So Who’s Coming Off The Field?

July 31st, 2016

Handpicked playmaker: linebacker Daryl Smith.

A big ol’ grin hit Daryl Smith’s face today when Joe asked what linebacker is coming off the field on third down.

After all, new defensive coordinator Mike Smith has said publicly that five defensive backs (and sometimes six) is the new normal.

But Smith, a veteran of 172 games, is used to playing nearly every snap. He’s also played every linebacker position in Mike Smith’s defense, when the two were paired in Jacksonville. At 34, he doesn’t look like an old man — and he hasn’t taken any of the “Veterans” says other old-men Buccaneers have been granted through the spring and summer.

Today at practice, Daryl Smith flashed fast hands snaring an interception off the fingers of Vincent Jackson in tight quarters.

The popular assumption is that Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander will play on every passing down, but Joe maintains it’s going to be hard to get Smith off the field.

“I mean, we’re going to come out here and compete as [linebackers]. The goal is to win ball games. Whatever the coaches feel about who’s going to be on the field or off the field is how this should work. And that’s how you win ball games. I’m here to win ball games. It’s not about, “Pick me. Or I deserve it.’ But am I out here competing to be a part of that winning on the field. Of course.”

Note that Smith is healthy and grinding and not looking like an NFL old man.

Joe is really curious to see how Smith’s playing time shakes out. His knowledge of Mike Smith’s defense is one reason he is in Tampa, and that comfort level might mean more playing time in the first two critical games — road contests at Atlanta and Arizona.

12 Responses to “So Who’s Coming Off The Field?”

  1. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Smith+Lavonte+Kwon+ (Smitty)+ deadly LB collection.. Go BUCS!!!!!!

  2. LifeOfABucFan Says:


  3. DB55 Says:

    Am I hearing you say the Smith may take Kwons reps on 3rd down? Time to set pride aside and focus on W’s. Whatever it takes!

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    You’ve got me wondering Joe if which LBs stay on the field on obvious passing downs might vary game to game, and even within specific games. You know, depending on which LB’s skillset matches up best against the opposing WRs and RBs. Plus Mike Smith seems to like rotating players to keep them fresh into the 4th quarter. Oh well, we’ll see as the season unfolds.

  5. SOEbuc Says:

    Thanks for the info Joe. I was wondering about D.Smith yesterday. Glad to hear he got a nice pick today

  6. teacherman777 Says:

    Great signing!!

    Like Logan Mankins, Daryl Smith is having a huge effect on the locker-room and young linebackers.

    Great signing!!

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Maybe we can get away with 12 men on the field this year….

  8. jvato24 Says:

    12 men still wouldn’t have helped Lovie

  9. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Rimshot for you my friend…that was a good one.

  10. Kevin Says:

    Conte and wright came here becasue they were masters at lovies defense. Had me convinced and boy was I wrong. I think Hayes will have more of a posotive effect on our defense than smith. But by default smith should be better than lovie becasue nobody can possibly be worse. Soo…..I dunno

  11. RustyRhinos Says:

    This is a great problem to have.
    We can now have a good LB rotation that have different skillsets causing different issues for Offenses. All three starters can BALL, 2 have shown they can do it season after season. Our depth at LB can also play, and are showing up so far in Camp. Very excited to see this group on the field. GO BUCS!

  12. Getaclue Says:

    I can see us using a 3-3 nickel front