The Houston Texans are currently in the middle of a full franchise rebuilding phase. Last season, the Texans hired a brand new head coach in David Culley. Despite being 65 years old, Culley never received the opportunity to become the main guy for an NFL franchise.
The Texans team as a whole in 2021 was better than a lot of people projected the team to be, but still was a major disappointment. Culley struggled with clock management and basic head coaching duties the entire season and was let go after the end of the 2021 season. Some felt that Culley did a better job than most people gave him credit for but either way, the Texans decided to go in a different direction.
The Texans eventually hired Lovie Smith to be the next head coach of the franchise earlier this offseason. Smith was the team’s defensive coordinator and is well respected not only around the building, but the entire league as well.
One thing Smith has preached since becoming Texans head coach is rebuilding this team from the ground up and getting fans back in the seats at NRG Stadium. Current Texans players were beyond happy to see Smith as the team’s next head coach and they visibly voiced their excitement.
Smith will be taking over a Texans team that he is familiar with and the players know what to expect and what it takes to be successful. That makes things much easier from the start and will allow the team to be further along this year with Smith than they were last year with Culley at the helm. This will be Smith’s third head coaching opportunity in the NFL and that is important because he has been able to get a ton of experience with what works, what doesn’t and how to get the most out of his players.
Players, coaches around the building and a multitude of media members have been talking about how different the energy is around the facility this year with Smith as their new head coach. Here is what veteran center Justin Britt had to say about the differences between this year and last year when meeting with the media after practice:
“I mean, the first thing I’ve noticed since yesterday is the energy. I mean we have the energy but the energy from the fans and people attending, there’s a different vibe. There’s a rejuvenated sense and whether that’s Coach Lovie, Pep Hamilton on the offense, it’s just a good feeling. You could feel that in the summer and spring, but you get back to camp and you really start rolling, you start to feel it and you start to gain that confidence and it makes it exciting to come to work at 4:30.”
Safety Jonathan Owens, who is entering his fourth year in Houston has also noticed the energy difference this season and had this to say:
“Excitement. Guys love being out here. They love playing for Lovie, man. That’s one thing. Guys are ready to get out there, man.”
The Texans may not be contending for a Super Bowl in 2021, but it is great to hear that things are trending in the right direction after two back to back rough years in Houston. If anyone is going to get this team where they need to be, it will be Lovie Smith.