In the business world, networking and establishing relationships and contacts are a daily part of success. The NFL is no different, and relationships built over the years can prove to be invaluable as career paths change.
If offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter does in fact get the Bucs head coaching job, his first line of business will be finding someone to take over a defensive system that was broken under Lovie Smith and Leslie Frazier. Koetter will begin searching, presumably with the help of Bucs general manager Jason Light, for someone to take on that huge task, and could look to some familiar faces, one of those being former Falcons head coach Mike Smith.
Smith hired Koetter in 2012 as the Falcons offensive coordinator where the two coached together for three seasons, teaming up to have one of the most potent offenses in the NFL between 2012-2014. Smith and Koetter also coached together briefly in Jacksonville where Smith was the Jaguars defensive coordinator from 2003-2007 before taking over as the head coach in Atlanta.
But even if Koetter gets the job, and is interested in Smith, other NFL teams could have other plans. Smith has been linked to the open job with the Miami Dolphins where reports say he interviewed on Monday. As a three-time AP NFL Coach of the Year winner, Smith might be a candidate for the other open jobs around the league as well.
But if Smith is left jobless after the vacancies around the league are filled, look for the former East Tennessee linebacker to be a hot commodity in the potential assistant coach hiring ranks, and quite possibly by the Buccaneers.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
I hope NOT!! Atlanta’s defense wasn’t all that good. Their offensive is what carried them.
Anybody is better than the clown we had before as the Defensive Coordinator. Not sure about Atlanta Smith as what did he do in Atlanta as to Defense. I’m for Raheem Morris or Nickerson. Somebody has to light a fire under some of these defensive players or replace them. I’m embarrassed with the play of our defense under Lovie.
That would be very Interested.Can’t wait to see what developes. go bucs
Koetter as HC and Nickerson as DC.
In my opinion Smith is not the answer. His defenses in ATL progressively got worse. A long shot, but with a changing regime in TENN, is Labeau a potential. I think that whoever is named HC needs to act quickly as the normal staff churn will be pretty significant with 7 vacancies.
I just hope they don’t get a DC that runs a 3-4 base defense. Then we will spend another two years going through defensive roster changes as this team right now is not built for that.
You nailed it Dude. My thoughts exactly.
i hope not. i recall their lack of toughness being a constant criticism while dirk’s offense put up video game stats with matt ryan and the passing attack
I’m not a big fan of Mike Smith. I’d rather promote Hardy or bring back Raheem as I got to believe he has grown up.
Horse, you are usually so right on. What happened here? Raheem! Really? Raheem! Really?
Raheem would be a good choice if the past didn’t matter and he wasn’t happy working for his friend in Atlanta. You’d have to get the Bucs owners to admit that they were wrong to hire Rah as head coach, but right to hire him as defensive coordinator. You’d then have to get Raheem to be humble enough to take a coordinator job in a town that fired him as head coach. I’ve never heard of anything like this happening before, except in Denver with Wade Phillips. Finally, though, you’d have to get permission from the Falcons to let him interview with a division rival that swept them this season for a promotion that is not much more than a lateral move. That’s what would put a stop to it right there, even if all else succeeded. The Falcons have no incentive to be generous with us.
I do like the idea some of you state for Nickerson, I also like Jim schwarz. Crappy head coach, great coordinator. He runs a 4-3 like ours already in place but it is much more aggressive and that is what I want from a defense. Not this passive stuff we’ve been running for the last two years.
We definitely need a coach that runs a 4-3. I like the idea of keeping Hardy Nickerson and Joe Cullen on the staff, but I would not promote Nickerson to DC. Then we would still be running the Tampa 2 which most people believe is outdated. All Nickerson knows is the Tampa 2. Why would he stray away from it. Like his energy though, so I hope we keep him.
I think you need some bright new mastermind with innovative ideas. Mike Smith was let go in Atlanta because he couldn’t build a defense that could cope with modern problems, same as Lovie Smith. Pass defense is hard these days with all the rules limiting contact. You need someone who has had consistent success in the new era.
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