After reviewing multiple candidates and failing to land one of them, the Houston Texans found their head coach. He was under their nose all along. It was defensive coordinator Lovie Smith. He wasn’t a target during the process until the very end, after Kevin O’Connell found a home, Josh McCown wasn’t deemed suitable (for whatever reason), and Jonathan Gannon was told no.
Today, the Texans, along with owner Cal McNair and general manager Nick Caserio, introduced Lovie Smith as the franchise’s new head coach. A fire alarm and crying child muffled the audio throughout it, but the Texans discussed family, getting fans back to the NRG Stadium, how there are only 32 of these positions, Smith coaching and calling the defense himself, Big Sandy High School, how Houston ended up with Smith, and the lack of diversity at the head coaching position in the NFL.
LIVE » Lovie Smith is introduced as head coach of the #Texans. https://t.co/B4MZxWMVeL— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) February 8, 2022
If you don’t want to watch the full thing, you can catch highlights from Rivers McCown.
Cal McNair’s monologue:
Cal McNair monologue (no questions): "All that work and progress behind the scenes needs to start showing up and we understand that, I expect to win at everything we do, and there's pressure to perform in our organization." pic.twitter.com/Q6QQeVsaIP— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) February 8, 2022
Brian Flores’s comments and the pending lawsuit against the NFL:
Lovie on Flores lawsuit: "I don't know enough about the lawsuit ... Mike Tomlin, and I think there's me ... so there's a problem. ... I know one person that wanted to do something about it ... I understand the problem, and I know the Houston Texans are doing something about it." pic.twitter.com/WkeaNzVIlH— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) February 8, 2022
That fateful fire alarm going off:
The fire alarm goes off as Nick Caserio begins talking about Brian Flores... pic.twitter.com/HJc3NgpFfV— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) February 8, 2022
There being only 32 of these jobs:
Lovie Smith on if he had any hesitation about the job: "No hesitation at all ... There are 32 of these jobs. ... You don't get jobs unless maybe there's some things that need to be improved upon ... once you get that opportunity it's what you do with it." pic.twitter.com/g2BEA42ZSO— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) February 8, 2022
How to improve on the lack of diversity at the head coaching ranks in the NFL:
Lovie on what NFL needs to do to get A-A/minorities in HC roles: "People in positions of authority throughout ... you gotta be deliberate about trying to get more black athletes in ... the quality control positions just throughout your program, if you get that, they can move up." pic.twitter.com/Bs7UGUhsnq— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) February 8, 2022
Getting the fans back to NRG Sttadium:
Lovie Smith on fans/football in Texas; "Look at the stadium right now ... lot of empty seats ... soon there's gonna be a time when there's not going to be a lot of empty seats ... right now we can't expect them to like a lot of things that we're doing, but that day is coming." pic.twitter.com/TLOWGAEOSE— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) February 8, 2022
Personally, I think this presser felt a lot like last year. The same talking points were hit, the same cultural foundations were met, and the hiring process was just as bizarre. The difference is Lovie Smith has won football games at the NFL level as a head coach before, whereas David Culley was merely along for the ride. Who am I to tell you what to think and what to feel? Watch the press conference and decide for yourself.