Monday afternoon update: Ian Rapoport reports that the Texans are finalizing the deal to make Lovie Smith their head coach.
The Houston Texans are in talks with associate head coach and defensive coordinator Lovie Smith to take over as head coach of the team, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Texans had included Smith in their discussions for the next head coach and those talks have reportedly evolved into him just becoming head coach.
Many of you will remember Smith from his time as the head coach of the Chicago Bears. He’s easily the most successful Bears head coach in recent memory. Smith helped lead Chicago to the Super Bowl in the 2006 season, losing to Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. The Bears made three playoff appearances in Smith’s tenure, all three times winning the NFC North division title. He was eventually fired by the Bears after going 81-63 over nine seasons.
More recently, Smith was the head coach of the University of Illinois football program from 2016-20. He was also very briefly the HC of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but that didn’t end well. Smith went 8-24 over two seasons and was fired. Smith only led the Illini to one bowl game and went 17-39 over five seasons.
Smith didn’t exactly turn the Texans defense into a juggernaut in 2021, though the roster wasn’t filled with talent. Houston ranked almost dead last in yards allowed this past season and were in the bottom 6 in points allowed per game. Smith will have a ton of work to do, but it’s not easy to lead a franchise to a Super Bowl in today’s NFL and he’s done it in the past.