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Weekly conversation: General Manager Rick Smith

Posted Nov 14, 2012

GM Rick Smith talks about the Week 10 win in Chicago, CB Kareem Jackson's season, and Coach Bill Kollar's health scare in this week's interview.

General Manager Rick Smith

(on SS Danieal Manning’s success from being signed) “We would talk long and often about how significant his contributions are to our football team. That was obviously a big game for him, going back to Chicago. And you’re right, if you think back to post lockout, that abbreviated hurry, crazy period that we had in free agency. We were chasing a one player, and we made a decision internally that we might be better served adding two players to our secondary, and it’s worked out well for us.”

(on CB Kareem Jackson’s successful season) “He’s playing at an extremely high level. I’m very proud of him. Obviously, when you draft a guy in the first round and you put him out there at that position, he’s going to have some bumps, he’s going to have some games where people might make plays on him and certainly that was the case. But he’s always competed; he’s always tried to play at a high level. The thing that I’ve been impressed with this year is he watched (CB) Johnathan Joseph come in. Johnathan Joseph is constantly a professional; he trains, he works on his technique, he watches film. Kareem can play more aggressively now because he’s doing the things that you need to do in order to go out and play confidently. That’s what he’s doing, and I’m happy as heck for him. “

(on how playing three games in the next 11 days makes his job different) “Well, obviously whenever the schedule changes and you’ve got the team adjusting, then we correspond when we have to adjust with respect to operations. We’re traveling a little bit differently, practice schedules are different. We’re making sure that internally we have everything set up for our players and that we’ve got all the schedules lined up so we get the preparation that we need done and we get the players moved and everything set up. What we try to do is keep everything as routine as possible. With a different schedule like that, you can’t keep everything the same. But as many of those element s as you can, you try to keep them consistent.”

(on how impressed he is by the way the team handles a win) “I just think we’re a mature football team. I think the reason why we’re successful is we’ve got good perspective. Our players understand that they’ve got to work Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday in order to have a chance to play well on Sunday. They come to work every day with that attitude, and if we continue to do that and put the work in, I’ve said this consistently this year, because that’s the formula. I think our guys understand that formula and they are executing it. As long as we continue to do that, then we’re going to play good football.”

(on how impressed he was with the defensive line in the Chicago game even without Coach Bill Kollar) “This league is about adjusting and the degree that you can adjust to unusual circumstances or unexpected circumstances will dictate how successful you are. Our guys did a nice job and obviously we were concerned for Bill, and he’s going to be fine. Our relationship goes back 25 years so there’s some personal concern there. I think we talked recently about our medical staff and the job that they do. The fact that head athletic trainer Geoff Kaplan and our doctor in conjunction with Jim Muntz back here in Houston, they were able to identify what they thought was an issue and get Bill to a hospital before the game, may have saved his life. It’s that significant, and that’s another example of what a great job our medical staff does not only for our players but for our staff, as well. For those guys to go out and play, Gary (Kubiak) talked to them before to let them know that he was going to be fine, but we had no sacks so the guys are ribbing Bill because they needed him out there to make those line calls and stunts. But the way that they went out and performed in that game, just so proud of our football team and the way that they came out in that environment under those circumstances, the way that they played and performed was incredible.”

(on getting no sacks in the game being a testament to Bill Kollar’s coaching ability)  “I would imagine. It at least gives Bill some credence to come back and say that he has some value.”


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