9 important Houston Texans takeaways from Lovie Smith's Combine presser

Texans head coach Lovie Smith spoke at the NFL Combine on Wednesday, and discussed the defense, Davis Mills, the Deshaun Watson situation, and much more. Be sure to check out the video above to watch the entire press conference. Here are my quick takeaways from Lovie's comments.

1. When asked about Davis Mills, Smith said starting jobs aren't given out in the offseason. But he also talked about Mills' intelligence, and how he played as well as most of the rookie QBs last season. He also thought it was important to bring back Pep Hamilton, so he can continue to work with Mills.

2. Lovie shared some thoughts on this year's draft class, and he sees a lot of talent on the defensive line. He said that the Texans have a "defensive line-friendly system," and if he was a defensive end, he would want to play in the Texans scheme. Defensive line is considered one of the strengths of this year's draft class, so don't be surprised if the Texans draft a pass rusher if they stay at No. 3 overall. Lovie discussed pass rush and defensive ends in his scheme quite a bit. You have to wonder if improving the pass rush is his top priority. He might be tipping his hand here, or it could be another smoke screen. He did say the Texans might take a QB at No. 3 overall last week, when we know that's not likely. Smith just wants other teams to believe they might draft a QB for leverage.

3. Don't shut the door on safety Justin Reid returning to the Texans. Smith called Reid an "outstanding player" and said the team would be pretty happy if they were able to retain him. Smith went on to say Reid is a detail guy that fits their profile.

4. Lovie also spoke about the traits he looks for in a cornerback. Smith said a corner that's 6' tall and can run faster than most people, is important. He values ball skills and being a willing tackler.

5. There are several benefits of having Lovie as head coach this year. He spoke about his knowledge of the roster, the division, and how the Texans organization works. These are some things a coach being hired from outside the organization would not possess.

6. Tight end was a big topic of conversation again today. Smith spoke about the tight end position being a big part of what they want to do on offense. With only Brevin Jordan under contract, the Texans will look to add to the position. He doesn't consider Jordan to be an "ideal" in-line Y tight end, so look for them to address that position because he believes in multiple tight ends, and they view Jordan as more of a pass catcher. He also said the Texans want to be able to run the ball.

7. Of course, Lovie was asked about Deshaun Watson. Here's what he had to say. "Time kind of takes care of everything. I know Deshaun is an excellent football player. Excellent football players need to be playing somewhere in the NFL. Hopefully, that will happen and if it's not with us, somewhere else. As I see the situation, both of us are eventually gonna benefit from this situation. I just can't wait for that to speed up a little bit." Smith also mentioned he's a patient man.

8. Lovie Smith seems open to bringing back some players. He mentioned Maliek Collins, Christian Kirksey, and Kamu Grugier-Hill specifically.

9. Smith considers the NFL Combine to be important. Seems like an obvious statement, but this year the Rams GM and Head Coach decided not to attend the Combine. Smith also explained that his college coaching experience will come in handy because he recruited a lot of the prospects in this year's draft class.

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The Texans have one of the best young cores in the NFL. Composite Getty Image.

We all agree that the Texans have one of the best young cores in the league. But how good are they? Do they have the best core of young players under 25 in the NFL?

Pro Football Focus says no, it's the Detroit Lions. The Lions have 5 players on the best under 25 list. But the Texans are right behind them with 3. Only the Texans and Lions have 3 or more players that cracked the list.

Don't miss the video above as ESPN Houston's Joel Blank & Jeremy Branham weigh in on PFF's list, examine if any deserving Texans were left off, and much more!

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