The Houston Texans' search for their next head coach has begun with Lovie Smith.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that Smith interviewed for the open position Monday, per a source informed of the scheduled meeting. Rapoport reported earlier this month that Smith was expected to be the first person interviewed for the job, which is being filled in the interim by defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle first reported the news.
Smith was fired by the Chicago Bears after missing the playoffs in 2012 despite a 10-6 record. Smith was 81-63 in nine seasons with the Bears, including 3-3 in the playoffs. Smith's Bears lost Super Bowl XLI to the Indianapolis Colts in 2007.
By cutting ties with Gary Kubiak earlier this month, Houston got a jump-start on examining a full field of candidates. According to McClain, the Texans also are interested in Penn State coach Bill O'Brien and San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.
Phillips also is believed to be an option.