“Change for what?” Texans head coach gets snippy in postgame presser

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Eric Christian Smith/AP/Shutterstock (13631511gw) Houston Texans coach Lovie Smith answers a question after an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, in Houston. The Commanders won 23-10 Commanders Texans Football, Houston, United States – 20 Nov 2022

“Change for what?” Texans head coach gets snippy in postgame presser

Fans and media alike are getting tired of the same nonanswers after each loss.

Following one of their worst games of the season, a 23-10 loss to the Washington Commanders, Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith was not in the mood to deal with a media seeking accountability.

Based on Lovie Smith’s answers last night, it doesn’t appear that accountability is coming anytime soon, either.

Smith opened his press conference with much of the same coach speak he always uses, speaking in generalities and saying the team needs to be better. However, he was asked multiple times during the week leading up to the game if there was a chance he would make a change at quarterback, and he dismissed them all. He tried to preempt some of those questions with his opening statement:

“We had some disappointing losses this year. We had a chance to win. Not many games I don’t think we’ve been in this year where they were better than us pretty much from start to finish. I thought defensively; we did some good things early on in the first half. Offensively, when you start off the first drive like that, that’s tough duty. Their defense dominated us up front, and it’s pretty hard to get a running game going. It’s hard to pass the football when it’s that much pressure and, again, the takeaways. Normally those games aren’t that close when you play like that. Our fans deserve a lot more than that. We have to put a better product on the football field, and we’ll keep working towards that. Some of your questions, ‘Did you consider changes’ We’re trying to do what we thought we needed to do to give us the best chance to win throughout.

Of course, he would be asked about the quarterback position, as Davis Mills had just given another lackluster performance. Coach Smith initially got a little perturbed about being asked about changing quarterbacks right away and then deflected blame to the offensive line:

“Are you asking me am I going to change the quarterback position right after the game? As I said, we consider all different things during the course of the game on, whether making a move at any position will give us a better chance. When you say it starts with the quarterback, no, it starts up front. That’s where it starts. Today with that type of pressure, I don’t know how many quarterbacks could have had success.”

When asked specifically if he considered switching to Kyle Allen at quarterback, Smith gave the following response:

“We consider all guys that are dressed if they will give us a better chance during the course of the game. If we made a move, we thought that was the way we should go. If we didn’t, that’s where it is.”

Is there a possibility there could be a switch this week? Lovie more or less deflected again:

“I’m going to watch the video is what I’m going to do. We’re going to evaluate it like we normally do. We don’t make those kind of decisions 30 minutes after the game, no, before I get a chance to talk to all the coaches, no. I think most of you know that.”

When asked what he needed to see from Davis Mills, Smith gave a standard answer and a standard deflection:

“Production. What I want to see first is Davis Mills in front with protection, with a good running game to back him up, and with protection when he is passing the football. That’s what we need to see first. All of this is a base part of it all. It’s just not one position. Guys, after a game, I’m going to talk to the guys. If there’s something we’re going to do, I’m going to talk to the guys first at all positions. Right now, there’s disappointment throughout. It just wasn’t two positions that we’re talking about.”

Realistically the other position he is referencing is LG Kenyon Green, who was a complete liability for the Texans Sunday. While he is playing through a shoulder injury, it is clear he is out of sorts. He missed multiple blocks right at the snap, allowing two sacks and two additional quarterback hits. He got beat very quickly for two tackles for loss. He allowed five pressures. Green was also flagged three times, twice for holding and once for an ineligible man downfield penalty.

When asked why he didn’t make changes during the game, Smith gave a sharp retort:

“Because I didn’t think I should do it today.”

Smith was then finally questioned on his repeated nonanswers and excuses. If the team keeps making the same mistakes every week, but there are never any changes, why do you keep doing the same things just to get the same results? Lovie snapped:

“Change for what? Just change to change? I think leave that up to us, all right? Right now, we don’t think we’re in that position.”

There may not be any meaningful changes for the Texans before the end of the season, no matter how far they fall. There could be significant changes to more than just the players after it.

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