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Weekly conversation: General manager Rick Smith


General manager Rick Smith

(on OLB Bryan Braman's importance for the team, coming in as an undrafted free agent) "Well,  his contribution when you start with what he's doing for our football team and helping us win, he's one of our core special teams players. What that means is you've got five or six special teams players per game in different units. So, the big four, the punt team, punt return, kickoff, kickoff return that's your core group. He's on all four of those. He does a great job for us. He's got a lot of speed, he's an aggressive player. Those are attributes you need and typically translate to success of special teams. Certainly he had the big play last week and just a big play in the football game to give us the cushion that we needed and some momentum. He does a nice job for us and he continues to do a nice job. The second part of the question with respect to college free agency and how important that is to us, the more you can find players through the draft process whether they're drafted or free agent, the better the balance of your football team's going to be. He's certainly an example of that."

(on what his first face-to-face meeting with Bryan Braman was like) "It was interesting.  The thing that we had in-house is a guy that knew him and stood on the table for him. Bobby King was adamant that he knew that this guy, regardless of what any of the reports said or anything that we heard negative about his past, that he would be able to come in and assimilate to our program and also be accountable and then also be a productive member of our football team. He was adamant about that. And to his credit, we listened and it's working out well so far."

(on the third round rookies and their progress) "First of all (Brandon Brooks) has got a different skill set. He's got a different height-weight-speed ratio than most of our offensive line. Very gifted athlete for a man his size. That's the first thing that you see, you see a stronger, more powerful, explosive guy when you add him to the group. So that's certainly bodes well for our running game. He's learned his feet, his pass protection angles, all those things that he has to get better at or he had to work on. He's improved and we've been able to bring him along slowly and he's shown improvement every time that he's had an opportunity. That's what you look for when you give guys opportunities; you want to see them take advantage of it and you want to see them grow.  He certainly has done it and DeVier (Posey)'s the same way. We've brought him along slowly. The one thing about DeVier is in practice he's explosive, all of the sudden he just catches your eye because he's doing things that might be ion the scout team but his athleticism is showing up. We've brought him along slowly but boy, all the opportunities he's had, he's continued to improve. And I'll expect that he'll get some more opportunities, and hopefully he'll help us down the stretch."

(on if WR Devier Posey has exceeded his expectations) "No, it's validated it; it's what we thought. He's a guy that's got great length, he's fast, he's long, he's got great hands and good ball skills. He's competitive at the point, that's one of the things we see in practice. If he's covered up, he's got the length to separate and still make catches. All those things are things we saw. Some of the things like the toughness --he had a great catch in the ball game, caught a ball down the middle and took a good shot--some of those things you didn't know as much but you see him staying after.  He's the last guy, literally, every day he and Lestar (Jean) are the last guys on the practice field. So he's got that want –to, that grit about him and he's got some toughness. And he's shown some mental toughness. He's a third-round pick and hadn't really been going, he had a fourth-round pick Keshawn (Martin) had played a little bit before him, but he didn't let that deter him. All he did was continue to work. Because he continued to approach things that way, it's going to give him a chance to really help us as we get going here."

(on how surprised he was that Santa Claus was a Texans fan) "I'm not surprised at all. I think we've got great fans out there, we've talked about that. I'm not surprised that Santa Claus is one of them, too. I do want to wish everyone a very merry Christmas, the best from our family to yours. We appreciate all the support that you continue to show us, and we're going to continue to work hard and put a good product out on the field for you."

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