Lovie Smith brings a "spark".
The Texans Head Coach was in the building and on the field in 2021 as defensive coordinator. But now that he's in charge, things are different.
The Texans began Organized Team Activities (OTAs) last week, and are now heading into their second week of on-field work. For new Texans Offensive Lineman A.J. Cann—a veteran of seven NFL seasons-- Smith seems a bit familiar.
"I spoke to Lovie a little bit on the phone when I decided to come," Cann said. "He reminded me of myself a little bit. Really laid back, quiet coach."
But lurking beneath that measured exterior, according to McCann, is something more.
"He really doesn't say much but you can tell he's got a little spark about him," Cann said. "I kind of like him to stay cool and quiet. You don't want to piss him off."
Smith and the Texans are aiming for improvement over a 13-loss season in 2021. Wide Receiver Brandin Cooks was here the last two seasons, but said the vibe so far in 2022 has the team "excited and having fun." Cooks said the change at the top with Smith, coupled with a coaching staff comprised of holdovers and new faces, has been a nice change.
"We still got a lot of guys that are on this staff," Cooks said. "It may seem like you have a new head coach, but obviously these guys have been around and that makes things a lot easier."
For Smith, OTAs are a vital part of getting ready for the games in 2022. It's the first chance for the coaches to see the veterans and rookies mixed together, on the field at the Houston Methodist Training Center.
"Up until this stage it's just been a lot of technique work, but there are so many things that you can learn," Smith said. "One of the main things is just teaching them. Last year, COVID year, we didn't have a chance to just go into all of the details, so you have a chance to do all that right now."
After the Memorial Day break, the Texans will hit the field for their second week of OTAs.