New Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith is about as anonymous as someone of his rank can be in the modern 24-hour a day NFL media era. Few outside of Tennessee likely know his name, much less anything about him. Even casual Titans fans probably wouldn’t be able to pick him out of a lineup.
However, his story is one of the most unique among NFL coordinators. Smith took an unconventional route to the offensive coordinator position. A former captain on the offensive line for the University of North Carolina, he started as a defensive assistant before moving to the offensive side of the ball, eventually becoming the Titans full time tight ends coach in 2016.
During his eight years with the organization, Smith has coached under four different head coaches — Mike Munchak, Ken Whisenhunt, Mike Mularkey, and Mike Vrabel — managing to earn a spot on each coach’s staff despite the constant turnover around him.
In addition to his unorthodox football background, he’s also got a bit of an unusual upbringing as one of FedEx founder Fred Smith’s ten children. However, despite a famous father and a sister that is a successful Hollywood movie producer, Arthur Smith has largely stayed out of the spotlight.
That made his appearance on Taylor Lewan and Will Compton’s new podcast, Bussin’ With The Boys, all that more interesting. The wide ranging discussion touched on Smith’s background, fear of failure, thoughts on Denzel Washington’s acting career, buying artwork, Russ Grimm stories, how Smith went about getting the offensive coordinator job when Matt LaFleur left for Green Bay, Lewan thinking he was going to be drafted by the Falcons in 2014 (and how he was relieved that the Lions didn’t pick him a few spots later), Smith’s father, Mike Vrabel’s wit, and many other interesting subjects.
Possibly my favorite quote from Smith came out of this interview as well when the guys were discussing coaching philosophy and player assignments:
“Don’t forget what it looked like in a facemask.”
— Arthur Smith
We’ve heard many players talk about how well-liked Smith is in the Titans locker room, but you could really feel that come through in this discussion and you really got more of a sense for his personality. It’s well worth the listen.
Here is a part of the episode in video format.
Make sure you check out the full podcast version though. It has a lot more audio content and you can get to it on iTunes by clicking here. It’s really a ton of fun and they’ve already had some great guests in Delanie Walker, Cross Fit king Rich Froning, and Arthur Smith on the show. Congrats to The Boys on a very cool project.
Also, since you brought up podcasts, please go subscribe and download the Football... and Other F Words Podcast via the links below. Five star ratings and reviews are always very much appreciated as well!