Especially at quarterback, where young Mike Glennon has lost his starting job to known-quantity Josh McCown, the 34-year-old journeyman who signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the team last month.
Glennon told reporters that Smith called him after signing McCown to explain where he stands.
"He just said, 'to start out, there's got to be a person to start that goes out with the first group first and that person is Josh,'" Glennon said Tuesday, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. "... Lovie said to me and to the team yesterday the best players are going to play. And I don't think that's any different for the quarterback position."
Glennon praised McCown, saying he's "been great so far to me," but made it clear he hasn't given up on regaining the top job: "Just by my nature, I'm going to go out there and compete and whatever my role is, I'm going to do it to the best of my ability and help this team win."
New Bucs general manager Jason Licht said in March that "the keys haven't been completely handed over to anyone," but the new regime doesn't see Glennon as its long-term answer, at least not yet.
Glennon showed promise as a rookie, using his strong arm to compile a 19:9 touchdown-to-interception ratio, but Tampa continues to explore its options.
The Bucs hosted Teddy Bridgewater this week for a pre-draft visit and met with Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles at the combine. We still see Tampa as a prime candidate to nab a top-flight receiver with the No. 7 pick, but adding another passer looms as a real possibility.
In the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast," the guys begin the offseason Roster Reset series with the AFC West and dive into the ATL mailbag.