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Smith talks to Houston media


The Texans signed defensive end Antonio Smith on Saturday to a five-year contract. Smith, who spent his first five seasons with Arizona, talked to the media about his move to Houston.

DE Antonio Smith

(opening statement) "I just want to start off by saying that I'm a happy man; I'm a blessed man. God has really blessed me to be a part of this team. I think it's going to be an electrifying year for the defensive line of the Houston Texans, and that's basically all I have to say."

(on why he chose the Texans over the other teams pursuing him) "From the moment I got here, I loved the hospitality; I loved the city. I got a good feel for the coaches and the type of people that they are, and management. From up top, everybody just seemed like down to earth people, good people that you would like to be around."

(on playing for Texans defensive coordinator Frank Bush) "I was excited to play for coach (Bush) again because from the beginning of my career, he always kept me grounded. He always kept me hungry, making me work. He raised my level of play, even as a practice squad player, teaching me just how to practice and how to always go hard and how to always give it my all, even in practice."

{QUOTE}(on the defense's style of play in Houston compared to the Arizona defense) "Basically, the only difference will be that I will be a left end now, solely a left end. They basically play almost the same style as far as when you talk technique, speed up the field but still using your hands; not necessarily a reading defense and not necessarily an up-the-field defense."

(on playing opposite Texans DE Mario Williams) "I think that's great. I think it's going to be a great pair. I've been watching him; I just started really watching him last year and coming on to this year. I think that having him on the other side is going to be fun. I like to have fun out there and I think that's exactly what it's going to be. We're going to cause a lot of havoc for the offensive linemen out there."

(on how high the Texans were on his list of potential teams to play for) "When I became a free agent, I think the first call I got was dead midnight or probably a little bit after midnight was Tampa, and then I heard about New York, and then we decided to take a visit to New York. And then I think right before, (Smith's agent) Drew (Rosenhaus) had called me and told me that we were going to set up a time for New York (Giants), he told me that the Houston Texans had just jumped aboard. When that happened, I thought, you know, it's close to home, it's an old country town like me, let's go there first and we decided to come here."

(on what other teams besides Tampa Bay and the New York Giants were interested in him) "Philly, Atlanta, and Seattle and the (St. Louis) Rams."

(on his experience on a team going from 8-8 to the Super Bowl and how that will help him in Houston) "I know I can. I know that what I can bring to the table will help the people around me. I think it will help my players, my defensive linemen, my counterparts. I think I'm going to play my heart out for them, and once they see how much I give for my teammates and for my team, which I'm all about, then I think we can feed off each other. I think once you have a good chemistry, and that's exactly what we had together (in Arizona) at the end of the year last year with the push through the playoffs, once you've got the good chemistry and believe in each other, there's no stopping you."

(on his schedule after today) "This last year put a lot on me, so I'm going to go back and enjoy my family. They are so important to me. I think that when I get back, there's going to be a lot of hugs, kisses, congratulations and just really enjoying them and enjoying the moment. I always work out, that's a non-stop thing for me, so when I come back here I will be in shape."

(on how hard it was to leave the Cardinals) "It was tough just realizing that change was coming, but I think that I was getting prepared for it throughout the year with a lot of things that were happening. I'm going to miss my boy (Arizona DT Darnell) Dockett. That's my main man. We feed off each other; we have a lot of energy out there. He was one of the factors where I wanted to stay. Like he was one of the main factors that made me say I wanted to stay with the Cardinals, but I am so happy to be a Houston Texan. I found a home, somebody who wanted me and was willing to get me and bring me here. It's bittersweet. All my friends and everybody that I came into the league with are back in Arizona, but it's time to make a new home here and it's time to make a new name for myself."

(on if he expected to sign a contract this weekend) "My mindset when I came in was just to come take the visit, see what the city was like, see what the team was like, and ask as many questions as I could and just take my next trip to New York and then my next visit after that. That's what the game plan that Drew had told me. That was our mindset coming in and obviously it didn't end up that way."

(on what the Texans' sales pitch was like) "I got that early on. They didn't sugarcoat anything; they didn't try to keep anything secret. From the moment I got here and me and coach shook hands, I could tell that they were being sincere and earnest about what they were saying to me."

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