Friday, 2;30 a.m.
The Tampa Bay Bucs have made their first big signing over the off-season.
This time, it's a coach.
The Bucs signed defensive coordinator Mike Smith to an extension, keeping him as Dirk Koetter's right-hand man.
Smith's first season was a solid one, as he shaved three points off the team's points allowed and led the league in third-down defense. When Tampa Bay won five straight games,
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Smith's defense allowed only 64 points. In the final eight games, his team's 18 takeaways. was the most in the NFL.
One seasons -- albeit a rare winning season -- isn't exactly enough to crown Smith as the next Monte Kiffin, but it was the best coordinator's work since them. Both Raheem Morris and Lovie Smith ended up doing the job themselves, remember?
Many Bucs fans were concerned that the mix might be lost if Smith took a head coaching job. He was up for the Jacksonville job, and he was on the Chargers' list until Sunday.
Tampa Bay started the season slowly under Koetter with newcomers at cornerback, but the team was better as the season went along. It beat both Kansas City and Seattle with than 19 point or fewers.