Mike Smith Says He’s Finished Coaching

January 15th, 2019

Mike Smith surfaces

The one-liners are too easy here, so Joe will resist.

Just two years ago, everyone from Derrick Brooks to Dirk Koetter and legions of Bucs fans were calling the restructuring of Mike Smith’s contract the best offseason move the team made. At the time, Team Glazer opened the vault to lock Smith into his defensive coordinator role — he agreed not to seek a head coaching gig — after the Bucs owned the very best third-down defense in the NFL in 2016.

“Smitty,” as he’s known, got the cash — and then it all fell apart.

In early August of 2018, Joe got a text from a trusted source whose tentacles run very deep at One Buc Palace. The text said that Mike Smith had mailed it in, meaning players could see a coach who was checked out and delegating way too much to a second-rate team of assistants. He had lost his fastball.

It was a sad and scary August text, the kind that cost Joe a night of sleep. Joe did some digging but it was the kind of truth that would have to play out on the field. And it did. Smith was fired in a hurry and he had earned it.

Today, Smith surfaced for the first time publicly, Joe believes, after being launched from the Bucs.

He was a SiriusXM NFL Radio guest primarily promoting a line of shoulder pads. Co-host Alex Marvez asked Smith to reflect on his time with the Bucs and to talk about what’s in his future plans.

Smith completely avoided talking about the Bucs, just saying, “Well, Alex, I’ve been very blessed to have the opportunity to coach in the National Football League. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

Smith said it’s time for him and his family to “look at some new adventures” outside football. “I’ve been in this league and coached a long time and I think it’s time to go do something different,” he concluded.

So that’s it for the 2008 AP NFL Coach of the Year, who had a 66-46 record guiding the Falcons from 2008 through 2014.

Mike, you couldn’t say one nice word about a Bucs player, coach or ownership or fans?

Smith closed the interview by inviting Marvez to join him in Atlanta (presumably at the Super Bowl) or on his boat docked in the Tampa area. No word on whether it’s named the SS Team Glazer Loot.

44 Responses to “Mike Smith Says He’s Finished Coaching”

  1. AlteredEgo Says:

    Tough…sad…I hold no resentment …at the end he tried to make it work while seeing it, the game and modern players , slip away…it is easy to say he should have resigned or similar other suggestions…don’t judge his lifetime of coaching my the last days…I don’t know him but would guess he is a good man and a good football coach….I wish him well in his retirement…my posts are always in delay/cooler so in advance….SHAME on the ankle biters that pile sheeeet on the man’s legacy

  2. DooshLaRue Says:

    …..and the Joes used to call him a class-act.

  3. AlteredEgo Says:

    One must realize as DC under Licht…..the D was sucking hind teat when it came to the draft and he was given washed up left over FA’s to work with most never helped or many never saw the field

  4. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Wonder how many Bucs have just mailed it in the past couple of years. The fact that this was either condoned or ignored is the biggest indictment of Koetter.


    Have you ever heard any gossip or conjecture about how this affects the Glazers? It was their money going down the rathole.

  5. tmaxcon Says:

    No player or coach can survive cancer93 or this minor league franchise under glazers watch. Tampa is the undisputed black hole of the NFL. Tampa is were careers come to die. Can B.A. overcome the glazers incompetence and cancer93 only time will tell. Its tough being a fan of such a Mickey mouse franchise

  6. Knucknbuc Says:

    Lol what a bum. Dude sucks. At least lovie was a man about it Mike smith knowingly stole salary and lost people jobs and livelihoods on the line. What a scumbag this guy is. Still think hes a class act joe? This is worse then what DeSean did. Wheres that same venom for Mike “scumbag” smith?

  7. Bucbeard Says:

    Man that’s so frustrating. I hope Bucco Bruce brings some much needed discipline to this team.

  8. Joe Says:

    Have you ever heard any gossip or conjecture about how this affects the Glazers? It was their money going down the rathole.

    Yeah, that’s how it affected Team Glazer — in the wallet and not just loot flushed with Smith’s salary.

  9. Lordcornelius Says:


    That’s just sad. This was before the f*cking season even started… even realist couldn’t try to spin that

  10. The Buc Realist Says:

    Its funny, Around that same time word on the street was that the defensive coordinator was forced to run a scheme that he did not want to run because a certain former leader of the defense did not want to play in and complained to the higher ups!!!!!!!!!! Makes you wonder what happen after the text??? did anyone follow up, or just shrugged shoulders and went back to bed????????
    after trying to build around a certain defensive lineman, its funny how non-committal everyone is on said player!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    and that was a huge confirmation of who the source was!!!!!!!!!! To see the truth, some just need to look!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Old Sombrero Kid Says:

    Buccaneer fans knew he retired two years ago

  12. tmaxcon Says:

    st pete

    when you have a soft franchise ran by owners who simply refuse to put a nfl quality product on the field these are the types of stories that come out.

    I guess the only thing that confuses me is why so many of you are acting surprised every coach and player has been mailing it in on the glazers for nearly 2 decades. this franchise is 100% void of leadership from top to bottom and now we have to hope an old guy can fix it. it’s but life. as much as i like Arians and I do like Arians overcoming cancer93 and the Glazers has taken out many younger stronger men.

  13. tmaxcon Says:


    cancer93 has destroyed and ran off every coach he has played for in Tampa why would any of you think Mike Smith would be any different. the true locker room cancer is 93 not djax…

  14. BringBucsBack Says:

    Most of us knew he was done coaching years ago!

    I remember an “x-spert” saying about Smith’s first year here, “the Bucs are going to get two years worth of coaching out of him in one year”. Oh yeah!!

    The Glazers caught-wind of this in August and didn’t can him until October? Shame on them and Koetter.

  15. 813bucboi Says:

    he mailed it in after the dallas game in 2016!!!!!!!…..

    this shows smittys real character….at least his character his time with the bucs…..he wasnt for the players…he wasnt even for his buddy dirk…..he’s about himself……he was never about winning, it was all about cashing out….

    the sad part is dirk obviously knew about it and choose to do nothing until some stepped in and told him to can his buddy…..

    the embarrassing part about it is that players had to witness this level of insubordination….

    this goes to show tj ward, baker, gimes djax aint all bad people….they were just following the lead of smitty…..


  16. 813bucboi Says:


    stop making excuses!!!!!!!!

    smitty displayed no type of dignity or integrity!!!!!!!….

    name your source(s)!!!!!!!…..your “word on the street” is all BS!!!!!!!


  17. Jason Says:

    His insistence on playing that “bend but don’t break” defense just didn’t cut it in today’s offense-dominated league. Sure, it’s useful on certain downs and situations, but not 95% of the time. I’m not sure why he had such an aversion to playing press coverage (other than our DB’s pretty much sucked), but QB’s like Brees, et al would slice up large chunks of yardage just running 10-12 yd slant routes. If the other team scores a TD, doesn’t matter whether it is by a 75 yd bomb, or 10 yds at a time. It still counts 6 points.

  18. Marine Buc Says:

    I blame Dirk Koetter. He should of fired his ass last year. Instead he kept his pal and the Bucs defense was the worst in the NFL.

  19. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Who said that? The media? Because I was never enamored by any of Smith’s defenses …ever.

  20. Loyaltotheend Says:

    That 5 game win streak was a mirage that made fans media and the owners believe Mike Smith was a good coach

    This fan was never convinced

    Good riddance to an awful coach who never should have been hired

  21. TexBuc Says:

    I cannot blame him if somebody offered me that kind of money I would take it too to supplement my retirement.

  22. whatthebuc73 Says:

    I think the blame falls more on Licht who decided that we didn’t need to draft any players to replace the useless Grimes and fodder in the secondary. I think he should have tried more to make what he had work, but I can see where he could have felt crapped on with the worthless FA’s he got. Jason must have been under the Glazer’s desks to keep his job. He should be gone too.

  23. Joe Says:

    I think the blame falls more on Licht who decided that we didn’t need to draft any players to replace the useless Grimes and fodder in the secondary.

    The Bucs have spent a first and two second round picks on corners the past three years. If you pick a guy in the second round or higher to be a part-time player, then you need to stop picking corners and go buy a ready-made player.

  24. OldBucFan Says:

    Like his firing was “OUR” fault. He mailed it in last year and should have been shot out of the pirate ship cannon then.


  25. Aceofaerospace Says:

    Dirk “Diggler my on grave” Koetter was the only person on the planet that couldn’t tell Smitty retired 2 years ago.

  26. louis Says:

    T Max, do all of us a favor and find a new team to troll, your constant bickering has more than grown old. Your tirades have detracted from the true Buc Fan experience of this site.

  27. Buc believer Says:

    Of course he mailed in…. after his checks cashed the greedy old SOB!!

  28. Brandon Says:

    Hated the dude in Atlanta when he came in as a defensive guru and could never field a quality defense. Hated him ever more when we had the fluke stretch in 2016 and was worried we would retain him and we did. Hate him ever more now. I do not like the Grinch. Overrated, overhyped, has been, glad he’s gone, wish he was never hired. Terrible coach.

  29. BucfaninMi Says:

    Nobody else from Atl. They’ve carved up this franchise on and off the field. They stole Warrick Dunn from TB. Closed the door on any type of future with the Bucs. Matt Bryant and McKay.

  30. JimmyJack Says:

    Mike Smith will be remembered. He did things here that have never been matched in the history of the NFL.

  31. tmaxcon Says:


    until bucs earn it on the filed, not in headlines and or on paper reality is truly a beotch.

    your optimism is cute but i have 16 years of failed history to support my anger.

  32. pelbuc Says:

    Retired 3 yrs too late. Goes to show the “good ole boy” coaching network he and Koetter had. Fleeced the Glazers of a lot of $$$ for mailing it in. His reputation is tarnished.

  33. AlteredEgo Says:

    BucfaninMi Says:
    January 15th, 2019 at 12:27 pm
    Nobody else from Atl. They’ve carved up this franchise on and off the field. They stole Warrick Dunn from TB.
    [Not cool. — Joe] didn’t steal #28….Bucs didn’t want to pay market price to keep him…it was a calculated cap decision

  34. Old School Athlete Says:

    @ jimmyjack Yes, like the worst defense ever put on a field and zero development of talent.

  35. Deborah Hall Says:

    Whatthebuc73, get a life, my son is no longer there. If you don’t have anything nice to say, it’s best to be quiet.

  36. The Buc Realist Says:

    @Jimmy Jack
    @old school athlete

    what does that say about lovie who’s full tenure was almost a full point higher in points allowed then coach smitty’s??????

    loser lovie 32 games 25.84 points allowed
    Coach smitty 37 games 24.97 points allowed

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. Dlavid Says:

    The more this team is exposed the easier it is to see why we were treated to such a sh*t show the last couple of years . Players running over the coach , players loafing , players refusing assignments , coaches handing it in …. just one big quagmire ! And Jason Licht is asked back ?!!! Man , I hope B A is a bad*ss and can do as advertised !

  38. westernbuc Says:

    So why wait until mid-January to drop that? If he was mailing it in the fans are entitled to that information before they invest in a season of Bucs football

  39. The Buc Realist Says:


    That is what happens when owners hang out coaches in a lame duck ” win or your fired” type year!!!!!! If it does not go perfect then the players will always walk over any coach!!!!!!!!!

    Buying in also counts for the owners with the coaches!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. D-Rome Says:

    In early August of 2018, Joe got a text from a trusted source whose tentacles run very deep at One Buc Palace. The text said that Mike Smith had mailed it in, meaning players could see a coach who was checked out and delegating way too much to a second-rate team of assistants. He had lost his fastball.

    I don’t recall if you ever wrote a story about this. Regardless, I hope to never hear again what a “good guy” Mike Smith is.

  41. firethecannons Says:

    Koetter deserved to be fired as he kept Smitty on as DC long after he mailed it in. Somehow I can’t picture Todd Bowles mailing it in.

  42. Curse of Gruden Says:

    He should have been fired after 2017. Dirk is also to blame.

  43. Rod Munch Says:

    Said it all along but the Bucs had coaches to win, they were just in the wrong place. Mike Smith was a proven winner in Atlanta and very well respected – but he was an awful defensive coordinator. Meanwhile Dirk was a proven offensive coordinator and an awful head coach. FIX THE PROBLEM. Said it for literally over 2 years, but you have the coaches to win, they’re just not doing what they should be doing. Mike Smith stunk as a DC, and Dirk was clearly overwhelmed as a HC and didn’t have the mindset to do the job. So fix the problem, make Mike Smith the HC, and demote Dirk to OC. I didn’t care how they did the titles to make everyone feel good about it, maybe they could have had dual headcoaches even, but in reality Dirk should have been nothing more than an OC – which is the literally what I said when people were celebrating the public execution of Lovie Smith. You don’t take a successful OC, who is the age of Dirk, and then say well not only are you the OC, you’re not the HC, in particular when you heard Dirk talk and could see he was a goof who couldn’t command a room. It was dumb. For Mike Smith he should have been managing the team and had zero to do with defensive or offensive play calling.

  44. Mike Johnson Says:

    I knew at the begiining of this last season, we were in trouble. I betcha even old Smitty thought, Damn..They lettin me stay on another year? Honey book that vacation to the mediterranian!! And then to add insult to our losing, he refused to come out of that comfortable seat in the air conditioned pressbox to be with his troops on the sidelines. He did a Classic..Sweeney..Got his money for nothin and his drinks for free!!! Thats why I neamed him..PressBox Smitty. He earned that title. And us fans suffered. Koetter was afraid to..step to him also.