Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith fielded a particularly tough question in his Wednesday press conference regarding his team’s inability to find consistency to this point in 2022. Though he came into a rough situation when he was named as the franchise’s head coach in the offseason, few thought that the Texans would remain as far behind as they have this deep into the campaign.
A reporter asked him directly about what he has done that has bred the kind of inconsistency that led to the team’s abysmal 1-6-1 record heading into Week 10. Smith gave a thoughtful answer but made a point to stop short of shouldering all of the blame for where the team is at.
“It’s hard to say one thing that we’ve done,” He explained. “We’ve won one game so there’s a lot of things we need to improve upon. That’s what we’re doing. We’ve gone through a half of football. Normally when you go through a half, you make adjustments at the half and you come out, hoping you’re playing your best ball, and you’ve learned from a lot of the things that have happened.
“All the things you’re talking about, the question I’ve been asked today, we’ve got to clean up on all of those things. That’s why we’re excited about another opportunity to do that. If you keep doing things the right things in practice and guys learn, eventually you’ll get over the hump. That’s been my history I’ve seen, and I’m hoping that’ll be the case.”
Weekly preparation is certainly one facet that will help get Houston “over the hump”, as Smith put it, but in reality, the answer to the question of what has plagued the Texans this season is multifaceted. In the wake of controversy that surrounded their former quarterback during his exodus to Cleveland, Houston became a pariah of sorts to free agents and coaching talent that knew the uphill battle the team would face to get back to serious competition.
They knew it would take years, and as such, have avoided them like the plague. The hard reality for Texans fans is that there is no silver bullet answer for what has gone wrong for the team. No one thing that Smith has done, right or wrong, could compensate for the abhorrent situation he got into when he agreed to take over as the team’s head coach.
For now, the team remains focused on gearing up for an intensive rebuild in 2023 and will make improvement their primary goal. If they can just show an ability to learn from mistakes, execute basic gameplans, and play disciplined enough to at least keep games close, their trajectory for the future will change dramatically heading into next year.