Lovie Smith is a good man and a quality football coach. Undoubtedly, any team would be lucky to hire Smith to run its defense and if he isn’t chosen for the top job by any of the five teams still searching for a head coach, it’s likely he’ll land somewhere.
But Lovie Smith isn’t the best option for the Philadelphi Eagles. Many would point to Smith’s track record (81-63, three NFC North titles, and a Super Bowl appearance) as justification for his hiring, but while I’m not diametrically opposed to hiring a “retread”, Smith’s resume doesn’t mesh with what the Eagles need in their next head coach.
Many will be quick to note that Smith had only two losing seasons since 2004 when he took over as Bears head coach. And that’s great. You know whoelse has had only two losing seasons since 2004? Andy Reid.
It’s not that Smith can’t win. He can. And it’s not that he can’t get the Eagles back to the postseason. He can do that, too. It’s what happens once they get there.
Smith, like Reid, is a solid coach who can’t correct his obvious flaws. That he couldn’t assemble and maintain a productive offensive unit during his stint in Chicago is telling and it’s also what, like Reid, would bring the Eagles into another era in which they can’t get over the hump.
Some will argue that the Eagles have better offensive pieces in place, but even this self-apparent truth isn’t necessarily, well, true. One of the Eagles’ biggest problems has been the gross overestimation of their offensive talent. Even with some adequate pieces in place, it’s no slam dunk that Smith would be carried with a wunderkind offensive coordinator to offset the past trends of his teams’ failures to consistently produce points.
If I’m a franchise who has spent much of the past decade in the gutter, looking to stabalize my franchise into a conistently respectable team, then Smith is the guy. But consistency and stabality aren’t the qualities Eagles fans or ownership want in their head coach at this point. They want the home run. They want it all. They want championships. And while it’s no sure bet that Gus Bradley or any of the other assistant coaches looking to take the next step can get it done, there’s also not a near decade long track record attached to any of them that implies they can’t.