Lovie Smith: We have a place for a great cover corner


When Lovie Smith was announced as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there were some who wondered what the arrival of a coach who likes to run Cover 2 would mean for cornerback Darrelle Revis, who has long preferred to be in a scheme asking him to play man coverage.

Revis said last week that he was excited about a future with Smith at the helm and Smith sounded like he felt the same way during his introductory press conference on Monday. Smith said, via WDAE, “there are reasons” why Revis is one of the best cornerbacks in football and that there would be “a place for a great cover corner” on a Buccaneers defense that won’t be running Cover 2 on every play.

We’ll see how things ultimately play out, especially with a $16 million salary waiting for Revis in 2014, but good coaches can find ways to make room for talented players who might not be exact fits for their a particular scheme.

As for who will help him execute his schemes, Smith said he’s been looking for an opportunity to work with defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier for a long time. The rest of the staff will be filled out in due time, but won’t include Rod Marinelli. Smith called his longtime associate “like a brother,” but said the Bucs won’t be asking the Cowboys for permission to speak to Marinelli about an opening on the staff.

49 responses to “Lovie Smith: We have a place for a great cover corner

  1. I really like the spot they have in the draft and the chance they have to turn things around. This could be a really great transition for them and I hope they come up with some creative moves this offseason.

  2. I think they might be better off moving him to safety and letting him use his instincts to make plays from that centre field type position. If he’s not going to be playing man to man it’s better to have him in a deep zone where he can not only take away the deep ball for his half but also come up and make plays on balls in front of him than it is to have him dropping to a short/intermediate zone where you can essentially scheme him out of the game.

  3. In 2012, before Revis, the Bucs were 17 yards away from the worst pass defense in NFL history. Just by acquiring him they went to the middle of the pack last year. There are still no good corners behind him. Getting rid of him would be so moronic and short sighted.

  4. lovie only made the playoffs 3 times in 9 years as bears coach. i do not find that as a sucessful tenure. good luck tb u will never win a superbowl.

  5. I hope the new HC and DC here in Minnesota scrap that stinkin’ Tampa 2/cover 2 defense. I detest that soft zone baloney after watching it the past few years. The most success, if you can call anything this season a success, is when the defense played press/man-to-man.

    I was so sick every time the Vikings needed to cover a third-and-short, the DBs would drop back 8-12 yards and let the opposing team’s offense play toss-and-catch. Nauseating.

  6. The Bears are going to be sick on defense next year. Question is, who do they take with that first pick? Glennon isn’t the answer, but I don’t know if any QB is worth taking right there. If Sammy Watkins falls there (I know that’s wishful thinking probably for Buc fans), I think you pull the trigger on him in a heartbeat and draft another QB later to compete with Glennon.

  7. The cover-2 is yesterday’s defense. Every team in the league knows how to beat that defense. Clearly, the Bucs won’t be running the cover-2 all the time, but they’re probably better off never running it. If you have a great player like Revis, let him cover man-t0-man.

  8. There is Cover 2 and there is man and then the variation of I putting your best cover guy on their #2 and double the #1. Then there is the fast slot guy and the big TE’s. You need 6 CB’s and 2 FS who hit like a SS and on and on and on.

    Point is, there is NO scheme. You mix it up depending on your talent and your opponent’s talent.

    Bottom line is you have to be a moron not to be able to use what Revis does best.

  9. I was happy when the Bears made the change. It was time for Lovie to go, but I think he can coach a little bit and I would certainly rather have him than someone like O’Brien who had his success in the NFL with Tom Brady and only mediocre success as a HC at PSU (I know, it was a difficult situation – yadda, yadda, yadda); or Jay Gruden who has really turned Andy Dalton into a machine come playoff time.

    But this whole Cover 2 thing gets overblown. It is the “base” defense his teams play. They do NOT simply sit back in that defense all the time and let teams run up and down the field on them. Defense was not the problem in Chicago. His teams create turnovers and they score on those turnovers. His problem in Chicago was his inability to hire a competent OC. And part of the problem with hiring an OC in Chicago was he got caught a couple times without a contract extension which limited his ability to hire a competent OC (which is why Martz & Tice ended up with the job).

  10. Bears fan here.

    One of the biggest criticisms I had of Lovie Smith during his tenure here in Chicago was his stubborn attitude and his insistence that the Cover 2 will work.

    It works when you have dominant players like Warren Sapp, Simeon Rice, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, and Ronde Barber. It worked for a little bit for the Bears when they had a healthy Tommie Harris, but other than that, the Bears struggled to get consistent pressure. Sure, they signed Julius Peppers, but it wasn’t enough.

    The point I am getting at is, during his year off, I hope he learned it’s ok to adapt to new schemes and keep up with the times. You can run Cover 2 but you don’t ALWAYS have to run Cover 2. Also, work around Darrelle Revis and his skills instead of forcing him to conform to your system.

    All things being equal, I am curious to see how he does with his offense. That’s something he sure as hell never figured out in Chicago…..

  11. The Tampa 2 lost all value when the defenseless receiver rule became so much more enforced and head shots are now huge fines. The Tampa 2 creates seams down the middle of the field. It wasn’t that long ago that it was normal for a WR to be called out for not running over the middle. Now it’s free run for any WR, not one of them is scared anymore and those seams are being exploited.

  12. What I found interesting is when he said that one of the reasons he moved so fast in assembling his staff is that he was doing it while he was unemployed. Here he is fired from the Bears, and he is plotting his comeback by negotiating on his own with his future OC / DC (he wanted Marinelli but accepted Frazier), and all the other position coaches that are now coming on board. Now thats planning…

  13. Who doesn’t have room for a great cover corner, especially in this era where the rules make passing records as meaningless as those of baseballs steroid era – even the Pink Pea Shooter of the Bungles puts up huge numbers-steroid by rule changes lol

    Besides Cover 2 has variations like Cover 2 Man Under – so dump Revis may catch headlines but is it good football sense ? Not.

  14. Upon further review, Tillman over Leonard Johnson would be a welcomed sight! When Lovie look at game tape, he’s gonna shake his head and start cutting….Zuttah, Penn, Larsen, Crabtree, Bynum, Underwood, Owusu, Page, Shepard, Leonard, Landri, Teo’Nesum, Adams, Gorrer and at least one of the runnng backs to include Smith, Rainey, Demps and Lindell!! I thought of a couple more on the bubble…Bowers, Joseph, Nicks, Dotson, Watson, Hayward, Koenan,and Carr.

  15. It’s worth pointing out that the Jets finally made a good move for the long term here. They went against all the stupid “you don’t trade your best player” rhetoric to make a savvy trade. They lost Revis but gained Sheldon Richardson and lots of cap space. Not to mention a 3rd round pick this year.

    With a bunch of draft picks and $40mm to spend in free agency if Geno can be at least mediocre next year the Jets have a real shot at making some noise.

  16. Cover 2 defense is good for padding your defensive stats during the season but not making the playoffs. An accurate QB can tear it apart with quick slant passes down the middle of the field.

  17. The Bucs do have a place for a great cover corner, its on the trading block. If I am not mistaken, Revis is the only CB making that kind of money and you could find two solid CB’s at $8 million apiece and spend your money elsewhere.

    If the Bucs keep Revis at $16 mil, its a poor use of their salary cap

  18. Enough with the criticism of Lovie’s D. This guy would not have been available if his O was literally half as good as his D in Chicago. Lovie didn’t coach Dallas or Chicago in 2013. As far as tearing the D apart with quick slants down the middle initialsgbm, is just wrong. Lovie was guilty of misplaced loyalty, see “Rex is our quarterback.” He also was not able to see offensive talent, either with finding an OC or players. His players played with great effort and discipline during his tenure with the Bears. The Buccaneers got themselves a good HC provided Tedford is the goods, if not, good luck Bucs!

  19. Cover 2 defense is good for padding your defensive stats during the season but not making the playoffs. An accurate QB can tear it apart with quick slant passes down the middle of the field.

    Clearly you haven’t watched the Tampa 2 in action in a few years. QBs pad their stats against that scheme. Ask Dallas how that scheme worked out vs. opposing QBs this year.

  20. This is such a non-story. Ask the Colts how they felt about not having a shutdown corner for forever in the Cover 2.

  21. You might as well call it a Lovie-2 defense, because he seems to be the only person left on the planet who knows how to make a cover-2 system work anymore.

    The Bears had one of the best defenses in the league over Lovie’s tenure, but in 2013 their D was horrible. Injuries helped, but the Bears fired the catalyst that made that defense work to begin with.

    Former DC Rod Marinelli went to Dallas, and their defense was even worse.

  22. No one runs just cover 2 anymore. The only place you can do it now is 3rd and long where you can drop the mike deep. Anything less and a good QB will check to a draw play.

  23. Just remember one thing about Lovie Buc’s fans. He took the best return man in history and ruined him.Lovie was the only coach in the NFL that thought Devin Hester was a #1 wide receiver.

  24. There’s no one reason Dominik is unemployed but the Revis trade certainly didn’t help his cause. You give up a 1 and a 3 AND pay the guy $16mm a year? The Bucs clearly weren’t one player away.

    Come to think of it, is a team ever a $16mm CB away for a championship? They should have spent more time worrying about a QB option.

  25. For running a team in flag football I believe you have to mix in your coverages. I use zone coverage in order to get to 3rd and 4th down when we usualy play more agressive man coverage. Sometimes you get burned but sometimes you get a stop, constantly playing zone is like handing 1st downs to the offense. I think DR can be like a joker card where you have to prepare for something and its total opposite at the same time.

  26. Bears played plenty of man coverage while Lovie was in Chicago so I think Revised will fit in fine. Lovie wants to get pressure with four so if Revis locks his man down your have a 6 on four advantage in coverage, and that’s if nobody stays in to block

  27. You can allocate a CB to play primarily Man in Cover 2. You just can’t really ask all your CBs to play Man in that system. 1 guy locked on the oppositions #1 can work. Cover 2 mainly focuses on the Safeties and the 4-3 setup. The Corners are outliers and can play man or zone depending on the need.

  28. Lovie’s crappin’ ya’ll down there….he had TWO chances to work with Frazier in Chicago and didn’t hire him either time. DOH!!

  29. Could someone please send some competent DB’s to Kansas City?..Other than Flowers and Berry…We got nothin’!..It cost us a playoff win!…Well, that..and poor game management.

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