NFL Rumors: Lovie Smith 'Could Be Out' After 1 Season as Texans Head Coach

Erin WalshJanuary 7, 2023

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 24: Head coach Lovie Smith of the Houston Texans on the sidelines during the first half in the game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Houston Texans could be looking for a new head coach ahead of the 2023 campaign as Lovie Smith "could be out" after just one season as head coach of the franchise, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.

"Concerned that he'll be the second consecutive one-and-done Texans head coach, Lovie Smith has been meeting with owner Cal McNair to state his case for a second season in Houston, per sources," Rapoport and Pelissero wrote.

Smith was hired as head coach of the Texans ahead of the 2022 season after serving as associate head coach and defensive coordinator for the team in 2021. It's his first NFL head coaching job since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired him after two seasons with the club in 2016.

Smith replaced David Culley, who was fired after leading the team to a 4-13 finish in 2021. Prior to Culley, Bill O'Brien served as head coach of the Texans from 2014 until he was fired during the 2020 season and Romeo Crennel was named interim head coach.

The Texans are a very young team with a lack of elite talent this season, and they enter Week 18 against the Indianapolis Colts with the NFL's worst record at 2-13-1. Even though the roster has been poorly constructed, which isn't Smith's fault, the head coach still isn't drawing good reviews.

According to Rapoport and Pelissero, "frustration has mounted in the locker room and elsewhere in the building over many aspects of Smith's program, including overall operational struggles."

The Texans intend to evaluate Smith's future with the franchise at the end of the season. If he's fired, Rapoport and Pelissero note Houston could revisit head coaching candidates they interviewed last year, including Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon.

Aside from coaching, the Texans need to work on building a stronger team that can contend for the AFC South crown. Houston has two first-round picks in the 2023 NFL draft, and they could use one of those to select a franchise quarterback. The other could be used to select a wide receiver, such as Quentin Johnston, Jordan Addison or Jaxon Smith-Njigba.