Tampa, FL-- Former Buccaneer linebacker Hardy Nickerson has rejoined the team as Lovie Smith's linebackers coach.
Nickerson was a key factor in the Bucs' transformation from losers to winners in the 1990s, and Lovie Smith was his position coach.
He coached for Smith in Chicago with the Bears in 1997, then coached high school football the past four seasons when Lovie called him again and offered him the Bucs' job. He said he's learned a lot about coaching since retiring as a player.
"To learn how to be a good coach, you've got to be a great teacher," said Nickerson."You've got to be a great communicator. You've got to be able to get information to the players, so they can take it and execute it on the field."
And he admitted he's changed a bit, since his playing days.
"I'm still intense," Nickerson said. "Focused and intense ... Of course, I'm not out there trying to rip anybody's head off or anything like that, but I'd say, as a coach, I'm focused and intense."
He's especially looking forward to working with Lavonte David, the young All-Pro linebacker from Nebraska, who's entering his third season with the Bucs.