More than a week after the Bears fired coach Lovie Smith following a 10-6 year and another missed postseason, the Eagles have announced they'll interview him Thursday for a chance to fill Andy Reid's former spot.
Already, Smith had interviewed with the Bills, though they went in a more collegey direction, and there have been reports that the Chargers would be interested in talking to him after they hire a new general manager.
"Combining Smith's time as defensive coordinator with the Rams and his time as Bears head coach, Smith's defenses finished ranked in the NFL's top-five four times," the Eagles wrote on their official website. "The hallmark of Smith's Bears teams was often the ability of his defense to create takeaways. Consider that during his nine seasons in charge of the Bears, the team finished among the top five in takeaways five times and among the top 10 seven times."
As we point out every day in our coaching rumors roundup, the Eagles have interviewed Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong. Meanwhile, Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians -- freshly released from the hospital -- is also scheduled to interview, as are Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.
This comes after Oregon coach Chip Kelly very publicly rejected the Eagles to return to Oregon.
If Smith did get the Eagles job, he'd need to figure out a way to turn around the offense, something Bears general manager Phil Emery mentioned in his decision to fire Smith.
"Our No. 1 goal always has to be to win championships, and to win championships we have to be in contention on a consistent basis, and to be in contention we have to make the playoffs on a consistent basis," he said. "We've had defensive excellence, but during the course of Coach Smith's years here, we've had one offense that was ranked in the top 15."
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