The New York Jets have completed a second interview with Arthur Smith, while Robert Saleh plans to meet with the Chargers.
Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith arrived Wednesday night. He now leaves Thursday after the New York Jets announced the completion of his second interview.
We have completed our second interview with Arthur Smith for our head coaching vacancy.
📰 https://t.co/HcCeO9MKUk pic.twitter.com/tc4PfxjGkF
— New York Jets (@nyjets) January 14, 2021
Smith, 38, initially interviewed with the team virtually this past Monday. Just two days later, he found himself in the area for dinner with the Jets brass, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Smith remains in high demand. Nearly every team with an opening has shown at least some interest in Smith. This past season, his Titans finished third in total offense and second in rushing yards. Running back Derrick Henry came away with his second-consecutive rushing title.
The FedEx royalty (his dad, Frederick W. Smith, is the founder of FedEx) became the second man to meet with the Jets face-to-face. The first was San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.
Saleh, 41, ranks right up there with Smith in the demand column. His Niners defense finished second in total defense a year ago and ranked fifth this past season, despite overwhelming injuries.
After having spent a night in the area. Saleh took off to meet with the Philadelphia Eagles for a first interview. On Thursday, he’s slated to meet with the Los Angeles Chargers about their opening, per Rapoport.
The #Chargers are expected to bring in #49ers DC Robert Saleh for a second interview, sources tell me and @MikeGarafolo. That means Saleh will go for second interviews with LAC and the #Jets, plus he’s currently interviewing with the #Eagles for the first time.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 14, 2021
Now 11 days into the process (Week 17 was Jan. 3), not one of the teams with openings has named a head coach. At this point a year ago, four of the five openings had already been filled (Week 17 was Dec. 29 in 2019).
The pandemic is playing a curiously under-the-radar role in the team’s head-coaching searches this time around. It makes sense. How could any general manager feel comfortable in somebody having met him through Zoom only?
Consider the first in-person interview the first real meeting. This means Smith and Saleh are simply making the rounds as regularly-scheduled.