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Monday, Jan. 23

Payton to Have Second Meeting with Broncos

Sean Payton will have his second meeting with the Broncos this week, Jeff Duncan reported. Many believe Payton has pulled into pole position for the Broncos’ vacant head coaching opening following the team’s first round of interviews.

Payton, a former Super Bowl Champion coach, has been a highly sought-after name on the coaching market thus far in the 2023 off-season. Payton is still under contract, so any team attempting to hire him will have to work out a trade with the Saints, who are reportedly looking for a first-round pick for Payton.

Flurry of Offensive Coordinator Interviews Confirmed

NFL front offices continue to mobilize, attempting to find the answer for their woes at the offensive coordinator position. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most recent interviews taking place.

The Ravens are planning to interview Cleveland WR coach/passing game coordinator Chad O’Shea for their vacant offensive coordinator position on Monday, NFL Media reported.

Likewise, Rams senior offensive assistant Greg Olson will interview for the Los Angeles Chargers’ vacant offensive coordinator position, NFL Media reported. That interview will take place on Tuesday.

Finally, Miami Dolphins running backs coach Eric Studesville will interview for the Washington Commanders’ open offensive coordinator role on Sunday, the team confirmed.


Houston Texans Fire Lovie Smith After One Season

The Houston Texans fired Lovie Smith on Sunday night, less than a year after making him the fifth head coach in franchise history.

This marks the second straight season the Texans fired their coach after one season. David Culley was let go last year, and Smith was named the head coach after serving as the team’s defensive coordinator. Houston’s prior two coaches served at least seven seasons apiece.

Smith’s dismissal comes one day after the team concluded a 3-13-1 regular season with a surprise win over the Indianapolis Colts. The Texans trailed by seven points with less than a minute remaining when Davis Mills connected with Jordan Akins for a 28-yard touchdown. Smith decided to go for two, and the Texans were successful with Mills connecting again with Akins, giving Houston a 32-31 victory that pushed the Texans out of the top slot in the 2023 NFL Draft.

After the game, Lovie Smith said, “Do I expect to be back? Yeah, I expect to be back.” The Texans had other plans.

The Houston Texans released a statement from Chair and CEO Cal McNair:

“Nick Caserio and I spoke with Lovie Smith tonight and informed him that we will be moving in a different direction as an organization. I appreciate Coach Smith and his entire family for their contributions over the last two seasons. We are grateful for his leadership and character, and we wish him the best moving forward. While we understand the results have not been what we had hoped for, we are committed to building a program that produces long-term, sustainable success. Our fans and city deserve a team that they can be proud of. I will work alongside Nick Caserio throughout this process and I’m confident we will find the right leader for our football team.”

Smith, hired last February, was expected to provide experience and leadership to a rebuilding Texans team that had not made the playoffs since 2019. He brought 11 years of NFL head coaching experience, helming the Chicago Bears from 2004-2012 (making the Super Bowl in 2006) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2014-2015.

However, things never clicked this season. After a season-opening tie against Indianapolis, Houston lost 12 of its next 13, spending the majority of the season as the last-place team in the NFL.

“In my opinion, they were a competitive team [with Smith],” said analyst Greg Jennings of The 33rd Team. “Who knows how they would have turned it around if Lovie Smith gets another year, gets some pieces in there, gets some free-agent signings, gets some pieces he wants. Anything can happen, and he wasn’t given that opportunity.”

Whoever succeeds Smith will inherit a roster that began the 2022 season as one of the oldest in the league and is in the early stages of a considerable rebuild. They will have assets to continue the rebuild in earnest.

The Texans own the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Houston also owns Cleveland’s first-round selection, which is the 12th pick, an extra third-rounder and four picks in the sixth. The Texans are also one of the teams with the most cap space available to spend in free agency with an estimated $47.6 million in cap space per Spotrac.


Even if Texans’ Win Costs Lovie Smith His Job, He Should Be Proud

The Houston Texans only had one thing on their mind in their Week 18 contest against the Indianapolis Colts, and it wasn’t the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Chuck Pagano explains why the Texans’ only goal was to win the football game in front of them.

Black Monday 2023: Predicting NFL’s Most Likely Coaching Changes

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It’s not just playoff teams that move on after the NFL concludes its regular season. It’s a handful of coaches, too. Except they’re not coaching more games.  Oftentimes, they’re not coaching, period. Welcome to Black Monday, an annual event that follows the last regular-season game sure to feature a number of coaches in the headlines […]

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Troy Vincent Q&A: NFL’s Minority Coach Hiring Remains Problematic

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Troy Vincent was a five-time Pro Bowl cornerback who played in the NFL for 16 years.  He finished with 47 career interceptions, including a league-high seven in 2002 with the Eagles. Vincent has been the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations since 2014. Before that, he served as the league’s director of player engagement […]

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