Earlier today, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported that Mike Smith is a “hot name” as a defensive coordinator candidate, with several options on the table for him. Now, one of those options has emerged as the top choice for the Falcons head coach.
Per Rapoport (via Twitter), Smith is set to become the Buccaneers’ new defensive coordinator under head coach Dirk Koetter. Koetter confirmed as much this afternoon during his introductory press conference
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Smith, who is one year removed from being let go by the Falcons, interviewed for the Dolphins’ and Giants’ head coaching jobs within the last couple weeks, and was the runner-up for the job in New York, according to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com (via Twitter). However, with only head coaching job still open, a defensive coordinator job looks like a solid Plan B for Smith, and Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets that Smith is Koetter’s top choice.
As the Falcons’ head coach from 2008 to 2014, Smith led the team to a 66-46 regular season record, earning four postseason berths along the way. The club’s only playoff win under Smith came during the 2012 season, when Atlanta won its divisional contest, then narrowly lost to the 49ers in the NFC championship game. Prior to joining the Falcons, Smith served as the defensive coordinator for the Jaguars from 2003 to 2007.
Of course, Koetter and Smith have some history, with the Bucs’ new head coach having initially come to Tampa Bay from Atlanta. Koetter served as the offensive coordinator on Smith’s Falcons staff from 2012 to 2014.
Koetter announced today that most of the Buccaneers’ offensive assistants will remain on board for 2016, though it’s still unclear who – if anyone – will assume his old position as the club’s offensive coordinator. Koetter is expected to continue calling offensive plays.
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