Make no mistake, Lovie Smith’s not afraid to live in the past.
After the new Buccaneers coach compared linebacker Lavonte David to all-timer Derrick Brooks, Smith went out and hired one of Brooks’ old teammates.
Former Bucs linebacker Hardy Nickerson will join Smith’s coaching staff, via Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune.
The 48-year-old Nickerson — sometimes known as “El Dragon” — spent seven years with the Bucs, four of those with Smith as his linebackers coach. Those were glory days for the Buccaneers defense, something Smith is trying to recreate.
“As I’m putting our coaching staff together, it would be great to get an old Buccaneer back on our staff,’’ Smith said during his introductory press conference Monday, without mentioning Nickerson by name. “In fact, one thing I’m going to do is reach out to all of our former Buccaneers.
“They will always be welcome here. We want them around and we want our current players to feel that pressure of how they’re supposed to perform each week. Some places don’t have the tradition we have and we’re definitely going to draw on that as much as we can.”
Nickerson spent a year on Smith’s coaching staff in Chicago, but was most recently a high school coach in Oakland.