Lovie Smith is a father and a grandfather, but it was the Mother’s Day message from a bishop of a Dallas megachurch that resonated with the Houston Texans coach when he prepared to talk to the incoming rookie class at minicamp.
The Texans held rookie minicamp from May 12-14 at team facilities in and around NRG Stadium, and Smith touched on a sermon from Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter’s House Church to help the rookies acclimate to the NFL.
“One of the best Mother’s Day sermons that I ever heard was T.D. Jakes talked about mothers, mentors and moments,” Smith told reporters on May 13. “So last night I kind of started off our meeting a little bit with that. We all had a mother that gave us this opportunity, let the guys know that.
“Mentors, who are the mentors? This weekend we talked to a couple of guys, and they were there hanging out with their high school coaches. A lot of mentors.
“Mothers hand the baton off to the mentors, and we’re a part of that too, coaches, leading up to the moment. The moment of having an opportunity to play in the NFL. It kind of says it all right there of where the guys are. They’ve been working out a lot for this moment, and we’re going to do everything we possibly can as mentors to help them through it.”
Part of Smith’s orientation was to calm the nerves of the drafted and undrafted rookies eager to make a great impression with their first NFL team.
“These first couple of days, it’s about this, ‘Welcome to our group. This is how we do things,’” Smith explained. “Letting them know that it’s going to be okay. We’re not going to play tomorrow, and just to trust the process as much as anything. Letting them know about our coaches a little bit.”