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#pounditThursday, May 23, 2024

Lovie Smith fired hours after costing Texans top pick

Lovie Smith in profile

Oct 24, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Houston Texans defensive coordinator Lovie Smith against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Lovie Smith cost the Houston Texans the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft by going for two and the win on Sunday, but that is no longer his problem.

The Texans fired Smith hours after their 32-31 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Team owner Cal McNair issued a statement thanking Smith for his contributions.

Smith had virtually no chance to succeed in Houston. The Texans finished 3-13-1 but were actually competitive in a lot of games despite having a poor roster. They will now search for their fourth head coach in four years.

The Texans were trailing 31-24 when they scored a touchdown with less than a minute left on Sunday. Smith then had the team go for two. They converted and went on to win. Had Houston lost, they would have finished with the worst record in the NFL and secured the top pick in the draft. That pick now belongs to the Chicago Bears, who lost to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Smith obviously knew he would be fired after Sunday’s game, which is probably one of the reasons he did not care about intentionally losing. McNair’s reaction after the comeback win (see it here) said it all.

Smith, 64, was the head coach at the University of Illinois from 2016-2020 before he became the defensive coordinator and associate head coach of the Texans. He was promoted prior to this season after David Culley was fired.

That was not Smith’s first head coaching stint in the NFL, as he also coached the Chicago Bears from 2004-2012 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2014-2015. He has a record of 92-100-1 in the regular season and 3-3 in the playoffs as a head coach.

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