He expressed a genuine interest in the Buffalo coaching vacancy and the feeling of the Bills coaching search committee was mutual as they sat down with former Bears head coach Lovie Smith. Buffalobills.com confirmed the interview took place Friday.
Smith, 54, has spent the last nine seasons as head coach of the Chicago Bears where he compiled a record of 81-63. The Bears won three NFC North titles under Smith, and appeared in a pair of NFC title games, winning the 2006 NFC championship before falling to the Indianapolis Colts 29-17 in Super Bowl XLI.
As a head coach Smith has a 3-3 postseason record. He also has the most coaching experience in Buffalo's current candidate pool.
In 2012 the Bears started hot going 7-1 in the first half of the season, but struggled in the second half of the year due in part to a rash of injuries to key players including Brian Urlacher and Jay Cutler. Chicago finished 10-6, but missed the playoffs.
Smith has cut his teeth as a coach on the defensive side of the ball and is a proponent of the ‘Tampa 2’ defensive scheme first popularized by former Tampa Bay and Indianapolis head coach Tony Dungy, under whom Smith served as a linebackers coach with the Buccaneers (1996-2000).
In his three seasons as a defensive coordinator in St. Louis (2001-2003) and nine as a head coach in Chicago (2004-2012) Smith’s defense ranked in the NFL’s top five four times. As defensive coordinator of the Rams in 2001, his defense also appeared in Super Bowl XXXVI in which St. Louis fell to New England 20-17.
In addition to his 17 years of NFL coaching experience, Smith also has 13 years of college coaching experience as both a linebackers and defensive backs coach.
The San Diego Chargers are also reportedly interested in Smith as a head coaching candidate.