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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Chargers also will interview Bucs' Mike Smith



Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith will have at least two opportunities to make his case for becoming a head coach again.

The San Diego Chargers will interview Smith, who already planned to meet with the Jacksonville Jaguars to discuss their head coaching position.

On Monday, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter almost sounded resigned to losing Smith.

"Obviously, when we brought Mike here we knew that this day might come and this day would come," Koetter said.

The Chargers fired coach Mike McCoy following a second straight last place finish in the AFC West and the third straight season out of the playoffs. McCoy was 27-37 in four seasons.

Smith went 66-46 as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 2008-14, reaching the playoffs four times including the NFC Championship game in 2012. Smith was the defensive coordinator under Jack Del Rio in Jacksonville from 2003-07.

Under Smith, 57, the Bucs showed dramatic improvement on defense the final eight games of the season. Tampa Bay won an NFL-high five games when scoring 19 points or less after having won one such game in the previous three seasons. The Bucs also were ranked first in the league in third down defense as opponents only converted 34.4 percent of their opportunities.

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 3, 2017 8:58pm]


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