After giving up at least 30 points in four of their five games, head coach Dirk Koetter has decided to let go defensive coordinator Mike Smith.
A number of prominent names in breaking NFL news were all over the news.
Smith signed a two-year extension with the organization during the 2017 offseason after garnering some interest from other teams, including some head coaching openings.
This season, production has dipped considerably on the defensive side of the ball, while the offense seems to have things rolling pretty well under the new direction of Todd Monken calling the shots. Under Smith, the Bucs defense ranks 31st in total yards allowed, dead last in points per game at nearly 35 points per game, and last in passing yards per game.
The Bucs started off the season 2-0 on the heels of their offense, with wins over the Saints in a 48-40 shootout and a 27-21 decision over the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles but have dropped three straight to the Steelers, Bears, and Falcons.
Smith's dismissal marks the first coordinator movement at the NFL level so far this season.
Prior to joining his former assistant Dirk Koetter's staff calling the defense, Smith was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 2008-2014 where he was voted NFL coach of the year three separate times (2008, 2010, and 2012) by the Sporting News. In Atlanta, he collected the most wins in franchise history. He has been in the NFL since 1999, where he started with the Ravens as a defensive assistant, before climbing to linebackers coach and in 2003 he was named the defensive coordinator of the Jaguars, where he stayed until 2007.
In 2008 he took over as the head coach of the Falcons where he went 66-46 with four playoff appearances, highlighted by 13-3 seasons in 2010 and 2012. In 2013 the team's record dipped to 4-12, and in 2014 they finished 6-10 before the organization decided to head in a different direction.
Linebackers coach Mark Dufner will step into the role moving forward, per local media.
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