Skip to main content

Quotes: Rick Smith, Gary Kubiak


Rick Smith, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Football Operations(on drafting WR DeAndre Hopkins in the first round) "Well we're very excited obviously. It was a guy we had targeted, I think as (offensive coordinator Rick Dennison) Rico indicated, very early in the process. We liked so many things about the young man. As you know we put a lot of stock in a player's career, and obviously his playing resume and what he's been able to do in his collegiate career is very impressive. He's a very productive receiver. We've talked about at-length about how competitive he is at the point, he's talked about that, that's something we picked up on tape and one of the things we really like about him as well. We just think that he's a very mature young man and we think he'll fit well in our locker room."

Head Coach Gary Kubiak(on drafting WR DeAndre Hopkins in the first round) "I'd just echo the same thing. We've spent a lot of time with him in Indianapolis and just very impressive young man. I like guys with a career path, as Rick (Smith) mentioned. This guy's got an excellent one. It just seemed like the bigger the game got the more competitive he would get. In our league everybody is good and you better have that special edge and this young man has it. I know he will fit in our locker room very well. We've got a big need for him to step in and help us real quickly. I felt great about him."

(on moving Brooks Reed inside as an option at linebacker) "First off, John, Brooks is our starting SAM linebacker and he's a great player. We're not going to do anything to impede the progress of Brooks Reed. Now he is a guy who can give you flexibility. We've been caught in some situations where he's done that for our football team. What we've done right now is just add more quality players at the depth of our linebacker position. Brooks is lining up at the SAM position and we expect him to be a great player. We've got to get these other guys to fit what they do best and what they can do best for our football team. But there's no decisions made like that at this point. We think too much of what Brooks is doing at that position to start thinking about that."

(on the possibility of moving Brooks Reed going forward)  "Well, Brooks (Reed) gives you an option. But we like the option of him staying at SAM and playing very well so we'll start there."

Smith(on S D.J. Swearinger and where they had him projected) "Sure, we had him targeted where we took him. He is very aggressive, the first thing that comes to mind when you turn the tape on is aggressiveness. He plays that way, very physical. He has a skill set that he can do some things in our sub-packages and he has some coverage skills and we like that part about him as well so there's some versatility with him. Very intense young man, very serious about football and passionate about the game and we love that about him as well."

Kubiak(on S D.J. Swearinger) I would just agree, this guy makes a ton of plays. For me, getting ready for the draft, there are so many players to take a peek at before I come in there with Rick (Smith) and the scouts and they're so far ahead of us. With me and this guy I didn't have to cut the film very long to know what I was fixing to go in and watch. He just makes plays, he's aggressive. I used the word cheat in the secondary, that's a compliment, he's excellent at key and splits and routes and those type of things. He just plays with a great deal of confidence and I think he'll be a great fit for us, should be a great teams player for Joe right off the get go."

(on OLB Brooks Reed moving inside after all the defensive players drafted) "You never know what's going to happen with your team. My point is, Brooks (Reed) gives us options, but at the same time, Brooks is our starting SAM linebacker. We're not making some decision yesterday or today just because of the draft process and all the sudden we're moving a player. We have to go through work at OTAs and put our ball team together. Brooks has been an excellent SAM for us, so we expect him to stay there. We'll have to see what happens with our football team. My point is there's nothing going on right now."

Smith"Again, I sat up here a couple of days ago and discussed how we distinguished need and value in this draft. The fact that we took two outside linebackers that were at positions in the draft that we have value on has nothing to do with the fact that Brooks Reed gives us versatility. The two are mutually exclusive. I think what the point made by (linebackers coach) Reggie (Herring) and what Gary (Kubiak) is saying is that we have options because Brooks is a versatile player. It had nothing to do with it. He is a very good SAM linebacker and so that had nothing to the other one."

(on the general overview of the Texans picks) "I love the class, I really do. When you look at it from top to bottom, early on we added two players in the first and second round, and even in the third round even though it was an offensive lineman, there is an element of mental toughness, of aggressiveness with all three of those players. I think in the third round you look at what we did at the end with Sam Montgomery, he adds a certain element, he plays with his hair on fire, very aggressive. He's got pass-rush ability, and into the fourth round with (OLB) Trevardo (Williams), you look at those two guys and the pass-rush ability that they add to our football team. I like that. Obviously we made a move to go back up a little bit, we made some moves and had gotten out of the fifth round to acquire and extra in six. Really had a guy who was rated high on the board and we wanted to go make a move to get him and that was the young tackle (T David) Quessenberry and his versatility and his athleticism fits what we do. We like the makeup, we think you will like him as a man as well. With (WR) Alan Bonner, a young player, from a small school but has some athletic ability that our offensive coaches really liked and think he can come in and help us. The last two picks, Chris Jones, I think this guy had 44 consecutive career starts, just a captain and I think even a conference player of the year. This guy plays with tremendous effort, production and we like that. The young man that we took last, tight end Ryan Griffin is a big 6-6, 255-pound guy that can catch the ball and give us some versatility on the line. I like the class all the way through. Each of them add a dynamic to our football team and I'm very pleased with the process and how it all unfolded."

Kubiak(on TE Ryan Griffin)  "He's got the frame to do that. This young man is a prime example of the early visits, Rick (Smith) brings a guy in during the draft and we visit and lunch with various guys, two or three a day; this guy is a big product of that visit. We knew a lot about him, we studied him, we liked him, he came in, was very impressive to us on his visit. We think he's on the come as a player. He's got the big frame to go play on the line of scrimmage. He made a lot of progress during that last year, he's going to have to make some more but we feel like he can do that. He catches the ball very well, runs well, but he's got the big frame to get on the line on scrimmage and play against these big linebackers we play against and defensive ends week in and week out."

Smith(on picking special players in the last rounds and who he thinks could be a player to watch)  "I picked the young man, (NT) Chris Jones. I really like him. I think when he comes in the building and just the way that he approaches the game and the kind of makeup that he has, I think it's going to be very hard to keep him off the field because he just plays relentlessly and very productively."

Kubiak(on who he thinks could be a player to watch in the Texans' draft class) "I like (NT) Chris (Jones) a lot, but I won't do that to you. I like (WR Alan) Bonner. I'll just say, I think he caught 50 balls last year. Went to Indianapolis. I loved watching him in Indianapolis, his confidence, I think there's a big upside here. There's a big step for him to take from where he's coming from. He's going to get a great opportunity with us. We're so young at wide receiver there are plenty of reps to go around, and I think this kid's got some special stuff to him. We'll just sit there and work with him but I think he's got a chance to help our football team."

(on Alan Bonner's versatility)  "I think he can do them on both. Obviously he's not as big, he's 5-10, 195 pounds. He can really run, comes out of a break excellent, big time ball skills, he can return. There will be every chance to help this football team."

Smith(on his thoughts before the Texans' first pick, WR DeAndre Hopkins, was selected) "We love this guy. He is a guy who we thought could best come into this situation and help us the quickest, and not only quickly but this guy can evolve and develop into quite a player. I think that's what you were talking about, I try to keep my composure so I try not to show that I'm too nervous when those moments are coming. Suffice to say, that we're very pleased that DeAndre (Hopkins) was there and we were able to take him."

Kubiak(on his thoughts before their first-round pick) "Yeah it's a long night from that standpoint, and the closer it gets you just never know what's going to happen. That's part of the draft. And I would agree with Rick. You just try to hang in there.  You've done a lot of work for whoever that player is going to be. When were fortunate enough to get this one that we felt so good about for so long, it's a very gratifying feeling for the room and the hard work for what we did."

Smith(on if he had any intentions to move up or down in the draft) "We didn't. There's so many conversations a couple of days before the draft that you talk about it. You set yourself up just in case something that happens while your pick is approaching, but we never really had any real conversations with expecting that."

(on bringing in any quarterbacks) "We take the board as it comes. We never really had a conversation about a quarterback at any particular point, where we were. We were open to that, but it didn't really work out that way."

(on any regrets from the draft) "From my perspective, we didn't miss on any positions. I didn't go into the draft thinking we had to get anything.  From that perspective no, but there are always times when you are lining players up that you are contemplating picking and they may go right before your pick or two or three before yours. That happens every year. That's why you have to have multiple options and you have to be ready to adjust if that happens. That happens all the time. That's why we have the entire board stacked the way we have it so we know what the next option is."

(on signing any more linebackers) "Well we'll start working on that process at the end of seventh round and we'll start to reach out to those college free agents who don't get drafted, so we'll look there. There were some inside linebackers that we liked in this draft but we were never able to line one up at the corresponding value. So we'll look there and possibly may even look at veteran guys that are on the street at this point. Again, that's why you go into the draft and you take them where you have a value because there are other options that you need to address for other positions on the football team."

(on OLB Sam Montgomery's pick in first round by some) "Yeah, even in our room we had some high grades on him. And I think that's the case because he's a really good football player. He's got some attributes that translate to our league, where you could predict this guy might be able to come in and really do something special from a pass-rush standpoint, physical attributes that he possesses. When he's there and that's the extra pick that we had as a supplemental pick in the third round, and when you're sitting there at the end of the day and you have grades on a guy like we had on him, it makes you feel pretty good that you have that extra pick and you can really utilize that pick on a player that you think can come in and impact a football team."

(on reports on OLB Sam Montgomery's level of effort) "This guy plays with tremendous effort. Football is really important to him so I'm unfamiliar with those reports. I can't speak for him, maybe it was the rotation, but one of the things we like about him is his effort."

Kubiak(on the possibility of Brennan Williams starting at offensive tackle) "With such a strong tackle draft at the top, with those three going so quickly, we really liked this guy from the get-go, so we felt really fortunate, watching him compete at North Carolina, watching go about his business. We think he'll fit in very quickly with what we do and we'll be very competitive. As you know, we have a situation with (Derek) Newton where were going through the offseason without him and expecting him back in full strength and playing at a big-time level. But there are plenty of reps and opportunities to go around right now for some young offensive linemen on our team. He's going to get an opportunity and at the same time, that's why Rick (Smith) went up and got David (Quessenberry) too, because of that opportunity that exists right now with our football team. We feel very good about both of them. We're happy to have them both. They both have the length, the ability to play outside, and like I said they should make up a lot of ground due to our situation going into OTAs." 

Smith(on the depth of tackles) "I feel good. I think I said the other day that's a position that you always try to bolster your depth there and you draft because it's such an important position group. I do like our young players at this point, but that's always something we'll continue to look at in the draft."

(on deciding which players to draft in each round) "I think the way we define our grading scale, you obviously want an impact player in the first round, and we even differentiate within the first round whether it's a top 10 pick or mid-round pick or late first round pick in terms of where we think the guy's development might ultimately be. It's just a way for us to define the position and define the value. Second-round guys, we think should come in and start pretty early and contribute early. We would expect third-round guys to come in and at some point be able to start and be contributors. And then as you work your way through the fourth and the seventh, there are varying degrees of guys that you think could come in and either be role players for your football team as starters or backups or developmental-type players."

(on if he was aware that OLB Sam Montgomery and S D.J. Swearinger were high school teammates) "Well as you know, our owner is a big-time South Carolina guy, so we had a pretty concentrated effort in our scouting in the Carolinas."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content