Koetter Planning For Life Without “Smitty”

January 2nd, 2017
Interviewing with Jags.

Interviewing with Jags.

This was about as easy as predicting Joe would inhale a bottle of cold beer on a steamy Florida Friday afternoon in July.

It seems Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith will interview this week for the Jags head coach opening. That’s the word from Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.

This afternoon, Dirk Koetter gave his State of the Bucs address to wrap up the season and in so many words said he would be very happy for Smith if he did get the job. “We knew this day would be coming,” Koetter said.

Joe asked Koetter if he had already started the process of interviewing potential candidates to replace Smith if he left. Koetter replied, “Yes.”

Feel free to interpret that however you wish.

29 Responses to “Koetter Planning For Life Without “Smitty””

  1. 941BUC Says:

    Hopefully its someone within mike Smiths inner circle that won’t drastically change the defense unless its for vast improvement. But all in all if naming him assistant head coach and throwing some “Bucs Bucks” his way to persuade him to stay then do so.even if giving him the option to “hand-pick” a defensive player in the draft and in FA of his choice DO SO DAMNIT!

  2. tmaxcon Says:

    “We knew this day would be coming,” Koetter said.

    A plan has been in place from day one. no doubt this day was coming. Duffner or Hayes. I would not be surprised either way.

  3. VeeJay24 Says:

    I like Gus Bradley

  4. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Joe I interpret that as Koetter having a tough decision on who to hire to replace Smitty.

    Is it Hayes or Duffner? He’s already interviewed people? Because they are already in house. The ORGANIZATION is in good shape right now.

  5. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Tom Coughlin and Kyle Shanahan are also interviewing with the Jaguars.

  6. tmaxcon Says:

    Kyle Shanahan will end up with denver. elway and daddy connection. makes the most sense with Phillips running defense and offense needing some love.

  7. MegaDaveUK Says:

    Hope bucs.com puts the damn video up so we can all see!

  8. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    I’m just hoping coach Smitty doesn’t pluck from our staff… Then that would suck

  9. The Buc Realist Says:


    Under that situation that would put the organization in a good position because they would lose a great DC but much would stay the same.

    But do we know for sure everyone stays??? Did J Hays come to Coach Smitty under a deal that as soon as he is a head coach that he will be his DC???

    Much to follow right now!!!!

  10. M.Stevbobucfan Says:

    Good question buc realist…hope Hayes wasn’t a package deal with Smith and leave with him …think this will really mesh up our defense chemistry

  11. Bucsfanman Says:

    Continuity! IMO keeping it in-house makes the most sense for the TEAM. Need proof? See Coach Koetter.
    Good luck Coach Smith!

  12. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Matt Miller has a Full 7 round Mock Draft out. He has us drafting TE O.J.Howard- Alabama. DB Desmond King -Iowa. DL Carlos Watkins-Clemson. WR KD Cannon-Baylor. C Kyle Fuller-Baylor. CB Des Lawrence- North Carolina. G Kyle Kalis- Michigan. It took a lot of time and effort for him to create a full 7 Round Mock for all 32 teams.

  13. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Assist coaches sign contracts to the team. Not to the DC or OC. The bucs would have the choice to let their assistsants leave or not. Unless they left for a promotion. I think if there was any back room deal it would be that Hayes would replace the departing smith as DC in Tampa.

  14. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Love, love, love those first 2 picks. Having seen any of the other guys.
    But O.J. Howard is a manbeast of a tight end. Much faster than ASJ, and absolutely cut up. Also scouts are lauded him as both the best receiving, and best blocking tight end in the class, so this is a young man dedicated to his craft.

    And drafting a top flight Tight end that can be explosive up the seam makes sense for 2 reasons. First, Jameis Winston loves tight ends, this has been evidenced time and time again at the collegiate and pro level, he always seems to develop good chemistry with Tight ends that are willing to put in the work. Second, Dirk Koetters offense has proven to be very successful in 12 formation, or ace formation, 2 Wr, 2 TE, and 1 Rb. So i would love an O.J Howard pick.

    And I thought that Desmond King looked like the best Cb in last years class when i thought he was coming out. He is another ball hawking corner, and is a bigger corner with good athleticism and speed. Getting him in round 2 would be a steal.

  15. Trubucfan22 Says:

    If hayes were to get promoted, we would need to replace one of the best d line coaches in the league. Not an easy task either. It would suck to lose Hayes as the d line coach.

    Imo, who ever would be the most aggressive ballsy type of DC is the guy i want for the bucs. No soft zone prevent defense. Constant attacking, constant confusion, endless pressure on the QB. Mike smith was a step in the right direction, but someone even more aggressive would be awesome.

  16. Chris Says:

    No on O J, we need wr, not a seldom thrown to Alabama project

  17. Patrick in VA Says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing what Jay Hayes has learned from Smith and implementing it when he takes over. I’m sure it won’t be exactly the same, but I think it would be a similar sort of continuity as having Koetter move up within the team. He’ll already be familiar with the players and will only have to put his spin on the defense using what he learned about what does and doesn’t work while Smith was here. Given the apparent arrangement that was in place when Hayes was brought in, I wonder how much mentoring and grooming was being done during the season to prepare Hayes to take over.

  18. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    I think it was Joe but might have been another poster. Koetter knew this day would come pretty quickly if Smitty was a successful as they both hoped he would be with the Bucs.

    This day is NO SURPRISE! Koetter and Smith certainly had plans in the works for this day from his first day on the job.

    It will be Hayes or Duffner because the Bucs will not wish to implement a new defensive philosophy for the third straight season. Hayes or Duffner would give our young corps some continuity.

    My question is about the psychology of Hayes and Duffner. What happens to the odd man out? Will he remain a team player and say in his position?

  19. Dave Says:

    All assistant coaches are under contract. NFL rules state they cannot leave team unless for head coach position. They cannot leave for equal or better position except head coach.

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Hayes needs to focus on the line.

    No matter how you look at it, if Smith leaves, this defense is going to backslide.

  21. Kobe Faker Says:

    Koetter the clown said he is contemplating giving up play-calling duties…

    Because of his admission that Kobe Faker was right, I am contemplating of posting again…

    Let us see how sincere he really is

  22. Artemis Rand Says:

    So who is the DC if/when Brian Dennehy (Mike Smith) leaves ?

    @ VeeJay24: Gus Bradley would be good. I don’t think the Jaguars were a good indicator of his coaching ability. He put together a mean defense in Seattle.

  23. Artemis Rand Says:

    Jacksonville is an 8-8 team with Smith as HC; they have the talent; they just don’t know how to win. They have a losing culture. Smith can change that.

    Bortles is an all-pro waiting to happen. Yeah, laugh if you want but I’m telling ya’, he can be a 4000/35/10 QB.

  24. Larry Edwards Says:

    I wonder if Jim Schwartz is contemplating leaving the Eagles? Perhaps he would have been a better selection last year.

  25. Rod Munch Says:

    I really hope that since Dirk knew this was coming he was smart enough to spend this entire year grooming a guy to run Smith’s defense – the last thing we should be doing is telling the defense they need to learn yet another defense. Screw that, have the coach learn the defense and let’s not have the “new defense” excuse we have to listen to for the first 8 weeks of the season (even if it’s a valid excuse).

  26. 98bucsfan Says:

    We all did know this was coming the moment we signed him. He’s been a head coach before and a winning one at that. They probably promised Hayes or duffner a big shot at the d-coordinator gig in the beginning. I’d be happy with either to be honest

  27. Bobby M. Says:

    You know whose name never gets brought up for any GM opening…the glorious Rockstar…Mark Dominick. Apparently the only people that raved about him were those he was feeding stories to.

  28. America's Commenter Says:

    If the Bucs lose Mike Smith after just one season, that would call into question the wisdom of hiring him for the DC job in the first place. This young team needs continuity and stability in leadership, which was a large factor in promoting Koetter. One season of moderate success on defense wasn’t worth the upheaval of changing the DC, even if the successor is one of Mike Smith’s proteges. Losing Smith would be a huge problem heading into 2017.

  29. Brandon Says:

    Jay Hayes was brought over from Cincinatti, where he was known as one of the better DL coaches in the league, for a reason. To be the heir to Smith. I’m excited about that. He knows Smith’s scheme and terminology…but he was also under Marvin Lewis and Mike Zimmer as well…. and ran a very similar system to Smith…which was the same system Lewis ran when he was the Ravens DC back when the Ravens were mowing opponents down with the best D in the league at the turn of the century. I’m fine with Smith leaving. He was too passive, rarely challenged WRs at the line, was too often scared to bring pressure even when it was working. I think Smith did a pretty good job, I think Hayes may do even better.