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During the Bucs' glory days, we saw players like Warren Sapp, Simeon Rice, Anthony McFarland, and Marcus Jones — just to name a few. The front four worked as a unit in a defense that forced pressure on the quarterback while allowing the remaining seven on defense to drop back into coverage.
Boy, it sure seems like Lovie Smith is trying to bring that back.
You see, cornerback Ronde Barber was great in the Cover-2 scheme the Bucs ran so well back in the day. Add cornerback Brian Kelly and safety/cornerback Dwight Smith who also shared success protecting the sidelines. You can even add Donnie Abraham to that list.
But what did they all have in common? They were all system guys and depending on the type of system Smith is intending to implement, it appears to be heading in that direction — hence the reason why Darrelle Revis may be traded or released.
I know, I know. I too have said they "shouldn't" get rid of Revis. However, in reality they can. If he is not in their vision (financially) to play in the system, they do not "need" a Darrelle Revis. Perhaps anyone can succeed in whatever the kind of defense Smith has in mind.
So what may they be planning? Simple. Beef up the pass rush, spend that $16 million there and elsewhere.
After the reported signing of Cincinnati Bengals' defensive end Michael Johnson, it appears that plan may be coming to fruition. What else can they possibly do with Revis' salary? Extend defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
Again, focusing on building a pass rush.