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VOL. 45 | NO. 2 | Friday, January 8, 2021

Jets add Titans OC Arthur Smith to list of HC candidates

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NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Jets interviewed Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith on Monday for their head coaching vacancy.

Smith is the eighth known candidate to meet remotely with the Jets, who are also expected to interview New Orleans defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn later Monday.

New York, which fired Adam Gase after two seasons, spoke to Buffalo offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Indianapolis defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley on Sunday. The Jets have also interviewed Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, former Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis, San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and Carolina offensive coordinator Joe Brady.

The 38-year-old Smith has been a Titans assistant for 10 seasons, including the last two as Tennessee's offensive coordinator. He is expected to interview with several of the six teams looking for a head coach.

Smith oversaw an offense that tied for second this season in total yards per game, led by 2,000-yard rusher Derrick Henry. He has also helped Ryan Tannehill, the AP Comeback Player of the Year last season, become one of the NFL's most efficient passers. Tannehill threw a career-high 33 touchdown passes this season.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel gave his endorsement to Smith being hired as an NFL head coach as someone he respects.

"Arthur's always done the best job in the job that he's had," Vrabel said. "He hasn't worked telephones and tried to undercut anybody. He's always come to work, and I have a lot of trust in Arthur as a person first and foremost, so I know he'd do a fantastic job leading anybody's team."

The Titans went 11-5 to win the AFC South, but were eliminated from the playoffs Sunday with a 20-13 loss to Baltimore. Smith's offense struggled against the Ravens as Henry had his worst performance this season with 18 carries for 40 yards and the Titans were held to their fewest points.

Smith began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at North Carolina, his alma mater, in 2006. He spent two seasons as a defensive quality assistant for Washington before going to Mississippi as a defensive intern and administrative assistant in 2010.

Smith was hired in 2011 by Mike Munchak in Tennessee as a defensive quality control coach. He became the offensive quality control coach the next season, and was promoted to offensive line and tight ends assistant in 2013. New head coach Ken Whisenhunt kept him on his staff in 2014 as the assistant tight ends coach before he was promoted to tight ends coach by Mike Mularkey in 2016.

Smith was again retained in 2018 when Mike Vrabel took over as coach, and promoted to offensive coordinator in 2019.

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