The surprise came from the fact Culley, 65, had never been a coordinator at any point in his 28 seasons as an assistant coach in the NFL. After nearly 30 years coaching positions, the Texans were going to entrust Culley with the top job on the sidelines.
For Lovie Smith, who had been the coach of the Chicago Bears from 2004-12 and led the NFC North club to a Super Bowl appearance at the end of the 2006 campaign, it was Culley’s demeanor that won him over.
“Wasn’t really a big sell job that David had to do,” Smith told reporters via Zoom on April 8. “I thought it was an honor to be a part of his first staff. He’s going to do great things here. The players are going to really love him and every coach that came on board kind of feels the same way.”
When Smith met with Culley, he had the feeling that one of the “good men” would be leading the Texans.
Said Smith: “It’s a genuine feeling that you get that number one, this is one of the good men leading an organization and that influences what will go down from the top down. I’ve known David a long period of time and how I knew him was an excellent — his primary expertise early on of course was with the receiver position, and you just look at the guys that he’s put out. When you do well with a small group, you get more. That’s what’s happened with David. You want a guy like that to have an opportunity to lead his own team, so that’s what we’re going to see.”
For Smith, this will be the first time since 2003 with the St. Louis Rams that he will be a defensive coordinator.