The very real chance of the Buccaneers losing Mike Smith, the architect of the best defense this team has had in years, appear to be a bit greater today.
Per Ian Rapoport of NFL media last night, Smith has made his way onto the radar of the San Diego Chargers after he interviews in Jacksonville today:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 4, 2017
The Chargers joined the long list of teams looking for a new head coach on Sunday when they dumped Mike McCoy and there’s one thing Smith has over most of his rivals in this race: head coaching experience.
That’s the thing that makes Smith so attractive, perhaps more attractice than others. He went 66-46 in seven seasons as coach of the Falcons and led them to the NFC title game at the end of the 2012 season.
No one currently on the reportedly long list of potential candidates for the Chargers job has that kind of background, which is why you have to wonder why more teams aren’t interested in Smith.
Of course, it’s quite possible that many are and we just haven’t heard about them yet. So far, though, it seems only the Jaguars and Chargers have added Smith’s name to their list of candidates.
That could change, of course. If not, Smith would still seem to be in good position to regain a spot in the head coaching fraternity, if only because his experience would seem to give him a leg up on other candidates.
Speaking of other candidates, as you might expect, most of those reportedly being considered for the Chargers job are hot coordinators like Smith, the difference being their lack of head coaching experience.
According to various reports the Chargers are also interested in looking at Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub, Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia of the Patriots and Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.
Interestingly, McDermott was a candidate for the Bucs head coaching job a year ago. He was passed over for Dirk Koetter, who then went out and made his old Falcons boss, Smith, his defensive coordinator.