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

w4 © 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

Buffs at Ducks: all eyes on Mariota


(AP) Marcus Mariota is doing his best to try not to pay attention to the Heisman Trophy hype surrounding him or Oregon's increasing chances of reaching the College Football Playoffs. More.

Bowl eligibility at stake as Huskies host Beavers


(AP) Mike Riley asked for a show of hands in the meeting room. He wanted everyone who was on the field for one of the worst losses in his coaching tenure at Oregon State to acknowledge they were there. 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.

McCollum out for Blazers


(AP) Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum fractured his right index finger during Monday night's victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. More.

Halliday says he broke leg, not ankle


(AP) Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday broke his lower leg against Southern California, not his ankle as was widely reported. More.

Blount rejoins Pats after being cut by Steelers


(AP) LeGarrette Blount's teammates are glad to have him back in a New England Patriots uniform. Which one he wears, though, is still up in the air. More.

NFL fines Lynch $50,000 for not speaking to media


(AP) For all the noise he creates on the field, Marshawn Lynch's silence with the media has now cost him six figures in fines. The NFL fined Seattle's star $50,000 . . . more.

No. 13 Gonzaga routs Saint Joseph's 94-42


(AP) There wasn't a whole lot to add after No. 13 Gonzaga dismantled Saint Joseph's 94-42 on Wednesday night, sending the Hawks to their worst defeat in team history. 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.