Kyle Smith: Is the Future Now?
Remember how Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the Redskins and was fired on the same day as his Dad?
How about more recently, when Sean McVay was Jay Gruden’s offensive coordinator?
Before McVay left Washington, former Redskins tight-end and current broadcaster, Chris Cooley, said more than a few times, McVay was extremely smart and was going to be a great head coach.
Sure enough - the LA Rams came and swooped up McVay, all of age 30, to become their head coach. Two years later, he was leading his team in the Super Bowl.
Now both Shanahan and McVay are considered two of the finest young head coaches in the NFL.
Looking slightly ahead - could the Redskins be facing losing another young, dynamic talent but in their front office?
Could Redskins Director of College Scouting, Kyle Smith, be passed over by owner Dan Snyder and become the next success story of a former Redskins leader finding great success elsewhere?
Or might Snyder have been listening to those such as Cooley, realizing what he already possesses in his own building?
How long has Kyle Smith been preparing for this opportunity?
On the surface many might say, since he began his career as an intern for the Redskins in 2010.
However, Kyle himself, has been preparing for this opportunity nearly all of his life.
Kyle was born October 15, 1984, grew up in the Buffalo area when his father A.J. Smith worked for the Bills front office as a scout and eventually as director of pro personnel.
A.J. contributed significantly to their great teams that saw the Bills make four straight Super Bowl appearances in the early 90’s.
The elder Smith moved to San Diego working in the Chargers front office, eventually becoming their general manager, helping lead them to five division titles and eight consecutive seasons without a losing record.
Wow, just lean back for a second, close your eyes, and imagine the Redskins winning five division titles and eight consecutive years without a losing record.
Drawn to football, Kyle became a talented wide receiver and went to play at Youngstown State (2002-05) where he also returned punts, accumulating 377 total punt-return yards, along with having a reception in 30 consecutive games, and 101 career receptions.
He played in the 2006 Hula Bowl All-Star game, went undrafted, and was signed by the Vikings, then Buccaneers, playing in the Arena and Canadian Football Leagues.
Though Kyle was only an intern in 2010, he quickly displayed a work ethic and knowledge of scouting, resulting in the Redskins hiring Kyle full-time in 2011.
Smith was an area scout for six seasons and promoted to Director of College Personnel preparing and assembling the 2018 Redskins draft board, where he led in the Redskins selecting Daron Payne and Derrius Guice for their first two selections.
Former Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan appeared on the Kevin Sheehan Show last week. When being asked about potential head coaches, out of nowhere, Shanahan brought up the name, Kyle Smith.
“I just love that guy. I could tell after the first year, ‘this guy is going to be one of the best guys in the business, as well as with Eric Schaffer," said Shanahan.
“Let me say this about Kyle, I was with him for two years and I was so impressed with the guy I said, ‘This guy is one of those young bucks that it is not going to be long. He is going to be running the entire organization’. I could see that in him at a very young age…..He works his rear-end off and leaves no stones unturned...”
It's beyond clear to many, including Shanahan, what the Redskins have in Smith. He's under contract until after the 2021 draft. Now - they should lock him up beyond 2021.
I don’t desire to depress you, but under Dan Snyder as owner, did you know the Redskins have missed the playoffs in 16 of 21 seasons?
In addition, are you aware there have been no Redskins playoff games 8 of 10 seasons when Bruce Allen has been the Redskins General Manager / President? What’s more, in those ten seasons there have only been three seasons without a losing record.
If Mike Shanahan speaks that favorably of Kyle Smith, don’t you hope Kyle Smith stays long-term?
Unlike Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay, perhaps it might be time a hard-working, smart, successful executive like Kyle Smith does not get away from the Redskins.
Ivan Lambert is a lifelong die-hard Washington Redskins fan, raised in Berryville, Virginia. He is married and the father of two fine young men. He is currently a sports correspondent for The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida and can be found on Twitter @IvanLambert18