The Indianapolis Colts have hired former Las Vegas Raiders linebackers coach Richard Smith as their new linebackers coach, according to Mike Chappell.
Colts finalize hiring Richard Smith as LB coach.— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) February 15, 2022
Smith becomes the second positional coach to join Indianapolis’ staff that has previous ties to defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, joining Ron Milus, whom the team brought on to be their secondary coach.
With 33 years of coaching experience under his belt, Smith will inherit perhaps one of the league’s best and ascending linebacking groups, which is highlighted by All-Pro, Darius Leonard.
Leonard is coming off one of his best seasons with the Colts (122 combined tackles, 12 total turnovers), and rising star Bobby Okereke led the team in tackles with 131.
Just as Milus’ experience will help with the development of Indy’s young secondary, Smith’s experience will also help in the continued growth and development of Leonard, Okereke and others.
Under Smith in 2021, Raiders’ linebacker Denzel Perryman saw a great amount of success, as he had a career-high 102 solo tackles, which was third-best amongst all active linebackers, five tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
The Colts still likely have a few more positional coaching hires to make, but what’s apparent is that both Frank Reich and Chris Ballard want to bring in experienced coaches to help with their young nucleus of talent.
As Indy looks to fill spots at defensive line and cornerbacks coach, it’ll be interesting to see if their trend of hiring veteran coaches continues.