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Old 08-15-2012   #1
srrono
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Default Texans' Antonio Smith pays it forward

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcsouth/pos...-children-well

HOUSTON -- Even the regulars who stay late had disappeared from the Texans’ practice fields after Tuesday morning’s practice.

But at the far end were Jared Crick, Jimmy Saddler-McQueen, David Hunter and Hebron Fangupo, four defensive linemen who collectively account for one regular-season NFL game appearance.

They stayed after practice to work with veteran lineman Antonio Smith, who patiently talked with them and showed off tips against a tackling dummy. There were pointers about technique, hand placement, swipes, lean, leverage, balance, reading blockers and more. And everybody took a turn working against the dummy after each little lesson.

Smith said he just re-started the sessions, which he’s done before but had faded during the daily grind of camp.

“Now that practices are starting to lighten up, we’ve got time to work on technique,” Smith said. “A guy named Chike Okeafor used to work with me in Arizona, before and after practice.

"When someone who’s been in the game awhile and has some knowledge could see what I was doing, was paying attention to what I was doing and could tell me how to do it better, I think it helped me a lot.”

Now as he looks to pay it forward, Smith said he keeps no secrets.

“If there is something I can do that they want to know about, I’m an open book," he said.

It’s one of the subtly striking things about being teammates in football. While a guy will fight like hell to keep his job, he’s also expected to assist a guy who plays his position and may ultimately take his spot. Veterans who don't offer such help or respond well to questions are typically not regarded as team guys.

Smith’s hardly at risk now, and among today’s pupil’s Crick may be the only one to stick. The rookie end was a fourth-round draft pick.

“If you can see a guy like Antonio who’s been in the league coming on a decade, putting in all the little work, you realize why he’s been in the league that long, why he’s been that successful,” Crick said. “You’ve just got to follow that lead. Hopefully down the road I can be as good as him some day and do that for somebody else.”

Smith’s versatility is a key piece of the Texans’ successful front. He’s an end in the base defense, but moves inside and plays tackle in nickel.

The post-practice period was not the only impressive work I saw by Smith.

Tuesday during a pass rush period of practice, with Connor Barwin outside him, the two rushers worked in tandem, often against starting left tackle Duane Brown and left guard Wade Smith. I thought the defenders looked just about unstoppable in that setting.

“Me and Connor have got to the point where we basically know how each other is going to rush, whether it’s a designated game or we both are doing our own rush,” Smith said. “We know how we’ll end up and can work off each other.”

Smith said he likes both end and tackle, but has always liked rushing the three-technique the best.

“I think it’s more banging, grimy on the inside,” he said. “And it’s the quickest pathway to the quarterback. It’s the hardest to rush, but the quickest path.”
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Old 08-15-2012   #2
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Default Re: Texans' Antonio Smith pays it forward

Does that mean our ninja
has now become a sensei?
Good for him!!
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Old 08-15-2012   #3
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Default Re: Texans' Antonio Smith pays it forward

This was such a good FA signing, it's almost redonkulous. But it tends to fly under the radar because it took a few years, and the right DC, to really bear fruit.
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Old 08-15-2012   #4
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Default Re: Texans' Antonio Smith pays it forward

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This was such a good FA signing, it's almost redonkulous. But it tends to fly under the radar because it took a few years, and the right DC, to really bear fruit.
Yup, it used to amaze me hearing dumbass callers wanting Smith cut during post game radio (only time I listen to the morons).
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Old 08-15-2012   #5
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Default Re: Texans' Antonio Smith pays it forward

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This was such a good FA signing, it's almost redonkulous. But it tends to fly under the radar because it took a few years, and the right DC, to really bear fruit.
Yup, it used to amaze me hearing dumbass callers wanting Smith cut during post game radio (only time I listen to the morons).
To be fair, we're paying Antonio like he's elite. I appreciate the paying it forward & being a team leader/sensei... & there is value there.

But we got him as a FA coming off a Super Bowl appearance & the best 3 or 4 game span of his career.

I don't think we need to cut him, but he's drastically over paid for a 3-4 DE.... granted, his stats may reflect an elite 3-4 end, but they don't get paid $8M/yr.... that's elite pass rusher money, well it was 4 years ago.
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Old 08-15-2012   #6
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Default Re: Texans' Antonio Smith pays it forward

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To be fair, we're paying Antonio like he's elite. I appreciate the paying it forward & being a team leader/sensei... & there is value there.

But we got him as a FA coming off a Super Bowl appearance & the best 3 or 4 game span of his career.

I don't think we need to cut him, but he's drastically over paid for a 3-4 DE.... granted, his stats may reflect an elite 3-4 end, but they don't get paid $8M/yr.... that's elite pass rusher money, well it was 4 years ago.
And he came in as a 4-3 end, not a 3-4 end. And, in this defense, he's playing a variation of a 4-3 end's spot. When you add in what he's meant to this team and what he's done for it, I'm not worried about the money he's getting at all.
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Old 08-15-2012   #7
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Default Re: Texans' Antonio Smith pays it forward

Luv that guy! Who says they don't make'em like that anymore? I'm lookin forward to some ninja moves real soon!
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Old 08-15-2012   #8
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Default Re: Texans' Antonio Smith pays it forward

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And he came in as a 4-3 end, not a 3-4 end. And, in this defense, he's playing a variation of a 4-3 end's spot. When you add in what he's meant to this team and what he's done for it, I'm not worried about the money he's getting at all.
Until you can't afford to pay Barwin, Brown, & Schaub.
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Old 08-16-2012   #9
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Default Re: Texans' Antonio Smith pays it forward

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Until you can't afford to pay Barwin, Brown, & Schaub.
So it's Antonio Smith's fault that we're hard up against the cap? We're going to have to cut more than him to afford all those guys.

There are guys on every team that get paid out of proportion to their contribution. One guy getting a little over-paid isn't the problem. And it's not like he's in the top 10 at his position. He's not getting the $14 million that a Tyson Jackson or a Jared Allen is going to get.

Think about the crap the Chiefs have to deal with in 2013 with one DE at $14 mill and the other at $12 mill.

And I wouldn't be surprised if Antonio doesn't get cut if he won't re-structure.
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Old 08-16-2012   #10
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Default Re: Texans' Antonio Smith pays it forward

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And I wouldn't be surprised if Antonio doesn't get cut if he won't re-structure.
That's all I'm saying. I don't have a problem with guys like Antonio or Walter is making a little money, it's not my money. But when it comes time to manage the cap, they need to understand there is an imbalance in their production & their cap number.
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