ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Chargers are interested in bringing in former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith for an interview. Smith was fired by the Bears on Monday, the same day the Chargers canned Norv Turner.
Smith is a proven head coach in the NFL with an 81-63 regular season record and one Super Bowl appearance. However, he doesn’t seem to be a fit for the Chargers.
The Chargers’ biggest area of need is on the offense and ranked 31st in that category in 2012. The offensive line has really struggled and has dragged down the play of everyone else on offense. Philip Rivers’ decision making, mechanics and accuracy have been declining, while Ryan Mathews didn’t top 100 yards in any game all season.
Smith is a defensive specialist, who was fired largely due to his inability to get the offense in Chicago going. The Bears didn’t do that much better than the Chargers on offense this season, ranking 28th in the league. The Bears too have had a spotty offensive line for years during Smith’s tenure as head coach.
Smith also ran a 4-3 defense in Chicago, while the Chargers currently run a 3-4 under defensive coordinator John Pagano. Pagano began blitzing more towards the end of the season and it brought great results, including an 11-sack performance against the New York Jets. While the defense under Pagano wasn’t dominant, Pagano should be allowed to return for a second year as defensive coordinator.
The Chargers are also interested in interviewing Indianapolis Colts interim head coach Bruce Arians. Given his offensive background, he already seems like a better candidate than Smith.