Not long after the 2020 college football season came to a close, the Lovie Smith era of the Illinois Fighting Illini came to an end.
The former Chicago Bears head coach was ousted following a 2-5 record. Not long after he was fired, though, Smith found a new job – this time back in the National Football League.
He inked a deal to become the defensive coordinator for the Houston Texans. Back in the NFL, Lovie isn’t too worried about how his defense will translate to the NFL.
“I think when I initially left the NFL and went to college, it was probably more adjustments we had to make then,” Smith said during his press conference. “The college game, it’s a lot more quarterback-run-dominated offenses.”
Here’s more of what he had to say, via Pro Football Talk:
“I think our system — and everybody has a system, you tweak it from year to year. But I don’t think we’ll have to adjust ours that much. In college we weren’t able to run our entire system. Most of the time [offenses] go three receivers — we kept our base defense on the field.
We didn’t play our nickel packages much. So I think our defense is more suited for the NFL game and we’ll make the tweaks and things like that. But we feel pretty good about what I’ve seen.”
Smith heads back to a role he last held with the St. Louis Rams from 2001-03.
The Texans will be one of the more interesting teams to follow over the course of the 2021 season. A new coaching staff and questions around quarterback Deshaun Watson will be something to watch.