General manager Rick Smith signed a four-year contract extension to remain with the Texans through 2012, the team announced after Day 9 of OTAs on Tuesday.
Texans owner Bob McNair
(opening statement) "I'm pleased to announce that we've signed a four-year extension with Rick (Smith). He's done an outstanding job for us and he really has a good understanding of not only football but the other challenges that we face in putting together a successful organization. He's just done an outstanding job, and we're delighted that we were able to get it extended. And Rick proved again why he's such a good negotiator. I'm not going to release the figures, but he took advantage of me again, and I'm just lucky that we still are able to survive t he economic onslaught."
(on the significance of the length of the extension) "It was a four-year extension. Well, it's because we've seen what he's done during this period of time and I think he's very capable and he can do the job in a very professional manner. The main thing is finding the talent, and I think he's done a very good job of that and I think in working with the coaches in trying to get them to define what they need because that's so important for them to have a clear understanding, because it's easy to say, 'I need a 'Type A' player,' and then all of a sudden a 'Type B' player shows up who's a great athlete and he's available, all of a sudden you say, 'Oh, man, let's go get him while he's available.' Well, that's not what we said we needed, and so you have to be disciplined and Rick helps bring discipline to that whole process so that you can stay on target and move forward in accomplishing the goal of putting together the type of team that you've set out to put together. And so he fits in well with everybody and I have a lot of confidence in him, so there was absolutely no reason that we wouldn't want to keep him around for a long time and bring stability to the organization. I think that he's earned it and we're real proud of the job that he's done and pleased he's going to be with us. And also, (Texans vice chairman) Cal helped out quite a bit. When I got worn down, Cal came in and Rick worked on him and then after a while we finally waved a white flag and it was all over."
General manager Rick Smith
(on his thoughts) "I'm so appreciative, first of all, for the opportunity, and the support. And I think that we are on our way. I'm just excited about the fact that I feel good about where we are in the process and I feel very confident that we can achieve the goals that we've set, and that's to bring stability and success to this organization for the long term."
(on head coach Gary Kubiak saying he has come a long way) "Yes, it has been, and we've come a long way together. And I'm proud of him obviously and the job that he's doing and that's a big part of what we all are doing here, and I think that we're on our way. We feel confident that these players are working extremely hard to reach our goals and we feel like this organization is at a point now where we're poised to do some good things. And everybody understands that the only way we're going to do it is by extremely hard work, and we're committed to doing that. And I feel good about the fact that I can relax, knowing that we're going to be here and we can go about the job of building this franchise."
(on feeling good about the number of years in the contract) "Yes, it's the same thing, and it was two-on-one. He (McNair)'s saying that I did a good job, but they did a good job. It does mean a lot. It really does. And again, it's the stability and it's the fact that we're going to be here and let's go about the business of winning football games."
(on what he has done best in his time here) "I don't know of anything I've done best. I think what I've tried to do is I've tried to bring a program and put it in place, define what we're looking for, stick to that and make sure that everybody communicates and everybody understands the standard that we're trying to operate under and that we push everybody to meet those standards."
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on general manager Rick Smith signing an extension) "Rick's done a tremendous job since he's been here, building this roster and this football team. And he's done a great job in the office, too. Just the overall attitude of the organization on a day-to-day basis is what he's brought to this team, which I knew he would because I know what type of guy he is. So I'm very excited about it, happy for him, and just congratulated him and (Texans owner) Bob (McNair) and (Texans vice chairman) Cal (McNair) that that's a good step for the organization."
(on the coaching staff being on the same page as Smith) "It's extremely important because if you're not on the same page, it makes it difficult. It's so nice as a coach because he knows what we're looking for in players. He knows our system because we've been around each other for so long, so that's just extremely important that you're on the same page. It makes life a lot easier."
(on the length of the contract extension) "Well, I would say that – I can't speak for Bob (McNair), but I would just say that he's got a lot of confidence in what he (Smith)'s doing and how he's been doing it. And it doesn't surprise me a bit at all, because I know what type of job he's been doing and I know Bob has seen it and his family and that's his way of just saying, 'Thank you,' I would imagine."
(on his personal relationship with Smith) "Yeah, I was teasing him this morning. I said, 'Boy, you've come a long way.' I'll tell you how Rick was hired: We were in Denver, we were going to camp, we were looking for a defensive assistant to come in and help the defensive staff. We didn't have a guy and we were sitting in the staff meeting and our running back coach raises his hand, he said, 'I've got a great kid that's on his way to TCU right now. He's going there to work there as a G.A.' And Mike (Shanahan) said, 'Can you catch him halfway and tell him to come to Colorado? We'll hire him.' So that's how Rick got started. So he's come a long way, and he's doing a heck of a job."
(on if all players were present at practice today) "Yes, everybody's here. Petey (DeMarcus Faggins) didn't work; he had a little hamstring (issue) last week and we held him out today. But we've got some guys back on the field. Chester (Pitts)'s back on the field today. (Ryan) Grice-Mullen's back on the field today. (Darius) Walker's back on the field. So we've got some things that we need to get covered this week and we've got to push them through, and having them all out here helps."
(on DT Travis Johnson) "I think he's very close, but I'm going to be smart with him. I like his conditioning level now after watching him the last couple of weeks. I want to make sure I don't set him back. I want him 100 percent when we go to camp, so I may be getting ahead of myself but right now I think I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and get him ready to go in July."
(on RB Steve Slaton) "All them backs are limping a little bit today. They're just getting a little wore out. But he's fine. (Running backs coach) Chick (Harris) pulled him out there at the end, but I would think he'd be OK. Darius (Walker) is limping a little bit. They're all just a little nicked, a little wore out."
(on the tight end position) "Well, I think obviously it's a very competitive group. Owen (Daniels)'s our starter, there's no doubt about that. I think Joel (Dreessen)'s come in and pushed Owen and pushed Mark (Bruener) to make them better players, and he's helping our football team because he can do both (catch and block). And then this young man, (Ben) Krause that we brought in, (is) a lot like Jeb (Putzier) in a lot of ways. He's a receiving type of player. You need a little bit of both as you go into camp right here, so I feel good about those four and with the numbers nowadays that's about all you can take to camp anyway, so I feel good about the group."
(on if he sees improvement every day) "Yes. The biggest improvement is we go at a lot faster pace as far as teaching. But what we're getting done, as far as like for us to walk out here today and work on some goal-line stuff and those type of things without having to have a walk through before we do it, we're way ahead mentally as a football team than we have been in the past. So with that being said, hopefully we can progress and maybe do a little more on both sides of the ball."
(on the relationship between he and Rick Smith since they arrived in Houston) "Well, this league's about results, and we have a lot of respect for each other. We enjoy working together, there's no doubt about that, but still the bottom line is progress and the results that we get on the football field. And we feel good about the steps we've made from that standpoint, but neither one of us are satisfied by any means. We've got a long, long way to go. We have some big dreams for this organization and this city, and hopefully we can just keep pushing to get (there)."
QB Matt Schaub
(on if having a stable front office builds continuity for players on the field) "Definitely. When you have all the players that they're bringing in and guys with what we're trying to get done around here with our team and our chemistry, we're gelling and we're bonding. You keep adding to that, and everyone's on the same page and we're heading in the right direction."
(on OTAs) "It's going well. We're practicing, we're coming out, we're working hard. We're getting better. Everyone's working together and getting our stuff down for training camp and that's what we're trying to do, get down the situations, learn, study and just get better."