The employment status of defensive coordinator Mike Smith will be dependent on one thing: the level of success from the defense and the success of the team as a whole. If Tampa Bay ends up with a record less than 9-7, expect the front office to clean house, and that includes Mike Smith especially.
The Bucs defense over the past couple of seasons has been a mixed bag. At the tail end of the 2016 season, the arrow was pointing up on a defense that held their own any given Sunday and found ways to create turnovers. Since, then though the production on defense has seemed to bottom out. Yes, there were plenty of injuries last season and yes, some players didn’t live up to their hype, but that is where good coaching makes all the difference. When Smith was given lemon he was supposed to make lemonade, and he has done anything but that. He has ultimately not risen to the occasion.
That said, I don’t believe he will be fired mid-season. He will most likely be given the entire season to prove himself. If Smith’s defense looks at least competent and the Bucs have a winning season, you will see Smith coming back for 2019. If the pundits are right and the Bucs are abysmal, Smith (and the rest of the coaching staff) will be without a job come January.