Dominant History Of Mike Smith

January 27th, 2016
Bucs DC Mike Smith

Bucs DC Mike Smith

Quick, name a couple of superstars on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defenses from 2003 to 2007?

Tough question, but one that illustrates why Bucs fans should be doing cartwheels on Clearwater Beach.

New Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith was the Jags’ defensive coordinator during those years, and Smith churned out savage numbers, documented Scott Smith of

The primary way in which NFL teams are generally ranked on defense is yards allowed, and of course the most important statistic is points allowed. The Jaguars ranked in the top five in both categories over that five-season span from 2003-07.

Top Five NFL Defenses by Yards Allowed Per Game, 2003-07
1. Pittsburgh: 281.6
2. Baltimore: 284.3
3. Tampa Bay: 289.8
4. Jacksonville: 300.1
5. Dallas: 303.0

Top Five NFL Defenses by Points Allowed Per Game, 2003-07
1. New England: 16.8
2. Pittsburgh: 17.8
3. Baltimore: 17.9
4. Jacksonville: 18.2
5. Tampa Bay: 18.3

Damn! If the stat geek invasion had taken over pro football in those days, as it has now, Smith would have been gobbled up as a head coach long before Atlanta did just that in 2008.

Look at those numbers. You can never argue with points allowed, and when they match yards allowed, that always evidence of a special group and defensive coach.

And about those Jags defenses, Smith had only one season with a double-digit sacks guy. Bobby McCray in 2006 (10 sacks). McCray was a one-hit wonder and never did much else in the league. So it’s not like Smith was overflowing with Hall of Fame talent.

25 Responses to “Dominant History Of Mike Smith”

  1. unbelievable Says:

    Look how much better Tampa Bays defense was those years too. Very interesting stuff Joe. The more I learn about Mike smiths history, the more exited I’ve gotten for next year.

    I expect the defense to be rough out of the gate, but playing solid by week 5 or 6.

  2. unbelievable Says:

    *more excited

  3. Chris Armstrong Says:

    Excellent post Joe! There is no question about his defensive knowledge base, but more of will he be able to emulate his old DC days now that he will be a DC and able to focus solely on Defense. I also really like his attitude about this being “Dirks team” and “Dirk leading the charge”. Shows a lot of respect between the two and the humbleness he has in working FOR his ex-staff member. Nothing but good things happening right now, and I haven’t felt this way about our Bucs in a long time!!

  4. Joehelldeloxley Says:

    Mike Smith seems to be the kind of guy who doesn’t speak a lot , his defense statistics speaking for him.

    I don’t expect to see wonderful plays last year of wonderful defensive action, just efficient plays.

    we already have some very talented guys in this defense, nd if they can improve as a whole just a little bit I think it will already make a huge difference.

  5. Jbeachbuc Says:

    Jbeachbuc Says:
    January 27th, 2016 at 10:24 am
    Donovan Darius, Jon Henderson, Marcus Stroud ,and Rashean Mathis all underrated IMO, but you are right, no superstars. They Played solid team defense for sure .

    I Spent many years in Jacksonville before moving back to the bay area three years ago.

  6. Pick6 Says:

    i just hope that if he does what everyone hopes, he is not one and done. i wonder if the D line coach from Cincy came down here with the understanding that he will be the D Coordinator-in-waiting as mike smith spiffs up his resume for his next head coaching gig. otherwise it is a lateral move

  7. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    I think you are spot on. Hayes is the man in waiting. And this is just what a good organization does.

    I mentioned this once before but once when I got a nice promotion my boss asked me who I had in mind to take my place. He said one of the most important
    jobs of any manager is to locate his replacement ASAP for the good of the organization.

    We only have this moment. Any of us could be dead by the time I press submit…including any and all of our coaches.

  8. DB55 Says:

    I’d like to play devils advocate for a second and ask if Smith and Koetter were so good in Jax and Alt why did they consistently have 5 win seasons? (On avg)

    If you take away their first year with Jax in 2007 (11-5) and Atl in 2012 (13-3) the other six seasons they coached together they avg 5 wins per season.

    After their first season which each team they never got above .500, what’s up with that?

  9. OneBuc55 Says:

    My best friend is a huge Falcons fan and he’s pretty worried about Koetter and Mike Smith reuniting in Tampa…he was so exciting when the Falcons hired Quinn…I told him that any DC would look like a genius with the personnel the Seahawks have on defense…

    Imho Arthur Blank screwed up when he fired Mike Smith…I’m glad he’s on our sideline now; I Iike the idea of having a 4-3/3-4 hybrid defense; it’s a great way to keep opposing offenses of balance…

  10. Krutch Says:

    Cool stats, but that was 8-13 years ago at the start of the 2016 season. The NFL has changed a lot since then. Was the quick passing game as prevalent? Were the rules on defensive contact as strict?

    A better stat comparison would be how he did with the Falcons. He was a defensive guy and definitely had his imprint on those defenses as well. I’m happy to have another leader on the team though.

  11. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Tom Coughlin and his staff, did a remarkable job condition Jacksonville’s defensive(Before Del Rio). Though the defensive backfield struggled against the pass at times. Lack of consistent offensive production, was the key issue the last few years – of Coughlin rein.

    *Review of Coughlin’s Defense (1999-2002)

    Key Defensive Staff Members
    • Coach: Tom Coughlin
    • Defensive Coordinator: Dom Capers
    • Defensive Backs: Perry Fewell

    Jacksonville Jaguars (1999–2002)
    • (1999) Allowed 217 points (13.6/g), 1st.
    • (2000) Allowed 327 points (20.4/g), 16th.
    • (2001) Allowed 286 points (17.9/g), 10th.
    • (2002) Allowed 315 points (19.7/g), 9th.

    Key Defensive Draft Picks (1999–2002)
    • (2001) Marcus Stroud DT
    • (2002) John Henderson DT

  12. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Lets also not forget – After amazing one year in Carolina. Where Jack Del Rio completely turned around the Panthers defensive. Del Rio was hired as the Head Coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    In large part due to HIS defensive genius(Not Smith). Even though Del Rio hired his former asst. linebacker coach from Baltimore. Jack Del Rio was the de facto defensive coordinator his first few years in Jacksonville.

  13. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    *Tom Coughlin and his staff, did a remarkable job *conditioning Jacksonville’s defensive (Before Del Rio)

  14. Ken Says:

    Lovie Smith was head coach of the Bears starting in 2004. I wonder why Chicago is not in that list of dominant defenses? Probably because they only had two good defensive years in his entire tenure – 2005 and 2006. Every other year his defense ranked in the bottom half of the league. I’m so happy he’s not the head coach here anymore.

  15. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    He wasn’t my first choice. But, looking at Smith’s numbers in Jax, I am impressed. I think Blank should have fired the GM in Atlanta instead. He continually has a weak defensive roster.

  16. Dreambig Says:

    How fun is this? Mostly optimism from the articals, the posters, and getting some national love with Jameis and 4 others to the pro bowl! Man, we are winning the off season! This is truely “A Bucs Life” and we are rolling again! Hope next year we can carry some of this fun deep into December and maybe even January, then have a boring off season as we wait for the next year.

  17. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Smh – How quick we forget just how dominate Jacksonville interior line use to be.
    With the pairing of Marcus Stroud & John Henderson. You couldn’t run against them dudes.

  18. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    No Super Stars???

    *John Henderson
    Height: 6 ft 7 in || Weight: 335 lb

    NFL draft: 2002 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
    • 2× Pro Bowl (2004, 2006)
    • Second-team All-Pro (2006)
    • Consensus All-American (2000, 2001)
    • First-team All-SEC (2000, 2001)
    • Outland Trophy (2000)

    *Marcus Stroud
    Height: 6 ft 6 in || Weight: 310 lb

    NFL draft: 2001 / Round: 1 / Pick: 13
    • 3× Pro Bowl (2003, 2004, 2005)
    • AP Second-Team All-Pro (2003)

    Marcus Stroud & John Henderson helped give the Jaguars one of the more dominant defensive tackles duos in the NFL History.

  19. Kevin Says:

    Those stats are very exciting to see….but Joe why do you thknk he had such a hard time getting that defense going in ATL. The offense was good and you would think Smith would have stepped in and fixed the defense first hand before being fired. Thats the only thing that scares me. If he had the solution to the problem….unlike Lovie, why did the defense for the falcons suck and cost him his job

  20. destro44 Says:

    As a fan who lives in Atlanta, the biggest mistake the Falcons made was the rediculous trade to draft Julio Jones. It stripped then of draft picks to address the defense. Additionally they had Cap issues from all the money spent on offense, I think 3 players counted for 50% of the cap at one time. Those are General manager issues, hopefully we don’t have those problems here. All told they were very close beating SF and getting o a Superbowl.

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    @DB55- Agreed. For all the expectations, they better be good or they’ll be on the two-year train as well!
    Again, I like what I hear. I hope it translates on the field for a change.

  22. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    The reason I question Mike Smith defense vs Jack Del Rio’s.

    Is because no matter where Jack Del Rio has coached – he’s turned out top 10 defenses (7 to be exact ). But Mike Smith has NEVER had a top 10 defense without Del Rio.

    The intensity Jack Del Rio displayed – as tough as nails linebacker for 11 yrs in the NFL. Shows up in his defenses – as a coach.

  23. Rrsrq Says:

    Was that the defense in Jax that would slap each other in the face to get ready to play

  24. biff barker Says:

    I was terrified that Koetter would be a one and done too.

    We deserve a break Buc Fans.

  25. The Buc Realist Says:


    Yes it was!!!!

    And do not forget that the Jags were going against Payton Manning in his prime twice a year during those stats!!!!!