Rick Smith talks Jadeveon Clowney, Brock Osweiler and DeAndre Hopkins

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith covered a lot of topics, from the salary cap, to Jadeveon Clowney, Brock Osweiler and DeAndre Hopkins.

Houston Texans general manager met with the media while attending the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday.

Smith was asked to give his thoughts on quarterback Brock Osweiler after his poor season.

“It’s no real difference in what we’ve talked about before during the offseason. It’s the same thing. He’s got to go back and look at what he can do better. We’ve got to look at that as a group. We’ve got to improve as a whole, our entire football team. That’s the thing I love about the sport of football. It really is the ultimate team sport and it requires that everyone’s on the same page and that everybody executes together. That’s the way that things happen successfully and that’s what we all understand and that’s what we’re working toward,” said Smith, via Houston Texans PR.

Smith is right, football is a team sport.  Players win and lose together. But when it comes to the quarterback position, if a player like Osweiler throws too many interceptions because he’s having a hard time reading defenses or he just makes poor decisions, that’s on him.  Not necessarily the entire team.

So while there are always ways a football team can get better, it still starts and ends with the quarterback position.

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Rick Smith was asked about Jadeveon Clowney’s strong 2016 season.

“I think everybody knew what he was capable of from an athletic perspective. I mean, the guy is just gifted. I don’t know that anybody doubted that. I think it was a function and a product of the fact that he was injured that he didn’t produce the way we all anticipated and knew that he could. I think what you saw this year was a function of his availability. He was healthy. He has still got a long way to go. I think he recognizes that, but I think his appetite is wet for it because he can see how good he can be. I think he can see how good our defense and our team can be with his production. He fit and he worked and he has worked to get himself in this position through a lot of injury and it was just good to see him have the production and success that he had. He has a long way to go, though,” Smith said.

There’s no doubt Clowney can be one of the top pass rushers in the NFL.  The concern is whether he can stay healthy.  The biggest worry has to be his surgically repaired knee.

Players like Jadeveon Clowney who typically undergo microfracture surgery on their knee, either have to retire shortly after or don’t have very long NFL careers. Hopefully this will never be the case for Clowney.

Next: Texans to meet with Dalvin Cook

Smith was of course asked whether he plans on signing star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to a contract extension this offseason.

“Our goal is to keep all of our good, young players and DeAndre is a good, young player. So, yes. We are absolutely intent on resigning him. When that happens is up for debate, but he’s definitely in our plans. He’s an excellent young football player and I think he’s one of those guys that we just talked about that’s an arrow-up player. We certainly want to continue to build around him,” he said.

I honestly don’t see how the Houston Texans will be able to give Hopkins an extension this year. They only have $24 million in cap space and have numerous players on their own roster that they would love to re-sign.

The good news is that they will until next March to get something done.  And they will be able to clear up cap space by cutting Brock Osweiler and Brian Cushing next year. Not to mention a big contract like Johnathan Joseph’s will be gone since he’ll be a free agent.