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NFL's Toughest Job? Texans Not Poised For Short-Term Success With Lovie Smith

According to NFL.com's Bucky Brooks - Lovie Smith has a task on his hands if he's to achieve any short-term success.

The Houston Texans' head coaching search may have taken an unorthodox path, but they came out the other side with a recognized and well-regarded leader in Lovie Smith.

However, according to NFL.com's Bucky Brooks - Smith is entering a rough situation.

Smith was ranked last in terms of new hires poised for immediate success.

"It is hard to imagine a coach taking on a tougher challenge than the Texans' rebuilding project," Brooks said. "The organization has allowed a lot of talent to walk out of the door in the past few years without finding suitable replacements for the star power. Smith will attempt to win games with a "hustle hard" approach that places a premium on effort, energy and execution."

Given that the Texans have seen J.J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins, Justin Reid, D.J. Reader, Jadeveon Clowney, Tyrann Mathieu, Kareem Jackson, and more leave NRG Stadium in the last few years - Brooks may have a point.

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Offensively the Texans are knee-deep in a rebuild, having potentially found a few building blocks in the last two drafts including quarterback Davis Mills, wide receiver Nico Collins, tight end Brevin Jordan, guard Kenyon Green, and running back Dameon Pierce.

Not that Brooks is quite as optimistic...

"The grizzled coach is relying on a young quarterback with limited experience, but Davis Mills started to show promise down the stretch of his rookie season," Brooks said. "With limited skill-position weaponry beyond Brandin Cooks, the Texans need their 23-year-old QB to take care of the football and make some winning plays."

On the other side of the ball, there is arguably more work to be done. But again, Houston has found a few potential young foundation stones to work around such as defensive linemen Jonathan Greenard, Ross Blacklock, and Roy Lopez, as well as linebacker Garret Wallow, cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., and safety Jalen Pitre.

"Defensively, Smith needs to build upon the small successes the unit experienced in 2021," Brooks said. "After adding some key players in free agency and the draft, Houston will need its newbies to step in and flourish immediately. Whether it is Derek Stingley Jr. thriving as a CB1 or Jalen Pitre flourishing as a versatile defensive back, Smith needs a productive season from his rookie class to help the Texans compete in 2022. Perhaps Smith can get some surprising contributions from veteran additions to fill in the gaps, but he will need a team of overachievers to be at their best in order to overcome the deficiencies that plague the roster."

Whether or not Smith is in a better position to succeed in the short-term than Matt Eberflus at the Chicago Bears or Brian Daboll at the New York Giants is up for debate.