Lovie Smith fired, becomes Texans’ second straight one-on-one coach

Lovie Smith fired, becomes Texans’ second straight one-on-one coach
Written by nismiste
Lovie Smith fired, becomes Texans’ second straight one-on-one coach

When the Houston Texans looked over their head coach last season, there were jokes that they wanted to hire Josh McCown, who had never coached above his high school level. Brian Flores had a serious candidate.

Nobody thought of Lovie Smith. It was strange that he suddenly emerged as the leading candidate.

It was also a relationship that was probably doomed from the start. Team owner Cal McNair announced that the Texans fired Smith Sunday night. The news was first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo.

Smith is the second straight coach to have only one season with the Texans. If you count Romeo Crennel, who took a 12-game hiatus in 2020 following the sacking of Bill O’Brien, the next coach the Texans will hire will be his fifth in four seasons.

Lovie Smith fired after losing season

The Texans reportedly fell out of three candidates last season: McCown, Flores, and Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. Flores then filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL.

The Texans seemed ready to hire McCown despite his lack of experience. After the trial, the Texans turned to Smith. It got messy. Flores said through his lawyers that he was fired because of the lawsuit.

It left Smith in an awkward spot. He was the defensive coordinator of the 4-13 Texans who had the most second-yard dropouts in the NFL in 2021. The Texans fired David Culley after one season, but hired a bad defensive coordinator. Smith had coached the University of Illinois, but had not head coached the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since 2015.

It was a strange, unexpected rental and not very convenient. Texans were expected to be bad, and they were. And Smith didn’t last to coach season two at Houston.

Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith only lasted one season with the team. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Another 1-made coach in Houston

The Texans started the season 1-3-1, then lost nine in a row. They quickly took the lead for the draft’s first general election. It was a bad team and the fans didn’t listen.

They finished the season with a win over the Indianapolis Colts that cost the Texans their #1 pick of the 2023 draft.

It is rare for a team to have two coaches in a row. Since the merger in 1970, only the San Francisco 49ers have fired multiple coaches in a row after just one season. The 49ers had three one-time coaches in a row in 1976-78, followed by one-year coaches in a row in 2015-16. The 49ers made a Super Bowl shortly after each of these bad stretches, so the Texans can’t recover quickly. But Houston is seen as an uneven team, and firing Smith after a year of an initially awkward hire isn’t the best look.

Houston is starting to recover from bad trades that cost them draft picks and other bad decisions, and a new head coach may have an almost clean slate to rebuild. This may sound appealing, but Houston is not seen as a stable team. It can be a tough sell.

At this point, Texans should hope their next lease will last longer than a season.

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