Local: 503.250.1080
    Toll Free: 866.358.1080
| More
National Football League
Scoreboard|Stats|Standings|Teams|Players|Player News|Injuries|Transactions

AP sources: Smith reaches deal to coach Tampa Bay

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

By FRED GOODALL

AP Sports Writer

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith is set to take on the challenge of rebuilding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Two people familiar with Smith's plans said Wednesday night that the coach has reached an agreement to fill the opening created by the firing of Greg Schiano following a 4-12 finish.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because an official announcement hasn't been made. One of the people also said that former Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier will be the Bucs' defensive coordinator.

The 55-year-old Smith will replace Schiano, fired Monday after going 11-21 in two seasons in Tampa Bay. Frazier also was fired Monday.

Smith was 81-63 in nine seasons with Chicago, leading the 2006 team to the Super Bowl - where the Bears lost to Indianapolis. He was fired a year ago after the Bears finished 10-6 and missed the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons.

Smith was Tampa Bay's linebackers coach under Tony Dungy from 1996-2000, then spent three seasons as the St. Louis Rams' defensive coordinator on Mike Martz's staff.

Smith will take over a team that made strides on defense after acquiring cornerback Darrelle Revis and safety Dashon Goldson last spring, however the offense sputtered badly following the abrupt benching and subsequent release of quarterback Josh Freeman. With rookie Mike Glennon running the offense, Tampa Bay sank to last in the NFL in passing and total yards per game.

One of Smith's first orders of business figures to be deciding if Glennon, who went 4-9 as a starter while throwing for 2,608 yards, 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions, showed enough to prove he's the team's quarterback of the future.

Tampa Bay, which lost its first eight games before going 4-4 over the second half of the season, will have the seventh pick in this year's draft and can use help in several areas, including defensive end, offensive line and wide receiver.

AP Sports Writer Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis and AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner contributed to this report.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Updated January 2, 2014

127 © 2014 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

The Fan's Top Stories

Ducks face nemesis Stanford


(AP) Oregon coach Mark Helfrich doesn't want to hear that Stanford is a weaker opponent this season. Stanford coach David Shaw doesn't believe that consecutive wins over the Ducks . . . more.

Blazers' first road game tonight


(AP) While LaMarcus Aldridge displayed a new dimension to his game right off the bat in the Portland Trail Blazers' opener, it took fellow All-Star Damian Lillard a lot longer to find his rhythm. More.
Tom Brady

Manning-Brady matchup on The FAN highlights NFL weekend


(AP) When Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are set to square off, questions are inevitably asked about the rivalry they've developed over the years. Some involved choose to steer away from that narrative. More.

The FAN's College Football Page


Ducks, Beavers, Pac-12, you name it! For the latest stories and real time scores, head to The FAN's college football page here.

Jones: Romo is gametime decision on The FAN


(AP) If it's a question of tolerating pain, Tony Romo says he will play Sunday against Arizona - and history supports him on that point. More.

Ducks #5 while MSU tops college playoff rankings


(AP) Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn and Mississippi are the top four teams in the first College Football Playoff rankings. The first of seven Top 25 rankings done by . . . more.

The FAN's NFL Page


Follow your favorite teams and players - for stats, previews, recaps and realtime gamecasts, make The FAN's NFL Page your pro football destination.

Top Utah WR Anderson out for season


(AP) Utah lost big-play wide receiver Dres Anderson to a season-ending knee injury, a significant blow for an offense that has sputtered at times. Anderson led No. 18 Utah with . . . more.

Bumgarner leads Giants to Series title on The FAN


(AP) A giant, indeed. Madison Bumgarner punctuated his World Series performance for the ages by pitching the San Francisco Giants to their third championship in five years . . . more.

PAC-12 hoops: Arizona picked to win conference


(AP) Just about everybody agrees - except for one person, apparently - that Arizona is the overwhelming favorite to win the Pac-12 again this season. More.

Pac-12 passes reforms for athletes


(AP) The Pac-12 passed sweeping changes for athletes in all of the conference's sports Monday, guaranteeing four-year scholarships, improving health care benefits and . . . more.