Eagles To Interview Lovie Smith

Add another name to the Eagles’ list of interviews.

Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski will meet with former Bears coach Lovie Smith on Thursday, the team announced.

Smith, 54, spent the past nine seasons in Chicago. The Bears went 81-63 (.563) under his direction, making the playoffs three times. Chicago was 3-3 in the postseason and advanced to the Super Bowl during the 2006 season.

Smith had defense and special-teams figured out. The problem, pretty consistently with his teams, was offense. They finished out of the top 10 in points scored in eight of nine seasons.

Here’s a look at the Bears’ average rank in offense and defense over the last nine years – both in terms of points scored/allowed and Football Outsiders’ DVOA rankings:

Scoring OffenseScoring DefenseFootball Outsiders (Offense)Football Outsiders (Defense)

You can see the clear split.

The Bills are the only other team that has interviewed Smith, and they hired Doug Marrone last week. Smith and Mike Nolan are the only two candidates the Eagles have interviewed who have previous NFL head-coaching experience. Here’s a list of all the coaches the Eagles have interviewed or are scheduled to interview.

Jay GrudenBengals OCWill Interview
Gus BradleySeahawks DCWill Interview
Bruce AriansColts OCWill Interview
Lovie SmithEx-Bears CoachHas Interviewed
Mike NolanFalcons DCHas Interviewed
Keith ArmstrongFalcons ST CoachHas Interviewed
Mike McCoyBroncos OCHas Interviewed
Chip KellyOregon HCHas Interviewed
Bill O'BrienPenn State HCHas Interviewed

As you can see, there’s no set formula. Five have offensive backgrounds; three have defensive backgrounds; and one special-teams. Former head coaches, college coaches and current NFL assistants are all included.

One more thing to keep in mind with Smith. While he’s obviously in the mix to be the head coach, don’t rule him out as a potential defensive coordinator down the road. There’s no guarantee that he lands a head-coaching gig, and we’ve discussed at length the importance of hiring strong coordinators. In the event that the Eagles go with a less experienced head coach, Smith would be just that.


The Eagles also announced that they’ve signed wide receivers Nick Miller and DeMarco Sampson, each to two-year contracts.

Miller (5-9, 180) has played in 17 games with the Oakland Raiders (2009-11) and St. Louis Rams (2011). He has four catches for 48 yards. Miller has also returned 45 punts for 404 yards. He played his college ball at Southern Utah and signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2009.

Sampson (6-2, 204) was a seventh-round pick by of the Cardinals in 2011. He had three catches for 36 yards in 12 games as a rookie and played his college ball at San Diego State.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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