Lovie Smith fired as Texans’ coach after just one season

The Houston Texans fired coach Lovie Smith on Sunday night, hours after the team finished 3-13-1 in its first season.

“We are grateful for them [Smith’s] leadership and character, and we wish him the best moving forward,” chairman and CEO Cal McNair said in a statement. “While we understand the results were not what we had hoped for, we are committed to building a program that produces long term program. long-term, sustainable success. The fans and our city deserve a team they can be proud of.”

The Texans have now fired back-to-back coaches after just one year, after firing David Culley last January. Smith was the defensive coordinator and associate head coach on Culley’s staff in 2021, and was elevated to head coach on February 7.

“We are constantly evaluating our football operations and believe this is the best decision for us at this time,” general manager Nick Caserio said in a statement. “It is my responsibility to build a comprehensive and competitive program that can sustain success over a long period of time. We are not there right now, however, with the support of the McNair family and the resources available to us, I am confident in the direction of our football program moving forward.”

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McNair said he will work with Caserio to “find the right leader for our football team.”

The Texans ended their season with a win, defeating the Indianapolis Colts 32-31 earlier Sunday, and had played competitively in four of their last five games. With the win combined with the Chicago Bears’ loss to the Minnesota Vikings, they earned the No. 2 overall pick and the Bears earned the top pick for the 2023 NFL draft.

“We understand the entirety of the season on what’s going on,” Smith said after the win over the Colts. “Expect to be back? Yes, I expect to be back.”

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The Texans now begin their search for their fourth head coach in four seasons. Former coach and GM Bill O’Brien was fired after starting 0-4 to start the 2020 season after completing six full seasons. Then the Texans hired Caserio as their new GM in 2021, who hired Culley. Culley went 4-13 in 2021 and was fired after one season.

The last team to have four different head coaches in consecutive seasons was the San Francisco 49ers, who fired Jim Harbaugh in 2014, then hired Jim Tomsula in 2015, Chip Kelly in 2016 and Kyle Shanahan in -2017.

Culley and Smith were the only Black coaches in franchise history, and now Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers), Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins), Robert Saleh (New York Jets) and Ron Rivera (Washington Commanders). ) remain as the only head coaches of color.

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The Texans’ season opened with a 20-20 overtime tie against the Colts after they blew a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter, with Smith playing in the overtime game. to avoid defeat.

The Texans were competitive in games in the first half of the season, but fourth quarter struggles continued to be a theme. The Texans failed to score a point in four of the first six plays in the fourth quarter.

And even though Smith came from the defensive side of the ball, the Texans ranked last in rushing yards allowed after being second to last in 2021. They also were 30th in yards allowed and gave up 24.7 points per game, 27th in the NFL. On the offensive side, they were second to last in points scored per game (16).


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