The Houston Texans made the news official on Monday, naming Lovie Smith as their fifth head coach in franchise history. Smith recently completed his first season with the Texans as associate head coach and defensive coordinator in 2021, bringing 20 total seasons of NFL coaching experience, including 11 as a head coach.
As soon as news of Smith's interview broke Sunday night, several Houston Texans players voiced their approval via Twitter. The club announced Smith as the new head coach Monday night.
DB Desmond King II recorded his first interception since 2018, then added two more. The former All-Pro DB finished the 2021 season with a single-season career-tying record of three interceptions with Smith calling plays on the defensive side of the ball.
Tavierre Thomas responded with a multiple popcorn emjojis. Last season, Thomas scored on the first pick-six of his career, a 48-yard touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers. Thomas also posted a career-high two interception and his first career forced fumble under Smith.
Under Smith, Lonnie Johnson logged a career-high three interceptions in 14 games with seven starts.
Jonathan Owens also showed his interest in seeing Smith become head coach. Owens earned his first career start last season at Jacksonville and then followed up his debut with an interception and a fumble recovery one week later against the Chargers.
In Smith's first season leading the Texans' defense, Houston recorded 25 total takeaways, tied for 10th in the NFL, while intercepting 3.1 percent of opponent passing attempts, the fifth-highest rate in the league. The Texans defense finished with 11 different players recording an interception, the most in the NFL.
The Houston Texans have hired Lovie Smith as the team's fifth head coach in franchise history.