The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, usually a fan of the surprise firing, made a surprise firing last night. An impressive season, which included beating the Atlanta Falcons twice (!), was not enough for Lovie Smith to keep his job. Tampa got rid of the former Super Bowl loser to promote the mastermind behind end zone fades to the shortest player in the NFL.
Media reports in Tampa suggest OC Dirk Koetter may be favorite to get Bucs job, but Bucs did offer Chip Kelly job back in 2012— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) January 7, 2016
This is an impressive leap for Koetter. Mike Smith saved Koetter from the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Koetter helped orchestrate Matt Ryan's best seasons. Despite a complete lack of a run game and an inconsistent offensive line, he kept the offense aggressive and was not afraid of pushing the ball downfield. After Mike Smith was fired, Koetter moved to Tampa and worked with a rookie quarterback, which is not necessarily a dream scenario.
Tampa liked Koetter's development of rookie QB Jameis Winston so much, they reportedly want to keep Koetter over Lovie Smith. Koetter is being interviewed for multiple head coaching positions, but should be the favorite for the Tampa job. If Koetter wants to stay, he will get two shots at Atlanta per year.
Speaking of someone who might want two shots at Atlanta every year, Mike Smith's name is being thrown around as a potential defensive coordinator. Who knew so the Jaguars coaching tree was so accomplished?
Look for former Falcons HC Mike Smith to be a candidate for the defensive coordinator's position if he doesn't get a head coaching position.— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) January 7, 2016