bad” the following day by the league office, he’s hasn’t even COME CLOSE to feeling a win “stolen away” by zebras’ with a league/team driven agenda..