The Texans fired Lovie Smith on Sunday. Texans head football coach Lovie Smith stands on the field before the Texas Tech-Ole Miss Texas Bowl game, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, at NRG Stadium in Houston.

The Houston Texans might not like offseasons that include looking for a new head coach, but they’re sure growing used to them. Not long after their season finale against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Houston announced that it was moving on from coach Lovie Smith.

Texans CEO Cal McNair announced the decision to fire Smith in a statement.

“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.”

This move drew some criticism, to say the least.

Former NFL quarterback and current analyst, Robert Griffin III was a critic, as was longtime running back Fred Taylor.

“The Houston Texans have fired Lovie Smith after 1 year. Using 2 Black Head Coaches to tank and then firing them after 1 year shouldn’t sit right with anyone,” Griffin said.

“Hiring Lovie Smith to an extremely untalented Texans team was only done to save face, checklist the Rooney rule, and erase the racial accusations it faced less than a year ago. And to fire him less than a year into rebuilding its franchise shows they are full of crap. Crazy!” Taylor tweeted.

They were not the only critics.

“Texans set Lovie up for failure. He shouldn’t have been fired, but he deserves a shot with a real organization,” David Fucillo of Vox Media said.

“Lovie Smith has been fired in Chicago after going 10-6; in Tampa Bay after tripling his win total from the previous season; and in Houston after one season — winning two of his last three games with a terrible roster,” noted Mark Potash, Chicago Sun-Times.

In a way, Houston’s strong finish might have contributed to Smith’s firing. After 14 games, the Texans were 1-12-1 and seemed like a virtual lock to land the No. 1 pick in the draft. But beating the Tennessee Titans in Week 16 and the Colts in Week 18, plus the Chicago Bears finishing the season with 10 straight losses, put the Bears in position for the No. 1 pick and the Texans at No. 2.

That said, Houston entered Sunday in position to hold the No. 1 pick. Even before Sunday’s game, reports were swirling that Smith might be on his way out.

Knowing that, Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News suggested that the Texans victory on Sunday — which came due to some aggressive late-game decisions, might have been Smith knowing he was a lame-duck coach.

“Lovie Smith costing the Texans the No. 1 pick knowing he was done is an all-time, middle finger, power move,” he said.

This will be Houston’s third straight offseason looking for a new coach. Bill O’Brien was fired during the 2020 season. Romeo Crennel finished that season as the interim but in the offseason, David Culley was hired. After a 4-13 season in 2021, Culley was fired and Smith replaced him.

Caserio has not been the general manager for a long time. He was in that role, though, when both Culley and Smith were hired. The failures of the organization — regardless of whether one blames those on the coaches or the lack of talent — are ultimately the responsibility of the person who puts the talent and coaches on the field. That’s Caserio. So, if this hire doesn’t end up being a good one, the next big move will likely include a front office overhaul.

[Houston Texans on Twitter]

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