After years of experiencing former Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien’s press conferences that ranged from “sadly comical” to “trip to the dentist” as far as spectator events go, it’s no wonder people were tired of his schtick. Having transcribed dozens of them, I can attest to the painfulness of what was happening behind the podium.
Then, after O’Brien left, David Culley was trotted out.
Yesterday, Matt “Lover of All Things Related to the BESFs” Weston dropped a post sharing the press conference videos for Houston general manager Nick Caserio and Smith. If you haven’t read the post/watched the videos, go do it now. We’ll wait for you.
Here’s the TLDR version for those who want a cheap out:
Done? Let’s move along.
While Caserio continues to say the right things, it wasn't until listening to Smith that a true sense of “this just might turn out alright” washed over everything. Smith was charming, charismatic, witty, down to earth, and clearly conveyed just what it is that draws players to him.
No podium pounding histrionics. No bumbling and fumbling to field questions that blindsided him. No “Really? They can’t find an adult to do this?’ vibes.
Just a solid ball coach, sharing wisdom and insight, giving us all a peek at the man behind the title of ‘highest level coach in H-Town’.
From a joke asking the press if they knew who they were speaking to in response to a Cover 2 question to brushing off hints he should listen to modern rap music instead of his preferred R&B, Smith was calm, cool, mature and collected. That’s exactly what this team needs right now. It’s probably safe to say the “big personalities” of the off-field Texans over the last decade have done this team’s public image exactly zero favors. From Bob McNair’s “inmates” crack, to Bill O’Brien’s spazz-outs, Jack Easterby’s toxic/fake positivity, David Culley’s charming incompetence, and Cal McNair’s obvious obliviousness, there hasn’t been much to cling to in the storm of Texans troubles.
Enter Lovie Smith.
The man has been there, done that. He isn’t likely to get rattled by whatever pressure, real or imagined, that will come his way in this role. Is he the cutting edge of modern day football genius, sure to usher in a new era of dynastic Super Bowl glory? Ehh...maybe not.
But will he calm the seas, provide a solid foundation, and bring much needed maturity to a role that has sorely lacked it since Gary Kubiak was relieved of his duties in December 2013? Absolutely.
Smith mentioned the synergy that comes when a head coach and general manager are on the same page, and how he and Caserio are there now. If that proves true and Caserio can cap-wizard his way out of the current mess, nail some good trades, bring in some solid veterans, draft quality rookies, and deliver the sort of players Smith and offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton need, the light at the end of the Texans’ tunnel might stop looking like a freight train.
Only time will tell. But right now, the “feels” are much better than they have been in a hot minute.
Thank you, Lovie.