Trick Of Having A Short-Term DC

April 19th, 2016
Too much influence?

Too much influence?

Joe has heard the reservations some Bucs fans have about the hiring of Mike Smith.

They are scared he will leave after one season, that he has higher aspirations than just being a defensive coordinator.

Joe understands, but also feels this is a good thing. If Smith is hired by another team to be its head coach for the 2017 season, then it very likely means Smith and the Bucs’ defense will have had a helluva year.

There is, however, one element that scares Joe as next week’s draft inches closer: How much influence will Smith have on the Bucs’ draft, where Tampa Bay is expected to focus heavily on the defensive side of the ball?

So when Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht had his final public appearance prior to the draft last week, Joe asked Licht what would happen if he and his staff were sold on a player but Smith put his foot down and wanted nothing to do with him. What then?

“Well, [Smith] he would have to plead his case and he would have to show me why, which he’s very good at,” Licht said. “He’s a very intelligent guy and knows what he wants. If he was super adamant, probably not.”

Depending on who you believe, Smith was a serious candidate to replace Tom Coughlin in Gotham this past offseason. Bucs types understand Smith could be gone in less than nine months if he’s offered a job.

So if he has higher goals than being Dirk Koetter’s right-hand man, should he have that much influence in a draft? He could prevent the selection of a player Licht and his staff believe could contribute for a decade or more.

35 Responses to “Trick Of Having A Short-Term DC”

  1. Pirate n packerland Says:

    I like coach Kotter, but i think if the Glazers or Licht thought Smith would leave after one year they would have made him H.C. not D.C.

  2. DallasBuc Says:

    I would be surprised if Mike Smith didn’t give his good friend Dirk at least a two year verbal commitment. Things can always change but I doubt Dirk would want him for a brief one year stint. My guess is Smitty stays through 2017 season regardless of the level of success of his defense in 2026.

  3. DallasBuc Says:

    ^^^2016, not 2026

  4. Dean Says:

    If you start turning around the Buc’s defense with solid strategy, then someone else can come in and pick it up from there. There are always top coaches that are fired or looking to move, that are available.
    As long at Smith’s defense isn’t “my way or the highway” and it doesn’t work, then we are going to be better off he was here….for one year or five.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I think it’s likely that Smith will remain for at least two years….but if he leaves….he leaves…..what a great problem to have….our coach(s) are so good that someone else wants to give them a promotion…..doesn’t happen often….can’t recall the last time it did.

    As for Smith and the draft…..I’d be more comfortable with his input than not.

  6. sethb22 Says:

    My guess is your next Defensive Coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is already on staff. To get a coach like Hayes away from Cincy… probably a good chance some proposals were made.

  7. Joe Says:

    My guess is your next Defensive Coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is already on staff.

    Joe’s guess as well.

  8. The Buc Realist Says:

    After 2 years of Coach my scheme, I would have been happy if DC Coach Smitty only signed up for half a season!!!! at least we would have a real DC for 8 games!!!!

  9. RustyRhinos Says:

    Who is to say that coach smith wants to play his former team two times a year to rub it in those guys faces. He took a lot of heat on the Atl sports radio “92.9 the game”. He had a very successful run as their Head Coach, he was fired. I hope that coach Smitty brings several years of hard nose successful defensive football to our team.

    I believe that Coach Smitty and Coach Kotter want to win a Super Bowl together. Just about all of our current coaches have coached together in several different organizations. Who is to say they want to leave and leave a good situation that looks Very promising to reach the Super Bowl. And Winning this game will make Coach Smitty a very wanted coach.
    Go Bucs!

  10. The Buc Realist Says:

    I am not worried, and who knows, He might remember how much fun he had playcalling and running a good defense. He also might fall in love with the area!!! The trick is to get him here and the cards fall where they may!!!!!

  11. Bucsfanman Says:

    Listen, I’d love to have him long-term but that ain’t going to happen, regardless! I also feel the same as sethb, our next d-coordinator is already on staff. If all goes well, of course!
    This is the one area on this team that I just can’t wait to see. Let’s start making opposing teams think twice about wanting to play us.

  12. Rrsrq Says:

    what kind of defensive rank and improvement will it take in one year for M. Smith to be considered. We are assuming such a jump, which means that players like Verner, Banks, J. Smith will play to their better potential, if they do we should be a playoff team and I wouldn’t mind losing him as long as their is consistency in the rest of the staff.

  13. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    “Joe understands, but also feels this is a good thing. If Smith is hired by another team to be its head coach for the 2017 season, then it very likely means Smith and the Bucs’ defense will have had a helluva year.”
    – Joe

    There is a fault in this point.

    The Bucs did not have a heck of a year last year, and we almost lost Koetter.

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    It won’t matter who is coaching the defense.

    So long as we have Gengis Kwon (or Kwonzilla), this defense will get much better!

  15. MonsGM Says:

    Much to do about nothing. I agree with above that it will be Hayes. If he leaves for a head coaching gig then it means two things. The Bucs will have a good defense and they will want continuity and will promote from within.

  16. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    Coach Smith is setting this defense up for Coach Hayes to take over. U gotta believe the were some incentives in the deal for him to leave a job that he was arguably the best at his position and was there for over 10 yrs. One would think he wants to move up in the rankings and not be a DL coach his whole carrer. It just makes to much sense.

    IMO i think this was already discussed when Hayes was being pursued by Licht. This was probably the main reason he came to Tampa. Not like he did it for a major pay raise, cause he’s not making that much more than he was in cincy.

    Smith will be gone after two seasons at the most. He is just doing his friend a favor and in the process setting himself back up for a head coaching job elsewhere.

  17. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Our DL coach will step right in and take over. This is a talented bunch of coaches, in fact it’s likely the best in franchise history. Some will be poached, but I’m confident those that remain will be able to stay the course with the player talent available to them. Smith will stay for at least two years.

  18. FowlBall Says:

    Let’s just calm down! The Bucs haven’t even started training camp, and we’re already having a panic attack that Coach Smith won’t be here for the ’16-’17 season?


    Let’s let things unfold the way they unfold. More will be revealed when it’s time.

    Go Bucs !!

    Have fun !!

  19. BigHogHaynes Says:

    @ Tampabaybucfan: Lovie Smith (Linebackers-Coach) T Buc 2000 hired by the St Louis Rams as (Defensive Coordinator) 2001: taking that promotion is the only reason that LOVIE doesn’t have a NFL CHAMPIONSHIP RING on his long list of accomplishments!

  20. America's Commenter Says:

    If the Bucs defense becomes dominant and the offense regresses, Mike Smith may succeed Dirk Koetter as head coach of the Bucs in a season or two.

  21. 813bucboi Says:

    I aint buying it…sounds like a glennon and lovie episode….”hayes is our dc of the future”…did dirk ever say hayes will be the dc of the furture? or is everyone just assuming?….did mike interview for any hc jobs last year or did he just sit in his atl basement?….if smith is gone after one year, who’s to say hayes will run the same exact defense…some things will need to be adjusted or tweaked so smith and his new team wont have inside knowledge of the defense….if he leaves after this year theirs no doubt we will face him because the nfl loves drama…im not buying the smith is setting this defense up for hayes….hayes has been around for quiet a long time..i doubt he needs someone to show him how to run a defense….Imo smith is on this staff because dirk is a rookie hc…he has no idea what he’s doing and needs smith and licht to hold his hand thru year 1 and possibly year 2….dirk is the puppet with smith and licht pulling the strings….he needs someone to help and show him how to be a hc in this league…GO BUCS!!!

  22. America's Commenter Says:

    BuccaneerBonzai Says:
    April 19th, 2016 at 9:27 am
    It won’t matter who is coaching the defense.

    So long as we have Gengis Kwon (or Kwonzilla), this defense will get much better!

    Let’s see how well Kwon plays without the PEDs before we anoint him as a great player. We can’t take anything Kwon said at face value because he is refusing to name the mysterious energy drink that triggered the positive test. It very well may not have been an energy drink and it may not have happened in the pre-season. It’s possible, but not very likely. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, so Kwon needs to come forward with the whole truth to clear his name.

    The proof will be in the pudding when we see his level of play in 2016 and beyond. If he doesn’t continue to perform at a very high level, he will out himself. If he does continue to perform at a very high level, then all of this will blow over and nobody will be talking about it anymore.

  23. pick6 Says:

    as long as the next DC has the same mindset of scheming around his players’ talents, Mike Smith’s successor should have no objection to talented players being selected. that, or Jay Hayes is being consulted too

  24. pick6 Says:

    @America’s Commenter, Kwon played without PEDs ALL SEASON. even if you don’t buy his story about what he got busted for, it happened in Training Camp. he was tested – and passed – all season, but the NFL dragged its feet til the playoff push for some reason

  25. Buccfan37 Says:

    I’m still shocked that Smith and Hayes are here with our Bucs defense. Talk about Koetter with benefits, these hires are very exciting.

  26. salish_seamonster Says:

    You can’t draft players your coaches don’t want. Period. The only exception is if you’re absolutely certain that coach is toast.

  27. The Buc Realist Says:


    I agree!!! After suffering with Coach my Scheme and his Family and friends. It is so refreshing to have actual NFL Coaches!!!! What in upgrade!!!!

  28. Kevin Says:

    Smith and hayes will bith consult with jason licht on the picks. Licht knows smith will be gone and he knows hayes is his next dc. There is nothing to worry about in my opinion.

  29. salish_seamonster Says:

    I’m not sure I accept the premise of this article, which is that Smith is almost certain to be hired as a head coach as soon as next season. We’ll see. I’m sure he’ll have interviews. But when selecting players, the GM has to pick guys the current staff wants.

  30. 813bucboi Says:

    @bucsfan and @realist….not sure why some of you are excited…we haven’t any seen these guys in action yet….mike smiths defense were always soft when he was in Atlanta….jack del rio had the defense playing at a high level…he did the same thing with Denver and now with Oakland…smith gets little credit for his stint in jaxville, that was all del rio…hayes is a great hire because he is proven….dirk has to prove he can be a competent hc in this league and not just a glorified oc or puppet for licht….while smith has to prove he can build an aggressive physical defense….he never did that in atl that’s why he got canned and they hired someone that could build and coach an aggressive physical defense…games have to be played and won before praise is showered upon this coaching staff….GO BUCS!!!!

  31. Mike Johnson Says:

    You fellow Buc fans are truly..a trip. We draft offensively 2 straight yrs in a row. We only drafted one defensive player during that time period.. What the hell did you expect? Yes, the pressure is on Mr. Koetter and MR. Smith. Produce gentlemen or take your spots on the infamous Buc fishing boat!

  32. Bucfan007 Says:

    Each & every year is a year onto itself.
    A new Year, A new Team.
    Everything changes.

  33. 813bucboi Says:

    @mike Johnson….that’s right…10wins with playoffs or someone may be walking the plank…the pressure is on big time…im not buying the whole tougher schedule excuse some have already tried to bring to light…this is the nfl…every season is different…every team is different…some of those playoff teams wont make it this year and those who got left out may end up winning the whole damn thing….time will tell…one things for sure…no one can blame lovie or his scheme any more…this is all on dirk and licht…GO BUCS

  34. Kevin Says:

    Hayes will make smith look good just like JD did in Jacksonville. Smith will get another gig…OR hayes will continue to tell him how a.defense behind the scenes. Im not worried. And as for koetter Ive got money on him being the coach of this team for the next decade. He gets it!

  35. Trubucfan22 Says:

    I wouldn’t read into this situation too much. Mike Smith is a well respected and stand up guy. His opinion does matter.

    Mike has gone on record saying he fits his scheme to the players. So Mike probably won’t have a big issue with anyone, unless he feels a different player is a lot better than the other one. Which should already be on the draft board and discussed well before the draft. So I don’t see Mike Smith getting too demanding. He is pretty low on the totem pole. If Licht and Koetter agree on a player, Mike Smith really has no voice in the matter. I’m sure they will listen to Mike and value his opinion, but Mike has no pull to be making demands in the draft. That is pretty silly talk.