Dodging The Giant(s) Question

December 7th, 2017


It surprised a lot of Bucs fans when Tom Crean Bob Glauber, the well-connected Giants beat guy of Newsday reported earlier this week that Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith was a strong candidate to take over the New York Giants.

The terrible way Smith’s defense has stained his resume has folks in most circles believing those results would Pearl Harbor any chance Smith had of returning to the NFL head coaching ranks.

In 2016, Smith had interviewed with the Giants for the same opening but lost out as a finalist to overmatched Ben McAdoo. Perhaps he blew away Giants owner John Mara in the interview and Joe can see that happening. Smith is very bright and very organized, and likely is a better overseer and organizer than a coordinator. Anyone reading Smith’s book, “You Win In The Locker Room First,” would come away impressed.

(Notice the last two Packers offensive coordinators who were named head coaches in the NFL were colossal bombs? Shows that it pays to work with Aaron Rodgers.)

So yesterday, when Smith, a three-time Sporting News NFL Coach Of The Year, took the lectern at One Buc Palace for his weekly presser, prized columnist eye-RAH! Kaufman came out swinging and directly asked Smith about Glauber’s report.

Smith did a Britney Spears routine and answered the question from eye-RAH! without answering the question. He neither denied nor confirmed Glauber’s news.

“I am a week-to-week kind of guy during the season,” Smith said. “My focus is on what we have to do this week to get better. That’s not long term – that’s short term. My long-term focus and my commitment has been and will continue to be to be the best that we can be, to finish this season out strong and look forward to moving forward into next season. That is how I have to approach this and that is how I do approach it. I am committed to being the best I can be right here.”

Notice no mention there of the Bucs or the Giants?

Look, Smith’s tenure with the Bucs, four games shy of two full seasons, has been sketchy at best. The defense last year, save for five games, ranged from sieve to mediocre. During that five-game stretch late, the defense looked positively dominant, so good it got Smith a reworked deal from Team Glazer.

This season the Bucs have played defense fairly well at home — spectacular against the Belicheats — but on the road Smith’s defense has been nothing short of a nightmare.

Smith sounded like a defeated man when he confessed he can’t figure out why his road defense is brutal.

“I wish I could tell you why we can’t play at the same level when we are at Raymond James Stadium and we take our show on the road,” Smith said. “We have not been able to handle the wear and tear of going on the road. It’s a fact when you look at it. It’s alarming in terms of what type of numbers that we are giving up on the road [compared to] what we are doing at home. It’s probably the biggest discrepancy of any team in the league.”

Smith, at times, almost sounded like a guy bracing for a pink slip in a month — or looking for an escape hatch. Joe felt for the guy.

The Giants job might just be that escape — and a get-out-of-jail-free card for Team Glazer to get off the hook from Smith’s ironclad pact.

Additionally, when asked about his Bucs contract, Smith said he would not comment.

18 Responses to “Dodging The Giant(s) Question”

  1. Roadwarrior Says:

    Look if we don’t something about the talent on defense it doesn’t matter who the coaches are you can only polish a turd so much. It’s still a turd.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Look, Smith’s tenure with the Bucs, four games shy of two full seasons, has been sketchy at best. The defense last year, save for five games, ranged from sieve to mediocre.” So in 11 games last year Bucs’ defense “ranged from sieve to mediocre.” And yet, the Bucs as a T-E-A-M went 9-7 … with a ‘high-powered’ offense that scored an average of 22 points/game. During the 2nd half of last season, Bucs defense gave up an average of 17 points/game (a number of which came as a result of offensive ‘miscues’). They also did a great job in terms of turnovers … 18 in 8 games … which allowed the Bucs offense to put many of their less-than-sterling 174 points in those last 8 games on the board. So instead of allowing Smitty to build on that by fixing the ‘holes’, Bucs’ management gave us Fatty Baker, Stevie T, no new CBs, 1 rookie safety (instead of bring back McDougald), and relied on a couple of oft-injured DEs to come back. But of course we won’t mention any of that, will we Joe.

    Be careful what you wish for. The problem with the Bucs’ defense is far more in personnel (as in ‘talent-deficient’) than it is in coaching. Give Smitty some decent defenders to work with and he & his staff can produce a formidable defense. You and too many Bucs media/fans seem to be very proficient at seeking scapegoats rather than trying to identify fixes to the underlying problems. If you so desperately need a scapegoat, start pointing in Jason Licht’s direction … and to the Glazer brothers.

  3. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    To be honest, he can’t say he would not take it. For all he knows, none of the coaching staff will have jobs after the season. He may indeed be looking for work.

  4. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Defense Rules, you have to admit…Smith is a little on the too friendly side. Monte use to scream his head off at the players. Heck, I remember thinking he would die of a heart attack during practices.

  5. JonBuc Says:

    If by some miracle the Giants want Smith ( I can’t imagine they do ) would more fortuitous than when Doug Martin voided his own contract last season. Of course Licht’s Out still paid full freight…but still…there’s hope.

  6. GoBucYourself Says:

    If the Giants do hire Smitty, it will be because of his resume as a head coach, not as a DC. He took the 2007 Atlanta Dumpsterfire and turned it into the best (by far) five-year stretch in Falcons history.

    And kudos to all the posters above for noting that lack of talent is what has really throttled the Bucs defense. All that ‘Weapons for Winston’ nonsense has served Tampa horribly.

  7. Hodad Says:

    Smith might indeed be a better H.C. then D.C.. When he was Atlanta’s H.C. he wasn’t stupid, enough to wear both hats, like our current genius.

  8. Max Says:

    Joe you gotta use referral links if you link anything from amazon! Why not make a few bucks!

  9. doolnutts Says:

    Roadwarrior Completely agree… Short of our LB core and McCoy I am unimpressed with the rest of the D. The DL needs more juice.

  10. Bird Says:

    Don’t think glazers will put up a fight on him leaving

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Interesting observation Bonzai about Smitty being ‘too friendly’. I’ve worked for many leaders just like him and worked for many others who were ‘screamers’ (as I’m sure you have). Both types can be super-effective, and both types can be real duds. IMO it depends much more on the people you’re leading. Most respond well to being treated like adults (which seems to be Smitty’s predominant approach); others need a swift kick in the butt to get energized. IMO if an athlete at the NFL level needs a swift kick in the butt to get motivated, he’s not the type of player I’d want on my T-E-A-M.
    Guys, Smitty is well known for his screaming and explosions. Joe has written about them. –Joe

  12. Nate Says:

    Ummm pardon me

    but your Sorry Defense beside 8 games was #1 on 3rd down 14th overall and held teams to singe digit points multiple times

    The offense failed to score 21 or more points for 8 games!!!!!! 8 ….half a season

    I get the Defense slacked this year

    But last year on offense the bucs weren’t that good ….just saved by a D keeping teams to low scores

    with an offense who failed to stay on the field numerous times

  13. Nate Says:

    oh and how many turnovers did the D hand you last year…..18 in 8 games

    that must of been when the offense was scoring under 20…and multiple single digit games

  14. Mike Johnson Says:

    The Giants can’t be this dumb..Can they? Taking Smitty though just might secure Koetters job another year no matter what.

  15. Bucn Enough Says:

    Maybe Smith gets hired as HC…guess who his OC could be???
    They stick together in Ny and reverse roles…

    Buc’s get a new coaching staff hired by a NEW GM….

    Perfect plan for the Glazers….

  16. Jameis-Kucherov2020 Says:

    I will personally pay for his flight to New York. I want to see us in a 3-4 next year.

  17. Clw JB Says:

    The whole we don’t have enough talent is BS

    We have pro bowlers at all 3 levels of the D and two perennial All Pro’s in the front 7

    The DC will not let go of his zone D that gets shredded weekly

    They almost never jam or redirect a receiver in their zone d

    They dont utilize the pass rushing LB’s we have enough knowing we are thin at DE

    We tackle like a bunch of third graders- does anyone know how to wrap up anymore?

    I think his D is just way too inconsistent and he doesn’t adjust in game to obvious weaknesses a la the Julio Jones fiasco …

  18. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Yeah Defense, you have to understand that Bonzai tends to just make stuff up. He always makes these authoritative comments as if he has some deep inside knowledge of what is going on over at OneBuc, but rather he just makes sh1t up as he types.