According to former Tampa Bay TE John Gilmore, who played four years for Lovie Smith in Chicago, the Bucs have themselves a heck of a head coach.
Gilmore, now the managing partner for Encore Select, a sports marketing company based in Tampa, attended Wednesday’s practice and chatted with players on the field following the workout.
“I think the Bucs will do really well this year,” said Gilmore, who joined the Bucs in 2008 after six seasons with the Bears, including the final four under Smith. “You’re going to see a very exciting defense in Tampa and Lovie’s No. 1 rule for his defense is to score points.
“Lovie is a leader of men — and he’s going to treat them like men. And for anyone who doesn’t buy in, this train is going to move on without them. He’s had a year off and you will see a rejuvenated coach — Lovie’s overly excited about this football team.”
Play of the day
With fellow safety Mark Barron creating takeaways almost daily, Dashon Goldson got into the act Wednesday. Goldson, who picked off only one pass in 2013, shadowed WR Vincent Jackson across the middle and capitalized on a tipped ball to make a one-handed diving interception that prompted a roar from the crowd.
Quote of the day
“You hope to get one or two good drives going and see how long the coaches are going to keep you in there. We want to put it in the end zone at least one time.’’
— Bucs C Evan Dietrich-Smith, on Friday night’s preseason opener at Jacksonville
Stat of the day
The Bucs allowed an average of only 18.8 yards per kickoff return last season, tied with Chicago for the No. 1 coverage unit in the league.
Did you know?
Former Bucs Pro Bowl CB Ronde Barber will be the NBC analyst for Friday’s game at EverBank Field.