Lovie Smith coached the Bears from 2004 through 2012. (Rick Scuteri/Associated Press)

Former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith is a candidate for the Washington Redskins’ vacant head coaching job, a person familiar with the situation said Monday.

The person, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he said he was not authorized to comment publicly on the Redskins’ coaching search, said that Smith’s candidacy is legitimate but added it is not yet known where Smith ranks in comparison to the team’s other potential candidates.

Smith already has interviewed for the Houston Texans’ coaching vacancy and has been mentioned as a potential leading candidate for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher also has been mentioned as a prospective candidate for the Redskins. There have been reports that the Redskins already have been in contact with Cowher. One person who has worked with Cowher said Monday, however, that he “would be surprised if he coached anywhere this year.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.

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