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Antonio Smith Chats with Reporters


Q: What are your thoughts on facing your former team?**

Smith:"All masters always worry about how the progress of their young Padawans is doing. I'm looking forward to see how they've reached masterhood since I left them."

Q: Have you talked to anybody, J.J. Watt?

Smith:"No, but I'm going to text him. You just brought that to my attention."

Q: Antonio, what did you think of his contract extension?

Smith:"I was proud of him. I texted him and told him I was proud of him. It's well deserved. I thought he should have got it earlier than that, but you know how this game is. No other kid deserves it. He's a class act all the way around."

Q: You guys really became quite close. You, all kidding aside, did mentor him a little bit didn't you?

Smith:"Yeah man, that's my brother. They're all my brothers over there. Beyond the field, beyond the game, he's always going to be somebody that's fond in my heart."

Q: He had like five and a half sacks his rookie year and then he just took off. What happened with him between year one and year two?

Smith:"He might get mad that I tell you, but one day he told me that our defensive line coach kind of cussed him out and made him feel like he wasn't a player. He went home and got his mind right and he said that after that day he made it up in his mind that he knows he's a great player, and from then on you've seen a dramatic change. It was like a decision made and that was it."

Q: What do you miss about Houston, anything?

Smith:"What do I miss about Houston? I miss great sushi, steak, my daughter. Football is football, and I love it here. I think that every stage in life you should embrace it. You should enjoy every journey that you have. I miss people. I miss a couple of things as far as like food, but other than that, I'm good."

Q: They still have some of the same weapons on offense, but with a different quarterback, how different does this offense look?

Smith:"They look a little bit different. I think they don't press as much on the zone. They have a little bit of downhill running in the package now. They're still going for deep balls. Andre [Johnson] is still the dude. It isn't much different, but there are some subtle differences."

Q: Have you set some goals for the game, have to get a sack or so?

Smith:"I never set goals, I just go out there and try to have fun."

Q: Looking at film of their first game, do you think Arian [Foster] is back to being Arian?

Smith:"He's [Foster] moving around pretty good. He's moving around pretty good, and I think it was a couple of chances he had to break some runs, but you have to give it to Washington's defense because they were closing some gaps pretty good, but they were open at first. I think if you give him a slight curtain he can hurt you pretty bad. We're going to have to play just as aggressive as Washington did, and put as many hats on him as you can, because just when you think you have him, especially in that zone scheme, they can break one big run on you."

Q: With all of the things that went wrong last year, don't you feel like Arian's not being able to contribute in that offense? Kube's [Gary Kubiak] offense and this offense too. Wasn't that as bad of a thing that could happen to you, when you lost Arian last season?

Smith:"I think that was one of the big factors of the way the offense kind of went last year; that the running game wasn't what it was."

Q: And it needed to be in that scheme?

Smith:"It dang sure needs to be when you're in the zone, play action type of offense and scheme."

Q: J.J. talked about how they miss you around the locker room, your sense of humor. A lot of the guys in this locker room are saying the same thing about what you bring here. Was last year sort of the ultimate test for you, being able to keep your spirits up and be that kind of person under that lack of success?

Smith:"It was testy. It was testy, but I just can't help being me. That's who I am all the time, so even when things were bad, it always squeaked out. Even when you want to come to work with a frown on your face, and act all mean or whatever because when you get to losing, everybody takes it in a different way. I still kind of kept it light every now and then."

Q: Are you looking forward to bringing the Ninja Warrior to the Black Hole on Sunday for the first time in a game that counts?

Smith:"I'm looking forward to the Ninja Assassin getting out every game. I just don't want to limit him to one place or one game. I really would like double digit ninja games."

But this will be new for these fans, so it will be kind of fun.

Smith:"Definitely, and I am looking forward to bringing him out."

Q: And has the Tonestradamus character carried through in Oakland or have we moved on from that one?

Smith:"Right now I just ordered my new eight ball, so I'm waiting on my eight ball to come in so I can predict the future. Right now my powers are dwindling."

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