That dynamic may already have begun, as Smith’s name has already popped up in connection with the Carolina Panthers’ opening. On Thursday, Smith didn’t confirm that he’d gotten wind that he might be a candidate to replace Frank Reich, but he sure as heck didn’t deny it, either.
Is Miami Dolphins’ Frank Smith Up for Carolina Panthers Opening?
Not a splashy name (back to back Franks?), but probably want to look at the guy who’s helped engineer the most explosive NFL offense in a while. One who’s gotten a lot out of a smaller, accurate QB.
— Nick Carboni (@NickCarboniWCNC) November 30, 2023
When asked if Smith finds the rumors flattering, Smith got noticeably emotional.
“It’s not flattering,” he said. “It’s more humbling. So, you know, you like, I remember why I got into coaching.
“So it’s like when all that stuff comes up, it’s pretty cool. But the minute you worry about your goals and where you wanna go, like you forget like, like for me, how lucky I am to be here today.
“So all that stuff is cool. But, like, I truly enjoy every day here, and that’s the cool part, and it’s, I’m a walk-on from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, you know, every day of my life, I remember it. So those things are pretty cool, but it’s not gonna affect today.”
While Mike McDaniel calls the plays and gets a lion’s share of the credit for the Dolphins’ much-improved offense, Smith is an invaluable lieutenant.
“He has a thorough understanding of the game and is a great teacher, which is really what coaching is all about,” McDaniel told The Athletic about Smith in September.
“He also has a unique ability to anticipate problems before they arise, be that on the field or in administrative-type things related to schedules, questions that will come up with players or coaches, etc.
“He operates on a daily basis with a passion, positivity, and humility that is rare and sets him apart. It’s hard for me to summarize the positive impact Frank has had on our team, our coaching staff, and especially in supporting me as a head coach.”
Prior to joining the Dolphins in 2022, Smith served as the Chargers’ run game coordinator/offensive line coach. He’s also been a tight ends coach in his 14-year NFL career.
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