The Houston Texans announced they fired head coach Lovie Smith after going 3-13-1 this season in his first year on the job.
Smith had three years left on his contract with Houston, but after a disappointing year, they are looking for a new leader in the locker room.
Texans President and CEO Cal McNair released a statement explaining the move.
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«Nick Caserio and I spoke with Lovie Smith tonight and let her know that we are moving in a different direction as an organization,» McNair said. «I appreciate Coach Smith and his entire family for his contributions over the past two seasons. We are grateful for his leadership and character, and we wish him the best going forward.»
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«While we understand the results have not been what we hoped for, we are committed to building a program that produces long-term, sustainable success. Our fans and the city deserve a team they can be proud of. I will work alongside Nick Caserio throughout throughout this process and I am confident that we will find the right leader for our soccer team.»
Smith came out strong Sunday as he decided to go for two after Davis Mills found Jordan Akins for a touchdown with 50 seconds remaining to get within one of the Indianapolis Colts. And the Texans converted, as Mills found Akins again to take the one-point lead.
However, with the win, the Texans moved from the first overall pick to the second overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. The Chicago Bears, who lost to the Minnesota Vikings, jumped to first place overall.
Still, the new head coach will be in a good position as the Texans are very likely to get a rookie quarterback with that pick: Ohio State’s CJ Stroud and Alabama’s Bryce Young are the top two candidates right now.
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After the trade of Deshaun Watson to the Cleveland Browns, the Texans knew they were switching quarterbacks this season with a young and developing roster. His record, despite Smith’s attempts to trade his quarterbacks, reflects that.
Houston also owns the Browns’ 12th overall pick as part of the Watson trade. On top of that, Caserio is full of cap space.
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Houston is likely looking for someone who has experience developing young talent. NFL Network suggests Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, who was a great player for the Texans during his playing days.