3 reasons why the Houston Texans had to fire Lovie Smith

The Houston Texans fired coach Lovie Smith on Sunday evening.

Despite the fact the Texans finished 3-13-1 with a 32-31 win over the Indianapolis Colts, and posted a 2-3 record in their final five games, including tight matchups with the playoff-bound Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs, Houston decided to move in another direction.

The coaching move will commence the third consecutive offseason in the Nick Caserio era that the Texans will conduct a coaching search.

Last offseason the Texans settled on promoting Smith from defensive coordinator to coach after a month-long search. The end result was suboptimal.

Here are three reasons why the Texans had to move on from Smith.

Lack of progress and/or regression

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lovie-smith-safe-say-texans-2022-goals

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The Texans went 4-13 in 2021, which was somewhat acceptable given the fact they had a roster replete with veterans on short-term deals and a five-man draft class whose earliest pick was in the third round. They also had a rookie coach in David Culley, who had never been a coordinator in his 27 seasons in the NFL.

Going 3-13-1 with a marginally better roster and a superior coach was not a sign of a team making its way out of a rebuild; it was a team wandering in the desert for another 17 games.

Game had passed Smith by

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lovie-smith-texans-picking-early-no-1-overall-pick

Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal-USA TODAY NETWORK

To Smith’s credit, he did at least try to meld some of the Tampa 2 to fit the modern game, but the usage of the successful defense from the late 1990s and early 2000s still has its challenges.

The biggest area where Smith was unable to get his Tampa 2 to work was the front seven. The Texans were tied for the 13th-fewest sacks in the NFL with 39, and they gave up the fourth-most yards per carry at 5.1.

Needed a succession plan

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texans-tank-houston-benefit-loss-colts

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

At 64 years old, Smith wasn’t going to have a tenure as long as that of even Bill O’Brien. Even if the Texans made the playoffs in 2022, Smith was going to be a short-term answer when compared to the eras of other Texans coaches.

What was the plan after Smith? Who on the coaching staff appeared steady enough to take a coaching job? The obvious choice is offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, yet his underwhelming offense wouldn’t be a ringing endorsement.

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire