Lovie Smith staying upbeat

TAMPA, Fla. – Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith’s session with the media Friday sounded more like a pep rally.

Despite an 0-3 start, which included a 56-14 loss to Atlanta in the last game, Smith was upbeat about Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh. Smith said he’s eager to show that the Atlanta game wasn’t representative of the team’s true ability.

“In the NFL, you never know from week to week what’s going to happen,’’ Smith said. “One plus one is two and it equals out that way. But it doesn’t happen that way a lot of the time. So when you get in a game like we did the last time it’s unexpected.

“We’re in a different role this week. It’s just expected. We’re major underdogs and the outcome has been pretty much decided. You never know on that day what might happen. We’re in a good spot where when you have an effort like that you can’t wait to play to prove that’s not who we really are. We’re not. That’s who we were that day. We’re a better football team than that. To have to go on the road in a tough environment is what you like after an effort like that.’’

That spiel is probably pretty similar to what Smith has been telling his team. Smith acknowledged the Bucs haven’t done much right in the first three games, but he’ optimistic that will change.

“With a young football team that hasn’t been together, it takes a while for it to jell sometimes,’’ Smith said. “Sometimes it takes a while when you’re putting things together and everybody has to play together for it to come. You just keep staying true to what you believe and it happens. We’re hoping it happens this weekend. If practice is any indication of what happens during the game, you should see some improvement.’’