In December, the University of Illinois fired head football coach Lovie Smith. Here it is January and the respected Smith "fallen up'' and back into the NFL.
Smith, 62 and a native of Texas, will be the defensive coordinator on the new staff of just-hired head coach David Culley, an NFL source tells TexansDaily.com.
Said the source: "Lovie is a great combination of an extremely nice person and an extremely tough coach.''
We know that the previous regime's offensive coordinator Tim Kelly is staying on, and that QB coach Pep Hamilton is coming on.
And we know that despite Smith's departure from Illinois, he has a track record of, as Illinois AD Josh Whitman said, "unquestioned integrity ... His unshakeable leadership, never more needed than during this pandemic, will be forever remembered."
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Smith spent five years at Illinois but went 2-5 this year. Previously in his career, he's had success as a head coach in the NFL, with stints with the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers,
Smith has been to the Super Bowl on two occasions. Once he was there as he served as the defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams. And then he made it again as the head coach for the Chicago Bears in 2006.
The Texans fired Bill O'Brien as head coach and general manager after starting the 2020 season 0-4. Romeo Crennel ultimately went 4-8 as interim head coach, before an already tumultuous season worsened in recent weeks with reports that franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson is frustrated with the organization and may want out.
Perhaps Culley can be the calming presence this team needs in the locker room to get all 53 guys on the same page once again. And maybe Smith (along with Kelly) helps in that important area.
What does Lovie Smith bring as defensive coordinator? Instant credibility.
CONTINUE READING: Houston Texans Coordinator Kelly Is Staying; Does That Mean Deshaun Might?