Arthur Smith, a respected players’ coach and architect of Tennessee’s resurgent offense, is on the Jets’ radar. Is he fit to be a head coach?
Already a popular name at Jets X-Factor for months now, Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith has officially entered the mix as a head coaching candidate for the New York Jets – but New York is not the only team interested in Arthur’s services.
All six teams with HC openings – Chargers, Jets, Jaguars, Lions, Falcons, Texans – have either requested permission to interview Titans’ OC Arthur Smith or plan to ask permission, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 4, 2021
Spurring Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill to superstardom while leading the Titans to fifth in scoring (27.9 points per game) over the past two seasons, the 38-year-old Smith has become one of the most intriguing names in the coaching world. In 2020, Smith’s offense put the Titans organization on its back. Tennessee’s defense ranked 27th in points allowed per drive, but surged to an 11-5 record on the strength of Smith’s offense, which ranked second in points per drive behind only Green Bay.
Smith has survived the regimes of four different head coaches in Tennessee over 10 seasons with the team, boasting experience as an assistant coach on both offense and defense. Holding jobs such as defensive quality control coach, offensive quality control coach, offensive line coach, and tight ends coach, he has handled responsibilities all over the field.
As mentioned earlier, Smith has been discussed ad nauseam on this here website. Back in September, Ben Blessington broke down the many reasons Smith is a strong head coaching candidate, including not only what he has done on the field, but also his excellent coach-to-player communication skills off of it. In October, Sam Crnic broke down film of Smith’s offensive philosophies and tendencies.
Along with Smith’s many pluses come a few concerns. The number one question seems to be whether or not Smith is capable of leading an entire football team. While he is a fantastic offensive mind who appears to thrive at coaching players one-on-one, is he a guy who can take charge of an entire locker room and push forward the culture change that the Jets organization badly needs?
In addition, Smith is one of the greener candidates out there. He is yet to hit 40 years old and possesses only two years of play-calling experience.
Continuing their series of breakdowns on every Jets head coaching candidate, Ben Blessington and Michael Nania spoke to Titans reporter Buck Reising of A to Z Sports Nashville to get the lowdown on whether Arthur Smith is ready to take on an NFL head coaching job – particularly one in the country’s biggest market.