In the last couple of days there have been a number of potential head coaching candidates identified by various media members as having been targeted by the Chargers. Dave Toub, Sean McDermott, Vance Joseph, Matt Patricia, Teryl Austin and you can now add another name to that list... Mike Smith.
In addition to interviewing with the Jaguars, Buccaneers' DC Mike Smith is expected to interview with Chargers, per league source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 4, 2017
Mike Smith, as most will remember, was the former head coach for the Atlanta Falcons from 2008-2014. While there, he accumulated a record of 67-50, including going 1-4 in the postseason. In his first five seasons as the Falcons head coach, he had a winning percentage of 70%, with only one season where they didn’t make the playoffs. In 2013 and 2014, however, the team went downhill finishing 4-12 and 6-10 respectively. This saw the end of the Mike Smith era in Atlanta.
Coach Smith, having learned under Jack Del Rio and Brian Billick to name a couple, has been at it for 34 years now. Other than his tenure as head coach, he has been on the defensive side of the ball at San Diego State, Tennessee Tech, Morehead State, Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Since being outed from Atlanta, he took over as defensive coordinator in Tampa Bay in 2016. It should be noted that Tampa Bay ranked 22nd in both rush and pass defense this season (they were 11th and 16th overall in 2015 under Leslie Frazier, respectively).
In fact, when looking at the overall rankings during his time in Atlanta, he never had a single season where his team cracked the top five offensively or defensively. While a defensive coordinator in Jacksonville, he did manage second ranked defense in 2006, while also finishing sixth in both 2003 and 2005.
Known for running more of a 4-3 scheme (there were some 3-4 concepts ran while in Atlanta as well, though it could have been due to Mike Nolan) that makes the majority of the candidates the Chargers have reached out to for the position 4-3 guys, something I know some fans have been wanting for a few years now.
No word on when the interview will be yet, but Smith does have an interview scheduled with Jacksonville for their open head coaching spot tomorrow (01/04/17) which Ian Rapoport says he is “well-positioned” there.