It was reported on Tuesday afternoon from several sources that the Philadelphia Eagles will interview recently fired Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith on Thursday. Smith spent the last 9 seasons as the Bears head coach where he compiled a 81-63 record and the third best all-time winning percentage in franchise history.
Smith is a very intriguing candidate for the Eagles. He won 3 division titles in Chicago, including two trips to the NFC title game and one trip to the Super Bowl in the 2006 season. Those numbers were pretty impressive for a franchise that has had its share of miserable drafts and a stingy front office when it comes to the offense. Nobody has had more of a revolving door when it comes to the quarterback position.
The thing that really stands out with Lovie Smith’s teams is the effort and respect he gets from his players. This is also the thing that was really lacking from the Eagles players this season. It appeared that some of the Eagles players lost respect for Andy Reid and the coaching staff this season, Getting a coach who has a great track record of getting all 53 players to play with maximum effort is a huge plus right now.
Lovie Smith’s only real issue in Chicago, and it was a big one, was his inability to hire good offensive coaches. Ron Turner was his offensive coordinator for 5 seasons (2005-2009), which was probably 5 seasons too long. Then he tried his former boss in St Louis, Mike Martz. Martz ran Greg Olsen out of town and never really had the wide receivers capable of running his style of offense. His lack of balance on offense made Jay Cutler any easy target in the backfield. Martz resigned after the 2011 season and Smith promoted offensive line coach Mike Tice to offensive coordinator. Tice never had the respect of his quarterback and never showed the creative ability necessary to be a successful offensive playcaller.
Philadelphia could be a the perfect fit for Smith as a head coach. Remember, only Andy Reid was fired, the rest of the staff is still employed and can be kept by the new head coach. Could Marty Mornhinweg be the right offensive coordinator for Lovie Smith. It’s not so crazy.
The 2012 season was a disaster for so many reasons. It’s easy to blame Mornhinweg for a lot of it. The offense finished 29th in points this season and Mornhinweg became an easy target, but remember he runs Andy Reid’s offense. He call the plays, but it’s still Reid’s offense and Reid’s gameplan.
Keeping the same offensive staff would also be incredibly beneficial for a developing quarterback like Nick Foles. Jason Campbell was once a promising young quarterback, but new offensive coordinator after new offensive coordinator really hurt his growth. Stability is key for a young quarterback.
There is no guarantee that a Lovie Smith/Marty Mornhinweg coaching staff would fare any better than what Lovie was able to do in Chicago or what Reid accomplished with Marty, but it certainly has the potential to be great.
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