How Safe Is Mike Smith?

October 22nd, 2017

Be careful!

Joe cannot believe he is typing the following.

First, let Joe be perfectly clear here: In no way, in no manner, in no possible tense is Joe suggesting Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith should have his contract terminated.

Having typed the previous paragraph, Team Glazer has unloaded coaches for less.

Joe is a fan of Smith, one of the really good guys in the NFL. He is true class. He is professional. Joe cannot say the same for some Bucs coaches past. Smith is the kind of guy you pray is your neighbor.

But Team Glazer is not paying Smith (handsomely) to be a neighbor. Smith is being paid for results. And right now the only results Smith’s defense is providing is wins to the opponent. And Bucs losses.

It was horrible enough the Bucs defense got seal-clubbed in Minnesota. It was an outright disgrace for the Bucs to get boat-raced like they did by the Cardinals last week (who, by the way, were shut out today by the Rams with 70-year old defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.)

But to give up a three-play — THREE PLAY! — 75-yard drive late in the game to wipe out a touchdown lead is unacceptable, inexcusable and frankly, a fireable offense.

It’s one thing to do that in a game. It happens. But on the heels of two gutless road performances by his defense, that shameful 75-yard drive, Joe fears, likely is going to get someone fired.

Joe isn’t saying someone should be fired. But someone possibly will. Whether that is winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter (unlikely) or Smith (possible) or God forbid someone else in the organization, or perhaps Smith’s assistants, Joe fears someone’s head is going to roll for this, barring the Bucs making a complete and total turnaround and surging into a playoff hunt.

Thinking of a playoff berth now is about as useless as the ticket Joe has of dropping $20 and taking the Bucs over-8 wins this summer at the posh Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Perhaps Smith may just turn the Bucs defense around like he did last year. Problem is, it might be too late both for the Bucs and, perhaps, himself.

You don’t think Team Glazer is having buyer’s remorse right about now for re-working Smith’s contract last winter?

71 Responses to “How Safe Is Mike Smith?”

  1. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Him and all the defense staff need to be canned.

  2. Roy T. Buford Says:

    I think the dialog turns to how safe are Jacon and Dirk? Yeah, dumb to think about right now, but my point is if they don’t go on a tear here, it may be lights out. Jameis may be what saves Dirk. Smith won’t go anywhere unless Dirk goes; let’s not be silly. I wonder how long we are from Dirk losing the locker room. Yoiu have strong heads like Evans and DJax and Ayers on this team. No one should be talking, but I sense the finger parting coming soon. Like on a flight that leaves BUF in 15 minutes headed for Tampa.

  3. tmaxcon Says:

    HOw many coaches does the Face of the Basement years need to go through before the players take personal responsibility for lack of effort, heart and desire to win… it’s not the coaches that are the problem in tampa it’s the choirboy curse brought on by dominick and led by cancer93

  4. Roy T. Buford Says:

    ^^pointing not parting

  5. tmaxcon Says:

    gmc has a good first step but never finishes anything strong…

  6. Rayjay1122 Says:

    They say Winston is the first to get to work every morning. Maybe Koetter and Smith need to be the first at work because they are doing a lousy job and that is being nice.

  7. Joe west Says:

    Starts with Jason !!! Dirk has always been a decent OC … not a head coach … 2-14 this year

  8. Patrick Says:

    Fire Mike Smith. Then we’ll hire someone else, who’ll eventually be fired too! The problem runs much deeper than the coach, wouldn’t you think by now?!?

  9. Lamarcus Says:

    Smith couldn’t get a HC job was the alarm that no one ever heard?

  10. BushidoEvans Says:

    He may be good at schemes or whatever, but all his defenses seem to share the same downfall. They are mentally weak. How often as a Bucs fan did you think “they are soft as hell” when you thought about his Falcons teams while he was there? I did everytime we played them. Now look at the Falcons their D they are known as nasty, the feeling is different. I don’t know if there is any way to fix that with him. They just don’t have an edge to them. That 3 play drive was vintage Bucs football, thought we were done with that. Just gotta wait and see if they can turn it around. They did last year, let’s hope they can again.

  11. Joeypoppems Says:

    Hot Take (maybe):

    Noah Spence is a bust as a 4-3 DE. Much better served as a 3-4 edge rusher

  12. Season Is Over Says:

    Mike Smith can’t even get the most out of his players. By simple chance you would think McCoy would have backed into a tackle or something. It was like Smith was game-planning him out of the game.

  13. Jorge Says:

    Why is this idiot running our defense. Enough is enough. No on ever up the middle.. up the gut. Defense is soft and weak physically. Took snapshots from my TV. Getting run over consistently. Look at the tape. Embarasing

  14. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    It really sucks that we’re 6 games in and I already gotta start looking at 2018 free agents and draft prospects.

  15. Season Is Over Says:

    And I forgot Noah Spence was even on the team. He must be entirely useless.

  16. DallasBuc Says:

    Tell me more about how you would run a competent defense with our pass rush? This is on the moron suit that takes all the credit and shifts all the blame. Fans are buying this farce like true American idiots.

  17. Mike Johnson Says:

    Luv the Pic there Joe. Couple yes ago about 10 of you (I remeber your names), annoited Koetter and Smith as the 2nd coming of the bible man. IF..we go to 2-5 after Carolina, those same people will be calling for Koetters head! Main, its hard being a Bucs fan. I said we could not stop Tyrod Taylor’s running last week. I was correcto Mundo!

  18. jb Says:

    There’s little I would keep of this team. If Smith is fired, ya might as well send Koetter packing too.

  19. Gencoimports Says:

    I blame Light more than Smith. Smith didn’t draft a kicker in the second round.

  20. Hodad Says:

    I hope Joe stops calling Koetter, “winning coach Koetter”, until he actually starts winning.

  21. Joe Says:

    Tell me more about how you would run a competent defense with our pass rush?

    Since the strength of your team is linebackers how about a 34 defense, given that Noah Spence became a feared (college) pass rusher playing linebacker in a 34 front, and blitzing Lavonte David?

    Just a hunch to start out with.

  22. Lamarcus Says:


    That first step PROVES ineffective. The real McCoy came to play today and it wasn’t ours. He had lots of success running up gmc ally

  23. Blake_Bucsfan Says:


    Not signing Calais Campbell is proving to be another free agency blunder by Licht.

    But hey at least Koetter is beginning to take advantage of O.J. Howard…

  24. jb Says:

    I heard Noah Spence was gonna be a 15 sack DE. What kind of drugs are they ingesting at One Buc to expect us to believe that kind of garbage.

  25. Warrenfb12 Says:

    He has to start sending the blitz. Tyrod killed us with way too much time

  26. DB55 Says:

    Remember when Koetter said we didn’t have 15mil to sign Calais Campbell but the Bucs currently have 18mil is salary cap space? Lmao. You guys are funny!

  27. Rod Munch Says:

    Mike Smith mostly just plays a soft zone – not sure why you couldn’t get anyone off the street to do that. Anywho if you remember back to his Atlanta days his defenses were always soft and rarely did anything. Last season the Bucs played a strech of games against teams with bad offensive lines or bad QBs and then people celebrated like the defense was suddenly not what it was – awful. When they had to make plays down the strech they couldn’t – against Dallas, against New Orleans, they did nothing. The Bucs have star players on defense all over the place, they have excellent LBs and McCoy and Grimes… and then… nothing. Absolute garbage. Perhaps TJ Ward is playing OK but who knows, everytime I look up he’s not in the game and it’s Chris Conte missing a tackle. At corner VH3 has taken a huge step back… I think – but it’s hard to know since he plays 15 yards off the line of scrimmage on every play. Is that him doing that against the coach’s orders – or is that Mike Smith? I just don’t get why or how the corners on this team play the way they do – it just doesn’t make sense when you watch the game. Then even when they do play soft they gave up huge plays, so what’s the point? There is no one on the defensive line outside of McCoy and QBs have all day and Mike Smith doesn’t mix it up – he’s like the Dirk of the defense, super predictable, gets in a rut and calls the same plays over and over.

    I have a solution however that I think fixes a lot of things.

    Demote Dirk to OC, make Mike Smith the HC and promote someone within the defense to be the DC. Dirk is clearly overloaded as HC and is not HC material – not if he’s running the offense. So put him back into the position where he can actually help the team instead of hurt it. Then move Mike Smith out of the DC role where he’s overmatched on a play-to-play basis and make him HC, something he did well as a manager of the team. Who takes over as DC? I have no idea, but can they really call a worse game than Smith has been doing?

  28. Lamarcus Says:

    Djx and baker money was waisted. Other hand Campbell would of became a loser next gmc like the rest of them

  29. Billy buc Says:

    This is truly heartbreaking!! I feel like I’ve been cut with a knife then stung in the balls by a wasp just before falling in front of the train!!!!! I cant imagine what the players and coaches are feeling?!!!

  30. Cometowin2 Says:

    Just opened up a Go Fund Me campaign. Search on “purchase fire Mike Smith billboard.

  31. ndog Says:

    Why is there never an article about how useless McCoy was after yet another game of zero impact? Jameis gets blamed, Dirk gets blamed, M. Smith gets blamed, Hargraves gets blamed, but good old McCoy almost weekly does nothing yet he gets a pass. BTW Grimes got worked over today for most of the game and Hargraves played very well. I have to be consistent with my judgements. Jamies had 3 poor throws the entire day the rest of the game is was flat awesome so anyone blaming him today is just clueless.

  32. Rrsrq Says:

    Campbell is from the U and from an aggressive defense at Arizona, to late now, it he is a difference maker

  33. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    “Demote Dirk to OC”

    @Rod I cant think of a time ever in NFL history where a head coach was fired and retained by the team as a coordinator.

    But, reality is beginning to show that Dirk is more likely than not a Norv Turner/ Wade Phillips type coach. Great as an OC but a below average HC.

    And DB55, yes. Campbell was my top priority target in FA. And it looks like not going after him was the biggest mistake of the offseason, next to not drafting Kareem Hunt.

  34. D-Rome Says:

    There’s no room for personal feelings about a man in a bottom line business. I don’t care if Mike Smith saved a baby from a burning home the day before, he’s not getting the job done.

    “You Win In The Locker Room”

    He loses in the locker room too.

  35. I'm tired and 87 is right Says:

    Jason listens to much to the cardinals GM on Calais. Lesson learned. Yes Smith will be fired because he has not been able to adapt or change our defense when the 4/3 just doesn’t work. He will be fired because he can’t get these guys to show up. You win championships with defense so it’s time to go find a mean coach defensive coach. This team is a joke!

  36. Brad Isherwood Says:


    Fitzpatrick would have scored 14 vs JW 6 in First half.
    Ya…the defence is suspect, ….yet we would have won with 8 points!!
    There’s a reason Atlanta dumped hitherto Koetter and Smith,
    They can’t, can’t, can’t make real time game adjustments!

    Glazers and the GM knew the Bucs needed Def Rush ends…..months ago!
    The team was sift pre season, softnpracyice, inconsistent. ..
    And now the seasons over,…….except an act of God.

    Glazer…..I hope your car computer says your chump……or chum bucket.

  37. Joe Says:

    Djx and baker money was waisted.

    Wouldn’t go that far. Mike Evans has talked about how he’s seeing softer coverage because of DJax.

  38. g720 Says:

    We bring in a super bowl winning safety and we don’t even start him and rotate him for that crap playing defense today.. What does that say about Smith and his defensive calling. He doesn’t even know to call for blitzes when your front 4 can’t put pressure on the QB. Absolute moron calling our defensive schemes!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. tmaxcon Says:


    you know the answer to question. he get’s a free pass because he has the same nice guy awe shucks reputation that lazy loved got by on for his entire career. perception is not reality which renders it impossible to question 93 play under any circumstances.

  40. tmaxcon Says:


    it’s hard to win with a defensive locker full of mentally weak soft arse excuse making players led by the ultimate POS the smiling ice cream man.

  41. Brad Isherwood Says:

    The team was soft preseason,soft in practice,inconsistent.

    Physically weak, …..mentally weak.

  42. EA Says:

    Smith and Koetter are like conjoined twins, you can’t fire one without the other. It may not be the coaches fault, it may be the players not responding but the coach is the one who takes the responsibility.
    This defense played very soft at time today, on one McCoy run 4 tackles were missed.
    4-12 will not be acceptable, ownership is going to have to make a change to keep this fanbase excited for the upcoming season. We have seen too much inconsistency and lack of heart from this team, start weeding out players too if you have to.
    Bring in one of the Harbaugh brothers, Wade Philips has been a very solid DC, I know it didn’t work out in Dallas but give him another chance, until then….
    Go Lightning.

  43. Mark Fischer Says:

    Defensive line and running backs are a joke. Waste of money on Robert Ayers And Chris Baker defense has no Heart and what about Kwan? He was a liability today couldn’t cover and got run over

  44. DBS Says:

    Someday people will figure out you can keep bringing in free agents. Also change coaches. And draft. But until you get owners that know how to hire the right people to do all of this and build a winning organization the Bucs will be the Bucs. Sorry but that is just how it is.

  45. tmaxcon Says:


    or maybe they figure out the actual problem and ship the POS ice cream out of the locker room so the new additions both free agents and draft picks can thrive in a locker room with winners who will not accept excuses or have love of losing only surpased by their love of dolls.

  46. Rod Munch Says:

    Blake_Bucsfan – I know it’s never been done, or at least never been done that I can think of, but if you’re trying to do something in season to turn it around, you just do it. Dirk is clearly not HC material, he doesn’t have the team ready to play, he doesn’t call good games, he doesn’t have the temperament, he’s just not a guy who should be a HC in the NFL. Meanwhile you have a proven HC who is in over his head sitting in the booth.

    Make a change in season and see if you can fix the problem immediately. It doesn’t matter if no one has never done it before, be the first to do it. Dirk is a good OC when he’s in the booth and that is all he does. So what if it hurts his pride, teams do it players all the time, that’s the way the world works.

    I think the offense would be hugely improved by just getting Dirk only thinking about the offense. It’s why firing Lovie was such a dumb idea and I said so at the time – it wasn’t that I thought Lovie was great, it was that I thought Dirk, in his role of OC and working with Winston, was getting great results. Then the team makes Dirk the HC and now he’s not working with Winston on every play, he’s not in the booth he’s on the sideline, and he’s not doing what made him valuable.

    Dirk isn’t head coach material, he’s just not. Mike Smith has proven to be that. Just fix the problem.

  47. DallasBuc Says:

    The “average Joe” says play 34 and that’s where you start! Aaaaannd Donovan Smith is a good football player aaannnd Doug Martin is not a good football player aaaannnd Jason Licht is terrific aaaaannnnd we have great cornerback depth aaaaannnnd…what did I leave out?

  48. Steven007 Says:

    Hey Joe, news flash. He is officially no longer winning coach Dirk Koetter. He is now exactly average coach Dirk Koetter. Can we lose the ridiculous moniker until he regains winning coach status? Thanks.

  49. Nprbuc Says:

    Safe? That is exactly what the Bucs defense plays like. A bunch of 3000 lb. safes! They try very hard not to move 3 steps left or right. God forbid they may get in the way of the guy carrying the ball. Has anyone told them they are supposed to fill the running gaps or maybe get in the pocket of a receiver and stay there? They look like they are trying to avoid cont@ct half the time. They are professional FB players! Being paid for putting this crap on tape. I am beyond disgusted. I would promote the entire practice squad. If we get trounced, so what. At least we would be treated to seeing a bunch of guys actually doing their very best on every play. Guys who WANT to play football, not just cash a check. Smith needs to go just for the fact that he can’t motivate his defense to do anything other than crap the bed.

  50. NFLNut Says:



    1. Jameis is a future first ballot HOF’er, period. The guy is now on pace for 4,807 yards passing, 30 TD’s and 12 picks … and the kid played an amazing game today with a shoulder injury …

    2. The defense, the entire defense, SUCKS

    3. We need to switch to a 3-4 next year … Gholston/GMC/Baker – David/Kwon/Beckwith/Spence – that should give us much more team speed and a much better ability to get to the QB

    4. VH had a nice bounce back game and played pretty well but we need to draft and/or sign at least TWO new CBs as Grimes is old & Hargreaves is still unproven and there is no real depth behind them

    5. OJ Howard is a legit WEAPON … I hope Koetter keeps using him!

    6. If we lose at home to Carolina next week, we will not make the playoffs, period.

    7. Take the long-term view on this team for as long as JW/Mike/Brate/OJ stay together this team will have a chance to win rings *IF* Tampa can field even an “average” defense!


  51. Warren Sapp Says:

    Its a contract year for Jason.L, if not signed to a new contract the owners might blow this team up again.

  52. 813bucboi Says:

    VHG played great today!!!his best game as a buc by far…it’s Smitty’s passive defense… the weakest today was McClain and the dline!!!…play GMC at DE in a 34 or trade him… he’s being wasted here!!!…GO BUCS!!!

  53. Eric Says:

    Defense is a thing of the past in the NFL. Everyone is afraid of personal foul penalties or targeting.

    We carved up the Bills defense pretty good today too.

    Its glorified arena league. So open the damn thing up Dirk. Assume we have to score 35 to win.

  54. 813bucboi Says:

    Don’t Hide!!!!


    Come talk about how the sheep are in panic mode and you told us it will take time!!!! Dirk and Smitty are the coaches that will get this team to the playoffs!!!!!…GO BUCS!!!!

  55. Rayjay1122 Says:

    You forgot to add Hawaiian to your list 813.

  56. LakeLand Says:

    I guarantee you, there will be mass firing at season end. Black Monday will hit the Bucs hard.

  57. Silent_Partner Says:

    Problem is the talent more than Smith, and that falls directly on Licht. On defense, he hasn’t hit any home runs, and you needed that to change what it is. Also, Dirk isn’t a good head coach overall. He’s kind of underwhelming. Makes you wonder why the Bucs were so bent on giving him the job when McDermott came in to interview and has that Bill team playing night and day different from when Ryan was there. Coming into today, they had the league’s best scoring defense.

  58. Cometowin2 Says:

    This organization is in total disarray. Normally on an away game when listening to the press conferences you can’t hear the reporters on an Android phn. Great fun listening to only one side of the conversation. Today the press conferences play for a few seconds and then freeze up. Wanted to hear Dirk’s excuses for the worst Buc defense since Leeman Bennett. That’s saying something

    This organization is totally fooked. Reminds me of 83 – 96. Dark times a coming…

  59. DallasBuc Says:

    Funny how Dallas is run out of town every off season for too much negativity and calling out the institutional programming but once again, season after season mean ol Dallas is right. Not sure what you are protecting by excluding me but it isn’t a decision based on facts on the field.

  60. Joe Says:

    institutional programming


  61. DallasBuc Says:

    Delicate sensibilities is ever-present

  62. DallasBuc Says:

    Keep rolling

  63. DallasBuc Says:

    Aaaannnnd the delusion continues:)

  64. DallasBuc Says:

    Oh, JBF is not an institution in Tampa Bay Buccaneers life?
    I’m sorry, maybe it’s me.

  65. Not there yet Says:

    You can’t turn around a defense like ours that can’t rush the passer or cover receivers unless they switch to a 3-4 scheme because they don’t have a single edge rusher in the team. Spence shoulder has limited him and he’s not making pass rush moves anymore. Here’s out there doing what McCoy does, putting his hand on the opposing players pad pretending he’s pushing

  66. RACER Says:


  67. DallasBuc Says:

    How does one?

  68. DallasBuc Says:

    I think Racer is failing to paint a rosier picture. It is decidedly not working well even with the capitalized letters! I can just imagine the two, three shekels bouncing inside Racer’s cranium but I’m sure it feels like more to his mothergirlfriend.

  69. Broy34 Says:

    Racer just go back to where u came from. Never commented before but u wanna come in here in all caps and just tell us the show is over. Did u hear that guys!? Racer just educated us and now we All know the truth. I’m not even saying I disagree. But who the heck r u dude

  70. darin Says:

    Wtf is wrong with this guy. He will figure it out, and it will be too late. Another season of wasted talent. Dirk finally got his head out of his butt yesterday, yet smitty refuses to. Unreal. When its not working u change it mike!! Anything else is called insanity! Another disgusting performance

  71. Joey Btuce Says:

    1- any defensive coordinator knows that if you cannot get pressure on the quarterback you have to engineer some which means blitzing that was ridiculous yesterday 2- our cornerbacks have been terrible for years how about playing up on the line on the receivers and chipping them at the line at least throwing the timing off and disrupting their routes 3- on a brighter side I did see a difference in the play calling yesterday on offense they actually threw on 1st down they actually through some long bombs and this was just a glimpse of what this offense could do when Jameis starts clicking with his new receivers 3- what were they thinking getting Baker he hasn’t even made one tackle all year really dumb