Why Lovie Smith Makes Perfect Sense for Washington Redskins' Coaching Vacancy

Dilan AmesCorrespondent IDecember 31, 2013

Dec. 23, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA: Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

When the Washington Redskins fired Mike Shanahanspeculation immediately began as to who would be next in line to try and fix the mess in D.C. Many names have been thrown around, but the one that sticks out most is Lovie Smith. When you look at what the team needs versus what he offers, it's clear the two would make a good fit.

The Redskins' biggest issue in 2013 was their woefully unimpressive defense, and Lovie could be the perfect remedy for that. He ran a defensive-minded team during his nine-year tenure with the Chicago Bears, including a top-10 defense in four of those seasons.

To put things in perspective, the Redskins have given up 40-plus points three times in 2013 alone, whereas the Bears gave up that much a combined total of four times during Smith's nine years with the team.

Another positive that would come with hiring Smith is that Washington would be getting a very experienced coach as opposed to a college coach with little or no NFL experience. That's not to look down upon college coaches, but you never know whether you're getting Jim Harbaugh or Bobby Petrino. 

With Smith, there would be a definitive yet subtle voice in the locker room. Smith's coaching style is reminiscent of former Colts and Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy; a soft-spoken man with a defensive playbook that can match offenses throughout the league.

What's also great about Smith is that he's made a handful of deep playoff runs, one of which included a Super Bowl appearance.

When he was fired by Chicago a couple of seasons ago, it came after a 10-6 season that proved he could still coach a team to a winning record and into the playoffs. The Bears didn't make the postseason that year, but they were right in the mix, and that's more than I can say for the Redskins.

Shanahan's 4 seasons in Washington vs. Lovie's 9 seasons in Chicago
TeamGames with 40-plus pts. allowedSacks (avg. per season)
Chicago Bears437
Washington Redskins434.5
Pro Football Reference

He would also be inheriting the most talented quarterback he will have ever worked with and could play a major role in his development. Speaking of developing Robert Griffin III, Smith has been open about the offensive coordinator he would bring with him—a man named Jeff Tedford from Cal, according to Dan Greenspan of NFL.com.

Tedford is most known for his discovery and development of Aaron Rodgers, and he would be brought in to (hopefully) bring RG3 along.

When you look at this situation as a whole, it's hard to find where this doesn't make sense for the Redskins. If they do decide to make a move on the former Bears coach, they will have competition. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also have interest in Smith, according to Vinnie Iyer of SportingNews.com, so Washington will have to act with haste if Lovie is its guy.