The Jacksonville Jaguars will interview Mike Smith for their head coaching position, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Smith was hired as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator last year, a position in which he did an outstanding job this past season. While the Bucs defense started off a little slow, it finished the year as one of the very best in the NFL, especially in terms of producing turnovers.
Smith transformed a mediocre defensive unit into one that could carry the team to victory even with middle-of-the-road offensive performances. That fits Smith’s work with the Jaguars a decade ago, when he led them to outstanding defensive results year after year as their defensive coordinator.
Of course, Smith is best known as the Atlanta Falcons head coach between 2008 and 2014, where he often led teams that dominated on offense but, ironically, struggled defensively.
If the Bucs lose Smith to the Jaguars, which seems fairly likely, they’ll have to scramble to find an adequate replacement on defense. They have several in-house candidates, but it’s likely that Smith would target them as defensive coordinators for the Jaguars, too. Keep an eye on defensive line coach Jay Hayes and linebackers coach Mark Duffner as potential in-house replacements.