Lovie Smith says constant preaching of takeaways has benefited the Texans

Lovie Smith is a man of belief. The 64-year-old can’t be moved off the block when it comes to his convictions.

The Houston Texans’ coach has long been a proponent of generating takeaways, and the message has saturated the ears of Texans players throughout the 2022 season.

“We’ve been preaching,” Smith said. “There’s a constant message that we preach all along. We put an emphasis on it. Practicing it. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t, but that’s what it is.”

The takeaways were paltry from Weeks 9-13 when the Texans collected just four.

According to Smith, it isn’t just getting takeaways that matters. The offense and special teams have to do their part in protecting the football and not allowing the opponent to win the turnover battle. In the same span, Houston had 13.

Said Smith: “We talk a lot about turnover ratio. Offensively, you have to protect the football. If you don’t, there’s a good chance you’re not going to win. Defensively, to help those odds, just going to be able to seize the opportunities you have if you keep harping on that.”

What also goes into gathering takeaways is the fundamental belief that the opportunities will be there — sort of payoff of the gambler’s fallacy.

“It’s pretty hard for a running back to keep the ball covered up like this every time,” said Smith. “It’s pretty hard for the quarterback. Eventually, it’s got to be out there. There’re going to be opportunities for that.”

Houston has generated eight takeaways from Weeks 14-16 and given away possession four times. It is no coincidence the Texans were able to hang with the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs until the last moments and vanquish the Tennessee Titans.

“I don’t think anybody preaches that any more than we do,” Smith said. “It’s good to see the guys being able to get the ball out here lately.”

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Story originally appeared on Texans Wire