Bucs sign defensive coordinator Smith to contract extension

- Mike Smith says he's committed to helping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers realize their potential, not trying to become a head coach again.

The Bucs signed their defensive coordinator to a contract extension on Friday, ending speculation about where the former Falcons coach might wind up next season.

Smith spoke with the Jaguars and Chargers about head coaching vacancies this winter after an improved Bucs' defense led a turnaround that produced Tampa Bay's first winning record in six years.

The Bucs (9-7) won six of eight following a 3-5 start and weren't eliminated from playoff contention until the final week of the season. The defense allowed 17.1 points per game, while leading the NFL with 13 interceptions during the surge.

Smith said he's excited about the direction of the Bucs under coach Dirk Koetter, who hired his former boss last winter. He looks forward to building on this season's success.


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