(via Tampa Bay Buccaneers Communications)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today that Mike Smith has been replaced as the team’s defensive coordinator. Mark Duffner, who had previously served as the team’s linebackers coach, has been elevated to defensive coordinator.
“I have the utmost respect for Mike Smith as a man and as a football coach,” said Buccaneers Head Coach Dirk Koetter. “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.”
Duffner is in his 22nd NFL season, including his third in Tampa Bay. In each of his first two years with the team, a Buccaneers linebacker earned a Pro Bowl selection (Lavonte David-2016, Kwon Alexander-2017). Duffner has also been on the coaching staffs of the Miami Dolphins (2014-15), Jacksonville Jaguars (2006-13), Green Bay Packers (2003-05), and Cincinnati Bengals (1997-2002), where he served as defensive coordinator during his final two years. Prior to entering the NFL, Duffner spent 22 seasons (1975-1996) at the collegiate level, including head coaching stops at Holy Cross, where he was a two-time national coach of the year, and Maryland.