The Eagles are just one day removed from firing Doug Pederson and their coaching search is in full swing.
The latest name to add to the list is Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, according to ESPN.
Smith, 38, has been the Titans’ offensive coordinator since 2019, when he took over for Matt LaFleur, who left to take the Packers’ head coaching gig.
Smith has also garnered interest from the Falcons, Chargers, Jets and Lions. He has already interviewed with the first three teams and is scheduled to interview with the Lions on Tuesday. So if he meets with the Eagles, they’d be Smith’s fifth interview this offseason.
The Titans managed to put up just 13 points in a playoff game last weekend against the Ravens, but that audition shouldn’t sour NFL teams on Smith. His offense has performed very well the last two seasons.
Here’s where the Titans ranked in some major offensive categories the last two seasons:
- Points scored: 893 (5th)
- Total yards: 12,148 (5th)
- Passing yards: 7,235 (20th)
- Passing attempts: 933 (31st)
- Rushing yards: 4,913 (2nd)
- Rushing attempts: 966 (2nd)
So clearly, Smith’s offense with Tennessee has been a heavy running attack but that’s the way to do it when you have a monster like Derrick Henry in his prime. You run the rock.
Perhaps the best case you can make for Smith, however, is the job he’s been able to do with Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Since arriving in Tennessee last year, the former first-round pick has really revived his career. He was a Pro Bowler for the first time in 2019 and had another good season in 2020. He has had passer ratings over 100 in back-to-back seasons.
Maybe Smith is the guy to similarly resurrect Carson Wentz’s career. If the Eagles want to maximize Wentz and would rather keep him than trade him and absorb an absurd dead cap amount, then maybe Smith is the guy to fix him.
Smith has worked his way up the ranks in Tennessee, where he began as a defensive quality control coaching 2011. He was briefly with Washington from 2007-08. So he doesn’t have a wealth of experience around the NFL, which might limit him in putting a staff together. But he’s such a strong candidate that the Eagles are wise to at least meet with him.
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