The Detroit Lions have a new general manager, so now thoughts will turn to what happens next in their search for the next boss of the franchise.
Detroit’s interview process has led them to multiple names thus far, one of which is Tennessee Titans’ offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. During this hiring cycle, Smith has been in-demand as a candidate, but the timeline could be shaping up to push for a close for him soon.
This week, Smith will come back for a second interview in Detroit Friday as part of a busy schedule, as Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported.
The #Falcons had a second interview today with #Titans OC Arthur Smith, who then flew to New York to have dinner tonight with #Jets brass, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. Next up for Smith: The #Eagles on Thursday and #Lions on Friday. A red-hot head-coaching candidate.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 13, 2021
The Lions had Smith in earlier this week on Tuesday for the first interview, and the turnaround time for their second interview will be a mere three days. While nothing is set in stone as of yet, that could point to the fact that the Lions want to get the ball rolling and finish out the hiring process, making Smith a strong contender for the job.
Now that Brad Holmes in in the mix, he could have a good idea of what the Lions want to do at coach, and it’s possible he may have even signed off on Smith for the role during his interviews given some of the current potential tea leaves.
Arthur Smith Might Be in Play for Lions
Detroit has preached patience and diligence within both of the roles they were looking to fill, but it’s hard to ignore the timelines and how similar they could be within the case of Holmes and Smith. This week, it was revealed the Lions would be bringing Holmes back for a second interview. As it turned out, the team was so impressed with the executive that they offered him the job. Wednesday night, word leaked the Lions wanted Smith back for a second interview.
According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions and Holmes talked about coaching candidates as part of the second interview. In that case, it sure seems as if Smith’s name would have come up as a finalist for both the team and Holmes, and it’s possible considering the flurry of interviews he’s had that the Lions wouldn’t want to miss out on nabbing him if they had the chance to seal the deal on Friday night. Smith has also had second interviews in Atlanta and New York, but both franchises let him leave the building without a deal.
Detroit might also prefer experience in the role, making Marvin Lewis and Dan Campbell potential fits if a deal is not reached with Smith. Even such, reports of that could be mere smoke screens in the process given how things have gone already for Detroit.
Why Arthur Smith Might Make Sense for Lions
A big reason for the resurgence of the Titans the last few seasons has been Smith, the man who has risen through the ranks to become the team’s offensive coordinator. The Titans play smash mouth football with the run game, are physical up front and use a great down field passing game. Smith has won with Ryan Tannehill, so it’s more than possible that the Detroit personnel could fit him and his style like a glove given Matthew Stafford’s influence on the offense. This would be an interesting hire given the Lions strengths as well as Smith’s own personal strengths as a coach and coordinator.
Whether or not Smith is the hire remains to be seen, but it’s becoming clear he isn’t just another name on the list for the Lions in this cycle.