Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Zalubowski/AP/Shutterstock (13400614q) Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith watches during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, in Denver Texans Broncos Football, Denver, United States – 18 Sep 2022
Following Sunday’s loss in Miami, the Houston Texans head coach appeared to directly contradict his own statements from earlier in the week and that of his starting quarterback.
Sunday was another inglorious moment for the Houston Texans, another loss in which the offense was stuck in reverse for the entire first half and the defense didn’t feel like showing up either.
Quarterback Kyle Allen did not seem to find his rhythm until the game was far out of reach, and he spent most of the first half running for his life.
During the CBS broadcast of Sunday’s game, the broadcast team reported that Kyle Allen never received a full share of the starter’s reps in practice all week. Allen split reps with Davis Mills, whom he replaced. This report was in line with Kyle Allen’s comments from Friday before the game.
Now, seeing as the entire world knew (thanks to our own John McClain) that the Texans planned on starting Kyle Allen on Wednesday of last week, it would seem strange that the Texans wouldn’t give Allen the full share of reps with the first team offense considering backups don’t get very many reps in practice.
However, in his postgame media conference, a salty Lovie Smith was asked about splitting reps all week and gave a very interesting answer:
“I don’t think we split his reps in practice. Our back up, we have two guys that get reps each week. It
wasn’t a split of the reps. Take it from there. I felt like we practiced enough — every time a guy goes out there and he gets more reps, he’s going to play better, but I can’t say that that’s the reason why.”
Lovie said the team did not split the reps in practice postgame. He also made it seem that the backup gets a fair share of reps. Those two statements clearly cannot coexist.
His statements also contradict Kyle Allen’s statements from Friday when he discussed being named the starter:
“We didn’t really know anything earlier in the week. We were just splitting reps, and today, he (Lovie Smith) told me I was playing.”
Allen said Friday they were just splitting reps. Hmm.
As far as Lovie’s comments on the backup getting reps each week, here is what he said on Monday last week regarding backup quarterback reps:
“In practice, for most NFL teams, the guy that is in the backup role doesn’t get a lot of reps.”
So how did the Texans go from a position where the backup doesn’t get a lot of reps to they have two guys who get reps, but they were not splitting the reps?
None of this makes any sense. The Texans, already a franchise low on credibility, just made their lack of credibility even more apparent.
Every team in the NFL will harp on how important practice is for game day, and how you have to have strong practices to succeed on Sundays. Quarterback is the most important position on the field.
Why would a team not give the player they intend to start the absolute most practice time possible? It seems contradictory to fail to give your starting quarterback the most reps, especially one that is starting for the first time this season. A new starter midseason should be getting all the first-team reps.
Not giving your new quarterback the most reps possible is the opposite of putting him in the best position to succeed.
Maybe that was the point?