Will Mike Smith Be “Charged?”

January 28th, 2016
Is Bucs DC Mike Smith the next Wade Phillips?

Is Bucs DC Mike Smith the next Wade Phillips?

As Joe stated yesterday in his weekly sitdown with the dean of Tampa Bay sports radio, “The Big Dog,” Steve Duemig of WDAE-AM 620, Joe still wishes the Bucs would have landed Jim Schwartz as a defensive coordinator.

But this Mike Smith is growing on Joe.

Joe’s main issue with Smith vs. Schwartz is that Smith is eight years removed from his last job as a defensive coordinator. Schwartz is one year removed (oh, and he could probably lure defensive end Mario Williams, who blew up playing for Schwartz).

Joe tends to listen closely to when football people talk, as opposed to data entry clerks. And the more Joe listens, the more Joe hears football people rave about Dirk Koetter’s hiring of Smith.

A couple of guys Joe pays rapt attention to are Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller, co-hosts of the best damned football radio show around, “Movin’ the Chains” heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio. The two discussed Smith’s hiring by the Bucs yesterday.

Jim Miller: That is a helluva defensive coach coming over from the Atlanta Falcons. He was their head coach, but Pat, that’s where he cut his teeth. He is a tremendous defensive playcaller.

Pat Kirwan: Well, I say this because Wade Phillips is going to be my example: A good head coach, a great defensive coordinator. Sometimes that is your niche in life and I bet that Mike is going to really enjoy coaching without all the media responsibilities and all the stuff like worrying about the cap meetings. Just coaching his guys. He will be charged up to do that job.

You know, if Smith is the next Wade Phillips, that just isn’t a good hire, that’s a home run. That’s like getting Monte Kiffin in his prime.

You can’t get much better than Phillips as a defensive coordinator.

31 Responses to “Will Mike Smith Be “Charged?””

  1. Brian Says:

    Is it Sept yet?

  2. tnew Says:

    I know its easy to be optimistic, but could the stars be aligning for Tampa? The Law of Averages would lead us to believe that we are due.

  3. Supersam Says:

    I haven’t been this excited about a coaching staff since the Gruden days, and I might be even more excited now than I was then. I’ve been researching Todd Monken the past few days and let me tell you, every word I’ve read is nothing but great things.

  4. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I have no doubt that Smith will be pumped up big time for a variety of reasons.

    Not just to get back as an HC but also to reinvigorate himself. He’s a football coach. Football coaches are made to coach. After a year out of the game he’s got to be excited to get back up in the saddle.

    And what a way to return. I agree with Kirwan it will probably be nice for him to not have to worry about HC duties this coming year…just concentrate on the D.

    And Smith has an added benefit. The expectations for our D are not through the roof. Many of us..if not most…not just Dallas and Realist..believe Lovie did a HORRIBLE job with the talent he had. IE..the Bucs talent is not as bad as their record on D and so Smith has that head start as well….low expectations and better talent than people realize.

  5. Supersam Says:

    Even the Brett Maxie hire was outstanding, every where he’s been his defensive backs have had there best seasons.

  6. Supersam Says:

    And don’t get me started on the Joe Hayes hire. The dude can coach dline, the Bengals always had a nasty front 4.

  7. Mike Johnson Says:

    This is all just talk. One things for sure..We’ll see just how great Mr. Smith really is. Its gonna take a lotta hard work to turn this pourous Defense around.
    I wish him well. But I ain’t heaping no praises on him till I see what he can do.
    Telling a fishing tale is nice..until its your time to get on the witness stand and tell it. Batter up…coach Smith.

  8. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    I actually realize I appreciate your negativity and skepticism. Now that Realist and Dallas are on board we have nobody to argue with if it wasn’t for you.

    Keep rockin’ the skepticism…it’s fun and that’s what sports debates are all about.

  9. Buc1987 Says:

    Might have to turn up the heat even more on the wife for tickets.

  10. Buc1987 Says:

    SPBF…I’m a skeptic too, but I’m starting to come around.

  11. Mike Johnson Says:

    Thanks there StPeteBucsFan….I’m just tired..and sick of all the losing. so much so, I don’t get optimistic about any coaching change..cause we do so many of’em. I’m not giving anybody in this Buc organization credit until WE start winning consistently as a team. Years past, I’ve gotten my hopes up high only to have them deflated in double time. So I say, Show us. Makes no difference to me if the coaches were from Tampa catholic or Plant city. Just WIN first.

  12. BucFan20 Says:

    I have always said you take this team 1 game at a time. I will heap praise on a coach that took this offense who we thought would be the weak link and made it the better part of the team. And but for Lovie and his so called defense and his lousy leadership and game management this team might have made a playoff appearance.

  13. The Buc Realist Says:

    Can you smell that in the air??? is it change? is it optimism?? is it the Bucs finding the lights and the staircase out of the cellar?? The bucs still have to fix the roster, But could it be the last piece to fix??

    And maybe right now it is just talk, But we saw the last coach do the talking and no results of fixing, Which just make the talk lies!!!

    I am thinking that to start off the season, we need to exorcised the demons of years past! Maybe we need to hold a mock funeral at fan fest in the parking lot!!! we can finally bury the Tampa 2!! or even lovie’s career??

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Jim Schwartz is not as good of a DC as Smith…at least not historically. Mike Smith’s winning stats are better.

    Joe’s main issue with Smith vs. Schwartz is that Smith is eight years removed from his last job as a defensive coordinator. Schwartz is one year removed (oh, and he could probably lure defensive end Mario Williams, who blew up playing for Schwartz).Joe

    That time removed is a valid concern…although Mike Smith was a head coach only a year ago…and a successful one overall.

    As far as luring players…it never happens here. Remember, we thought we would see Lovie lure several great players as well…such as a certain kick returner. A CB. A DL guy.

    None of them ever happened. So I think it’s a bad move to hire someone simply in the hopes that they might lure certain players.

  15. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    The Buc Realist Says
    “Can you smell that in the air??? is it change? is it optimism??”

    I’m sure you will do your best to get rid of it once the season starts…like you usually do. 😉

  16. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    BucFan20 Says
    “…but for Lovie and his so called defense and his lousy leadership …”

    Oh, you mean the defense Jason Licht never let him draft for? The one that Jason Licht went out and negotiated deals with free agents that sucked for? It amazes me how you people give Licht a complete pass on the things he’s screwed to pooch on.

    Trust him? Out of your minds.

    Was Lovie fully in charge?

    Think about the evidence of the drafts. If he was in charge, he would have gotten his defensive players. Licht undermined him the whole time. Only fools are blind to that.

  17. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    StPeteBucsFan Says

    I actually realize I appreciate your negativity and skepticism. Now that Realist and Dallas are on board we have nobody to argue with if it wasn’t for you.”

    Put on the brakes there, fella!

    All Mike is saying is “Props when props are earned!”

    There is nothing wrong with that. It’s not negative…it’s rewarding for effort instead of cheap talk. That’s how life works for most of us. A boss rewards you for doing good work…not for claiming you will do good work.

    The big problem with Tampa fans is that they give credit or blame long before either is earned…and then they get let down.

    Props when props are earned.

  18. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    It’s ok for you to be a skeptic because as long as we have #3 you’ll be easily sucked back into our optimism. 🙂

  19. Buccfan37 Says:

    Woe to Buc fans, NOT! Show me, yeah show me. Lovie’s hire did not have the same positive feel that this group of coaches upcoming has for me. This perception will be reality.

  20. Mike Johnson Says:

    Optimism and Bucs? Say guys send me somma that stuff you smoking!!
    I’ll remain in my cautiously neutral corner until I see some winning results first.
    Hell, I stop being optimistic after they fired Gruden.

  21. Trubucfan22 Says:

    I feel like as a head coach you are split too much and can’t really focus on any one thing. (Why i dont care for play calling HCs) so as a DC only, he can focus on coaching his group of guys, and get back to the fundamentals of coaching, and play calling.

    I know Koetter is going to keep the play calling duties, and i am against that. But i think with the coaching staff that he has come up with it will work out better than i would expect. We have so many experienced coaches that koetter can trust them to do a good job, so he can focus heavily on the offense. Mike smith is clearly capable of running his defense without input from koetter. So i am optimistic about it. I would prefer koetter not call plays, but if he trusts mike smith to completely and fully run his defense, then im ok with that.

  22. calibuclife Says:

    Off topic but the last time we fired a defensive coach and hired a offensive coach we won a Superbowl I’m ready for next season and this one isn’t over Joe I need you to continue to carry me to next football season

  23. Pick6 Says:

    i’m not trying to say mike smith is chuck knoll reborn or anything, but it’s interesting that he has a reputation as just being an okay head coach given his winning percentage. if i’m not mistaken it’s better than dungy’s was in Tampa.

    anyhow, i’m optimistic but concerned. it’s a head scratcher to me that he went so far from his roots as to employ a 3-4 disciple as the coordinator and playcaller on defense in atlanta, and i really hope 7 years of not calling plays doesn’t leave him surprised by what defenses do, a la our previous DC

  24. 1gr8Bucfan Says:

    FIRED UP!!!! Can’t wait for the season to start. Is it September yet?

  25. Pick6 Says:

    also, even wade “born to be a coordinator” phillips kept getting offers to coach teams and kept giving it a shot. i think mike smith is going to be hired and fired as a head coach at least one more time before he accepts Jim & Pat’s assessment that he’s better off coordinating

  26. Pat Says:

    Possibly no more journeyman QBs pronouncing their claim to fame via the Bucs. DEE FENSE. GO BUCS!!!

  27. SteveK Says:

    Dear Buccaneer Bonzai,

    Why and how exactly do you determine that Jason Licht “undermined” Love the whole time?

    I am sorry, but I don’t see it that way in the least. Please take a look at the defensive maneuvers below, made by Lovie, for his scheme trumps talent defense:

    -Cuts Revis, Revis wins super bowl
    -Signs Michael Johnson
    -Signs Mike Jenkins
    -Signs Josh McCown and crowns him starter before training camp
    -Signs Tim Toast Crunch Jennings
    -Can’t find a spot for Mark Barron
    -Cuts Dashon Goldson
    -Signs Major Wright
    -Signs Bruce Carter

    What about the way the defense would lie down too? Lavonte David said the defense was defeated after the first defensive play from scrimmage in 2015.

    I am excited to have some excited coaches. Let’s make some noise!

  28. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    SteveK Says:
    “Dear Buccaneer Bonzai,

    Why and how exactly do you determine that Jason Licht “undermined” Love the whole time?

    -Cuts Revis, Revis wins super bowl
    -Signs Michael Johnson
    -Signs Mike Jenkins
    -Signs Josh McCown and crowns him starter before training camp
    -Signs Tim Toast Crunch Jennings
    -Can’t find a spot for Mark Barron
    -Cuts Dashon Goldson
    -Signs Major Wright
    -Signs Bruce Carter”

    You realize Lovie was only responsible for the bold one, right?

    Jason Licht is

    -the one who negotiates contracts
    -the one who the scouting department reports to
    -the one who cuts players for cap reasons
    -the one who negotiates and pulls off trades
    -the one who uses the scouting department to find free agents to sign
    -the one who controlled the draft and prevented Lovie from building his defense

    Lovie worked with what he was given. Odds are, he didn’t even have a hand in hiring Jason Licht. The Glazers probably handled that.

    So lets review your points:

    -Cuts Revis, Revis wins super bowl Licht did to free up cap room
    -Signs Michael Johnson Licht went after the top DE he could get, negotiated the deal too
    -Signs Mike Jenkins LICHT signed him. Coaches sign no one
    -Signs Josh McCown Jason Licht signed him…Lovie probably encouraged itand crowns him starter before training camp
    -Signs Tim Toast Crunch Jennings Jason Licht found him and signed him…like GMs do
    -Can’t find a spot for Mark Barron
    -Cuts Dashon Goldson Jason Licht did this for cap reasons…although Dashon Goldson needed to be cut anyway, considering he is the reason Refs had turned against us
    -Signs Major Wright Blame that on Licht. He finds free agents and negotiates deals with them.
    -Signs Bruce Carter All on Jason Licht. Completely.

    This is what I mean by people blaming Lovie for the things Licht has done.

    Follow the logic. IF Jason Licht controlled the drafts as is now being claimed, then that means Lovie was not given the opportunity to draft defense.

    IF all of those players were the choice of Lovie…then they won’t be on the team come next season, right? After all…why would Licht keep guys who under performed that he “did not pick”?

    Some are already gone, of course…but all of them would be gone next season.

    There seems to be a bit of confusion as to how things work in the NFL. When a head coach is interviewed, he is required to present his vision of how to improve the team. The GM’s responsibility is to help him make that vision a reality.

    Head Coaches…especially new head coaches…are usually given the picks they want in the draft…especially their first and second drafts. This is how they build their vision.

    Lovie was not given that. Even though he was hired on a vision he presented based on the picks he would make.

    Instead, Jason Licht sat down with him, determined areas of need, and JASON LICHT set about filling those needs through free agency. Remember…the scouting department reports to the GM. He uses their reports to determine who to call and negotiate with.

    Did Lovie have a say? In a small way, he probably did. Take Mike Johnson, for example. Lovie probably voiced that they needed a great DE. Licht goes and reviews the list of available DEs, reviews scouting reports, and presents his list of preferred FAs to Lovie. Licht does a sell job…and convinces Lovie to be willing to work with the ones Licht prefers.

    That’s how it probably went down.

    Now…Lovie might have had a couple bones tossed to him. Josh McCown, for one. But he also is the one who insisted on drafting Winston (as reported) when everyone else wanted Mariota (including Jason Licht; as reported). Lovie had to convince the entire staff to go with Winston.

    As head coach, should he have had to convince anyone at all? Would Coughlin, Belechik of Tomlin have to “sell” the rest of the staff on drafting a player? Heck no. Because Head Coaches normally get their way.

    Lovie didn’t. Period. The proof? The drafts. Jason Licht is getting credit for them, right? That means Lovie had no control in them…and if he didn’t there, it was Jason Licht in charge of everything. You can’t have one without the other.

  29. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai,

    Lovie Smith was hired before Jason Licht. Lovie was given complete control of the 53 man roster upon hiring. It was Lovie who hired Jason Licht. Lovie was interviewing GM candidates before he settled on and chose Jason.

  30. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    The biggest concern with Mike Smith is the playcalling. Has he ever called NFL plays before? I have heard he didn’t call plays with the Jags as DC because the HC was handling the play calling.

  31. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @bonsai why do you think Licht signed Henry melton ,major Wright,Chris Conte,Tim Jennings, Josh Mccown,Tim Jennings,Michael Johnson,Howard Johnson,Bruce carter,and Michael Johnson. Because lovie they would fit
    the cover 2 so he told Licht to sign them.Licht did not have control of roster Lovie did,it was part of contract.
    As for Jameis I read an article that said Licht had his eye on Jameis even when he was at Kansas city and took Lovie to a game to watch Jameis and convinced
    Lovie to draft Jameis at no. 1. Lovie was on record as saying he wanted a mobile quarterback when he first came here.
    Jason Licht and scouting dept primary responsibility was to scout college players for the draft not free agents.
    Jason Licht did have the power you think he had until now.Why do you think majority of free agents came from Chicago,because Lovie coached in Chicago and he wanted them.No bones abut it.