Arthur Smith is Titans' new offensive coordinator

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Arthur Smith, who started out as a defensive quality control coach and worked his way up to tight ends coach, is the Titans’ new offensive coordinator.

Three outsiders were also considered.

In hiring from the inside, Mike Vrabel maintains some continuity. He also rewards a coach who’s won the trust of four head coaches, promotes a guy who worked his way up from the very bottom despite coming from a very comfortable family situation and goes with an insider who's won rave reviews from some who’ve coached with him in Nashville in the past.ArthurSmith

I wrote a bit when many automatically presumed Pat O’Hara would be the in-house candidate about how they should be looking at Smith instead. [Unlocked]

“Arthur would be very qualified for that job,” said one former co-worker. “He knows that personnel and how to use them better than anyone on that offensive staff. I promise you he had a big influence on [Matt] LaFleur and how to game plan, especially in the division. He won’t take credit, but LaFleur better have an Arthur in Green Bay. He is more than capable to run that offense.”

Smith surely called games on film with Vrabel as part of an audition. That would entail taking a random game on film, seeing the defensive personnel on the field and what the offense countered with and then calling what he would have done with that personnel against that D in that down and distance.

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The cerebral Smith is a relatively quiet guy who seeks zero limelight but has earned the respect of players. He's consistently gotten good play out of tight ends, even when his group has been reduced to players with little to no pedigree as it was this season after the loss of both Delanie Walker and Jonnu Smith to injuries.

I spoke to one player at another position on offense this week who absolutely loved the idea of Smith getting the job.

apple icon 144x144 precomposedI also think it’s a heck of a story that a guy whose dad is the CEO of FedEx has worked his way up the traditional path of an NFL coach. The hours, work and pay of a defensive assistant/quality control coach in 2011 or an offensive assistant/ quality control coach in 2012-13 are tough. It’s a foot-in-the-door job and one really has to love it to endure it and work his way up that path.

Smith surely had some other options with some more reasonable hours.

It’s clear he had his heart set on making it in the NFL. He’s taking a big step toward that right now.

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