Smith has a .563 career winning percentage in the regular season which is better than Norv Turner who had a .414 winning percentage prior to becoming San Diego’s head coach in the 2007 NFL season.
Chicago ranked last in yards per play on offense in 2004, 30th in 2005, 21st in 2006, 30th in 2007, 26th in 2008, 20th in 2009, 28th in 2010, 21st in 2011 and 28th in 2012. This would be a risky hire because San Diego ranked 30th in yards per play on offense in 2012.
There is a perception that Smith’s teams always had a solid run game, but this is false. Chicago ranked 25th in yards per attempt in 2004, 23rd in 2006, 32nd in 2007, tied with the Cleveland Browns for 26th in 2008, ranked 25th in 2009 and 23rd in 2010.
San Diego averaged 3.6 yards per attempt in 2012 which ranked 31st while their four rushing touchdowns ranked last in the league. The Lighting Bolts need a head coach who coaches both sides of the ball.
Chicago started the 2011 season with a 7-3 record while they had a 7-1 record to start the 2012 season and missed the playoffs in both seasons. One could argue that losing Jay Cutler hurt the team. When Cutler started and finished games, Chicago had a combined 17-7 record in 2011 and 2012 while they were 1-7 in games that he did not start and finish.
Smith’s success in the regular season cannot be overlooked and he was the head coach of a Chicago team that went to the Super Bowl in 2006, but they missed the playoffs in five of his last six seasons in Chicago.