Houston Texans Transcripts**
General Manager and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Rick Smith
Draft Press Conference
Thursday, May 8, 2014
(Transcribed by Charles Hampton)
(opening statement) "I am open for questions. I'm obviously very excited with the selection of Jadeveon (Clowney) and what he can add to our organization and our football team, our community and our defense. He's an impact player. We always talk about impact players and adding those types of athletes to our organization. He certainly fits the bill."
(on when did they decided on Jadeveon Clowney) "We talked all week about being open to the opportunity to trading out of the pick, if in fact there was something that was worth moving for. At the end of the day, that never materialized and we always felt very confident in the selection. We were very bullish on what we were asking for because we felt so good about the pick. We never really had any opportunities on the clock to actually move, so we were happy to take him."
(on the possibilities of playing with J.J. Watt on the defensive line and how excited that is) "It is. Obviously, when you talk about a creative mind like Romeo (Crennel) and some of the things he's done, when you look at his defenses historically and how he utilizes personnel, it really gives us an opportunity to get after the quarterback."
(on Jadeveon Clowney playing outside linebacker as opposed to with his hand in the ground) "I fully expect that he will be an outside linebacker initially. He'll start in a two-point stance, but anytime we go into any kind of package, whether it's a third down package or a packaged predicated on personnel, down and distance, all those things give Romeo (Crennel) the ability to have him put his hand in the dirt and go get the passer."
(on if Jadeveon Clowney's main role will still be getting after the quarterback opposed to dropping into coverage) "He's athletic enough to do all that stuff. The thing that they have to do also is set the edge in the run game. He is certainly capable and athletic and strong enough to do that and set the edge in the run game. Obviously his pass rushing ability speaks for itself."
(on if he had any questions about Jadeveon Clowney's work ethic and if any of the talk bothered him) "No, it didn't. We vetted the process. Obviously, you hear a lot about that and when you turn the tape on, you look at the guy and you watch him and you try to evaluate—he played a lot of snaps, first of all—so you evaluate plays away. Did he play with his hair on fire every snap of the game? No, he didn't. But did we worry about his work ethic? Not at all. We think this guy will come in and you mentioned the fact that J.J. (Watt) is ready to take him under his wing. He's ready to come in and work. I think when you look at what he talked about after the selection, he talked about wanting to come in and work. This guy is motivated. He is extremely motivated. When you talk to him, he wants to be great. He was the number one player coming out of high school. He wanted to be the number one player in the draft because he wants to be great. One of the things that I explained to him tonight is as much as he wants to, he's going to learn there is a whole another level of what it takes for him to realize that goal in this league. The first thing that you have to have is the desire to do so, and I believe that he does."
(on how important it was to have assistant coaches such as John Butler and Craig Fitzgerald that have worked with Jadeveon Clowney before) "It was important because it was personal experience with the young man. We've got great college scouts who have great contacts and can get really good information that we trust. Any time you can talk with people that are in your building who have the personal experience. They certainly had glowing things to say about the young man and his work ethic and his abilities."
(on if he anticipates the Texans trading back into the first round or if they are likely done for the night) "I don't know. That's why I have to hurry up and get back downstairs. We're going to continue to look at the way the board falls. If there is somebody that is there that we get excited about that we want to come back and chase, we will. But we have a bunch of picks and a bunch of opportunities moving forward even tomorrow and into Saturday as well."
(on if he felt pressure with this selection) "No, again I felt prepared. I think when you're confident in your process and the person who are working with you, then I think it gives you a chance, and you're diligent in your preparation, then I don't think there is a need to be nervous or a reason to feel pressure. I think I'm proud of our guys, proud of our group. We've got a lot of work to do. We've only had one selection so far. We have a bunch of them tomorrow, if we come back in tonight, tomorrow and Saturday, so we've got a lot of work to do. But I'm confident that our group will do a good job. Thanks."