Texans coach Lovie Smith fails to make Pro Football Focus list of top defensive play-callers

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The Houston Texans may have changed coaches with the firing of David Culley and the promotion of Lovie Smith, but the defense will maintain continuity from 2021 to 2022.

However, the Texans won’t exactly benefit from top defensive play-calling.

So says Eric Eager from Pro Football Focus, who compiled a list of the top-6 defensive play-callers. Smith was eligible for inclusion as he was the defensive play-callers for the Texans last season, but he didn’t make the list.

Who did end up on the list was a former defensive coordinator of Smith’s in Leslie Frazier, who was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator from 2014-15. Frazier, who is the Buffalo Bills’ defensive coordinator, was a Texans coaching candidate in 2021.

I tweeted about the advantages the Buffalo Bills’ defense has over some other units— namely their schedule last year and the fact that their games are played with the highest wind speeds in football. That said, they allowed an average of 4.6 yards per play, and did so for a large part of the season without their best cornerback or without a highly paid player along their front four. At some point, Frazier is going to get another look as a head coach.

https://twitter.com/PFF_Eric/status/1532750283410919425?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1532750283410919425%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pff.com%2Fnews%2Fnfl-ranking-best-defensive-play-callers-2022

The Texans’ defensive play-calling will stay with Smith as there isn’t a defensive coordinator listed on the staff. Smith also stated on Feb. 8 during his introductory presser that he will be calling the plays.

“Most of the offensive head coaches that are offensive guys, they call the plays,” said Smith. “For some reason, a lot of the defensive guys don’t. I think I can help our program the most right now with me in that same role. So, I will be doing that.”

If Smith will be calling the plays, it can be argued there is room for improvement, regardless of where he ranks on sundry lists.

List

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