The Detroit Lions hired Dan Campbell as their next head coach this past offseason, moving on from the stench of what the maligned Matt Patricia left behind.
But before the hiring of Campbell, they had interviewed Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, and also scheduled an in-person meeting in Allen Park. However, Smith would cancel the meeting shortly before it was set to take place.
Smith would ultimately land in Atlanta, taking the head coaching job with the Falcons. But in a Zoom call earlier this afternoon, he explained that there were no hard feelings towards the Lions, and had nothing but good things to say about the organization.
“I was very grateful for the opportunity to talk to the Lions,” Smith said during a call on Thursday afternoon. “I did the interview on Zoom. Loved the interview. And just where I was during that process, I was further along with Atlanta. And like I said, it was an honor even to be in the conversation and just talk up there. It’s nothing against Detroit. I have no idea what their plan really was after that, just once Atlanta offered me the job, that’s what I was focused on, and I took it.
“I guess you could print it that way — ‘canceled’ — but that wasn’t the intention at all. I loved talking to the Lions.”
“Really good people at the top,” he said when asked his impressions of the team. “Really good people at the top.”
Smith has led the Falcons to a 6-8 mark so far in 2021, and he'll be facing the Lions on December 26.
– – Quotes via MLive Link – –