The Texans Are Reportedly Hiring Lovie Smith As Head Coach (UPDATE)

UPDATE: Lovie Smith is indeed the man in Houston now, as the Texans will make their defensive coordinator and associate head coach from last year their head coach this week.

Original Story: The Houston Texans are one of two teams still without a head coach for the 2022 season, as the Miami Dolphins hired 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel on Sunday to fill the seventh of nine openings this offseason.

For weeks, the frontrunner in Houston has been considered to be former quarterback Josh McCown, who the Texans interviewed a year ago before hiring David Culley, who was fired after one season. However, on Sunday night word emerged from Adam Schefter and other reporters that the team had shifted focus to associate head coach and defensive coordinator Lovie Smith, who is “in talks” with the team to become the next head coach and the team is moving on from McCown.

Smith isn’t the lone candidate remaining, as Ian Rapoport reports McCown and Brian Flores remain candidates for the job and no decision has been made just yet.

Still, it’s a fairly big shift in the expectation around Houston in the past few week since Flores’ discrimination lawsuit against the NFL was announced, and one can’t help but wonder whether the reconsideration of McCown’s candidacy stems from the dreadful optics of hiring a white coach with no NFL coaching experience over Black candidates like Flores and Smith with head coaching experience and a much more substantial resume.

In any case, we’ll see where the Texans end up landing in the coming days, as it seems they are narrowing in on making a hire relatively soon, and Smith, who most recently was the head coach at Illinois and most famously is the former head coach of the Chicago Bears, appears to be the new frontrunner.