David Culley: We’re very fortunate to have Lovie Smith here

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Myles Simmons
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David Culley’s comments about Deshaun Watson are deservedly the main story from the new head coach’s Thursday press conference.

But he was asked about a few other topics, one of which was how he came to hire defensive coordinator Lovie Smith.

After 11 years as an NFL head coach — nine with Chicago and two with Tampa Bay — Smith spent the last five years as the head coach at Illinois. Smith was fired after seven games in 2020, finishing with a 17-39 record at the collegiate level. But as Culley noted, Smith had plenty of success in the pros, particularly as a coordinator.

“Lovie is someone that’s had a great track record in this league,” Culley said. “He’s someone that [has] been a head coach. He’s had a great track record as a defensive coordinator. He’s someone that I’ve known for a long time, and being able to get him here was very, very important simply because I felt like he’s the kind of guy that you want to be on your team to be able to have success. And that was the reason he’s here, and we’re very fortunate to be able to have him here.”

Smith hasn’t been a defensive coordinator since 2003, when he served in the role for the Rams — then of St. Louis. He became the team’s DC in 2001, when St. Louis finished seventh in points allowed and third in yards allowed en route to Super Bowl XXXVI.

David Culley: We’re very fortunate to have Lovie Smith here originally appeared on Pro Football Talk