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Is Mike Smith the choice in Jacksonville?

Roy Cummings

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The Jaguars appear to have “honed’’ in on their next head coach and at least one prominent NFL insider believes Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith could be their target.

Former Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Sunday night that he believes the Jags want a defensive-minded coach and that Smith could be their guy.

“(Smith) is in the state of Florida already and he’s got very good ties to (Jaguars general manager) David Caldwell, (who is) very good friends with (Falcons general manager) Thomas Dimitroff,’’ Dominik said.

“And I know it hurt Thomas to have to let go of Smitty (when he was head coach of the Falcons) because they are very good friends … and that’s one of the best relationships you can have.

“And so there’s a known commodity there, it’s not a new coach in Mike Smith they’d be hiring, so we’ll see what happens but I feel like Jacksonville is very close to figuring out who (its) next coach will be.’’

Dominik said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Jags make the announcement on a new head coach early this week, perhaps as soon as Tuesday, after the college football national title game is played.

There may be a hitch, though, at least as it pertains to Smith. You see, the Jaguars aren’t the only team interested in Smith. The Chargers have interviewed him, too.

And just like Jacksonville, the word regarding the Chargers is that they too are looking to hire a defensive-minded head coach. It’s possible then that Smith will have his choice of jobs.

If that’s the case, it might come down to which team he believes has the better organization or is closer to winning. It might even come down to where Smith most wants to live.

He’s done the Jacksonville thing before, for five years when he was the Jags defensive coordinator from 2003-2007. San Diego might seem more attractive to him, though he probably wouldn’t be there for long.

The Chargers are expected to eventually move to Los Angeles, so Smith may have to consider all the personal and professional hassles associated with that as well as he makes up his mind.

Either way, it seems possible that the Bucs may soon know, if they don’t already, whether they’re going to have spend the early part of the offseason looking for a new defensive coordinator.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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