Smith enjoying evaluating with O’Brien

Smith enjoying evaluating with O’Brien
May 1, 2014, 5:00 pm
Share This Post

Texans GM Rick Smith and new head coach Bill O’Brien have been working together for the past few months in preparation for the upcoming draft.

And, according to Smith, the two of them are working well with one another.

“I think the biggest thing is just the whole opportunity to be exposed to a new system, the learning that’s involved in it,” Smith said during Thursday’s pre-draft press conference when asked how the process has been different with O’Brien than it was with former head coach Gary Kubiak.

“That’s one of the things that I expressed I was looking forward to. I’ve been in a certain system for 18 years. The opportunity to step outside of that comfort zone gives me a chance to grow personally and professionally. That was a part of it. Bill’s smart, he’s articulate, he’s got a good vision. One of the things that we are really doing this year is painting a vision for each player and how that player will come in and specifically impact our team and that will be fun.”

The two men are the main leaders as the Texans try to rebound from a disastrous 2-14 season in 2013, which saw Kubiak get fired. The Texans hold the first-overall pick in the draft but have 11 total picks, including one at the top of each round. Smith said that while the first pick gets a lot of attention – and rightfully so – those other picks are extremely important.

And so far, according to Smith, the two are playing nice together and have been in agreement on most prospects.  

“It’s been pretty consistent that we’ve been in agreement,” he said. “He’s been in football a long time. I’ve been in football a long time. I think we know what good football players look like. It’s no surprise to me that we saw things pretty much the same.”

Smith has been with the Texans since 2006 and has only prepared for a draft as a general manager with Kubiak as head coach. And before he joined the Texans, Smith was with the Broncos in various roles (coach, front office) since 1996. With Kubiak’s connection with the Broncos, this is an entirely new system for which Smith is finding players. But he said he’s enjoying that learning process.

“It’s been fun,” Smith said when asked specifically about O’Brien’s take on quarterbacks. “He’s very smart, very intelligent, very communicative. It’s been a good process. It’s been a learning process for me. We’ve had some good ideas, good conversations and good discussions in regard to things that are necessary for a guy to be successful in the league.”

Texans - Team News
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) is listed as probable for Week 8. Johnson practiced in full Friday after being limited early in the week. He'll continue to play through his ankle injury. Johnson is a mid-range WR2 for Sunday's game...
Oct 24 5:19PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) remained limited in Thursday's practice. Johnson doesn't need full practices at this stage of his career. He's a solid WR2 for Sunday's game against the Titans.
Oct 23 4:37PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) said he'd be surprised if he doesn't play in Sunday's game... Clowney hasn't played since tearing his meniscus in Week 1. He says he plans to "push through" the soreness that's still in his knee. If the training staff lets...
Oct 23 11:41AM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Ryan Fitzpatrick admitted he "didn't get it to Andre [Johnson] nearly enough early"... Johnson finished with 5-77-0 on nine targets, but had just one catch for four yards through the first three quarters. After the game, coach Bill O'Brien said that Johnson...
Oct 23 8:03AM Read More
Brian Cushing - LB
Texans ILB Brian Cushing will miss at least one week with a knee injury. It's a blow to an already vulnerable Houston run defense, and a nice upgrade to Bishop Sankey's Week 8 matchup. Justin Tuggle and Mike Mohamed figure to start at inside...
Oct 22 8:32PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps coming off Monday night's loss. He'll remain a WR2 for Week 8 against the Titans.
Oct 22 5:22PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster was limited in Wednesday's practice. The Texans listed Foster as "not injury related," but he missed practice time last week with a groin issue. Foster has a matchup with the Titans' No. 22 ranked run...
Oct 22 5:15PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
According to, there's a "decent chance" Jadeveon Clowney (knee)... "He feels good," coach Bill O'Brien said Monday. "Well see how it goes this week in practice. We'll be able to make a determination pretty soon about whether...
Oct 21 3:58PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham caught two passes for 24 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers. Graham was targeted three times, but dropped the other. It can be considered one of Graham's better statistical games of the season, which obviously means he's nowhere near...
Oct 20 11:31PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught five passes for 77 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers on... Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins each saw a team-high nine targets. There was nothing special about Johnson's night. His biggest play was a 24-yard grab on a deep in route in...
Oct 20 11:25PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught six passes for 108 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers on... Hopkins and Andre Johnson each saw a team-high nine targets. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw it to whichever receiver was working against embattled Steelers CB Cortez Allen. ...
Oct 20 11:16PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 14 yards on five carries and caught an 11-yard touchdown in the Texans'... Blue was the vulture on the opening-drive 11-yard score after Arian Foster managed 59 rushing yards to get the Texans near the goal line. Foster is an every-down back,...
Oct 20 11:09PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 21-of-32 passes for 262 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception... Fitzpatrick played well for much of the first half, leading the Texans on three consecutive scoring drives to open the game. It was a train wreck thereafter. One play...
Oct 20 10:56PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster rushed for 102 yards on 20 carries in the Texans' 30-23, Week 7 loss to the... Foster got off to a blazing start, rushing for 59 yards on the Texans' 94-yard opening touchdown drive, but was vultured by Alfred Blue for the 11-yard touchdown catch to...
Oct 20 10:47PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is inactive for Monday night's Week 7 game against the Steelers. Clowney's lateral agility wasn't where the Texans wanted it to be in pre-game warmups. He's been out since undergoing knee surgery after Week 1. Whitney Mercilus is...
Oct 20 6:09PM Read More

More Team Talk