Gargantuan Claim By Mike Smith

May 11th, 2017

Big talk about the biggest Buccaneer

When defensive coordinator Mike Smith arrived in Tampa last year, he talked a lot about disguising defenses and having unpredictability as a major goal for his unit.

Yesterday, Smith, that a giant step further.

Joe asked Smith about rookie seventh-round pick Stevie Tu’iklolavatu, a University of Southern California defensive tackle. He’s slimmed down now to 6-1, 330 pounds.

Smith, with a very straight face, dared to say Tu’iklolavatu could play some defensive end.

“We feel like he’s not just a guy, just like [free agent defensive tackle Chris] Baker; we don’t think that they’re guys that are only going to play on first and second-down even though they’re 300-plus pounds,” Smith said. “I think Stevie could move out and play some five technique. We know that Baker can, he did it in Washington. Again, we’re trying to get into a situation where we have as much flexibility as we possibly can with the guys that are dressed out on defense. It’s usually 20, 21 on gameday. We want to be able to put those guys in the best position that we possibly can based on what we’re facing each week.”

For those unaware, “5-technique” can be translated to “coming of the edge.”

Really? That had Joe laughing inside. But it illustrates just how much Smith is always thinking outside the box and about maximizing the talents of his players, unlike his predecessor, Coach My Scheme.

Tu’iklolavatu probably never lines up at end. Heck, Jason Licht called him a two-down player when he was drafted, and what 330-pound plugger plays the edge? But the point here is Smith’s brain is always dialed in to creative ways — any way — to win a ballgame.

62 Responses to “Gargantuan Claim By Mike Smith”

  1. Supersam Says:

    Was watching Chris Godwin film the other day, the rose bowl game against USC and saw a big man jump back into coverage off the line and cover a slot receiver coming across the middle, I couldn’t believe my eyes it was Stevie T!!!

  2. BucsFanInChina Says:

    5 tech is a 3-4 DE. Still an interior lineman

  3. Casual Observer Says:

    Can both Stevie T and Siliga (similar builds) both make the roster? Seems probable that only Stevie T will. He may be another Licht steal. One can hope. Like his style.

  4. DBrad67 Says:

    Coach Smith was the biggest steal before the Draft!!!

  5. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Well Joe, 5 tech DE in a 3-4 scheme is much more comparable to a gap stuffer than an Edge rusher.

    Outside Linebackers are the edge rushers in a 3-4 alignment.

  6. BUC_40 Says:

    Thinking of Tu’iklolavatu on the edge does sound strange and a bit unique but… Living up here in Maine I see almost all the Patriots games. The last few years that they had big 350 lbs Vince Wilfork on their team they would often play him at defensive end on the strong side (whatever side had TE’s or extra blockers). They used him to really take away the edge and really shut down the run game by taking away the strength of the opponents’ formation. There is definitely benefits to thinking outside the box 😉

  7. Cobraboy Says:

    Smith wanted to get bigger on the DL. Looks like he has. I wouldn’t be surprised if both Stevie T and Siliga made the roster.

  8. America's Commenter Says:

    @BucsFanInChina Yup, Mike Smith may be tipping his hand. The Bucs could be playing a lot of 3 man fronts on defense in the future or this could be an epic bluff.

    My money is on seeing a lot more 3 man fronts with complex coverages underneath in an attempt to confuse opposing QBs into bad passes and force more interceptions.

  9. 941BUC Says:

    I see where his going Joe.plug Stevie T. in at one end and run stuffer Spence at the other with McCoy,Siliga, and Ayers in the middle and I guarantee you they will be forced to throw. Dare to challenge Optimus Grimes or VH3?that dl8ne will shut down the run game backed up by Kwon and Lavonte.

  10. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Look at what Atlanta’s DC and then also what UF did 2 last year and then what muschapmp does at USC and that is the bucs defense a fast multiple front attacking defense, the 1991 superbowl with the NYG against the spread attack of the Bills, belichek was the DC and he used a new an unorthodoxed approach against the Bills with at times only 2 DL and then dropped and blitzed….smitty is a good think outisde the box coordinator and it is encouraging as opposed to ol lovie stuck in the late 90s defense

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Long as the defense can get the ball back when we turn the ball over and keep the other team to under 20 points I’m happy. With our offense, we would win most of those games.

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    On the topic of our division, I think the Falcons take a step back.

    I look for the Panthers to take a step forward again.

    But I think the Saints and the Bucs will fight for the division title, with the Bucs winning.

  13. R.O. Says:

    I don’t agree with you that the 5 Tech in 3-4 is considered “coming off the edge”. Yes they play over that T but it’s the Outside LBs in the 3-4 are the primary edge rushers.

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

    I think the panthers will suck and finish last in the division needn’t season. Cam sabotaged the team by taking his time having the shoulder surgery, they are extra old at both DE spots and for the life of me I can’t understand the logic in drafting the same player in the first two rounds. McCaffery was taken in the first so Stewart has to become the back up. We see very early on if McCaffery can withstand the NFL pounding.

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

    As for Tui he and O.J. are operating in front of the curve. O.J. said at mini camp the Bucs offense is very similar to bama’s offense the last few years, only difference is learning the verbiage. Tii said at mini camp Smitty’s is exactly what he in at SC so he’s already feeling a level of comfort in the scheme.

  16. T in Orlando Says:

    I know it’s already been pointed out, but a 5 technique is the DE in a 3-4 front, and the only DE in a 3-4 that’s been known for getting to the QB is JJ Watt.

    I think more interesting is the fact Smith is referring to any player as a 5 technique. I think this means more 3-4 looks from the Bucs, and I think we have personnel to play it effectively (not full transition as the base). Stevie T or Baker as the NT, McCoy, Gohlston or Baker as the DEs, Spence, Bond, Beckwith and even David as the OLBs, Kwon, David or Beckwith as the ILBs. I think the only regular starter/contributor that cannot transition well is Ayers, he is prototypical build/skill set for LDE in a 4-3 front.

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

    The relationship between Cam and Rivera is strained right now. Soon one of which will have to go. It became clear last season when cam refused to wear the tie when teammates were offering ties to him. His attitude was F it, many saw the video of him and Rivera face to face infront if the team bus. This summer at the owners meeting Rivera told reporters last season Cam “was shook”. Ion know about you but from my neck of the woods that is great deal of disrepect for your coach to say about you publically. Cam responded by taking his time having the shoulder surgery forcing him to miss OTAs, training camp and some of the pre season. Also of note McDermott is now the HC of buffalo.

  18. Birdie Says:

    Just wait until Stevie T gets a good shot on McCaffery.Can’t wait!

  19. DanBucsFan Says:

    Two typos in the same article? Please proof read before you hit send. It’s actually very distracting, especially on such a sort and meaningless article.

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

    But I assume you feel that way because they drafted Christian McCaffery. Please.

  21. Lord Corn Says:

    3rd and short / goal line it could def make sense.

  22. Tnew Says:

    Agree this is just another indication that we will see more 3-4. he will have a harder time at this due to lack of length. Gholston for instance is close to the ideal for a 5 tech.

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

    If that was for me danny boy EAD homes. I ain’t perfect and could give a rats @$$ about coming across perfect on this site. I say it time and time again. When you see me “FEEL FREE TO SCROLL YO PUNK@$$ PAST”. Detect any typos in this one???

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

    And then that came from someone who proclaims it was a “SORT and meaningless article. Stupid.

  25. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Hey, am I the only one that watched Mike Smiths presser and saw/heard him refer to Noah Spence as a 3 down linebacker?

    Whether he said that knowingly or unknowingly, that is telling.

    I’ve said this since the Kendall Beckwith and Stevie T picks, I think we will be seeing a lot more 3-4 concepts in 2017, with a healthy dose of linebacker/ safety blitzes.

  26. USMC-Buc Says:

    Sounds like 3/4 DE to me, think Breant Kesiel.

    I’m good with throwing that out there a few times a game, could throw a QB off if you change up mid drive, force them to check to something.

  27. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    I’ve been telling my homie, the 3-4 is coming!!!

  28. K2 Says:

    He might be the new Simeon Rice…Lightning in a bottle.

  29. cover deuce Says:

    He lacks the length or pass rush game to play on the edge IMO. At 6’1″ 300+ lbs, he’s definitely got the size to thrive inside clogging gaps though. Interested to see how the 26 y/o rook handles NFL competition.

  30. WelcomeOJ Says:

    What article did NosBos come back from hiatus?

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

    I caught it lastnight Blake and came away from it feeling really encouraged by his words.

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

    OJ Blake came and found me about a week or two ago bro.

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

    And yea man he said the brace force Spawn to tightin his technique in run support. So I’m looking for him to be on the field 3 downs next season.

  34. 813bucboi Says:

    Smith wanted to get bigger on the DL. Looks like he has. I wouldn’t be surprised if both Stevie T and Siliga made the roster.

    I agree…..GO BUCS!!!!

  35. LakeLandBuc Says:

    He can’t do any worse than our Edge Rushers.

  36. LakeLandBuc Says:

    When Mike Smith and Mike Nolan switched to a 3-4 defense in Atlanta. It was the beginning of the end for them. I will say that he has better players in Tampa. It could work here, he had trash in Atlanta on defense. A 3-4 defense will take us back to the 1970’s Bucs.

  37. Blake_bucsfan Says:


    2 different cirumstances dude.

    2 different sets of personnel.

    We have the Dlinemen and Linebackers necessary to succesfully implent 3-4 concepts into our scheme.

    We will still be a base 4-3 team. Just more diversified.

  38. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Implement* stupid phone.

  39. Pickgrin Says:

    Interesting. Good article Joe.

  40. Kobe Faker Says:

    Carolina is going to put Mccafferty or samual on Bond – sam lber

    going to iso them in space and see if bond can cover all day

    going to be a sickening scary feeling when we see Mccafferty motioning out of the backfield and Bond is following

  41. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    a new fad defense that has been around the college level since the spread has been around is the 3-3-5 and im guessing it is what smitty gonna run more of because it combats the spread attack, but in same instance the 4-2-5 which smitty ran a ton of last year is his main pre-snap read to the defense at the end of the day no matter what the bucs run they have to be lined up right do their assignment and then make the tackles or plays when it comes on them

  42. NycBuc Says:

    Getting a 7th rounder to make some on field contribution is a relative draft steal.

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

    And who throwing the ball Kobe???

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

    Cam???😄don’t make me laugh bro.

  45. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    @Kobe Liar

    Honestly I was somewhat worried about the McCaffrey and Samuel picks to begin with, but they Only really matter if Cam Newton stays healthy, which is an iffy proposition at best for the Stinking Pnathers.

    And at this point, I’m so fully and utterly confident in the continued development of Jameis, and the massive influx of weaponry, that I feel we can now win shoot-outs against just about anyone.

  46. Pawel Says:

    I think McCaffrey will be good for Panthers but I do believe he will not make it 16 games, just a feeling. I wish McCaffrey the best and hope he does go 16 games though.

    They all also got Curtis samuel who I think will give us trouble, this kid is fast short distance, his family playe football too, so he has good genes kind of like OBJ.

  47. Capt.Tim Says:

    Ive said it since the draft
    McCoy and Baker/Gholsten will be your DEs
    Stevie T and Siliga at NT

    Spence becomes a pass rushing LB. Possibly Ayers, Also, on passing downs- along with David and Alexander.

    That would be best utilization of personel, as we still dont have a pass rushing DE on the team.

  48. ndog Says:

    You line Evans up on McCaffrey/Samuel and have the Lb’s drop into zone. That is why having a guy with the flexibility of Evans as a safety is a big plus!

  49. Negative Jeff Says:

    Read the tea leaves folks, Bucs will not be a true 3-4 this year but they are moving in that direction. Would be a waste to move to a 3-4 now because the two best pass rushers are MCCoy and Ayres. Both of them are 4-3 guys. Next year, they can cut both of them, and they will, then the Bucs will switch to a 3-4.

  50. Mike Johnson Says:

    I’ve said all along this guy makes the team. He’s older, more mature and a married family man. No distractions. He’s strong and he luvs himself some football.

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

    ndog I love it man. These folks gone soon switch gears with they’re early opinions of Evans bro. So much flexibility there man.

  52. Pickgrin Says:

    I bet Jay Hayes would certainly have something to say about a full on switch to 3-4. Its gonna be his responsibility to make this defense work within 2 years…

  53. biff barker Says:

    For the longest time I’ve wanted wanted to see a Butch Woolfolk sized NT in Pewter.

    Which is only 100lbs less than Gilbert Brown. lol

  54. Maxdrumsalot Says:

    Buc40! Also in Maine!

    Hit me up so we can watch a game!

  55. Duke Says:


    I don’t believe that Coach Smith is even thinking about installing a 3-3-5 . Yes, a few college teams run that system but it’s limited to a few mid major teams. It’s not a system that translates well against the big boy power house teams. Alabama, LSU FSU Clemson Michigan have all been successful in playing spread teams and none have switched to the 3-3-5.

    On a Pro Level, suggesting that is likely to get big laughs but not any serious consideration. On the 4-2-5, there’s a huge difference between the 4-2-5 system in College and a pro team that plays a 4-3 base and has sub packages. They aren’t in the same discussion because they are fundamentally different. Yes,
    The Bucs line up with a nickel on passing downs but it’s not the same thing as the College 4-2-5.

    Back to the 3-3-5, consider that it’s not the system the perennial National Contenders use , why would you think it’s a good idea and Smitty will be playing it , when it’s ineffective against major college teams? The issue with the system really is two fold. Easy to run against and little to no pressure on the QB. Now if the can’t get pressure on the QB with 4 , how is 3 going to work? Not well.

    The D will have some 3-4 looks, Smitty has acknowledged that fact and that the 4-3 will remain the base. Horses mouth my Man.

  56. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    @Pick… I for one hope he’s onboard, they played it in Cin.

  57. Davey Crockett Says:

    I want to see a 52 defense. Rush the Passer and stop the run!

  58. Bucsfanman Says:

    Why not? 5 tech on a 3-4/4-3 slant with a LB blitz coming off of his edge. I like it.
    I’m going to “Maddenize” it and let you know how it works out!

  59. Duke Says:


    When in recent years has Cincinnati ran 3-4? I’m not a fan but I can’t recall them running a 3-4. I love Pittsburgh’s defense and they were the only 3-4 team in the AFC north playing it.
    Like I said, I’m not a Bengals fan so I think it’s possible that they did and I have forgotten. Can you clarify the timeE

  60. volusiaboy83 Says:

    That’s not creative that’s suicidal

  61. Owlykat Says:

    We now have two nose tackles to pair on the goal line defense and dare them to run between the tackles. Can’t wait.

  62. Rick Says:

    @Buc 40, EXACTLY!! To everyone, Another possibility is that coach Smith has designs on disguises with pre snap looks, only to scheme a change and sometimes cause the offense to make a mistake or linemen not hearing the audible to make the adjustment.