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Lovie Smith: DEA search a 'non-issue'

Bucs coach Lovie Smith said a DEA search of the Bucs was a “non-issue” and noted that several other teams were also checked. [Getty Images] 
Bucs coach Lovie Smith said a DEA search of the Bucs was a “non-issue” and noted that several other teams were also checked. [Getty Images] 
Published Nov. 18, 2014

TAMPA — Coach Lovie Smith doesn't expect a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation to linger around the Bucs past Sunday's brief airport stop.

"No distraction at all, at any level," Smith said Monday. "It's a non-issue with us. I'm sure they had their reasons for carrying out those searches — throughout the league, I might add. For us, it's kind of on to Chicago."

The DEA checked the Bucs and a few other NFL teams Sunday as the organization investigates claims from former players that teams mishandled prescription drugs.

"I would assume the DEA and everyone else is always investigating teams to make sure everyone is doing things the right way," Smith said. "I assume they're just kind of doing their jobs. Hopefully they got all the information that they wanted from all of the teams in the league, and you move on."

The Bucs were stopped before boarding their flight home at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Smith said much of the team slept through the delay, which lasted a few minutes.

"I didn't see them," WR Mike Evans said of the DEA agents. "I was trying to get off the bus, and they wouldn't let anybody off the bus. … I just thought it was a random search or whatever."

Smith declined to detail the team's policy on painkillers but said the team believes in the league's policy. The minor delay didn't dampen the team's celebration for its second win this season, Smith said.

"They had some information that they wanted to get from part of our party," Smith said. "They were able to get that, and we've moved on."

Moss an Evans fan: Not surprisingly, Evans received a barrage of text messages after Sunday's performance (seven catches, 209 yards and two touchdowns). His favorite honor, though, came when from Fox Sports analyst Randy Moss.

The former Pro Bowl receiver mentioned on air that he enjoyed Evans' arms-wide touchdown celebration — a tribute to Moss.

"He said he appreciated it," Evans said. "That's cool."

Evans called Moss one of his all-time favorite receivers because of his swagger and the way he played. Evans also appreciated how Moss' last name is also a slang term for catching a football over a defender.

"I always thought that was cool," Evans said.

Contact Matt Baker at mbaker@tampabay.com. Follow @MBakerTBTimes.