Despite dipping his toes in a few open head-coaching vacancies around the league, Mike Smith has decided to remain on ship in Tampa.
The Buccaneers defensive coordinator has agreed to an extension with the team, a source informed told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
Smith was a candidate as head coach for the Jaguars and Chargers. The Jaguars opted with former interim coach Doug Marrone, while Smith pulled his name out of the running for the new Los Angeles team’s search.
He just finished his first campaign as Bucs defensive coordinator following seven seasons as Falcons head coach. Now, he’ll team for his second year under Dirk Koetter after Koetter served two seasons as Smith’s offensive coordinator in Atlanta.
The Tampa defense showed signs of immense promise in 2016. After allowing 26.1 points per game (26th in the league) in 2015, that number dropped to 23.1, the 15th-best mark. During the team’s five-game winning streak in the middle of the season, the defense allowed a minuscule 64 points, which included facing the Saints, Chargers, Seahawks and Chiefs over that span.