Mike Smith, the Buccaneers defensive coordinator, appears to be staying put in Tampa. He and the management have agreed to extend his contract. Details of the deal have not been released, but it’s a sure bet that many people are happy to hear about his plans to remain with the team.
Smith was the Atlanta Falcons head coach from 2008 – 2014. He took the Falcons to the playoffs in multiple years, including 2008 when he was also named the NFL Coach of the Year. Before that role, he was the defensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he also held various positions at the college and pro levels.
He joined the Bucs in January of 2016. He works under head coach Dirk Koetter, who was once Smith’s assistant in Atlanta.
Smith recently considered going back into head coaching. He was a candidate for vacant positions in San Diego and Jacksonville. The Jaguars ultimately went with another coach, and Smith ended up withdrawing his name from consideration for the Chargers job.
In the early half of the 2016 season, the Buccaneers’ defense was lackluster. They ranked poorly across all aspects of defense. In the second half, they improved to 13th in yards allowed and fourth in points per game. During this period, they also ranked first in takeaways, with 18, and with their third-down conversion rate, which was 32%.
Mike Smith is known for being able to develop close relationships with his players. He has experience, an extensive knowledge of the game, and great instincts which allow him to draw up effective plays. The team is looking to keep its momentum going after finishing 9 and 7 in 2016. In 2014, they only had two wins all season.