After letting Chan Gailey go following another unsuccessful season, the Buffalo Bills are looking for someone to change the losing culture. The newly-available Lovie Smith would be the perfect option for this organization.
Jeff Dickerson of ESPN reports that Smith will interview for the job at some point this weekend.
Smith was the head coach of the Chicago Bears for nine years before being fired after a 10-6 season. Although fans might not want another retread coach that failed somewhere else, it is important to look at the big picture.
Primarily, it is important to note that the veteran coach had a large amount of success over his career in Chicago. He won a total of 81 games, an average of nine regular-season wins per year.
Since his second year with the club, he has won at least seven games each season. Incidentally, his worst record is tied for the best that the Bills have put together over that stretch.
The Bears were looking for someone who can take them to the Super Bowl. Right now, Buffalo must focus on someone who can first have some winning seasons. Smith has proven he can do that consistently.
That is not to say that Smith cannot lead a team to the promise land. He brought his 2006 squad to the Super Bowl and the 2010 team to the NFC Championship Game. A few better bounces and healthier players could have given him a title or two.
He also now has a vast amount of experience about what does and does not work in the NFL. This is something that someone like Oregon coach Chip Kelly does not have.
Even those who spent time in the NFL as coordinators have to go through a learning process as a head coach, which is something that could slow down the team's improvement.
More importantly, Smith has what it takes to help the current Bills team get better in a hurry.
His calling card throughout his career has been strong defensive teams. Over the last three years, the Bears have twice been ranked in the top five in total points allowed.
Conversely, the Bills have not been higher than No. 26 in the league during that stretch.
While there is obviously a great deal of talent on the Chicago roster, Smith's schemes were a big reason that this team was so successful.
Who should be the next coach of the Bills?
If he can improve Buffalo's defense even slightly, especially against the run, it would make a huge difference in the standings.
However, there is still the issue over what Smith could do for the team offensively. It is no secret that his teams have struggled over the years on that side of the football.
Fortunately, Buffalo already has a great offensive weapon that will help the team next season: C.J. Spiller.
The second-year running back finished the season averaging six yards per carry, which gave him a tie with Adrian Peterson for the best average among qualified running backs. Unfortunately, he was criminally underused, averaging only 13 carries per game.
Smith knows how to fully utilize his running back both as a runner and as a receiver. Spiller can be used similarly to Matt Forte in Chicago, who has averaged 1,530 yards from scrimmage over his five-year career.
With an elite running back and an improved defense, Buffalo could be a playoff contender as soon as next season. Lovie Smith is the best person to accomplish this with the team and he should be hired as the team's next coach.