HAMMOCK: Hopeful that Mike Smith returns as Atlanta Falcons coach

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, right, talks to Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith, before an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator and Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith announced Tuesday on Sirius XM radio he is retiring from NFL coaching.

"I've been very blessed to have the opportunity to coach in the National Football League, and I've enjoyed every minute of it," Smith said. "I think, for me and my family, it's time for us to look at some adventures and have a lot of things that we'd like to do, that I'd like to do. I'm looking forward to watch those adventures bring because it's going to be a lot of fun. I've been in this league and coached a long time, and I think it's time to go do something different."

Smith, 59, was fired by the Buccaneers in mid-October after ranking 31st in yards allowed and dead last in yards per play and points allowed through six weeks of the season. The group, which was led the rest of the way by linebackers coach Mark Duffner, ultimately finished 31st in points allowed and 27th in yards.

Smith had joined the Bucs as defensive coordinator in 2016 -- following a year away from coaching -- and his unit hit a hot streak in the second half of that season, but it slipped to last in yards and 22nd in points in 2017.

Before joining Tampa Bay, Smith spent seven years (2008-2014) as the Falcons' head coach, going 66-46 in the regular season and 1-4 in the playoffs. He led the team to 56 wins in his first five seasons, but Atlanta blew a 17-0 lead in the NFC Championship Game after the 2012 season and then won just 10 games over the next two years.

Smith also spent five years (2003-2007) as the Jacksonville Jaguars' defensive coordinator.

--Field Level Media

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