Lovie Smith has put on the head coaching headset twice before in his career, with the Chicago Bears and with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now after eight seasons, Smith will call his first game as head coach of the Houston Texans when open their preseason on Saturday.
"Yeah, you're right, about a minute," Smith said. "I've done that a few times. They say when you ride a bike you kind of know how to ride it most of the time. But I'm excited about it, to have an opportunity to lead a franchise like this. I love our football team, so it's all good. Can't wait to get there."
After serving as the associate head coach and defensive coordinator last season, Smith was named head coach of the Houston Texans in February. Defensive-minded Smith, of course, plans to still call plays for the defense.
"I think whenever you've done something before, you know what to expect," Smith said. "It's easier, yes."
With 42 total seasons of coaching experience, Smith owns 11 seasons of experience as an NFL head coach, having spent nine seasons (2004-12) with the Bears and two seasons (2013-14) with the Buccaneers. In 20 total seasons of coaching in the NFL, Smith has taken part in 171 regular season wins, eight playoff appearances, six division titles, three NFC Championship games and two Super Bowls (XXXVI and XLI). Smith received NFL Coach of the Year honors from the Associated Press while with the Bears in 2005.
Houston will kick off the 2022 preseason at home against the New Orleans Saints on Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. CT.