Lovie Smith may not have been the Houston Texans first choice initially but may be a perfect fit for their current situation and Texans fans should be excited about what he can bring to the franchise. Unlike a few of the other Texans head coach finalists, Smith brings years of NFL knowledge and experience that will be extremely valuable in Houston moving forward.
Also, unlike the other candidates, Smith has been an NFL head coach twice before his current position with the Texans. In 2004, Smith became the head coach of the Chicago Bears. His first season as their head coach, the team struggled but showed enough signs of improvement in certain areas for the team to be optimistic for the future.
That optimistic approach worked out well for the Bears throughout the following season. In 2005, Smith coached the Bears to an 11-5 record and their defense was among the best in the league, despite being among the worst throughout their last couple of years prior to Smith taking over. Not only did Smith provide great turnaround for the Bears franchise, he also won the Coach of the Year Award as well.
Things would continue to trend in the right direction for the Bears. In 2006, Smith coached the Bears to a 13-3 record and lead the team to a Super Bowl. The Bears lost that game, but a major part of the Bears dramatic turnaround was due to the coaching of Smith.
The next few years for the Bears would end up being lackluster compared to the years prior. In 2007, the team went 7-9, 9-7 in 2008 and 7-9 in 2009. 2010 was the year the Bears believed they would be back in the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, the Bears lost to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game and would end the season 11-5.
In 2011 the bears ended the season 8-8. In 2012, Smith led the Bears to a 10-6 record but missed the playoffs. Smith was fired that year and many still talk about that controversial firing to this day.
Hall of Fame Linebacker and former Chicago Bear Brian Urlacher was on the Bussin’ With The Boys podcast recently and had this to say about the firing of Lovie Smith in Chicago:
“Honestly how the **** do you fire Lovie after you go 10-6? It’s frustrating to see the direction they went after they fired Lovie”.
Smith would go on to interview for head coaching vacancies but decided to sit out the 2013 season. In 2014, Smith would end up becoming the new head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Smith’s tenure in Tampa did not go as planned. The team lacked game changing talent. In 2014, the team had a 2-14 record and in 2015, the team finished the season with a 6-10 record. Smith was fired in 2016.
Smith would then go on to be the next head coach for the University of Illinois in 2016. Smith was fired in 2020 after five seasons. Smith would then find his way to Houston. Smith became the Texans defensive coordinator for the 2021 season and would go on to eventually become the next head coach of the Houston Texans in February of the 2022 offseason.
A multitude of Texans players and media members visibly voiced their excitement for Smith as the next head coach and that is a great thing. The players that were on the team in 2021 already know what to expect and that makes the entire process easier. Smith has already gained the respect of the locker room and should have the Texans competing at a higher level in 2022.
Everyone around the building and most fans are excited to see Smith take over as the next head coach of the Texans. Smith brings a broad coaching background that allowed him to have a wide range of experience and that should work wonders for a Houston Texans team that is in the rebuilding process.