The Houston Texans have officially fired head coach Lovie Smith after one season. The news of Smith’s firing after just one season is a little surprising, but the Texans will not wait long to find their next head coach. There are plenty of worthy candidates, and Houston should be an attractive landing spot for the right candidate.
Five Houston Texans Head Coach Candidates
1. Ben Johnson
Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson performed miracles in 2022, and he should be one of the most coveted head coach candidates on the market. The Lions had one of the best offenses in football last year, and it certainly wasn’t because of the talent alone. Jared Goff had his best season in years, and Amon-Ra St. Brown took a huge second-year leap. The Texans will have a new quarterback next year, and it’s in the organization’s best interest to find a coach that can make life as easy as possible for their potential franchise quarterback. Johnson’s work speaks for itself in that regard.
Get Ben Johnson a HC job, I’ve seen enough pic.twitter.com/F8CdkvtHgf
— Nico (@elitetakes_) January 9, 2023
2. Shane Steichen
Jalen Hurts entered the league with a high ceiling, but he was very rough as a passer. However, after a few years under offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, the quarterback has emerged into a legitimate MVP candidate and one of the best young arms in the league. While A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith certainly helped with that transformation, Steichen’s scheme and willingness to incorporate what makes Hurts so dangerous played a huge role in that development. If he can do the same for Houston’s next quarterback, then he would be a great hire.
3. Jonathan Gannon
Considering the state of the franchise, the Houston Texans should look for an offensive-minded head coach. However, if they go defense, then they should go after Eagles defensive coordinator Johnathan Gannon. The Eagles have one of the best defenses in football, and Gannon’s scheme is a huge reason for that success. Texans general manager Nick Caserio learned under Bill Belichick, so there is a chance he’d prefer a defensive-minded coach to lead Houston into the 2023 season.
4. Sean Payton
Sean Payton’s track record speaks for itself, and if he wants to coach the Texans, then Houston should pull the trigger. Needless to say, several teams are going to be interested in Payton, so Caserio and the Texans will need to make a case as to why they’re the best team for his services. While they don’t have the best roster at the moment, they have a seemingly endless supply of draft picks and cap space to rebuild the team from the ground up. If Payton wants to be an active part of shaping his next team, then there isn’t a better spot than Houston.
5. Josh McCown
Last year at this point, everyone in the world knew that the Houston Texans desperately wanted to hire Josh McCown to be their next head coach. Now, McCown had no coaching experience at this point in time, and the Texans eventually decided to go with Lovie Smith. Since then, however, the Indianapolis Colts hired a similarly inexperienced Jeff Saturday to be their interim coach for the back half of the 2022 season. Now that the Colts have established a precedent here, perhaps the Texans will be able to pull the trigger on McCown.