Defensive coordinator, Mike Smith’s time is up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The organization needs to find a new man to lead the defense.
Enough is enough. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to move on from defensive coordinator Mike Smith before the 2018 season becomes a lost cause.
“Based on that game today, we couldn’t make enough changes. We should fire every person that was on that field today, starting with me. That was horrific.”
Words straight from the mouth of head coach Dirk Koetter in his post-game press conference.
The defense’s performance against the Bears is inexcusable, and something needs to change, or Koetter could lose the entire locker room.
Sunday was one of the worst performances by a Bucs defense in franchise history. Mitch Trubisky, a below average quarterback thus far in his career, looked like a Hall of Famer. He threw for six touchdowns and completed 73 percent of his passes.
Tampa Bay’s defense looked hopeless in the first half. Six of Chicago’s seven drives ended up in points. The young secondary looked confused. Not only was their miscommunication in coverages, but Smith continued to leave his players in terrible situations.
Linebackers were sent to cover running backs one-on-one down the field, and Smith made no adjustments. That was until Bears head coach Matt Nagy made the changes for Smith, but taking his team’s foot off the pedal.
If it wasn’t for Chicago’s decision to chew clock in the second half, there is no telling how many points they could have scored.
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Firing Smith may seem like a gut reaction, but Sunday’s display was a disgrace. The defense likely won’t be good all season, but something has to give.
Yes, Koetter is exceptionally close with Smith, but Tampa has a chance to compete this season. Someone needs to be held responsible for the defense folding as it did.
The defense has been atrocious to start the season. Through four weeks, the Bucs rank dead-last in points allowed per game, and second to last in yards allowed. A repeat of last year’s 32nd finish in yards allowed per game.
There has been no progression for Smith’s defense either. Heck, take account of Smith’s first season with Tampa Bay and his unit has regressed.
Here’s a fun stat that ESPN’s Jenna Laine tweeted out, in 19 of Smith’s 36 games as Bucs DC, they have given up over 400 yards. Dreadful numbers.
Talent wise, the Bucs should have a defense that should keep games competitive. With how the Tampa Bay’s offense has played, the task shouldn’t be too tall for players like Jason Pierre-Paul and Lavonte David.
Look at the front seven. David, ‘JPP’ and Kwon Alexanders are all talented players. They are at the top of their game and should be able to take some pressure off of the young defensive backs. However, poor scheme and play calling have deemed them ineffective.
The list to replace Smith mid-season is short. The favorites are likely defensive line coach Brentson Buckner and linebackers coach Mark Duffner.
Buckner brings a no-nonsense attitude to the defensive line, and his unit has bought into his teachings. Duffner, on the other hand, has been in the NFL for almost 20 years and is due for a job at the helm. He’s been a linebackers coach for some teams and knows his way around the league.