Chargers have interviewed DC Mike Smith

Oct 30, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith looks on prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith looks on prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

And so the search for a new captain has begun. The Chargers publicly announced that they have scheduled a good handful of candidates for the head coach position.

Names like Matt Patricia, Vance Joseph and Sean McDermott all sound appealing, and we should be able to sign one of these guys. The race for the head coaching job here in Charger land has officially taken off. Jan. 5 marked the first interview the Chargers have held with one of their prospects. Yesterday’s interview was held with none other than Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith.

Smith is one of the Chargers’ head coaching prospects that I actually want them to sign. He is one of the few coaches we have scheduled for an interview that has taken on the role of a head coach in the past. The only thing I don’t really like about him is that he doesn’t have a great history in the playoffs. In fact, his playoff record is a mere 1-4.

However, he is a coach who could definitely take our team to the playoffs, and we have a very talented group of players compared to the other rosters he has coached in the past. Coming from a defensive-coaching background, he is just one of the better and “low-key” names on my Head Coaching Candidates list. In my opinion, Smith is a VERY underrated defensive coordinator. This past season, he took on the role of coaching the defense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he has done a pretty good job in Florida with a younger and developing team like the Bucs. Here are some pretty cool defensive stats between the Chargers and the Buccaneers:

  • The Buccaneers finished the season ninth in total sacks in 2016 (38 sacks); the Chargers finished at 14th (35 sacks).
  • The Chargers finished the year with the most interception in the league at 18 (three-way tie for first with  BAL and KC), whereas the Bucs finished with the fourth-most with 17 (five-way tie with GB, NYG, CIN and CAR)
  • Tampa Bay finished in 15th place for forced Fumbles (21); the Chargers finished 22nd (18).
  • Tampa Bay is 18th in the league for points allowed per game (23.5 points allowed), whereas the Chargers are one of the worst at fourth place (26.5 points allowed).

All around these stats are pretty interesting, especially when considering the fact that Tampa Bay does not have the level of talent that the Chargers wield on defense. If Smith can square up the Bucs’ defense and make them a playoff-caliber team in one season, imagine what he could do for us here in San Diego.

We have seen how interviews pan out like this in the past. Typically, if we don’t sign the person or player the same day, there is a good chance we don’t sign him at all. The Chargers will be traveling to Rhode Island tomorrow to interview Sean McDermott, defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers (another coach who I do prefer). If this is indeed “just a start” for Mike Smith, then my advice to the Chargers is to keep this guy open when it comes to consideration. We could use a guy like Smith, and I remember his head coaching days with the Falcons. They were a team that was not to be messed with during his years as the head coach in Atlanta. Aside from Smith, here are my top coaching candidates I would like to see rock the Bolt next year (list is ordered by coaches I like the most):

  1. Matt Patricia (Chargers are competing with the Rams to sign Patricia)
  2. Mike Smith (Chargers are competing with the Jags to sign Smith)
  3. Vance Joseph (Chargers are competing with the Broncos and Rams)
  4. Kyle Shanahan (The Broncos are heavily leaning on Shanahan as the HC)
  5. Sean McDermott (He interviews with us tomorrow and the 49ers next week)
  6. Teryl Austin – (Scheduled to interview with the Chargers and the Rams)
  7. Josh McDaniels – (Scheduled to interview with the Jags, Rams and 49ers)

Well, there you have it. A bit of an update on the Chargers’ search for the head coach and some candidates I would like to see! What do you guys think? Who should coach this team, and who do you have as your favorite candidates for the job? Remember to Bolt UP!