Arthur Smith is one of many potential coaching candidates for the LA Chargers this offseason.
The LA Chargers officially parted ways with Anthony Lynn on NFL’s Black Monday, creating one of the most intriguing head coach openings in the entire league.
There have been several names connected to the Chargers and there will likely be plenty more. NFL Media’s Jim Trotter reported that the Chargers are expected to interview 10-12 coaching candidates and that Dean Spanos will be more involved with the hiring process.
We got our first confirmed interviewee not long after the news of Lynn’s firing was announced. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that all six teams that currently have a head coach opening have requested to interview Tennesee Titans offensive coordinator, Arthur Smith.
Thus, we bring you our first LA Chargers potential head coach profile in what should be a long process to find Justin Herbert’s next head coach.
What makes Arthur Smith a candidate to be the head coach of the LA Chargers?
As previously mentioned, Smith is the offensive coordinator of the Tennesee Titans and has held that post for two seasons now. The Titans’ offense has been much better under Smith, and more importantly, so has Ryan Tannehill.
The 2017 and 2018 Titans were both winning football teams (2017’s team even won a playoff game) but were not great in moving the football, nor scoring. In 2017 the Titans ranked 19th in points per game (20.9) and 23rd in total yards (5,023).
In 2018, Tennesee ranked 27th in points per game (19.4) and 25th (5,002) in total yards. It is clear that they were not winning football games because of their offense.
Then Smith comes in and everything changes. The Titans ranked 10th in points per game (25.1) in 2019 and fourth in 2020 (30.7). They would have ranked even higher in 2019 as they averaged 27.6 points per game once Tannehill took over and that is included a shutout in Tannehill’s first start.
Tannehill was not someone who we would have envisioned as one of the 10 best quarterbacks in the league two years ago but that is absolutely what he has become. If you haven’t seen the CBS Sports tweet that mirrors Tannehill with Patrick Mahomes, it is quite remarkable.
How good has Ryan Tannehill been since taking over for Titans 24 games ago?
Tannehill Mahomes (last 24 games)114 QB Rating 105.96,080 Pass Yds 6,98361 Total TD 5610 INT 1067.7 Cmp % 66.4 pic.twitter.com/eYW6h4Lvdm
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) December 21, 2020
The elephant in the room is obviously Derrick Henry, who is the motor of Tennesee’s offense and just picked up 2,000 yards on the ground. It is worth noting that Henry’s yards per carry did increase in both years under Smith as well as his total touches.
But that just shows Smith’s ability to run an offense. He knows what the strength is in Tennesee and has utilized that to maximize the offense. That does not mean that he will come to LA and run the ball 300 times with Austin Ekeler, it simply means he knows how to utilize the talent on the field and make the most out of them.
The Tannehill turnaround is the most impressive part of his resume and if he can make Tannehill, who we ALL gave up on, into a top-10 quarterback then just imagine the things he can do with Justin Herbert.
His ability to scheme up great plays and play to the Titans’ strengths is absolutely enticing, on top of his impact on Ryan Tannehill. However, I do understand those that might me warier at the idea that Henry is the reason why this offense is thriving and we have not seen Smith perform anywhere else.
What do you think? Do you want to see Arthur Smith as the head coach of the LA Chargers or would you like to see someone else? Where does he rank on your personal power rankings? Let us know in the comments down below!