On Now
Coming Up
  • Sun., Sep. 24, 2017 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM EDT Buccaneers at Vikings

    Week 3

    Buccaneers at Vikings

    9/24 1:00 pm ET

  • Sun., Oct. 01, 2017 4:05 PM - 8:05 PM EDT Buccaneers vs. Giants

    Week 4

    Buccaneers vs. Giants

    10/1 4:05 pm ET

  • Thu., Oct. 05, 2017 8:25 PM - 12:25 AM EDT Buccaneers vs. Patriots

    Week 5

    Buccaneers vs. Patriots

    10/5 8:25 pm ET

  • Sun., Oct. 15, 2017 4:05 PM - 8:05 PM EDT Buccaneers at Cardinals

    Week 6

    Buccaneers at Cardinals

    10/15 4:05 pm ET

  • Sun., Oct. 22, 2017 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM EDT Buccaneers at Bills

    Week 7

    Buccaneers at Bills

    10/22 1:00 pm ET

  • Sun., Oct. 29, 2017 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM EDT Buccaneers vs. Panthers

    Week 8

    Buccaneers vs. Panthers

    10/29 1:00 pm ET

  • Sun., Nov. 05, 2017 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST Buccaneers at Saints

    Week 9

    Buccaneers at Saints

    11/5 1:00 pm ET

  • Sun., Nov. 12, 2017 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST Buccaneers vs. Jets

    Week 10

    Buccaneers vs. Jets

    11/12 1:00 pm ET

  • Sun., Nov. 19, 2017 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST Buccaneers at Dolphins

    Week 1

    Buccaneers at Dolphins

    11/19 1:00 pm ET

  • Sun., Nov. 26, 2017 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST Buccaneers at Falcons

    Week 12

    Buccaneers at Falcons

    11/26 1:00 pm ET

  • Sun., Dec. 03, 2017 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST Buccaneers at Packers

    Week 13

    Buccaneers at Packers

    12/3 1:00 pm ET

  • Sun., Dec. 10, 2017 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST Buccaneers vs. Lions

    Week 14

    Buccaneers vs. Lions

    12/10 1:00 pm ET

  • Mon., Dec. 18, 2017 8:30 PM - 12:30 AM EST Buccaneers vs. Falcons

    Week 15

    Buccaneers vs. Falcons

    12/18 8:30 pm ET

  • Sun., Dec. 24, 2017 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST Buccaneers at Panthers

    Week 16

    Buccaneers at Panthers

    12/24 1:00 pm ET

Coaches

Print
RSS
Mike Smith
Defensive Coordinator

Biography

Mike Smith begins his second season as defensive coordinator with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017.

In 2016, Smith’s first season with Tampa Bay, he oversaw a defensive turnaround that had the team going from 26th in the NFL in points allowed in 2015 to 15th in the league in 2016. Smith’s defense last season forced 29 takeaways, the third-highest mark in the league, including 17 interceptions, tied for the fourth-most in the NFL. The Buccaneers also held opponents to a league-low 34.4 third down percent conversion rate in 2016, the best mark by a Tampa Bay defense since 2003 and an improvement from ranking 30th in 2015. Under Smith, the Buccaneers defense posted 38 sacks last season, tied for the ninth-highest mark in the league and tied for the most by a Tampa Bay defense since 2004.

Smith’s defense improved as the season progressed, allowing the fourth-fewest points per game over the final eight weeks of the season (17.1), while leading the league with 13 interceptions, tying for a league-low six touchdown passes allowed and holding opponents to a 72.9 passer rating, the second-lowest mark in the NFL during that time. Tampa Bay recorded 21 sacks during the final eight weeks of the season, tied for the fifth-most in the league during that span.

Under Smith’s guidance, a number of Buccaneers players posted banner seasons. Cornerback Brent Grimes, who was named a Pro Bowl alternate in his first season with Tampa Bay, tied for the team lead in interceptions, with four, while leading the NFL in passes defensed, with 24. Linebacker Lavonte David was voted as a Pro Bowl alternate while recording 17 tackles for loss, tied for the league lead. David was also one of only two players to record at least 80 tackles and 5.0 sacks (also Benardrick McKinney). Linebacker Kwon Alexander led the team in tackles, with 145, the fourth-most in the NFL, including a league-best 108 solo tackles. Tampa Bay’s three safeties (Chris Conte, Bradley McDougald and Keith Tandy) combined for 207 tackles, 23 passes defensed and eight interceptions. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy earned his fifth Pro Bowl selection after leading the team with 7.0 sacks, the fourth-most by a defensive tackle.

Smith joined Tampa Bay with 16 years of NFL experience, most recently having spent seven seasons as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. While with Atlanta (2008-14), Smith posted a record of 66-46, tied for the seventh-most wins in the NFL during that timeframe. Named Sporting News Coach of the Year three times (2008, 2010 & 2012), Smith recorded 56 wins in his first five seasons, the second-most by a first-time head coach in NFL history. The Falcons won two NFC South division titles under Smith, while making four postseason appearances, including a trip to the NFC Conference Championship in 2012.  

Under Smith’s guidance, Atlanta’s defense saw two top five finishes is fewest points allowed as well as interceptions (2010, 2012). Smith helped several players post career years, including defensive end John Abraham, who tallied a career-best 16.5 sacks in 2008, the third-most in the NFL, leading to a second-team All-Pro selection. Abraham earned a Pro Bowl berth and first-team All-Pro honors after notching 13.5 sacks in 2010, the fifth-most in the league. Abraham totaled 54.5 sacks in Smith’s defense, the fourth-most in the NFL during that time. He also saw excellent play from his defensive backs, with CB Brent Grimes (2010/11), Thomas DeCoud (2012/13) and William Moore (2012/13) all earning Pro Bowl selections while playing for Smith.

Prior to his time in Atlanta, Smith spent five seasons (2003-07) as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defensive coordinator. With Smith’s leadership, Jacksonville proved to be one of the best defenses in the NFL, allowing the fourth-fewest yards per game (300.1) and points per game (18.2) during that timeframe. Smith’s defenses were equally adept at handling the run and the pass, as the team allowed the third-lowest rushing average (3.75) and fifth-fewest rushing yards (99.5 per game) and rushing touchdowns (49), while conceding the sixth-lowest passer rating (76.9) and recording the eighth-most interceptions (90).

Smith began his NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens, entering the league as a defensive assistant/defensive line coach (1999-2001), before being elevated to linebackers coach in 2002. Smith was part of the coaching staff that won Super Bowl XXXV, behind a defense that allowed only 165 points (10.3 points per game), an NFL record in a 16-game season. In his one season as linebackers coach, Smith worked with Ray Lewis, who earned All-Pro honors, and Peter Boulware, who was elected to the Pro Bowl.

Before entering the NFL ranks, Smith spent 12 seasons at Tennessee Tech (1987-98). He was the Golden Eagles’ defensive coordinator for the last three seasons (1996-98), including two top 10 finishes in total defense (1997 & 1998). He joined the Tennessee Tech staff as the defensive line coach (1987) and then served as the Special Teams Coordinator from 1988-95. In his final season with the Golden Eagles, Smith was promoted to assistant head coach on top of his defensive coordinator duties.

Smith played collegiately at East Tennessee (1977-81) and was named defensive MVP twice. He and his wife, Julie, have one daughter, Logan.

SMITH AT A GLANCE

YEARS

POSITION

1977-81

East Tennessee, Player

1982

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL), Player

1982

San Diego State, Graduate Assistant

1983-85

San Diego State, Linebackers Coach

1986

Morehead State, Defensive Line Coach

1987

Tennessee Tech, Defensive Line Coach

1988-95

Tennessee Tech, Special Teams Coordinator

1996-98

Tennessee Tech, Defensive Coordinator

1999-2001

Baltimore Ravens, Defensive Asst. & Defensive Line Coach

2002

Baltimore Ravens, Linebackers Coach

2003-07

Jacksonville Jaguars, Defensive Coordinator

2008-14

Atlanta Falcons, Head Coach

2016-

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Defensive Coordinator

Mike Smith begins his second season as defensive coordinator with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017.

In 2016, Smith’s first season with Tampa Bay, he oversaw a defensive turnaround that had the team going from 26th in the NFL in points allowed in 2015 to 15th in the league in 2016. Smith’s defense last season forced 29 takeaways, the third-highest mark in the league, including 17 interceptions, tied for the fourth-most in the NFL. The Buccaneers also held opponents to a league-low 34.4 third down percent conversion rate in 2016, the best mark by a Tampa Bay defense since 2003 and an improvement from ranking 30th in 2015. Under Smith, the Buccaneers defense posted 38 sacks last season, tied for the ninth-highest mark in the league and tied for the most by a Tampa Bay defense since 2004.

Smith’s defense improved as the season progressed, allowing the fourth-fewest points per game over the final eight weeks of the season (17.1), while leading the league with 13 interceptions, tying for a league-low six touchdown passes allowed and holding opponents to a 72.9 passer rating, the second-lowest mark in the NFL during that time. Tampa Bay recorded 21 sacks during the final eight weeks of the season, tied for the fifth-most in the league during that span.

Under Smith’s guidance, a number of Buccaneers players posted banner seasons. Cornerback Brent Grimes, who was named a Pro Bowl alternate in his first season with Tampa Bay, tied for the team lead in interceptions, with four, while leading the NFL in passes defensed, with 24. Linebacker Lavonte David was voted as a Pro Bowl alternate while recording 17 tackles for loss, tied for the league lead. David was also one of only two players to record at least 80 tackles and 5.0 sacks (also Benardrick McKinney). Linebacker Kwon Alexander led the team in tackles, with 145, the fourth-most in the NFL, including a league-best 108 solo tackles. Tampa Bay’s three safeties (Chris Conte, Bradley McDougald and Keith Tandy) combined for 207 tackles, 23 passes defensed and eight interceptions. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy earned his fifth Pro Bowl selection after leading the team with 7.0 sacks, the fourth-most by a defensive tackle.

Smith joined Tampa Bay with 16 years of NFL experience, most recently having spent seven seasons as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. While with Atlanta (2008-14), Smith posted a record of 66-46, tied for the seventh-most wins in the NFL during that timeframe. Named Sporting News Coach of the Year three times (2008, 2010 & 2012), Smith recorded 56 wins in his first five seasons, the second-most by a first-time head coach in NFL history. The Falcons won two NFC South division titles under Smith, while making four postseason appearances, including a trip to the NFC Conference Championship in 2012.  

Under Smith’s guidance, Atlanta’s defense saw two top five finishes is fewest points allowed as well as interceptions (2010, 2012). Smith helped several players post career years, including defensive end John Abraham, who tallied a career-best 16.5 sacks in 2008, the third-most in the NFL, leading to a second-team All-Pro selection. Abraham earned a Pro Bowl berth and first-team All-Pro honors after notching 13.5 sacks in 2010, the fifth-most in the league. Abraham totaled 54.5 sacks in Smith’s defense, the fourth-most in the NFL during that time. He also saw excellent play from his defensive backs, with CB Brent Grimes (2010/11), Thomas DeCoud (2012/13) and William Moore (2012/13) all earning Pro Bowl selections while playing for Smith.

Prior to his time in Atlanta, Smith spent five seasons (2003-07) as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defensive coordinator. With Smith’s leadership, Jacksonville proved to be one of the best defenses in the NFL, allowing the fourth-fewest yards per game (300.1) and points per game (18.2) during that timeframe. Smith’s defenses were equally adept at handling the run and the pass, as the team allowed the third-lowest rushing average (3.75) and fifth-fewest rushing yards (99.5 per game) and rushing touchdowns (49), while conceding the sixth-lowest passer rating (76.9) and recording the eighth-most interceptions (90).

Smith began his NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens, entering the league as a defensive assistant/defensive line coach (1999-2001), before being elevated to linebackers coach in 2002. Smith was part of the coaching staff that won Super Bowl XXXV, behind a defense that allowed only 165 points (10.3 points per game), an NFL record in a 16-game season. In his one season as linebackers coach, Smith worked with Ray Lewis, who earned All-Pro honors, and Peter Boulware, who was elected to the Pro Bowl.

Before entering the NFL ranks, Smith spent 12 seasons at Tennessee Tech (1987-98). He was the Golden Eagles’ defensive coordinator for the last three seasons (1996-98), including two top 10 finishes in total defense (1997 & 1998). He joined the Tennessee Tech staff as the defensive line coach (1987) and then served as the Special Teams Coordinator from 1988-95. In his final season with the Golden Eagles, Smith was promoted to assistant head coach on top of his defensive coordinator duties.

Smith played collegiately at East Tennessee (1977-81) and was named defensive MVP twice. He and his wife, Julie, have one daughter, Logan.

SMITH AT A GLANCE

YEARS

POSITION

1977-81

East Tennessee, Player

1982

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL), Player

1982

San Diego State, Graduate Assistant

1983-85

San Diego State, Linebackers Coach

1986

Morehead State, Defensive Line Coach

1987

Tennessee Tech, Defensive Line Coach

1988-95

Tennessee Tech, Special Teams Coordinator

1996-98

Tennessee Tech, Defensive Coordinator

1999-2001

Baltimore Ravens, Defensive Asst. & Defensive Line Coach

2002

Baltimore Ravens, Linebackers Coach

2003-07

Jacksonville Jaguars, Defensive Coordinator

2008-14

Atlanta Falcons, Head Coach

2016-

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Defensive Coordinator