Former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith is set to be the next head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
FOX Sports NFL Insider Jay Glazer tweeted that Smith "quietly interviewed" with the team this week, and that an agreed-upon deal is in place.
According to The Associated Press, another piece of the puzzle is supposedly in place, too. Citing anonymous sources, the AP reports that former Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier will be hired as the Buccaneers' defensive coordinator.
"Lovie Smith...Grade A! Gonna be fun! Wonder what else they have in store? Hmmm," Bucs defensive lineman Gerald McCoy tweeted overnight.
With defensive talent already in place, Smith's biggest challenge is revamping the Buccaneers' offense in the now pass-happy NFL. Arguably his biggest decision will be what to do with Bucs quarterback Mike Glennon.
Smith, 55, led the Bears to a Super Bowl appearance in 2006, though his teams struggled to make the playoffs afterward. He was fired a year ago after a 10-6 season.
Greg Schiano was fired by the Bucs after going 4-12 this season and 11-21 in two years. Frazier was fired Monday by the Vikings.
Said to be one of the better defensive minds in the game, Smith is no stranger to the Tampa Bay area. He served as a linebackers coach under Tony Dungy in the late 1990's.
Dungy was one of many big names that offered congratulations.
"Congratulations to the Bucs. I think they made a very good choice in hiring Lovie Smith. Now I'm excited about watching the Bucs next year!" Dungy tweeted.
Derrick Brooks tweeted, "Bucs got better tonight with Lovie Smith coming back as the new H/C. Words can't describe my excitement."
The Bucs still are looking for a new general manager after the Glazers fired Mark Dominik earlier this week.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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