Texans Targeting Former Bears Coach, Chicago Should Consider a Reunion
It was reported yesterday that the Houston Texans were moving forward in hiring David Culley to be the team’s next head coach after the firing of Bill O’Brien this past season. NFL Network is now reporting that the Texans are targeting two gentlemen with ties to the Chicago Bears to serve on Culley’s staff. One, is former journeyman QB, Josh McCown, who was previously rumored to be in the running for Houston’s then-open head coaching vacancy. The other? Former longtime Chicago Bears head coach, Lovie Smith.
Since being let go after a 10-6 season in 2012, Lovie Smith appeared to take a season away from the game after serving as the head man in Chicago for 8 seasons. Not long after, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came calling, and ultimately brought Smith in to serve as the team’s head coach. His tenure was short-lived and not nearly as glorious as his days in Chicago. Smith’s Bucs posted an overall record of 8-24 in his two seasons before once again being let go following the 2015 season. Since then, Smith had served as the head coach of the Illinois Fighting Illini at the college level and was recently let go this past December after going 17-39 overall in five seasons with a 10-33 Big Ten conference record.
Smith’s head coaching days appear to be over for the foreseeable future. According to NFL Network, Smith is being targeted to join the new regime in Houston, and one can only suspect that he would be filling the empty defensive coordinator role. The Chicago Bears should be the ones that are getting on the phone with Smith right now offering a reunion contract. The Bears just lost another coach on the same day of the Culley hiring, but this time a critical defensive role. Mark DeLeone, was hired away by Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions to serve in his same role of linebackers coach.
What makes Lovie Smith such an attractive name for the Bears is that he is familiar with the organization and could be a huge asset for the Bears linebackers core. Smith has served as a defensive coach leading all the way back to 1983. He was a linebackers coach for Tulsa, Wisconsin, Arizona, State, Kentucky, as well as for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the late 90s. He served as the defensive coordinator of the then St. Louis Rams before Chicago brought him in as their head coach. Phil Emery, the general manager responsible for Smith’s firing is long gone. Smith would also have a much better defense to work with should the Bears reach out, including access to a linebacking unit featuring Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, and Robert Quinn. A Smith reunion could serve as a great asset for the team to get guys like Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan to start to being as impactful as guys like Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs were in Smith’s tenure in Chicago. It seems highly unlikely Smith would return to an organization that let him go following a season most coaches would earn an extension for, and of course the opportunity to serve as a defensive coordinator is much more tempting than a positions coach. Time will only tell what Lovie Smith decides to do, but I’m just saying. The two parties should be interested in a reunion at Halas Hall.