When the Texans named Lovie Smith the fifth head coach in franchise history, it was met with approval by several players.
That included veteran safety Justin Reid, a pending unrestricted free agent
"I like him, I know the locker room likes him," Reid said. "Lovie has the respect of everybody because of how personable he is. Anybody can talk to him in his office, and he'll listen to what they have to say, which I really respect.
"He's extremely qualified for the job, a great guy overall. Very knowledgeable. He brings out the best in all of his players and emphasizes the details, getting turnovers. On the team sphere, everybody takes their job seriously and plays their best ball."
Smith owns an 89-87 record and reached the Super Bowl twice, losing both. His first shot came as the defensive coordinator of the Rams in 2001. He returned to the big game in 2006 as the head coach of the Bears. The associate head coach replaces David Culley, who Houston fired after a 4-13 season.
"Hopefully, Lovie can get to 100 wins soon," said Reid, whose four-year, $2.443 million rookie contract is expiring after recording seven interceptions, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and two sacks in four NFL seasons.
A former third-round draft pick from Stanford, Reid generated two interceptions and one forced fumble last season playing for Smith. Smith, 63, sports a long white beard and reminds Reid of Texans senior personnel advisor, former interim coach, and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel.
"Absolutely, just a strong sense of respect," Reid said. "It's a little bit of what RAC (Romeo Anthony Crennel) has, maybe without as many years. He's done it for a long time. He's been a part of everything and done it at a high level. He doesn't play favorites. Everybody is treated exactly the same. That's the type of dude he is. Everybody wants to play hard for him and make him proud."
Smith has 20 total seasons of NFL coaching experience, including 11 as a head coach. Additionally, he owns 21 years of experience at the high school and collegiate levels. In Smith's first year leading the Texans' defense in 2021, Houston recorded 25 total takeaways, tied for 10th in the NFL. Moreover, they intercepted 3.1 percent of opponent passing attempts, the fifth-highest rate in the league.
Defensive end Jonathan Greenard was a bright spot, recording a career-high eight sacks in his second NFL season. Greenard echoed Reid's sentiments about Smith, saying, "You won't have to worry about playing with passion and emotion on the team, that's for sure. I'm excited about the hire, but I also know we got a lot of work to do. So, I'm ready to turn this thing around."
Aaron Wilson is a Pro Football Network reporter and analyst. He is a contributor to Sports Talk 790.