The Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially announced that defensive coordinator Mike Smith has been fired.
“I have the utmost respect for Mike Smith as a man and as a football coach,” said Buccaneers HC Dirk Koetter. “These decisions are always difficult, but our top priority here is to ensure that we do everything possible to help this team succeed. As I have said in the past, the issues we have had as a team are never one person’s fault. During good times, as well as the bad, it is a collective effort between the coaches and the players. We all understand that this is a result-based profession and our results to this point have not met our standards. I want to thank Mike for all the hard work and passion he has displayed here on a daily basis and I wish him well moving forward.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have fired defensive coordinator Mike Smith on Monday, according to Rick Stroud.
Mike Garafolo reports that LBs coach Mark Duffner is expected to take over the Buccaneers’ defense for the remainder of the 2018 season.
It’s interesting to see the Buccaneers make this move now, as opposed to last week when they were still on bye, but the team’s defense was playing so poorly that it’s not all that surprising to see changes made.
Ian Rapoport notes that the Buccaneers made Smith the highest-paid defensive coordinator in football last year.
Smith, 59, began his NFL coaching career with the Ravens back in 1999 as a defensive assistant. He spent four years in Baltimore before joining the Jaguars as their defensive coordinator.
The Falcons hired Smith as their head coach for the 2008 and he led them to a record of 66 and 46 (58.9 percent) to go along with four playoff appearances and a trip to the NFC Championship game in 2012.
Smith joined the Buccaneers as their defensive in 2016 before agreeing to a four-year extension last year.
In 2018, Smith’s defense ranked No. 31 in total yards allowed, No. 32 in points allowed and No. 23 in takeaways.