The initial move was shocking, but the trickle down effect is unfolding as many expected.
After the dismissal of former head coach Lovie Smith Wednesday night, it’s being reported by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times that four assistant coaches (so far), including defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, will also not be returning in 2016.
Along with Frazier, defensive backs coach Gil Byrd and assistant defensive backs coach Mikal Smith, Lovie Smith’s son, will not have their options picked up for next season. Assistant head coach Larry Marmie’s contract will also expire.
Frazier, who guided the Vikings to the playoffs in 2012 during a three-year stint as head coach in Minnesota, was stripped of play-calling duties before the 2015 season, diminishing his role in a sense. Even before Smith was released, Frazier’s future in Tampa Bay seemed uncertain.
Gil Byrd, who coached under Smith in St. Louis and joined his staff in Chicago from 2006-12, and Mikal Smith, who followed Lovie Smith to Tampa Bay after serving as nickelbacks coach in Dallas in 2013, oversaw the 16th ranked pass-defense in 2015, giving up an average of 240 yards a game. More telling were the final four games, in which Tampa Bay allowed a combined 86 completions on 111 attempts (77 percent completion rate), while failing to intercept a pass during the four-game skid.
Despite the general sense of optimism that the team was improving, ownership is clearly not giving Smith and the majority of the defensive staff a pass for the way they finished the final quarter of the season.
As PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook wrote on Thursday, a name to watch for defensive coordinator is former Falcons head coach Mike Smith. Offensive coordinator and widely assumed successor of Lovie Smith, Dirk Koetter, was on Mike Smith’s staff for three years in Atlanta (2012-14) and the two seem to have a good relationship. Smith, however, has been linked to the Miami Dolphins head-coaching job and will reportedly interview on Monday.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
IF koetter gets the job, hopefully he doesn’t bring smith in. Last i knew falcons defense was whack amd thats why they decided to go with the coach they have now! I say we bring raheem back! I liked his style of aggressive defense! Go bucs! I thought lovie would have gotten a pass until he decided to devote a draft to defense at least. I mean everyone is praising our OC but we fail to remember that we scored all of about ten points in our last few games on average. Lovie is gone so let’s move forward and go bucs! Uuugh
You got screwed Lovie, I can’t see anyone wanting to coach this team, just to get fired in 2 years. The Glazier “BOY’S” don’t know what the F— they are doing, it takes time to fix all of their mess up’s, over the past years. They need to sell the team, and stick to soccer, we could only be so lucky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lovie still gets his yearly salary for three years. How many people have that kind of deal. I think Lovie should not except the money as he was awful and didn’t earn it. Now that would be a real honest person.
It’s been nice being a Season Ticket holder, but that comes to an end the day Koetter gets a promotion.
Twu year, Horse, two years. The fifth year was an option. Gee whizz.
Still, he makes a point. If any of us gets fired from our job will we get our pay rate for the next two years as a thank u. Horse is right, if u don’t earn it, you don’t deserve it.
I already presented my request to be terminated and still be paid handsomely. Turned down. Sigh.
drdneast; I think two years ended up being enough for me. When we were 4-6 I had seen enough; then we went 6-6, so I started to slide back on that thought; then we lost the next 4 games and I was convinced enough was enough. then after thinking about it overnight, I decided to give Lovie the next year. Quite frankly drdneast, “my gut feeling” was correct back when we were 4-6; I wished I had stayed with my gut feelings like I had done with Schiano. I have trust in GM Licht. I believe he will get this right. I look forward to a very exciting 2016. I love and support the Bucs; have since 1976 and will continue to do so. Go Bucs!
This list is exactly the group I would have shown the exit.
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