Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith does not need to be informed of the need of his defense to perform much better in 2018. The unit performed dismally a year ago and was dead last in both sacks and passing defense among the 32 teams that compete in the National Football League.
While addressing the media on Wednesday Smith stressed that his defense must perform better and says that the process starts now. Smith also explained that the numbers the defense posted a year ago are not close to representing an acceptable level of production.
The organization has been supportive of Smith’s rebuilding efforts with multiple personnel moves made this offseason. The team totally revamped the defensive line by signing defensive end Vince Curry along with defensive tackles Mitch Unrein and Beau Allen. The later trade of a third-round draft pick netted the team former pro bowl defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.
The theme continued during the recent NFL draft as three of the top four picks of the team was used on the defensive side of the football. These selections included defensive tackle Vita Vea in the first round followed by cornerbacks Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart, both selected in the second round of the draft.
Smith is hopeful that by both upgrading and adding depth to the defensive line will allow his linebackers the needed freedom to make plays on the ball. He also wants to see the line put much more pressure on the quarterback which will help his much-maligned defensive backfield.
Mike Smith told the media that he believes in the character of his defensive players and was proud of the way they fought through the adversity of injury and two five-game losing streaks while continuing to play hard during the 2017 football season.
Smith is confident that the will to fight he has seen in the players signed in the offense will combine with the resiliency the defense has already shown to produce an extremely fiery group.
Both Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans and team management hope that the assessment of their defensive coordinator proves to be true.