Quinn Harris/Getty Images
On Monday, the Houston Texans annouced that Lovie Smith would be their next head coach. Smith was hired last year as defensive coordinator. Smith emerged as a candidate late in the process, which surprised many people.
Smith has coached in the NFL for 15 seasons as coordinator and head coach; he coached for the Chicago Bears from 2004 to 2012 and posted an 81-63 record with a Super Bowl appearance. Smith got fired after missing the playoff five of his last six seasons.
In 2014, Smith became the coach on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was fired after the 2016 season after going 8-24. After that, Smith became the head coach at Illinois, coached there for five seasons, and did not farewell. As a result, Smith becomes the fifth person of color to coach an NFL team, joining Mike Tomlin, Robert Saleh, Mike McDaniel, and Ron Rivera.
Coach Smith will have his work cut out for him with the Texans. He already has promoted Pep Hamilton to offensive coordinator. Next, the Texans need to figure out what they will do with quarterback Deshaun Watson. If Watson plays, Houston could win some games. If they move from him, they need to get fair value. But it will be tough with the uncertainty of his legal issues.
The Texans must have a good draft to get things going in the right direction. Also, the Texans front office must give Smith time to turn this team around.