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Texsker
04-28-2009, 02:46 PM
Rick Smith Interview Transcript

Rick Smith was interviewed today on ‘Movin’ the Chains’ on Sirius NFL Radio by Ross Tucker and Pat Kirwan. I tried to transcribe it as best I could.


MTC: Brian Cushing – I would guess he’s going to SAM, which seems to be his natural position?

RS: You’re exactly right, that’s his natural position. We feel he can be an immediate contributor. We love his versatility, and feel that he can play all three positions. We’ve heard people say that he’s not valuable in the passing game, but on film he showed great instincts in underneath zone coverage. He’s athletic enough to be a nickel. We love his athleticism.

MTC: I feel that he has Romanowski-type skills.

RS: Yes, his temperament and size are similar. He’s very intense that way, has long levers.

MTC: You used Romanowski (in Denver) as a great force player, turned him inside. I could see Cushing in some form of tilt, rushing the passer.

RS: Yes, he could be in that force position and is athletic enough to stack off the line. He has versatility that way.

MTC: A guy I loved coming out—Connor Barwin. Talk about an athlete! Where do you see him fitting in schematically?

RS: He’s going to come in and go behind Mario at the RDE position. I’m excited. He’s extremely athletic, explosive, long, has great pass rush ability. He played basketball at Cincinnati. You have to be a great athlete to do that, but he’s not just a height/weight/speed guy—he’s a football player. He was highly productive in one year at DE and has shown some great instincts. Schematically, it’s going to allow us, on third down, to put a package on the field where Antonio Smith kicks down inside, with Okoye, and Connor and Mario chasing the QB from the outside.

MTC: I could see Connor dropping into coverage and have Cushing come off the edge too.

RS: Yes, we have some flexibility that way.

MTC: Caldwell—I love a guy coached by Nick Saban. You know he’s been coached hard and can handle criticism, and he has a ton of starts at Alabama.

RS: We like those attributes as well, and those things are important to us. He’s a smart guy, versatile, a captain, graduated in 3 ½ years. We were fortunate last year that our starting OL group was relatively healthy the entire year, which is usually not a reality. It’s great to have a versatile guy who can back up a couple of interior OL positions. We feel like he can come in and be a versatile guy that way for us. We believe he can be a productive starter in this League at some point in his career.

MTC: There’s a lot of speculation that you wanted to get a RB in the draft to pair with Steve Slaton. It didn’t happen. You signed Arian Foster as an undrafted free agent from Tennessee. Where do things stand right now at the RB slot? Are you in the market for a free agent?

RS: We’ll be looking. Arian had a productive career. He’s a bigger back, 6-0, 225 lbs. We also signed Jeremiah Johnson, 5-9, 210 lbs. Good feet shifty runner, good hands out of the backfield. We feel great about adding both of those guys. We let our process run itself. There was a need at running back, but we had guys rated with higher value in those rounds, so we went in that direction. Chris Brown is also here. He was injured last year, but he can be a contributor as well.

MTC: Do you ever get tired of taking TEs [LOL]? Anthony Hill is a big inline blocker. Casey played five different positions.

RS: Anthony can be effective at blocking 3-4 OLBs, anchoring that edge. You need a TE who can block and control those edges if you want to be successful in the running game. He’s a big man who can do that. You can do so much with James in the offense. Gary and the offensive staff have been working hard to figure out ways to get him onto the field.

MTC: You took three DBs. Were any of those a reaction to Dunta Robinson’s contract situation?

RS: No, I’m an ex-DB coach. I think that it’s an important position. You can never have too many guys who are tough, fast, who can run, cover and hit. Some projected Quin as a safety, but we see him as an edge guy who can play the nickel back. Brice McCain is a little undersized, but very fast and tough, and he can tackle and run. The final pick (Nolan) – we like the way he operates. He has good ball skills, good size, and will tackle. We feel they can come in and compete.

MTC: The Draft is over. Tell the listeners about your schedule for the next few weeks.

RS: We’re cleaning up the whole draft process. The scouts are about to take off again. Now we’re taking a look at the roster and looking toward training camp, looking to see if we have enough numbers at each position, looking at other teams and what they’re doing, looking at our process, how we improved from a year ago, and how we can keep growing as a group. It’s a constant grind. You’re always trying to make sure that you’re evaluating yourself and trying to get better.

MTC: What is the situation with DeMeco Ryans and Owen Daniels? Where do they stand? I guess a byproduct of drafting well is that, in a few years, those guys are going to want more money.

RS: It’s a part of the philosophy of building through the draft. Success leads to having to lock players up long term. DeMeco is back working with his teammates. We’re happy that he decided to come back in. DeMeco has another year left on his contract. Both Ryans and Daniels are here working hard, and we expect them to continue to do that.

dalemurphy
04-28-2009, 03:06 PM
Moving the Chains is by far the best Sports radio show I have ever heard. I'm pissed that I didn't have it on today. Thank you for the transcription!

GP
04-28-2009, 03:14 PM
Wow, thanks Texsker. I sent you some Rep points.

That was a great read. Very informative; a look at the draft from the GM's perspective. And, a glimpse at the plans they have for the guys they drafted.

That was some A+ stuff. Thank you for the contribution. :fans:

TexansSeminole
04-28-2009, 03:28 PM
Great stuff. Thank you! rep!

Texsker
04-28-2009, 03:36 PM
Moving the Chains is by far the best Sports radio show I have ever heard. I'm pissed that I didn't have it on today. Thank you for the transcription!

Movin' the Chains, to me, is the greatest sports show on any medium, including television. It's just an incredible show for any football fan. I've learned more from that show about football than I have from any other source. Just an awesome show.

El Tejano
04-28-2009, 03:41 PM
Good read and why must Sirius always interview the Texans while I'm at work?

Some things that stood out to me:

Schematically, it’s going to allow us, on third down, to put a package on the field where Antonio Smith kicks down inside, with Okoye, and Connor and Mario chasing the QB from the outside.

I could see Mario moving over to where Smith is and bringing Barwin and Cushing on the same side. This makes me feel better about this draft.

You can do so much with James in the offense. Gary and the offensive staff have been working hard to figure out ways to get him onto the field.

I am very interested to see how we do here. I recall Putzier was pretty successful in Denver because of the schemes they created for him in Denver. I am only imagining what they could do for Casey.

Either way I'm noticing that there are changes going on with this team. On defense, versatile players with a mean attitude. On offense, skilled players and lots of depth.

I think it is safe to say that Richard Smith being fired was only the beginning of getting rid of the vanilla. Looks like we are adding all kinds of flavors now.

76Texan
04-28-2009, 03:45 PM
Thanks for the transcript!

Just curious. How did you do it?
You have voice recognition software?
I certainly hope you didn't have to record it, play back, and type all that down! :)

Texsker
04-28-2009, 03:47 PM
Thanks for the transcript!

Just curious. How did you do it?
You have voice recognition software?
I certainly hope you didn't have to record it, play back, and type all that down! :)

I type over 100 WPM. :) I typed it as it aired live, and then cleaned it up afterwards.

TexansSeminole
04-28-2009, 03:47 PM
I think it is safe to say that Richard Smith being fired was only the beginning of getting rid of the vanilla. Looks like we are adding all kinds of flavors now.

I agree totally and perhaps we are starting to develop an identity on this team. We made a huge jump in our offensive prowess last season and we look to have improved through the draft with our 2 TEs and Caldwell, who is probably my favorite draft pick of ours in the entire draft.

I type over 100 WPM. :) I typed it as it aired live, and then cleaned it up afterwards.

I would double rep you if I could.

76Texan
04-28-2009, 03:58 PM
I type over 100 WPM. :) I typed it as it aired live, and then cleaned it up afterwards.

:wow:

leebigeztx
04-28-2009, 09:02 PM
MTC is really good with PK and T-Rock. That's me Eric in houston that call the shows.

dalemurphy
04-28-2009, 09:18 PM
MTC is really good with PK and T-Rock. That's me Eric in houston that call the shows.

Oh, hey... Aren't you a Michael Vick guy and an Atlanta Falcon fan? and only a mild Texan fan?

stingray
04-28-2009, 09:38 PM
I agree.. Moving the chains is great show. No nonsense intelligent football talk.

dalemurphy
04-28-2009, 10:29 PM
MTC is really good with PK and T-Rock. That's me Eric in houston that call the shows.

Even though it's better than 90% of what is out there, I can't tolerate the show with Adam Schein and Solomon Wilcox... they are very stubborn and Solomon is probably the most obnoxiously arrogant person I've ever heard on radio. The man loves his own voice!

nero THE zero
04-28-2009, 10:35 PM
They keep talking about how Hill is going to be used to block the OLB in a 3-4. We don't have any 3-4 teams in our division, so we'll only be playing a few per season max. I can't imagine that they would spend a fourth round draft pick on someone to use a few times a season.

Is this a jab at Brown's struggles against 3-4 OLBs? And, I know the possibility of Hill beefing up and moving to T has been mentioned, do you think these comments suggest that if Brown continues to struggle against 3-4 OLB, Hill could be there to take his place?

dalemurphy
04-28-2009, 10:41 PM
They keep talking about how Hill is going to be used to block the OLB in a 3-4. We don't have any 3-4 teams in our division, so we'll only be playing a few per season max. I can't imagine that they would spend a fourth round draft pick on someone to use a few times a season.

Is this a jab at Brown's struggles against 3-4 OLBs? And, I know the possibility of Hill beefing up and moving to T has been mentioned, do you think these comments suggest that if Brown continues to struggle against 3-4 OLB, Hill could be there to take his place?


I've heard Kubiak talk about the SAM in a 3-4. I believe that is reference to the ILB that is lined up on the strong side of the formation and not the OLB that is lined up on the edge... I'm not sure though.

Regardless, they think Hill will be able to win battles against defensive players that weigh between 240 and 260 lbs. So, on run plays against Indy, I'm sure we'll see Hill firing off on Mathis and/or Freeney quite a bit, who are essentially the same type players doing similar things.

I think the point being made was that the team struggled running the ball near the goalline against 3-4 alignments because of limitations with our TEs. I don't think it says anything about DBrown.

barrett
04-29-2009, 12:45 AM
Thanks so much for transcribing this. Any interview with R. Smith is helpful. Thanks. So far they have been very consistent from a F.O. / Coaching standpoint about what they project these players to do. I think there was one quote which mentioned Hill doing one thing in the coaches mind and another for Smith. Inevitably, the coaches have the final say of course but it just goes to show that the F.O. and the coaches are clearly aligned. We're good.

Texsker
04-29-2009, 03:24 AM
They keep talking about how Hill is going to be used to block the OLB in a 3-4. We don't have any 3-4 teams in our division, so we'll only be playing a few per season max. I can't imagine that they would spend a fourth round draft pick on someone to use a few times a season.

Is this a jab at Brown's struggles against 3-4 OLBs? And, I know the possibility of Hill beefing up and moving to T has been mentioned, do you think these comments suggest that if Brown continues to struggle against 3-4 OLB, Hill could be there to take his place?

He has emphasized this in every interview he's done, but obviously, a dominant blocking TE is very useful against a 4-3 as well. Pat Kirwan was talking today on MTC about the fact that if you don't have a TE who's a legitimate force as a blocker, you really don't have a strong side to your formation. You need a TE who can double team a DE in a 4-3 with your OT and seal the edge in the run game.

If Hill can represent a legitimate receiving threat in addition to being a great in-line blocker, it will really enhance his value.

BattleRedToro
04-29-2009, 04:33 AM
If Hill can represent a legitimate receiving threat in addition to being a great in-line blocker, it will really enhance his value.

Hill is a very capable receiver. He just isn't the same kind of receiver as Daniels, Dreesen, or Casey. He isn't as fast and it would be strange to see him split wide. For example, Daniels and Casey could be split wide or put in motion as they have been used in this way in the pros and college respectively. On the other hand, Hill has been used as a receiver lined up as a more traditional inline TE, where he will initially engage a defender at the line then release and run a short to intermediate route. In conclusion, don't be surprised to see Hill used in goalline and short yardage formations as both a blocker and a receiver.

Malloy
04-29-2009, 05:23 AM
Thanks for the work, rep inc!

Good read also :)

Texsker
04-29-2009, 05:52 AM
Hill is a very capable receiver. He just isn't the same kind of receiver as Daniels, Dreesen, or Casey. He isn't as fast and it would be strange to see him split wide. For example, Daniels and Casey could be split wide or put in motion as they have been used in this way in the pros and college respectively. On the other hand, Hill has been used as a receiver lined up as a more traditional inline TE, where he will initially engage a defender at the line then release and run a short to intermediate route. In conclusion, don't be surprised to see Hill used in goalline and short yardage formations as both a blocker and a receiver.

Yeah, I agree. Hill seems to be in the Anthony Becht mold. The Texans should be able to do some interesting things now in a 12 personnel (2 TE "Ace" formation) look, with Slaton as the single back in the backfield. We can put Anthony Hill on one side and either Daniels, Dreessen or Casey on the other side.

I expect Casey to see the field a lot in 12 personnel looks, serving an H-back type of role in which he moves all over the place, lining up at times in the backfield, at other times at the line of scrimmage, and sometimes going in motion. Casey could end up being used similarly to the way Chris Cooley is used by the Redskins.

pbat488
04-29-2009, 05:55 AM
I type over 100 WPM. :) I typed it as it aired live, and then cleaned it up afterwards.

Mavis Beacon doesn't type that fast!!!

All kidding aside, thanks for typing that. Good read and insight into the genius that is Rick Smith. If only we could get Ed Wade to be half as smart as Smith or Morey.....

Texsker
04-29-2009, 06:02 AM
Mavis Beacon doesn't type that fast!!!

All kidding aside, thanks for typing that. Good read and insight into the genius that is Rick Smith. If only we could get Ed Wade to be half as smart as Smith or Morey.....

LOL. Yeah, but that's only because she refuses to cut her nails. :D

El Tejano
04-29-2009, 07:36 AM
Yeah, I agree. Hill seems to be in the Anthony Becht mold. The Texans should be able to do some interesting things now in a 12 personnel (2 TE "Ace" formation) look, with Slaton as the single back in the backfield. We can put Anthony Hill on one side and either Daniels, Dreessen or Casey on the other side.

I expect Casey to see the field a lot in 12 personnel looks, serving an H-back type of role in which he moves all over the place, lining up at times in the backfield, at other times at the line of scrimmage, and sometimes going in motion. Casey could end up being used similarly to the way Chris Cooley is used by the Redskins.

After you typed this I was thinking about how we can now use Casey in that formation where Kevin Walter lines up in the back field and he always gets the first down for us.

nero THE zero
04-29-2009, 08:34 AM
He has emphasized this in every interview he's done, but obviously, a dominant blocking TE is very useful against a 4-3 as well. Pat Kirwan was talking today on MTC about the fact that if you don't have a TE who's a legitimate force as a blocker, you really don't have a strong side to your formation. You need a TE who can double team a DE in a 4-3 with your OT and seal the edge in the run game.

If Hill can represent a legitimate receiving threat in addition to being a great in-line blocker, it will really enhance his value.

No doubt that's important. I was a big advocate of drafting Pettigrew in the first because of his blocking ability and ability to move out into the flat and catch the ball. I think Hill is a poor man's Pettigrew and I'm happy we drafted him.

It's just that this is the second interview I've seen Smith specifically mention Hill's ability to block the OLB in the 3-4 and that particularly struck me, especially given Brown's struggles last year against 3-4 teams.

barrett
04-29-2009, 11:11 AM
http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/story/11688946/rss

Here's another position by position run down by Smith:

He gives some insight into the on the clock decision that were made. He says that they were considering trading down with the first pick but it seems like Cushing being available snuffed that out as he was the player they wanted ideally. Also says they didn't have any intentions of trading down with the 2nd because they couldn't believe Barwin was still there. We felt great that he was (available) and turned the card in quickly.

Something specifically that stood out to me was in his comments on Brice McCain He's explosive and runs a 4.3 [40-yard dash]. He's over 40 inches in the vertical jump, too. But he's 5-9 and 180 to 185 pounds. So he's a smallish, but he has good ball skills, good cover skills and explosive speed. He reminds me a little bit of a guy we took in Denver when I was there but who has passed [on], and that is Darrent Williams. That's who I kept thinking about when I watched this kid. I like him for depth at the position because he's another guy who can go inside. He's a physical defensive back who can go in there and tackle even though he's little. So he gives us another option at the corner. That can't be a bad thing!

leebigeztx
04-29-2009, 03:08 PM
They keep talking about how Hill is going to be used to block the OLB in a 3-4. We don't have any 3-4 teams in our division, so we'll only be playing a few per season max. I can't imagine that they would spend a fourth round draft pick on someone to use a few times a season.

Is this a jab at Brown's struggles against 3-4 OLBs? And, I know the possibility of Hill beefing up and moving to T has been mentioned, do you think these comments suggest that if Brown continues to struggle against 3-4 OLB, Hill could be there to take his place?

That's because 2 te' balances the formation and keep the olb's off the rb. It makes both olb's get on los and show their hand and take away the exotic looks. If u have 2 te's that are athletic and can block, u basically man-up and run or pass.

Polo
04-29-2009, 03:54 PM
I think for me the thing that interest me most is how they will use Casey. He said that they are already working out ways to get him involved in the offense...

That's pretty high praise for a guy taken in the fifth round...

There's only so many balls to go around, and you have to keep defenses honest...