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Part of the Chargers’ revamp of the offensive line included hiring new offensive line coach/run game coordinator Frank Smith.
Smith most recently served as the Bears and Raiders’ tight ends coach, but prior to that, he was an assistant offensive line coach for the Saints from 2010-14.
Smith worked the likes Jermon Bushrod, Jahri Evans, Ben Grubbs and Carl Nicks, all of whom were named to the Pro Bowl during his time with New Orleans.
Smith benefited from coaching in a system that will be similar to the one offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi is enforcing.
He talked about his experiences in that role, elaborating that he was able to get a “Ph.D. in football.”
“What a lucky guy I was,” Smith said. “To step back now —I always kind of look at, ‘What did you learn from every experience?’ If you don’t learn and grow and affect your next day, I think that’s our failure, whether it’s a coach, player, or really anyone. I was lucky.
I got there two months after they had just won the Super Bowl —the pinnacle of football. I learned the why. [Saints Head Coach] Sean Payton has that big-picture vision of how to build a Super Bowl-caliber winning team, and then how you build a team, again, that got as close as you can get.
I was lucky to develop a relationship with Joe [Lombardi] in my time there. He taught me a lot of things. I was young in the NFL. Just how things worked and why, and how the systems worked.
[Former Saints coach] Aaron Kromer was there my first couple of years. He’s a top-level line coach. I can’t say enough. I’m so lucky that I was able to work for him. He taught me how the NFL works.”
Smith joins Los Angeles alongside assistant offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett and a great group of players, Corey Linsley, Matt Feiler, Oday Aboushi, Bryan Bulaga and Rashawn Slater.