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Texans HC Lovie Smith unlikely to add defensive coordinator to staff, plans to call plays in 2022

2/10/2022 11:12:15 PM
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Lovie Smith's return to a head coaching position will not include him adding a key lieutenant.

It is unlikely Houston will hire a defensive coordinator for Smith's staff, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports via Nick SHook of

After enjoying his role as defensive coordinator in Houston in 2021, Smith said during his introductory press conference he plans to call plays. Going without a coordinator seems logical, then, though staff structure tends to come down to coaching preference, and completing a season without a coordinator is more uncommon than not.

Smith certainly doesn't lack necessary experience. The 63-year-old is starting his third stint as a head coach in the NFL after spending 2004-2012 in Chicago and 2014-15 in Tampa, but 2022 would be the first season in his head coaching career in which he operated without a defensive coordinator on his staff.

Smith has built a reputation for defensive excellence in his coaching career, moving from the then-St. Louis Rams to Chicago in 2004 and transforming the Bears into a team powered by a stifling defense. Smith earned Coach of the Year honors in 2005 for leading a turnaround that saw the Bears improve from 5-11 in 2004 to 11-5, and reached the Super Bowl a year later by riding the strength of its defense to an NFC title.

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