The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have not had a player reach double-digit sacks in over a decade, but with the additions of Noah Spence and Robert Ayers, the team, who produced only 27 total sacks last year, could thrive under Mike Smith’s defensive scheme. The linemen already have a great respect for the new Defensive Coordinator, and love his all-business attitude. Smith encourages teamwork and looks for players who are unselfish, the ones who care about winning, not just paychecks and personal stats. Gerald McCoy, who was once again placed in the top 100 players in the NFL, seems fairly impressed with Mike Smith’s way of coaching.
“He is just about winning, that’s all he cares about. But he’s big on guys being great teammates. He doesn’t want any arrogant guys, he doesn’t want guys thinking that they’re above the system and he doesn’t care who the leader is. He says leaders will emerge, but he cares more about guys being great teammates and them supporting each other. If you see a person who doesn’t know, go help them. Don’t be afraid to communicate and realize that we are a family here, so regardless of what happens, we have to stick together. But as far as him as a person, he’s a great guy. Great guy.”
Robert Ayers also made a statement that virtually mimics Gerald McCoy’s and this shows that there is a common consensus, about coach Smith, around the defense
“He’s all about winning, he’s all about putting people in position to be successful. He’s all about giving you knowledge and being able to anticipate what guys are going to do or how they’re going to attack you. He wants to fill your toolbox up. He doesn’t want to send you out on the field and not be prepared for anything. He’s giving us a lot of knowledge and he’s putting a lot on our plate and expectations are high, as they should be. We’re all just trying to soak it all up and let him motivate us and motivate ourselves and get better.”
Whether or not this season’s pass rush produces a double-digit sack player, the way the attitude is looking around One Buc, we should have a significantly better defensive line. I believe the general winning attitude will become more than just attitude; It will become actual W’s.