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Buccaneers let Lesie Frazier and other defensive assistants go

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will not be retaining defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier after firing Lovie Smith. In addition, defensive backs coaches Gil Byrd and Mikal Smith will also not have their contract options picked up and assistant to the head coach Larry Marmie's contract will expire. All of that according to the Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud.

Defensive line coach Joe Cullen and linebackers coach Hardy Nickerson will be retained for now, and the new head coach and/or defensive coordinator will make their decision on whether or not to retain them.

These moves don't come as a surprise, and there are conflicting reports as to the role Lovie Smith's reluctance to make changes to his defensive coaching staff played in his being fired. But the defense had been mediocre at best for two straight years, and the secondary in particular was a complete disaster this year. The Bucs started a new combination of cornerbacks nearly every week, even switching it up the last two weeks of the season. Oftentimes, those moves would make no sense -- especially the fact that Mike Jenkins kept getting playing time despite clearly not being a good player.

Whoever the Bucs hire as head coach (and it likely will be Dirk Koetter) will have to find a new defensive coordinator, though. And that will be a crucial hire given the team's struggles to get the defense going, and the highly-paid players already under contract in Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David.