The Philadelphia Eagles will interview ex-Chicago Bears boss Lovie Smith for their head coaching vacancy on Thursday. That's according to a report from philaldelphiaeagles.com.
Smith has surprisingly generated plenty of interest since being dumped on the coaching scrap heap by the Bears. That's despite missing the playoffs in three out of his last four seasons in the Windy City.
He did however, take the Bears to the Super Bowl in 2006 and consistently produced fierce defenses. That could appeal to an Eagles organisation that has seen a star-studded unit collapse during the last two seasons.
Even with personnel like Cullen Jenkins and Nnamdi Asomugha, the Eagles ranked 29th in points allowed in 2012. Smith's expertise is on the defensive side of the ball and he built his best Bears teams on ball-hawking, aggressive units.
A staunch practitioner of the Tampa-2 scheme, Smith favours a 4-3 defensive front. That would certainly suit many of the Eagles' current personnel, who could become stars in a Tampa-2 defense.
Fletcher Cox gives Smith the pass-rushing, three-technique defensive tackle he needs. DeMeco Ryans is the athletic middle linebacker Smith's coverage system demands. Mychal Kendricks can be the all-action, weak-side linebacker, in the mould of Lance Briggs.
However, as much as Smith might help the defense, Philadlphia's offense didn't exactly click this season either. In fact, the unit slumped to a lowly 15th overall ranking and like the defense, was 29th in scoring.
That just shouldn't happen with players like LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson in the fold. Many of the Eagles problems have come at quarterback, where Michael Vick has largely been a disaster.
Solving the problem under center must be the priority for any new head coach. The bad news for Eagles fans is that Smith doesn't have an enviable track record with quarterbacks.
He tried and ultimately failed, to have Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton and Jay Cutler lead his offenses in Chicago. Poor play along the offensive line often didn't help. Smith would face a similar problem in Philadelphia. The Eagles surrendered 48 sacks in 2012 and had major issues at left tackle.
However, Smith would have a talented cast of playmakers to work with, if he could get them to produce. He may provide more discipline for a team guilty of immaturity and underperforming during the last two seasons.
Smith is still considered a capable coach after going 81-63 with the Bears. However, it should also be noted that he only took them to the playoffs three times in nine seasons. That includes only one postseason berth since that lone Super Bowl appearance.
He makes most sense for the Eagles from the perspective of improving their porous defense. If Smith could get the unit back among the league's toughest, the Eagles already have the skill players on offense to compete in a below-par NFC East.944158