Did the Brian Flores lawsuit influence the Texans to hire Lovie Smith?

The Houston Texans have hired defensive coordinator and associate head coach Lovie Smith as their fifth full-time coach in franchise history.

Smith, 63, was a last-minute candidate for the job, which suggests Houston had to make a pivot out of a plan that assuredly would have selected one of their finalists as coach.

According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans were about to hire former NFL quarterback Josh McCown as their coach, but shied away from the notion when former Miami Dolphins coach, Brian Flores, filed his racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL.

The Texans were set to hire Josh McCown as [David] Culley’s replacement, but they called an audible after one of their finalists, Brian Flores, filed a lawsuit against the NFL charging, among other things, racial discrimination in the league’s hiring and firing practices.

If the Texans were going to hire McCown if not for the lawsuit, it speaks to how focused they were on giving the reins to a former player who had zero coaching experience.

Smith has plenty of NFL experience as the coach of the Chicago Bears from 2004-12 and also the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2014-15. The Big Sandy High School product led the Bears to a Super Bowl appearance at the end of the 2006 season, added another NFC Championship Game appearance in 2010, and collected three NFC North titles for Chicago (2005, 2006, 2010).