Tennessee Titans running backs coach Sherman Smith is the top candidate for the offensive coordinator’s position with the Washington Redskins, and will leave this afternoon for an interview.
Smith was a teammate of new Redskins head coach Jim Zorn when both played with the expansion Seattle Seahawks in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Zorn as quarterback and Smith as running back.
The two men have remained close since their playing days.
“We started out in league together [in 1976] and have stayed in contact,” Smith told The City Paper. “We’ve both been in coaching since we’ve finished playing, and we’ve maintained that relationship.
“We’ve always talked about one day coaching togethher and always talked about one day coaching together and we'll see if now is right time. I just want to see if it’s right time for us to be together. The big thing for me is I love it here. This is a great situation I’m in. I’ve wanted to be a coordinator, but there are a lot of factors that I’ve got to take a look at.”
Smith, 53, currently carries the title of assistant head coach/running backs, and has been with the Titans organization since 1995 when Coach Jeff Fisher assembled his first coaching staff. Smith said he and his wife Sharon will head to Washington today, but he informed Zorn that he won’t make a decision one way or the other right away regarding the Redskins' job. That's because Smith said he enjoys the situation with Fisher and the Titans as well.
“I talked to Jeff about it, and gave me permission to go up there and talk to them,” Smith said. “He said, ‘You owe it to yourself to go and take a look. That’s the business.' I know Jim, and he’s going to be a good head coach, and out of respect for our friendship, I think I owe it to myself and to him to take a look.”
Zorn was hired over the weekend as the Redskins head coach, just weeks after being named the team’s offensive coordinator. He had served as quarterbacks coach for the Seahawks for the past seven years.