Bucs players come away impressed by Smith
Lovie Smith hasn't coached a game for the Bucs, but it appears he already has won over his new players.
Addressing his team as a group for the first time Monday, the start of the off-season workout program, Smith said he expects to win this year, starting with the NFC South division.
The quietude and confidence in Smith's delivery was in stark contrast to that of coach Greg Schiano, a self-described disciplinarian who was fired after only two seasons and an 10-22 record.
"It's different, man,'' linebacker Lavonte David said. "You get a different vibe from everyone. I mean, we feel like the situation is better.
"I like what he's doing. He's definitely a player's coach but he takes the job really seriously. I like what I see from coach and the rest of the coaching staff.''
Receiver Vincent Jackson had heard good things about Smith from his former Bears players and said he came away impressed when he met the Bucs new coach two weeks after he had been hired.
"Yeah, he's everything I thought he would be and more,'' Jackson said. "I was able to come in about two weeks after they made the announcement and meet him and some of the staff members. Just a smart man, you can just tell, very thought out, very well planned. He does everything with a purpose. Every minute in this building is going to be useful for us and make us better as men as well as football players. I'd never met him before this transition. I'm excited. I'd heard nothing but great things and I can see why.''
What was Smith's message to his team?
"Let's take care of business and take care our division and hopefully win a Super Bowl,'' placekicker Connor Barth said. "It all starts now. I think we're moving in the right direction and looking forward to it. I think it's going to be fun.''