The Buccaneers have started to clean house after their 34-29 loss to the Falcons.
Tampa Bay has fired defensive coordinator Mike Smith after three seasons, the team announced Monday.
“I have the utmost respect for Mike Smith as a man and as a football coach,” Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter said. “These decisions are always difficult, but our top priority here is to ensure that we do everything possible to help this team succeed.
“As I have said in the past, the issues we have had as a team are never one person’s fault. During good times, as well as the bad, it is a collective effort between the coaches and the players. We all understand that this is a result-based profession and our results to this point have not met our standards. I want to thank Mike for all the hard work and passion he has displayed here on a daily basis and I wish him well moving forward.”
Smith was the league’s highest-paid defensive coordinator, even though Tampa Bay’s defense ranked 31st in the NFL.
This season alone, the Bucs have allowed 34.6 points per game (the league highest) and 439.8 allowed yards per game (second in the NFL). They have also given up a league-worst 355.6 passing yards.
Linebackers coach Mark Duffner has been promoted to defensive coordinator in the move.
After a strong 2-0 start, the Buccaneers have lost their last three games in a row.