It seems like the Bucs couldn’t have asked for a better start to the offseason. It already feels like free agency has begun, however they retained someone arguably even more beneficial to the team than a player, Mike Smith.
Mailbag: What to expect this weekend
Preview:: How will this exciting weekend play out?
Awards:: cover32’s end-of-season awards
Consistency on the coaching staff is hard to come by in Tampa. The continuous carousel of coaches is one of the biggest influences to the past thirteen years of failure and ineptitude. It’s not very often that our fans see a highly-respected Defensive Coordinator who had head coaching opportunities elect to extend his career with the Bucs, even if it is for only one more season.
If you have been paying attention, you would agree it seemed as if Mike Smith was as good as gone. He was leaked to be a shoe-in for the Jaguars Head Coach position right before Doug Marrone was announced as the new hire. Then it seemed the Chargers were leaning towards Smith literally moments before the Bucs announced his extension.
It’s now evident that he didn’t want anything to do with L.A. and that new atrocious logo, but that’s another story on it’s own. (By the way, I don’t think I will ever quite grasp how that organization could scrap one of the best logos/uniforms in football for the new LA design. My wife who is a Marketing Director is appalled.)
The team already has the pieces and talent on the roster to make huge moves in the foreseeable future. Dirk Koetter has proven to be successful in only one year at the wheel. The Bucs finished the second half of the 2016 season as one of the best defenses in the league and now they have retained one of it’s biggest contributors to that success. It means so much more to this fan base to not only have stability in that department, but Smitty also CHOSE to stick with this team.
Is it possible he saw the potential Tampa has to make a serious run at a championship? I think so.
I really hope the franchise takes it’s time to encourage Smith to mentor his predecessor of which is inevitably waiting on his departure in the next year or so. Smith will get a second opportunity to assume another Head Coaching role and it would be wise for whomever takes over (cough cough Jay Hayes) to prepare as such and soak up as much knowledge as possible.
The most important aspect of this news is the fact that the team gets to build on success. Tampa has had six Defensive Coordinators in the past ten years. They have had three in the past three seasons! Lavonte David addressed how upset he was when Lovie was fired and the scheme was being changed again. He must be pretty ecstatic right now.
It’s going to be a very entertaining offseason. Look at the toys Mike Smith has to play with: Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander, Noah Spence, Robert Ayers, Vernon Hargreaves, Brent Grimes, Keith Tandy etc. Oh yeah and chances are high that he is going to have an integral part in adding to that foundation with the $70 million of spending money the Glazers have to work with. He’s like a kid in a candy store and why would he want to leave for the dentist? (AKA Los Angeles Chargers)
It truly is remarkable to see the culture change take place with this franchise since Licht and Dirk took over. The locker room is like family and the staff/roster thoroughly enjoys working together. Something the past several regimes were unable to accomplish.
For 2017, Dirk Koetter and Mike Smith are the two best friends any Buc could have! (cough cough The Hangover)