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Bears hire Travis Smith as defensive line coach

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The Bears on Tuesday hired Travis Smith as their new defensive line coach.

Smith spent the last 10 seasons with the Raiders, including the past three as assistant defensive line coach. Prior to that, he served as a defensive assistant (2012-14), defensive quality control coach (2015-16, 2018) and outside linebackers coach (2017).

The past two years in Las Vegas, Smith worked under defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, a former Bears defensive line coach and defensive coordinator. In 2021, they helped defensive ends Yannick Ngakoue (10.0) and Maxx Crosby (8.0) combine for 18.0 sacks, with Crosby earning his first Pro Bowl trip in his third NFL season.

Smith worked with three current Bears players with the Raiders in Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin and Mario Edwards Jr. In four seasons in Oakland from 2014-17, Mack was a two-time first-team All-Pro, three-time Pro Bowler and the 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Starting all 64 games over that span, he recorded 40.5 sacks, 68 tackles-for-loss, nine forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

After spending his first four NFL seasons with the Seahawks from 2012-15, Irvin set a career high with 7.0 sacks in his first year with the Raiders in 2016 and then eclipsed that mark with 8.0 in 2017. In 2016, he also led the NFL with six forced fumbles.

Selected by the Raiders in the second round of the 2015 draft, Edwards played his first three NFL seasons in Oakland, compiling 71 tackles, seven tackles-for-loss and 5.5 sacks while appearing in 30 games with 24 starts.

Smith started his coaching career at Cal Poly, his alma mater, as an undergraduate assistant. He then worked at Santa Monica Junior College in California in 2010, assisting with tight ends and defensive linemen, before serving as an offensive technical intern at Colorado in 2010.

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