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GM Smith wraps up offseason: Part 2


Texans general manager Rick Smith sat down with Texans TV's Brooke Bentley to evaluate how this year's draft picks and free agents performed during organized team activities and mini-camp. He also discussed his biggest concerns as the Texans head into training camp

Below is the transcript from the second part of this two-part interview.

Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): Now, you also had to address some off-field issues, namely contracts. After tight end Owen Daniels signed his one-year tender, you told the media that you do not want to negotiate long-term contracts with players through the media. How crucial is that to you?

General manger Rick Smith: I think it's extremely crucial because there is nothing positive that happens when you do that because you open yourself up to misinterpretation. People do not understand all the dynamics; they are not privy to the specifics of the conversations and I don't think anything good comes from it. What we try to do is keep everything just between us. We don't like sharing details. Obviously, there are a lot of people interested in the story and how negotiations are going, and I get that. But from the standpoint of wanting to keep things private, I think that's the way to go if you are going to try to get a deal done.

{QUOTE}Brooke Bentley: Another player who signed a deal is kicker Kris Brown. He said he was very excited to get this extension. Why it was it imperative that you re-sign him?

Rick Smith: It's such an important position and it's such a luxury to have a kicker that you feel confident in. You take it for granted, and it's easy to take for granted. We certainly don't. Kris has done an outstanding job. He is a great, great ambassador for our football team and our organization and we are excited about having him around for a long time.

Brooke Bentley: Going into training camp, what is your biggest concern on or off the field?

Rick Smith: I think the obvious is the situation with the guys (Owen Daniels and Dunta Robinson) who have elected not to come in and join their teammates. This league is full of things that you have to work through and challenges. To the degree that our football team is mature enough to handle those distractions will go a long way to us reaching the goals that we have set for ourselves.

Brooke Bentley: You have to get the roster down to 80 players before training camp. How are you going to balance doing that with possibly bringing in more talent?

Rick Smith: At this point, I feel pretty good about our team. We are always aware of players who are available and if we feel like there are players out there who can upgrade us, then we certainly are tweaking that roster and turning it over. I feel good about the group we have going to training camp. We do have to release some of the players already as we start to sign our draft picks. And believe it or not, that's even been difficult so far because we have such depth on this team. We have a lot of good football players. Even to start cutting before we go to training camp in some areas is going to be tough for us.

Brooke Bentley: Finally, a lot of media pundits have the picked the Texans to be a breakout team this year and compared them to last year's Cardinals. What are your expectations?

Rick Smith: I want to win; we want to win. That's the bottom line. That's why we do this; that's why we work hard. That's why we work these long hours. That's why the players put their bodies through what they put them through, and that's our expectation. We have to go to work and when we get back here on the 31st of July, every day we have to be committed to getting better. So long as we do that and are committed to that, the guys have to understand that they have to be consistent on a day-to-day basis, I think that's going to give us a chance to be successful.

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