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Bucs add veteran linebacker Darryl Smith to their defense

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The Tampa Bay Bucs are hoping that familiar faces have a little left in the tank.

The Bucs have signed linebacker Daryl Smith, who played for new defensive coordinator Mike Smith in Jacksonville. Earlier, the team signed Brent Grimes, who played for Smith in Atlanta.

Smith, 34, is a bigger linebacker, which would suggest he will play on run downs.

“We’re excited to add a player of Daryl’s caliber to our defense,” said General Manager Jason Licht. “He’s a smart, consistent linebacker who has performed at a very high level throughout his career. Daryl’s combination of leadership and experience will serve us well.”

Smith (6-2, 250) comes to Tampa Bay after three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. He originally entered the league as a second-round selection (39th overall) of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2004 NFL Draft, spending his first nine seasons with Jacksonville (2004-12). In his 12-year career, Smith has started 172 of 174 regular season games played, totaling 1,046 tackles, 68 passes defensed, 30.5 sacks, 13 forced fumbles, 11 interceptions (87 return yards, one touchdown) and six fumble recoveries (82 return yards, one touchdown). He has also started all five postseason contests he has appeared in, notching 43 tackles, two forced fumbles, one pass defensed, one sack and one interception.

Since joining Baltimore in 2013, Smith ranks fifth in the NFL in total tackles (371) and his 29 passes defensed are tied for the most by a linebacker during that span. Smith and Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David are the only two players to total at least 5.0 sacks, five interceptions, four forced fumbles and 25 passes defensed over the past three seasons.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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