Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith is coming off one of the best seasons of his nine-year NFL career in 2012. However, he understands that if the Texans want to reach the promise land next season they will have to do so with the help of some talented rookies. That is why Smith has no problem taking on a leadership role, especially after the effort he witnessed from the rookies during organized team activities.
“I like looking at some of the rookies we got,” Smith said, according to HoustonTexans.com. “We’ve got some talent, man. We’ve really got some talent; some that in a few years are going to be giving some guys runs for their jobs.
“I love rookies that are going to come in and try to be what they dream to be, not just come in and just hope they make a team, or something like that. They want to be stars and they want to be stars. When you’ve got rookies like that, you’re going to have a great team.”
The 31-year-old has made sure to talk with the younger players during OTAs so that he can answer any questions they may have or simply give advice on life in the NFL. He has also made sure that it is not all fun and games as he has dished out plenty of construction criticism. After all, that is the only way any player is going to get better.
Smith did admit that the team got off to a rough start this summer, but everything appears to be coming together as it should. Players are figuring out what their role will be over the next couple months, and how they will be able to help each other on game day.
Smith posted 30 combined tackles, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, three passes defended and a career-high seven sacks in 16 games last season.