Social media reacts after Lovie Smith emerges as favorite for Texans' head coaching job

By , Audacy Sports

Texans assistant Lovie Smith appears to be the front runner to be the team's next head coach, according to reports.

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Houston was "in talks" with Smith about the potential promotion, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Sunday night.

The former Bears, Buccaneers and Illinois Fighting Illini head coach served as Houston's assistant head coach and defensive coordinator last season, under former head coach David Culley.

The news came as a surprise to some, as Smith was not previously reported to be in the running for the job, which became vacant when Culley was dismissed after just one year.

Here's what journalists and fans were saying on social media:

Previous reports had indicated the other finalists were former Texans quarterback Josh McCown, who has no coaching experience beyond high school, and former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores.

Flores' candidacy was potentially complicated by his bombshell racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL, in which he cited Culley's ouster after only one season as an example of a double standard to which Black and minority coaches are held compared to their white counterparts.

Smith, 63, went 89-87 in the regular season and 3-3 in the postseason in his 11 years as an NFL head coach. He coached the Bears in Super Bowl XLI, and reached the NFC title game in 2010. The Texas native and Tulsa alum finished 17-39 in his five years with Illinois.

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