Odds Of Mike Smith Leaving Worsen

January 2nd, 2017
Bucs defenders have Mike Smith's back.

Bucs defenders have Mike Smith’s back.

The heads are rolling across the NFL. And that’s not good news for the Bucs.

Dawn of Black Monday hadn’t yet hit and already there were six openings for a head coach. San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Buffalo and Jacksonville. There may be more openings later today or this week.

Why is that bad news for the Bucs? Because that just makes it more likely defensive coordinator Mike Smith bolts for greener pastures.

Two weeks ago, Smith, whose name is already thick amid rumors of the Jags’ opening, refused to answer any questions about his name popping up in coaching rumors. Twice Smith pirouetted when he had a chance to shoot down the rumors, saying he was focused on game-planning for the next opponent, in so many words.

Many Bucs defenders have grown close to Smith. While they surely don’t want to see him leave, every player Joe spoke to understood why Smith would leave, and they support him.

No player on the Bucs has a history with Smith like Brent Grimes, who played for Smith in Atlanta, where Smith was the head coach.

“Of course,” any time you lose a great coach from a staff, it is not fun especially if he is your coordinator,” Grimes said. “But it is life. He’s a coach and a damned good one. So if he wants to move on to be a head coach again, you can’t fault him for that at all. I will support what ever he does but we, as a team, want him back.”

Another player tight with Smith is linebacker Kwon Alexander. The two have almost developed a father-son relationship. Alexander comes to One Buc Palace early each morning to sit with Smith for one-on-one whiteboard sessions.

Smith is only too happy to get to work early to meet with Alexander. The Bucs’ second-year linebacker credits Smith with helping him grow into one of the top tacklers in the NFL.

“I don’t want him to leave but at the end of the day, it is a business,” Alexander said. “If he gets a head coaching job, I would be excited for him. There was a lot of hard work I put in [with Smith] but it’s a business and I’m going to just get ready for next year.”

Safety Bradley McDougald added, “It would hurt,” if Smith left.

Even Russell Shepard watching from an offensive perspective can see how important Smith has been in turning around the defense.

“He deserves everything he gets,” Shepard said if Smith found a head coaching gig. “I hope he stays but he deserves everything he gets.”

61 Responses to “Odds Of Mike Smith Leaving Worsen”

  1. University of Seffner Says:

    That kind of praise says a lot about Mike Smith. It’s more than just being a coach, it also says something about the personal side of him.

  2. I know why Says:

    he will stay, why? well…I know why

  3. JAB83 Says:

    Ummmm to these guys and this team…. One year of decent coaching would be devastating to lose…

    Lets hope Mike truely coached the mentally week Lovie out of these guys…

  4. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    bye bye mike smith!

  5. Cobraboy Says:


  6. Todd Says:

    He will get the jags job most likely

  7. BobbyBuc Says:

    Joe can you do an article on potential free agents that the Bucs could use?

  8. Richard Dickson Says:

    I don’t know, I was watching Adam Schefter on SportsCenter this morning, he ran through eight head coaching prospects and Smith wasn’t on the list.

  9. DallasBuc Says:

    If the odds are increasing are they worsening?

  10. Buc50 Says:

    If I’m the Rams, I’m doing all I can to peel Sean Payton away from the Saints. He would work wonders for Goff if there is anything to work with. Smith would be second on my list. I have newfound respect for him after watching what he’s done to this defense.

  11. M.Stevbobucfan Says:

    Hoping Smith stay at least 1 more year….think this will give our present defense more time to develop under the same system. ..give more training for someone already on staff like LB coach Duffner to make the transition ..
    We all knew this would happen so I am sure the Glazers and Koetter had a plan in place for this. My big issue is..hope we don’t have to keep doing this every 2 years just look at what happened to Seattle defense with this same issue

  12. orlbucfan Says:

    Either way Bucs are in good hands (finally). DK and MS are also true friends. It will be a fascinating (and fun) off-season. Hey Joe: take care and be safe + Happy New Year!!

  13. SB with Jameis Says:

    What has Payton ever done without Brees?

  14. SB with Jameis Says:

    CONGRATS TO ST. AUGUSTINE BUC for winning the JoeBucsFan.com Pickem!!!!!!!!! WELL Done sir!
    Also congrats to Unbelievable, Tmax, Bucwylde and the others that beat me. NEXT YEAR BROTHERS!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Cobraboy Says:

    How about a promotion to Asst. Head Coach and a whopping raise for one more year?

    There will be multiple HC jobs available next year, too?

    If Smith wants to build a legacy finishing what he started in Tampa would be a solid move.

  16. JMN Says:

    I consider him a goner. What do you guys think about the possibility of Rex Ryan coming in as our D coordinator?

  17. VeeJay24 Says:

    I think it is pretty much a done deal; Smith more than likely will get 1 of these coaching gigs. My vote for a replacement is Gus Bradley.

  18. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    If he cares about the players, he will stay. I will lose all respect for him if he leaves this year. After two years? That’s fine. At least he will have put something lasting together.

    But if he is a real man, he will want to finish what he started, or at least get it to where it can thrive without him.

    No one on staff can effectively replace him. If they could, the Bucs would not have hired him in the first place. Leaving after one year is a jerk thing to do.

  19. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    Rex Ryan????!!!!!!!!

    Are you freaking crazy?!

  20. Trubucfan22 Says:

    6 vacancies. That is tough to deny that he is one of top 6 most qualified candidates for a HC job. There a lot of good coaches out there, and mike smith might be one of the better choices. Hopefully it will be just smoke and mirrors and we are able to retain smith. Big loss if we do lose him. He is a big part of the culture change here. Not to mention koetter has full trust in him. Koetter is able to focus on offense and leave the defense 100% in Smith’s hands. That dynamic probably won’t stay the same if the bucs promote from within and have a first year DC. Koetter just wouldnt have the trust he has with Mike.

  21. 941BUC Says:

    Joe how about an article about probable Defensive Coordinator prospects to fill in for Smith if he leaves.

  22. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Rex Ryan???????

    …….don’t make us vomit with those ideas

  23. JMN Says:

    Yeah I just threw the Rex Ryan thing out there. I guess his problem in Buffalo was lack of discipline. We don’t need that. I redact that post lol.

  24. Buccfan37 Says:

    Smith exiting for elsewhere, maybe not. What? Me worry. That won’t cause the Bucs train to derail anyway. The foreseeable future indicates steady improvement in my view. It sticks out like a just hammered sore thumb.

  25. Buc50 Says:

    What has Bilichick done without Brady. When Payton wasn’t the play caller, Brees struggled.

  26. Buc50 Says:

    Isn’t Rex Ryan a 3-4 guy? Why would the Bucs want to go through a major personnel change? Besides, he stunk this year. Let him sit in a basement somewhere and go to another team.

  27. tmaxcon Says:

    SB with Jameis

    Thanks for setting up the pick em group and taking the lead. it was fun.

    a very prosperous new year to your sir.

  28. tnew Says:

    If I was the San Diego owner, I’m picking either Smith or Coughlin soon. They have an offense ready to win now and enough young talent on the defensive side of the ball to make noise.

  29. tmaxcon Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai Says:
    January 2nd, 2017 at 10:15 am
    If he cares about the players, he will stay. I will lose all respect for him if he leaves this year. After two years?

    That is the most ridiculous BS… Three is ZERO loyalty in this world. You want loyalty get a dog or stuffed animal. This man has every right to pursue his dream each and every day just like yo do. If someone told you had to wait two years to write your next book out of loyalty and it prevented you from providing for your family I bet you would have a different opinion.. NO DIFFERENCE Sir!!!!! The new DC was decided the same day Smith was hired. Three is NO way in HELL that Licht was going to do all this ground work and implementing a system knowing full well Smith was 1 and done; that’s just insane. It will be Hayes or Duffner running same system.

  30. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    If you are a die hard football fan, you hear all kinds of crazy stuff. The latest rumor ? Jason Licht is leaving Tampa to go be the new GM in San Francisco, and is taking Mike Smith with him, to be the new coach of the 49ers!
    Another rumor is this, Jim Harbaugh is going back to San Francisco to coach, now that Trent Baalke is gone!

  31. University of Seffner Says:

    PFT is reporting that Mike Smith will interview with the Jacksonville Jaguars per Rick Stroud. He has competition with Josh McDaniels, and Doug Marrone.

  32. Cobraboy Says:

    I suspect Smith will move on, and who would blame him?

    I’d consider Gus Bradley for DC if an internal promotion isn’t made. DC is where Bradley earned his chops, and he has a TB connection under Monte Kiffin.

    He was truly outstanding at Seattle as DC.

    He’s considered for Buffalo DC if Lynn gets the job.

  33. DavidBugBucsfan99 Says:

    What you said Tmax. Bonzai I don’t know what country you live in but Smith has all the right in the sorld to seek an advancement in his career especially when he knows that he can do it. You just showed what kind of man you are with that statement and deserve no respect on this board. NFL stands for Not For Long. Coaches come and go it’s the nature of the beast and you are entirely crazy with that statement. Good luck to Mikey

  34. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    Stop being an idiot. First off, Smith is getting paid. He CAN provide for his family. And if he helps this team improve to 10 or more wins and a division crown, he would get more money next year.

    Secondly, if you think there is no loyalty in this world, then that would explain your attitude here. Newsflash, the world is not centered around you. Your situation is not the same as everyone else.

    And finally…my books are released on a schedule. I have books that are finished that won’t see print for 2+ years already. You think I don’t want to release them sooner? Of course I do. But pacing is everything. Timing is everything.

    TMax…we’ve gotten along okay this year except for your pure hatred of GMC and this topic. Let’s not change that.

  35. skipper Says:

    A promotion from with-in if Smith departs would make sense, don’t see the Bucs taking a big step back to implement a new system .

  36. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Mike Smith will not get a HC job. I guarantee, he may interview, but he won’t get a job.

  37. tmaxcon Says:


    you are dead wrong. that perfect little bubble world does not exist in real business. Mike Smith does NOT owe the bucs or bucs players anything. He was paid to do a job and did it. He has every right to purse his goals and dreams. It’s a business

    as far as your book schedule that I was using it as an example that if an outside party took away your ability to produce or achieve your goals you would have a different attitude. It’s irrelevant that he is providing for his family or has a job already successful people always are looking to improve their situation. the days of 20 years same job and loyalty were out the window in the sixties and seventies. real world is every man for himself.

    as far as my hatred for GMC I don’t hate him at all that being said I am 100% convinced the loser culture will NOT change until he is gone. He is a problem with a smile.

    No More Soft Serv

  38. cmurda Says:

    I’ve been very critical about Mike Smith but I have to admit he has started formulating a competent defense. I like the guy and it’s always a step backwards if we have to install a new defense. With that said, it’s the circle of life in the NFL. We shall see but in the end, I’m not so sure he ends up getting any head coaching gig.

  39. Patrick in VA Says:

    I saw that the Jags are interviewing Kyle Shanehan. I think that’s a much better fit for what they’re doing there. He’s shown a knack for developing game plans to compliment the specific game plans of his QBs. He made RGIII look like a good QB, he’s helped Matt Ryan become a real MVP candidate. He could be the guy that turns Blake Bortles around. I think that’s the right answer for them. I’m thinking that the team that will be most likely to have an eye on Smith will be the Broncos. He’d be able to come in and keep their strong defense going. It’s pretty clear that their priority is keeping that defense strong and living with mediocrity on offense.

  40. Bobby Says:

    Was Smith on a 1 year contract with the Bucs? Seems like they’d have signed him to at least a 2 year term. Does anybody know?

  41. tmaxcon Says:

    Do NOT underestimate the respect that John Elway has for the Shanehan family. Kubiak retiring and Bum Phillps running the defense and broncos offense struggling Shanehan makes a ton of sense. History lesson Elway ran off a very succesful Dan Reeves and hand picked Shanehan (daddy) to be his head coach. Shanehan, Elway and broncos owner Pat Bowlen are par of the denver good ol boys club. it almost makes too much sense Kyle Shanehan is available.

  42. tmaxcon Says:

    not bum phillips my bad his kid

  43. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    tmaxcon Says
    “you are dead wrong. that perfect little bubble world does not exist in real business.”

    Speaking as summon who worked in corporate business management and owned my own successful companys, I would question your qualifications if you think that.

    You are simply trying to be right, whether it fits into reality or not.

    When contracts are signed, it is assumed they will be honored. Unless, of course, you are Donald Trump.

  44. Patrick in VA Says:

    @tmaxcon – you make an interesting point. It would make sense for Denver to go after a setup like we have here where Wade Philips is essentially the HC of the defense and Shanehan would be hands off and focused solely on the offense. It would make sense.

  45. LakeLandBuc Says:

    People keep saying how much the Bucs defense improved under Mike Smith. Actually the defense gave up more total yards than last season. What improve was the PTS/G. Last season we gave up 26.1 compared to the 23.1. A three point difference, that’s not a significant improvement. We improved from 6-10 to 9-7 but that credit goes to Dirk Koetter, not Mike Smith.

  46. Patrick in VA Says:

    @LakeLandBuc – I think the improvement being references is what happened from the Chicago game on. The numbers alone are what makes it look like it’s a lot closer than it really is. After that game is where the turn around happened. I haven’t looked back at the yardage or the PPG or anything like that, but I know that it is considerably better than what we had last year. And, if nothing else, the fact that opposing teams are no longer able to carve us to pieces simply by running a slant route is a huge improvement.

  47. Dreambig Says:

    Its a interesting debate and I don’t think either one of you are wrong. It depends on what the expectations were by all parties going in. I also live in the corporate world and in general, at least in my industry, people are not looked down on for taking advantage of growth opportunities. I think that is normally the case with quality organizations. Companies that want to hold you back for their own benefit deserve no loyalty. Its admirable if Smith wants to stay to finish what he started but at the end of the day that is his call. He is far closer to his situation than any of us.

  48. tmaxcon Says:


    I did not realize you are one of those types… Well it’s been real snowflake now go back to your safe space and cuddle with your teddy bear… It’s no wonder you defend such a soft player in mccoy.

  49. Rrsrq Says:

    Jags got the potential for a nice defense, but offensively, lot to hang on their QB Bortles, is he really the guy.

  50. StAugBuc Says:

    SB with Jameis Says:
    January 2nd, 2017 at 9:38 am

    CONGRATS TO ST. AUGUSTINE BUC for winning the JoeBucsFan.com Pickem!!!!!!!!! WELL Done sir!
    Also congrats to Unbelievable, Tmax, Bucwylde and the others that beat me. NEXT YEAR BROTHERS!!!!!!!!!!
    Thank you,sir

  51. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Patrick. I was on board with this defense, until the Cowboys game. A rookie QB( Dak Prescott) was 32-36 with no turnovers against this defense. Another rookie (RB Ezekiel Elliott) carved this defense for 159 Rushing yards. And it was no better against the Saints, that what GMs will be looking at during their interviews. The game against the Cowboys was the 2nd highest rated game of the year in the NFL. And we stunk the field, it was disgraceful.

  52. Ed Says:

    The Falcons and Raiders tore up Smith’s defense as did the Cardinals.

    From what I saw there was a lot of bad tackling on this team.

    The saving grace of the Mike Smith defense was the turnovers the secondary produced in the back half of the season.

    Grimes, Hargreaves and Tandy played lights out. Will Ghouldson was the most improved defensive lineman on the team but in the 2 most important games of the season, Cowboys and Saints, they defensive line didn’t lay a hand on Prescott or Brees.

    I wasn’t impressed with how our linebackers held up against good runners. David and Alexander were fair and seThey had some bad moment

  53. Patrick in VA Says:

    @LakeLandBuc – I get what you’re saying, but I think that’s looking at it through a bit too narrow a lens. Yes, Dak and Zeke are rookies. Those guys are also complimented by a HOF tight end, a super star receiver, and the best offensive line in football. It wasn’t just those two guys out there. Everyone has struggled with that offense. Not just the Bucs. Similarly, you can’t really begrudge Smith for struggling to contain the Saints offense. Brees has had more 5,000 yard seasons than all other QBs in the NFL combined. Those stats weren’t just racked up against the Bucs. He picks everyone apart. I don’t think that’s an indictment on Smith as a coach or his system. Especially in the first year. If we get another year with him, I think he’ll do much better.

  54. tmaxcon Says:


    I may be wrong but I sincerely doubt Glazers, Licht, Koetter and Smith all knew that his chances of being one and done were very high especially with any kind of success. I believe they have had a plan in place all a long for this. They would be foolish have not to.

    I own two small businesses an IT / App business and a screen printing company. In the last two years I have lost 2 people to offers I just could not match. One to power house Rackspace the other to USAA insurance. Not only did I support their decisions I let them buy me a beer with their first fat new paycheck. Holding people back will poison a work environment faster than anything. Striving to get better each and every day is key to success. All that warm and fuzzy stuff is great for tv but it’s just fluff…

  55. Ed Says:

    Not to forget how well #57 became a great edge rusher, maybe the next 10 digit slacker. By the way LVD was fabulous as a blitzed yesterday, where was that during the Saints and Cowboys. Smith didn’t blitz enough during the season.
    I wouldn’t expect him to be a great head coach but certainly for a good team he can move them to a higher level but he’s not going to turn around a 3-13 or 5-11 team as fast an offensive coach could.

  56. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    And we stunk the field, it was disgraceful.

    Wow you guys are some tough judges. The Cowboys are one of the top two teams in the league this year.

    So let me see if I get this straight. If we go into the winningest team in the league’s house and head into the 4th quarter with the lead before giving up 3 FG’s…that means we stunk the field? It’s disgraceful.

    No losing to the Tennessee Titan last year on opening day in a rout was disgraceful. Our offense simply could not hold up against the Cowboys and that resulted in too much pressure for our D to handle.

    The reality is…all things considered…OL..Running back..the Cowboys are somewhat better than us. We played them decently.

  57. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Against the Saints, everyone and their mother knew the Saints were going to run out the clock against us. And we still couldn’t stop them from running the ball with 9 players in the box.

  58. salish_seamonster Says:

    Correction: The odds of Smith leaving improved. The odds of him staying worsened.

  59. JameisDungy Says:

    Obviously we should fire Dirk to keep Mike Smith, right? Right?

  60. Trubucfan22 Says:

    If i were the jags, i’d look for the best offensive minded head coach. Not sure what it is but every time the bucs have gotten an offensive minded head coach good things have happened. Defensive dungy could only get the team so far. Gruden took us to the promise land. Raheem, suck. Schiano, suck. Lovie, suck. And back around to Koetter, who i believe is leading this team in the right direction again.

    Jags have gone with defensive coaches for a long while. With bad results. It’s probably time to switch it up..

  61. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Ed, you do realize what mike amith did in Atlanta right? He turned a complete mess of a franchise into a playoff team over night. I really have no doubt that smith could do it again in the right situation. Maybe not as fast of a turn around as he had in ATL, but certainly in a couple of years. He is a heck of a head coach.