Texans coach Lovie Smith explains why Davis Mills’ checkdowns are a positive

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The 2022 season is a year of investment and hoping for good returns.

The Houston Texans promoted Lovie Smith from defensive coordinator and associate head coach to the big role following the firing of David Culley after the 2021 campaign. The Texans also committed to Davis Mills as the former 2021 third-rounder will get first-team reps en route to being the starting quarterback in his second season.

As is the nature of training camp, if one side of the ball is doing well, it generally comes at the expense of the other.

According to Smith, that wasn’t how he saw it after the second day of training camp practice. Mills threw checkdowns when going against the defense in team portion, and Smith was able to put a positive spin on the development when meeting with reporters at Houston Methodist Training Center.

“On to the other side of the ball, it’s all coverage,” Smith said. “How about that? No, but that was the case. I mean, whenever — most of our — we don’t have a whole lot of designed checkdowns, but when down the field routes are covered, you want the quarterback, you don’t him to force it. You want him to take the checkdown, the safe throw.”

Smith also explained that Mills’ decision to go with the checkdown and not force the throws was an example of how the former Stanford product has improved throughout the offseason.

“That’s part of Davis’ growth also,” said Smith. “So, yes, that was definitely the case and that’s good on both sides.”

The Texans defense collected 25 takeaways, tied for 10th-most in the NFL last year, and the only team in the top-10 to have a losing record. Mills went 2-9 overall, but had an optimistic 2-3 finish with a 9-2 touchdown to interception ratio and a 102.4 passer rating. Houston is hopeful these elements carry over into 2022.

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire