The Tampa Bay Bucs have made their first big off-season signing, and it isn’t a player.
The Bucs signed defensive coordinator Mike Smith to an extension shortly after Smith withdrew his name from consideration from the (now Los Angeles) Chargers.
Tampa Bay came on late in the season in their 6-2 second half. They had 29 takeaways, and they led the league in third-down defense.
The Bucs started the season slowly with new corners and new defensive ends. Smith, 57, interviewed for the Jaguars and Chargers head coaching jobs, bringing an impressive resume. He went 66-46 as head coach of the Falcons from 2008-14, reaching the playoffs four times including the NFC Championship Game in 2012.