Matt LaFleur's sharp rise has opened the door for the ascension of another assistant.
The Tennessee Titans found their replacement for LaFleur, promoting assistant Arthur Smith to offensive coordinator, the team announced Monday.
Smith was most recently Tennessee's tight ends coach, a role he's filled since the second half of the 2015 season. Under his direction, veteran Delanie Walker has enjoyed three of his most productive seasons of his career, catching 65 or more passes for 800-plus yards in each season from 2015-2017. Walker was poised for more success at 34 years old before a dislocated ankle and associated fracture ended his season after just one game.
"I am excited for Arthur and for our team to be able to elevate a deserving coach," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said, via a release from the team. "I was impressed throughout the season in gameplan meetings with his ideas, in-game with his understanding of situations and the ability to get the most out of his position group. We spent a good bit of time last week talking about this opportunity. He has a great deal of familiarity with our players and the continuity of the offense will allow our players to continue to develop and improve."
The Titans touted Smith's reputation for success in mentioning Smith's ability to remain long enough to serve under four different head coaching regimes -- Mike Munchak, Ken Whisenhunt, Mike Mularkey and now Mike Vrabel -- while in Tennessee. Smith has also served as assistant tight ends coach, offensive line/tight ends assistant, and offensive assistant/quality control coach.
"Marcus is a smart guy," Titans GM Jon Robinson said, per the release. "We'll work at it. Whatever we ask of him from a studying and learning and terminology standpoint, I am confident that he'll definitely put the time in to try and be his best."