The third episode of ‘Igniting the Fire’, aptly titled, ‘New OC in Town,’ focuses on how Arthur Smith earned the right to become the team’s new offensive coordinator.
The Titans motto this off season has been on how the team can focus on from going “Good to Great” after three 9-7 seasons in a row. If they’re going to make the strides they’re hoping to make, chances are the hiring of Smith will prove to be an excellent choice.
The episode opened up with a clip of Delanie Walker giving Smith a ringing endorsement on a previous episode of the Official Titans Podcast. It’s clear that one of the Titans most important play makers on the offensive side of the ball was 100% on board with Smith’s promotion.
The next part of the episode focused on facts we already know. The Titans decided to go in-house with the hiring of Smith. Continuity played a huge role in making that decision. He’s been a member of the coaching staff since 2011 and has survived four coaching changes. Yet no matter how many times these facts get repeated throughout this off season, Smith’s rise to this role is still very impressive.
In the middle of the episode, head coach Mike Vrabel mentions that young players improve when they know what to do. It’s a simple yet good point, and further highlights the fact that the continuity Smith is providing as a coach could be the reason this offense takes a huge step forward this coming season.
Some of the most interesting moments of the episode occur when we get to see a glimpse of Smith’s coaching style on the practice field. He’s been portrayed as a quiet guy in the media, but he’s quite vocal and encouraging in the clips we see. He appears to be extremely hands on. It’s safe to say he’s really enjoying this new role he finds himself in.
Wide receivers coach Rob Moore and running backs coach Tony Dews are next in line to sing Smith’s praise. Moore describes Smith as someone that’s extremely intelligent and an excellent communicator. Dews mentions that when he first got to Tennessee under Matt LaFleur, his office was next to Smith’s and he was someone he could always count on when he needed help.
Logan Ryan had an interesting moment when he compares Smith to an undrafted free agent. He mentions how Smith broke into coaching at the NFL level as a defensive quality assistant and really had to prove he belonged. There’s no doubt that Smith has worked his way up and had to grind away just like an UDFA has to.
Other key players such as Kevin Byard, Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis compliment Smith throughout the episode. I especially enjoyed Henry’s commentary on how Smith wants to play and run the ball physically. Who better than Henry to do just that?
We are super excited about the preview of next week’s episode, which appears to focus on the wide receivers.