The NFL diversity head coaching hiring issue has been an eyesore for the league for years.
However, one of the NFL’s most successful coaches is getting a look from the Houston Texans. According to reports, current associate head coach and defensive coordinator Lovie Smith is in contention potentially to become the next head coach of the Houston Texans.
According to reports, Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon was in the running, but he will not be named the Texans’ next head coach.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 7, 2022
Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who currently has a racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL, and former NFL quarterback Josh McCown are also finalists.
If Lovie Smith is hired, reports indicate that Pep Hamilton is expected to become offensive coordinator. Hamilton is also an African-American and proven quarterback guru with a resume that stretches far and wide and speaks for itself. He’s served as an offensive coordinator for the Colts, working with 2012 No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck and nurtured the fast development of Chargers QB Justin Herbert among others.
A name to consider for Head Coach: #Chargers QB coach Pep Hamilton: "When it comes to developing a young QB (Luck, Herbert), transitioning them to the pro game & also having the recent college experience (Michigan) to shorten their learning curve, who's more uniquely qualified?"
— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) January 5, 2021
Pep is the caveat to this entire situation. Pep’s also been the assistant head coach for the Cleveland Browns and Michigan Wolverines, where he developed quarterbacks and directed the passing games.
As the GM and head coach of the XFL’s D.C. Defenders for one season, Pep made NFL bust Cardale Jones look like the star quarterback the Buffalo Bills envisioned when they picked him in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft fresh off a national championship.
Hamilton has worked with quarterbacks as a position coach or coordinator on the pro or college level for 21 out of his 25 years in football.
— Nick Schwager (@NickSchwagerNFL) February 7, 2022
Previously, Smith was the NFL head coach with the Chicago Bears from 2004-12. He also led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 2014-15 season.
However, he joined Texans head coach David Culley’s staff last March. The Texans’ head coaching job follows the firing of David Culley after just one season as head coach.
The Lovie Way
Smith had a five-year stint as head coach at the University of Illinois. In October 2019, the Fighting Illini had a significant 24–23 upset over then #6 Wisconsin.
Smith led the Fighting Illini to a 6–6 regular-season record and the team’s first bowl game since 2014. Eventually, Smith was fired after Illinois started the season with a 2–5 record. He finished with an overall record of 17–39 in five seasons at Illinois, including a 10–33 record in Big 10 conference play.
The 2005 Associated Press Coach of the Year, Smith has an 89-87 record as an NFL head coach.
Texans are now in talks with their associate head coach and defensive coordinator Lovie Smith about potentially becoming their next head coach, sources tell me and @fieldyates.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 7, 2022
Big Game Coach
Smith led the Bears to a 27–24 victory against the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks during the 2006 Divisional Playoffs, winning the first playoff game of his career. He led the Bears to a 39–14 victory against the New Orleans Saints at the NFC Championship on a snowy Soldier Field in Chicago.
Smith is the first Black head coach and the second minority coach, behind Tom Flores, to lead his team to a Super Bowl. Ironically, this happened only a few hours before Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy became the second.
The two became the first two African-American head coaches to oppose each other in a Super Bowl.
The Bears lost Super Bowl XLI 29–17.
Texans said they now have “completed additional discussions with Lovie Smith”. Next step would be his hiring.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 7, 2022
Revamping The Rooney Rule
The news of the Texans’ interest in Smith comes on the heels of Brian Flores’ blockbuster lawsuit against three NFL teams and the league.
Last Tuesday, Flores filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court against the Broncos, Dolphins and Giants, alleging a pattern of racist hiring practices by the league, and racial discrimination.
Lovie Smith took the #Bears to a Super Bowl in 2006.
— Bears Nation (@BearsNationCHI) February 7, 2022
The suit also alleged that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told Flores he would pay him $100,000 for each loss during the 2019 season, Flores’ first year with the team. The ploy intended to provide Miami with the No. 1 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints are the last two teams remaining with head coaching openings. On Sunday, it was announced that the Miami Dolphins hired San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel as the new head coach.
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