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Stuck in a no-win situation, Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith trudged through a 3-13-1 season.
Smith won’t be back for a second year.
Announced Sunday, the Texans announced their decision to fire Smith after just one season.
The decision was made hours after the team’s narrow 32-31 win over the Colts that bumped Houston to the second-overall spot in the 2023 Draft, giving way for the Chicago Bears to pick first overall.
Some saw Lovie’s final win as a way to stick it to Houston by robbing them of the top pick. But the HC was singing a different tune after the game.
Texans Move On From Lovie
Coming into Sunday, rumors of Lovie’s ousting were strengthening until Smith delivered a postgame speech where he stated that he felt absolutely certain he’d be back to his coaching role in 2023.
Second-year Texans general manager Nick Caserio was also rumored to get the axe. Caserio was the one to deliver the news Sunday, alongside a statement from CEO Cal McNair.
“On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Lovie Smith for everything he has contributed to our team over the last two seasons as a coach and a leader,” Caserio’s statement read in part.
He added, “I’m constantly evaluating our football operation and believe this is the best decision for us at this time. It is my responsibility to build a comprehensive and competitive program that can sustain success over a long period of time.
“We aren’t there right now, however, with the support of the McNair family and the resources available to us, I’m confident in the direction of our football program moving forward.”
McNair released the following:
“Nick Caserio and I spoke with Lovie Smith tonight and informed him that we will be moving in a different direction as an organization. I appreciate Coach Smith and his entire family for their contributions over the last two seasons.
“We are grateful for his leadership and character, and we wish him the best moving forward. While we understand the results have not been what we had hoped for, we are committed to building a program that produces long-term, sustainable success.
“Our fans and city deserve a team that they can be proud of. I will work alongside Nick Caserio throughout this process and I’m confident we will find the right leader for our football team.”
Texans Remain A Mess
Houston has now changed their coach three times since firing Bill O’Brien in 2020. The Texans employed Romeo Crennel after firing O’Brien mid-season. They pivoted to David Culley in 2020 before firing him after one season.
In their search for a head coach last offseason, the Texans were also vetting former NFL QB Josh McCown, former Miami Dolphins HC Brian Flores and Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. The Eagles DC has been picking up considerable HC buzz after the Eagles’ NFC-leading 2022 regular season.