From the day David Culley was named head coach of the Houston Texans, it appeared coaches were keen to work with him with roles around him filling remarkably quickly. And this certainly seems the case for defensive coordinator Lovie Smith, who described working for Culley's first NFL staff as an "honor."
"I thought it was an honor to be a part of his first staff," admitted Smith.
"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."
Culley was an under-the-radar candidate for head coach, having never served as a coordinator or head coach in the NFL previously. That being said, it seems clear that his reputation around the league is sizable, and former Chicago Bears head coach Smith is confident in Culley's ability to lead this organization in the right way.
"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," said Smith.
"His (Culley) primary expertise early on of course was with the receiver position, and you just look at the guys that he’s put out," said Smith.
Having primarily worked with quarterbacks and wide receivers throughout his coaching career, Culley's track record is there for all to see. The likes of Marquise Brown, Josh Allen, Tyrod Taylor, Tyreek Hill, Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, and Terrell Owens have all flourished under Culley's leadership.
"When you do well with a small group, you get more," said Smith.
"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. You’re going to see a guy with energy every day. He’s not going to be up and down. He’s going to be honest and direct and that’s what players want. They want a real man in that position that they want to help win."
And it isn't just coaches who are keen to work with Culley. Since their arrivals in Houston running back Mark Ingram and wide receiver Chris Conley have both credited Culley's appointment as driving forces behind their decision to join the Texans.
"I’ve known David Culley for a long period of time," said Smith when discussing what it was about this job that intrigued him.
"Knew what kind of man he was, what type of coach he has been throughout, and I know the influence that he would have on the organization, so that was an easy – wasn’t really a big sell job that David had to do."
Culley may not have been the favorite for the position, but perhaps his appointment will be an unexpected success in the long term.
Ultimately, only time will tell.
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