The Chargers on Thursday announced the first person to interview for the top spot was Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith.
Smith was among a short list of defensive-minded candidates rumored to be under consideration by the Bolts. Other likely contenders included Matt Patricia, the Patriots Defensive Coordinator; Vance Joseph, the Dolphins Defensive Coordinator; Teryl Austin, the Lions Defensive Coordinator; Sean McDermott, the Panthers Defensive Coordinator; and Dave Toub, the Chiefs Special Teams Coach.
Smith is the only one among those listed with head coaching experience. He was at the helm of the Atlanta Falcons from 2008-2014 and went 67-50 (including the playoffs).
According to NBC Sports, Smith will also reportedly interview with the Jacksonville Jaguars as they look to fill their head coach vacancy. Smith was the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator from 2003-2007.
This is just the first of several interviews to come for the Bolts. Following Mike McCoy’s firing on Sunday, General Manager Tom Telesco and President of Football Operations John Spanos said they would be conducting a thorough and comprehensive search for their next head coach.
The Chargers have not announced a deadline to fill the position as they continue to deal with their possible relocation.