Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith calls a 347-pound player 'svelte'

Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans can quickly point to what troubled the Bucs in 2017.

So can defensive coordinator Mike Smith.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Smith explained just how much better the defense, which gave up an NFL-worst 378.1 yards per game last season, needs to be in 2018.

"It's got to be a hell of a lot better than what we put out there last year," Smith said. "I've said it many times, the numbers are not anywhere close to what we've got to do. We've got to be more consistent in everything that we do, and it starts in the meeting rooms and building trust with one another across the board. I think that's the most important thing."

Addressing the defensive woes, Tampa Bay made some offseason changes through gaining a new defensive line coach in Brentson Buckner, drafting three defensive backs in the NFL Draft and adding four defensive line players via free agency or a trade.

"We're excited about that group," Smith said. "It's a big group of men and I truly believe this: the game of football is always going to be won on the line of scrimmage. We didn't win on the line of scrimmage as much as we needed to last year, and I think this is going to be a great competition with the new guys that we're adding in."

Those new guys include defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who was acquired in a trade with the New York Giants, defensive tackle Beau Allen, who won a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles last season, defensive tackle Mitch Unrein, a free agent signing from Chicago and defensive end Vinny Curry, signed after the Eagles released him.

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In this March 23, 2018, file photo, Buccaneers NFL football player Jason Pierre-Paul, left, poses with team general manager Jason Licht during a news conference in Tampa, Fla. The Bucs addressed pressing needs to improve an anemic pass rush and bolster depth on the defensive line by trading for Jason Pierre-Paul and signing Beau Allen and Vinny Curry in free agency. Greg Auman Associated Press

Tampa Bay used its first-round draft pick to select defensive tackle Vita Vea. Smith used an interesting word to describe the former University of Washington standout, who weighs 347 pounds: svelte.

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