Antonio Smith mentored rookie Sam Montgomery to guide him along in his role of outside linebacker. It appears that the teacher and student have even more in common as Montgomery will join the defensive line on the depth chart. This week, Montgomery switched from OLB to defensive end and changed his number from 57 to 95. The move did not come as a surprise to Smith.
"It's kind of like an inside joke between a couple of us players that pretty much already knew it was inevitable because he's a big boy and I don't think he tries to gain weight, but he's just big," Smith said. "He's naturally big, not fat. He's got all muscle. The weight thing just kept being an issue and I'd seen it in him since day one. He just didn't look comfortable in a stand-up position. Now that (defensive line) Coach (Bill) Kollar has been working with him in his stance, he's been playing a lot better. He looks a lot more comfortable with his hand in the dirt."
Montgomery, a third-round pick from LSU, was a defensive end in 26-of-31 games he started. With 19 career sacks for minus-114 yards, Montgomery is listed sixth on LSU's all-time record list. Smith believes that Montgomery's natural ability can also contribute to the Texans defense at DE.
"I definitely think he can," Smith said. "I think, and this is just my opinion, he's a natural left end, a 4-3 left end, but I think anything you put your mind to, with the type of athletic ability and strength that kid has, he can be good at it.