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Weekly Conversation: Rick Smith transcript


General manager Rick Smith

(on how accurately rated the matchup between the Texans and the Patriots is in regards to their last meeting) "As it pertains to actually playing the football game, it has no relevance, really. When you talk about logistics and you talk about the fact that we just recently stayed in the hotel, we just recently took the escort to the stadium, our guys are familiar with the surrounding, that kind of stuff, it's helpful. They understand the environment and how intimidating it can be.  All those kind of things, the familiarity piece with the travel and the logistics might be a little bit of a benefit, but beyond that, it's the playoffs. It's an intense time of the year and our guys know that we've got to play our best in order to go up there and be the football team that has a lot of experience in the playoffs and in championships. That's where we're trying to go. If we're going to get there, we've got to go to environments and places like this and play well, take care of the football, and play our brand of football that we've talked about very often times on these broadcasts. And if we do that, we have a chance to go win. "

(on the return of OLB Brooks Reed) "Yeah, it's obviously a good thing. You got one of our more productive players that's back. Obviously when he was out, we missed him. We've got to do a better job this time around of pressuring Tom Brady, and certainly Brooks will help in that respect."

(on the inside linebacker spot) "Well, you're right. It seems like we've been thoroughly fortunate with injuries this year. It seems that when we've had a run of injuries they've been at one particular position, but I think or guys have done a nice job of responding. I think we were fortunate to be able to add a guy like Barrett Rudd who has the experience, who's played in big games and is a veteran and understands our defense. So to get him and have him in the system has been helpful for us. The guy who's been there through thick and thin has been Bradie James and has done a good job for us. It was unfortunate for Darryl because he had gone through so much to get back from the injuries and was playing at a very high level, to be honest with you. For him to sustain another injury and have to be placed on IR again was disappointing for him. But that's part of football. Whatever the adversity is, part of this league and part of this game and winning a championship is you've got to be battle tested. A lot of people didn't like the way the season ended, but for us it was really an example of how  you got to be able to fight through adversity and still rise up. Our team is battle tested and the experience we had in New England will serve us well when we go back. So all those things that happened over the course of the season, dealing with injuries, dealing with losses, all those various things and the adversity you have to go through I think help you this time of the year."

(on Johnathan Joseph did against the Bengals) "Number one, I think he's healthy again. I think he's all the way back and I think he's one of the top cover corners in the NFL. He's a two-time pro bowler now and he's starting to get the recognition he deserves, and I think he's playing at an extremely high level."

(on the talent he saw in the BCS National Championship game) "Well, just an incredible amount of talent when you look at it. I think we've talked about the fact that I had gone over to Atlanta before for the Tennessee game to watch the SEC championship game and just the talent on the field, very similar to what it was last night. Just a tremendous football game. I'll say this, Nick Saban and the job that he's done at the University of Alabama is just incredible. He continues to press a standard and have people meet that standard. It's difficult to do when you've had some success and you've got young players, freshmen and sophomore guys that are coming into a program, and to have those guys raise their level to what he's expecting them to do and to perform the way they do, it's impressive."

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