The Philadelphia Eagles added a new name to their coaching search when Lovie Smith agreed to talk to them on Jan. 10, according to the Associated Press. If the Eagles can land Smith, they would get a coach far more experienced than the likes of Chip Kelly, Bill O’Brien or Bruce Arians. However, that may be why Philadelphia should think twice about hiring him.
The Eagles already fired Andy Reid after 14 years of failing to win the Super Bowl, and missing the playoffs more often than not in his final years. Unfortunately, Smith has the exact same baggage with the Chicago Bears, albeit over a nine-year career.
Yet Smith did get fired after a 10-6 year for Chicago in 2012, which has to say something. Not only did the Bears miss the playoffs in spite of their 10 wins, they blew a 7-1 start this season just as they blew a 7-2 start last year. In fact, Chicago missed the postseason in five out of its last six years with Smith, with the one exception being when it lost the 2011 NFC title game at home to the arch-rival Green Bay Packers.
Like Reid, Smith reached a Super Bowl relatively early in his tenure, in which his team went to Florida to face a legendary quarterback. But just Reid and the Eagles lost to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at Jacksonville in 2005, Smith and Bears lost to Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts at Miami in 2007.
After those Super Bowl defeats, Chicago, Philadelphia and their long-time head coaches were never the same. That kind of track record doesn’t scare off everyone, however. Reid has already moved on to coach the Kansas City Chiefs, in spite of how ugly his Eagles career ended. And Smith now has prospects with the Eagles despite the disappointing end to his Bears career.
Yet if Philadelphia goes with another veteran coach who never won it all despite a few good chances, and who ended his years of service on a frustrating note, it will be hard to say that things are changing. Of course, whether Arians, Gus Bradley or another prospective candidate can give the Eagles a cleaner slate is uncertain.
But Smith’s chances to do so have to be met with skepticism, since Philadelphia knows coaches like him all too well already.