Before the Tennessee Titans 20-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in the AFC wild card round, offensive coordinator Arthur Smith was a hot commodity among teams searching for a new head coach.
Despite a dreadful showing in Nashville that yielded just 12 first downs and 209 yards of total offense, Smith was still in demand following the game, interviewing with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday night following the game and the New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Chargers and Detroit Lions on Monday night.
The Philadelphia Eagles also asked the Titans for permission to interview Smith on Tuesday.
In an interview with Robby and Rexrode on 102.5-FM on Tuesday, Yahoo! Sports NFL insider Charles Robinson stated that Smith would be the best fit on a team that runs a balanced offense with pieces already in place.
“I think the Chargers are probably the best destination [for Smith] just given the talent and the quarterback that’s there to work with,” Robinson said.
“…The ability for Arthur Smith to walk in and run the kind of balanced scheme he can run in Tennessee [is important]. But I also think some of this is being dictated by what’s going to happen with (Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator) Brian Daboll, and weirdly enough Doug Pederson. The separation with Philadelphia could actually impact this because I do think that Pederson could be a candidate in New York with the Jets.”
The Chargers are the only team that interviewed or requested to interview Smith that have a franchise quarterback already in place with record-breaking rookie Justin Herbert. Los Angeles also has a solid stable of running backs with Austin Ekeler, Kalen Ballage, Joshua Kelly and Justin Jackson, a nice 1-2 punch at receiver with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, and a top tight end in Hunter Henry.
Outside of the Chargers, the rest of the organizations looking for a head coach have some level of uncertainty at quarterback. The Jaguars are presumed to move on from Gardner Minshew and draft Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 pick in April’s draft.
The Jets have Sam Darnold but could potentially draft Justin Fields or Zach Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick. The Falcons and Lions have Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford, respectively, but both could be gone with new regimes taking over.
With five interviews already completed and a sixth potentially on the horizon, the likelihood the Titans could be in the market for a new offensive coordinator is becoming a very real possibility.
“Arthur would do a great job [as a head coach],” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for Arthur. [He] hasn't worked telephones and tried to undercut anybody. He’s always come to work. I have a lot of trust in Arthur as a person, first and foremost.”
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