He grew up on the defensive side of the football. Now, it will bear Lovie Smith’s fingerprints.
Smith will call the defensive plays for the Tampa Bay Bucs this season, taking over for defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. Smith, a former linebacker coach with the Bucs and defensive coordinator with the Rams, will assume personal responsibility for a unit that finished 25th in the NFL last year.
And why not? It worked so well for Raheem Morris.
Perhaps, with the addition of an offensive coordinator worthy of his trust in Dirk Koetter, Smith felt that he could turn more focus to the defense. Perhaps, with stars such as Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David, he wanted to guide the steadier part of the team.
There was no word, naturally, on whether this reflected poorly on Frazier, the defensive coordinator and former head coach in Minnesota. Earlier in the off-season, however, there were rumors that Smith was trying to hire Dallas defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.