The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are continuing the shakeup. Mike Smith, former head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, is the team’s new defensive coordinator. New Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter broke the news at a press conference on Friday.
“I’m happy to announce that we have come to terms with Mike Smith to be our defensive coordinator,” Koetter told the media at Friday’s press conference.
Though it is reported that Smith had many other interviews and opportunities with other teams around the NFL, he supposedly believes that Tampa Bay brings him the best chance at a successful coaching job.
This will be the third time that Koetter and Smith worked together. They worked as coaches for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2007, and Koetter was Smith’s offensive coordinator for two years (2012-14) with the Falcons. Now, Smith will work under Koetter.
Since being fired, Smith has been out of football. However, despite his inability to find a coaching job in the past year, he led Atlanta to success in his time as coach. The team had four playoff appearances and a .589 winning percentage in the seven years that Smith had the reins.
The coaching changes show the Buccaneers’ determination to turn things around. Tampa Bay had the 10th best defense last year, however, they still allowed around 26.1 points each game. With the hiring of two successful coaches, the team may finally start to see the change that they’re looking for.
Koetter is quite fond of Smith and looks forward to him joining the team’s staff.
“I’ve never seen anybody like Mike Smith before,” Koetter told the media in a press conference. “We were never as good when we lost Mike Smith in Jacksonville.”