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Old 02-12-2011   #1
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Default AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

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Houston Texans GM Rick Smith was a guest of Marc and John on SportsRadio610 Thursday morning. If you're like me and wasn't able to hear the interview live, you can read the transcript provided by the staff at houstontexans.com (links below).

Smith discussed a number of topics and it was the typical GM-speak for the most part. But the following exchange caught my attention (specifically, what is underlined):

Radio host: "We’ve asked Wade Phillips numerous times about the 3-4 and how different Texans personnel members fit in, but your quick thoughts here on Mario Williams and Brian Cushing in that 3-4 defense, what they might look like?"

Rick Smith: “I am excited. I’m excited from a personal standpoint, guys, to be honest with you, because at Purdue, I played in the 4-3 defense. In Denver, we played the 4-3 defense, and here, we played (it). So I’ve grown up in a 4-3 defense and this is really my first exposure to a 3-4 from a personal standpoint. Obviously, we’ve watched it and studied it and understand it, but from the standpoint of us playing a 3-4, this is the first time.

So how's that make you feel Texans fans?

Kudos for being honest, Rick, but there's such a thing as too much information. Note to readers: he did say 'personal' not 'personnel.'

But what a deal. Here's a guy entering his sixth season as an NFL GM, presiding over operations of a football team that's gone 37-43 during his tenure, and he's taking '3-4 Defense 101' this semester.

I don't know about your company, but at mine, we don't have orientation or on-the-job training programs that extend to your sixth year of employment.



http://www.examiner.com/houston-texa...osure-to-a-3-4
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Old 02-12-2011   #2
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

How's that make me feel? - like big whoop, not surprising and I assumed he was going to be relying heavily on Phillips for the transition.
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Old 02-12-2011   #3
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
How's that make me feel? - like big whoop, not surprising and I assumed he was going to be relying heavily on Phillips for the transition.
Yeah, I would rather he be honest than try to blow smoke. Hopefully, we have someone who knows what to look for in defensive players now.
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Old 02-12-2011   #4
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

He's actually entering his 5th season as a NFL G.M.. but yeah, there's not a lot of confidence
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Old 02-12-2011   #5
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

There's probably many, many guys in important positions in the NFL including other GMs who have virtually no experience with the 3-4 defense, or for that matter many might be just as inexperienced with the 4-3 having worked almost exclusively in their career with the 3-4.
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Old 02-12-2011   #6
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

I'm not worried. It might even be a good thing. Giving Wade Phillips more decision making power for defensive personnel ensures that we're getting real change on this team.
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Old 02-12-2011   #7
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

If he steps back and lets Wade direct the defensive draft input, then it'll be fine. So in that scenario, his inexperience may be a good thing.
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Old 02-12-2011   #8
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

As with all offseasons, guess what? We'll just have to wait and see who's who and what's what.

Good luck to us Texans fans, because as always, we'll need it.
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Old 02-12-2011   #9
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

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Originally Posted by eriadoc View Post
If he steps back and lets Wade direct the defensive draft input, then it'll be fine. So in that scenario, his inexperience may be a good thing.
Yeah, it's sounds like Rick likely to let Wade direct the defensive draft input as well as FA. I feel much better if Rick lets Wade handle defensive side of decision/s.

Go Texans!!!
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Old 02-12-2011   #10
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

The Texans not being prepared for something...what else is new
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Old 02-12-2011   #11
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

This was mentioned in one gazillion threads about Wade/3-4 etc. Not saying anything that we did not already know.
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Old 02-12-2011   #12
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

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Originally Posted by Carr Bombed View Post
He's actually entering his 5th season as a NFL G.M.. but yeah, there's not a lot of confidence
It's Smith's 5th draft, but he has been the Texans GM since June 2006. So 2011 (if there is a season) will be Smith's 6th as Texans GM.

I was able to listen to a portion of the interview. What gave me pause was Smith's suggestion that the scouts had to learn what to look for in a 3-4 defender. Maybe Smith should buy everyone in the organization a 3-4 Defense for Dummies DVD?

I can see this will work out just swell.
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Old 02-12-2011   #13
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

I kind of feel like going into something with zero experience doing it is basic Texans philosophy at this point. It's to be expected.

Just like I expect them to fall flat on their faces next year and then Chinese fire-drill around each other trying to figure out why their stupid approach to damn near everything they do didn't work for the 6th straight year!


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Old 02-12-2011   #14
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

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Originally Posted by The Cush View Post
The Texans not being prepared for something...what else is new
Our personnel department has drafted 7 of the last 8 first round picks for defense. Ultimately this has culminated in a defense which has redefined the definition of 'suck', with performance statistics that are historically bad.

Given that, perhaps being completely unprepared and ignorant to the scheme for which they are drafting for is the best possible scenario?
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Old 02-12-2011   #15
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

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Originally Posted by Lucky View Post
It's Smith's 5th draft, but he has been the Texans GM since June 2006. So 2011 (if there is a season) will be Smith's 6th as Texans GM.

I was able to listen to a portion of the interview. What gave me pause was Smith's suggestion that the scouts had to learn what to look for in a 3-4 defender. Maybe Smith should buy everyone in the organization a 3-4 Defense for Dummies DVD?

I can see this will work out just swell.
What gives me more pause is that they evidently either didn't finish reading 4-3 Defense for Dummies or require an accompanying course to improve their reading comprehension.
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Old 02-13-2011   #16
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

The biggest problem with drafting guys for the 3-4, which includes DLine and
outside LB personnel, is that there are so few 3-4 systems in college. Personnel evaluators are therefor left in the uncomfortable position of having to "project" how for example, a smallish or "tweener" 4-3 college DE would play as a 3-4 outside backer in the NFL ? Texans fans know about that risk from the Texans first regime when Capers & Fangio payed a premium to move up and draft Jason Babin in the first round.
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Old 02-13-2011   #17
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

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Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
What gives me more pause is that they evidently either didn't finish reading 4-3 Defense for Dummies or require an accompanying course to improve their reading comprehension.
Even scarier....they won't switch out the books, since they still have a 3 and a 4 on them. Cost Savings people!
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Old 02-13-2011   #18
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
How's that make me feel? - like big whoop, not surprising and I assumed he was going to be relying heavily on Phillips for the transition.
Even less than whoop....

We've got people here with no experience picking the best fit for a 3-4 we don't fully understand (Wade's version).

How hard can it be?
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Old 02-13-2011   #19
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

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Originally Posted by Lucky View Post
It's Smith's 5th draft, but he has been the Texans GM since June 2006. So 2011 (if there is a season) will be Smith's 6th as Texans GM.
Charlie Casserly sat in the 06 war room, Smith did not start as Texans GM until after the 2006 draft in June (draft is in April). So far Rick should be judged on his work 2007-2010 that's four drafts, 2011 would be his 5th here.
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Old 02-13-2011   #20
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Default Re: AJ:Texans GM: 'this is my first exposure to a 3-4'

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Originally Posted by beerlover View Post
Charlie Casserly sat in the 06 war room, Smith did not start as Texans GM until after the 2006 draft in June, draft is in April. So far Rick should be judged on his work 2007-2010 that's four drafts, 2011 would be his 5th here.
That's what I said.

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It's Smith's 5th draft, but he has been the Texans GM since June 2006. So 2011 (if there is a season) will be Smith's 6th as Texans GM.
I'm certainly not giving Smith credit for the best draft (2006) in team history. If you're going to judge Smith strictly on drafts, I think you'd have to give him a grad of meh. But, he also should be graded on free agency, and ultimately, the teams record. In total, he should get a failing grade. Yet, he remains employed. Go figure.
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