Transcript: Mike Smith Post-Practice Interview

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**On whether there is a silver lining with the injuries in the secondary, allowing younger guys to play:

**"This time of the year, you're going to get guys getting opportunities to play. We've trained these guys and they've trained to be put in this position and I think they'll step up to the challenge; both those guys. They came in last week and did it without a whole lot of notice and this week, they're going to have a whole week to participate."

**On the key for CB Dominique Franks taking his success from practice into a game atmosphere:

**"Well, the big thing is that he's got to go out and relax and play. He hasn't had a whole lot of experience doing that up to this point in time and his first significant playing time was in the ballgame last week. We anticipate both those guys will go and compete and perform."

**On whether he had received word from CB Brent Grimes regarding his surgery today:

**"I have not spoken personally with Brent. But Brent, we've been in communication with him and he's finished with the procedure and we'll know more in terms of what exactly took place later on in the day. We've been out here on the field straight through so I haven't had an opportunity to get any update. But as soon as we know, we'll let you guys know, in terms of what kind of time frame we're looking at."

**On his mindset regarding the roof being either open or closed at Reliant Stadium this weekend:

**"It doesn't really matter. I've played in that stadium with my time in the AFC South; went out there once a year. It's a loud venue. It's a grass field, not an artificial turf. If there's any chance of rain, usually they shut it down because they don't have a drainage system. They don't want that grass to get wet because they're on trays. It will be a loud venue. It's as loud as some of the loudest in the League."

**On whether the importance of game-action and practice snaps is as great for a corner as it is for other positions:

**"These guys have been with us for a couple of years. They've gotten lots of reps throughout the season. We rotate our guys in practice because you've got to be prepared, so it's not really, in my mind, it's not a big deal. These guys have been preparing to go out, have an opportunity to perform on Sunday and they're getting their chance this week. I know they're excited about going out and competing and we feel very comfortable with having those guys out there."

**On how difficult it is to game plan for a quarterback that has relatively little game tape, like Texans QB T.J. Yates:

**"Well, we've got some preseason, and then also, we did a lot of due diligence in our draft preparation last year; did some work on T.J. Yates. He played in a pro-style offense there at the University of North Carolina. The offensive coordinator had coached in the NFL. The head coach was an NFL coach. So you get an opportunity, at least, to see what his skill set is and we went back and watched some of that as well. As I said yesterday, it is a system offense that Coach Kubiak has been running since he's been there, something that they did in Denver as well, and regardless of who's in there, that's the system that they're going to run. They're going to base it off of the stretch running game, little bit of angle blocks and then the play-action. They do a very good job. I'm very impressed with what they do offensively. Schematically, it can put a lot of stress on your defensive team."

**On what problems OLB Connor Barwin presents:

**"He had a monster game last week and I believe he was the AFC defensive player of the week. Had four sacks. This is a guy, that I said yesterday, has got a lot of length. He's a big, tall, lanky outside linebacker that probably performs better when he has the opportunity to attack the quarterback in passing situations, but he also can drop out into coverage. But he had a breakout game. Obviously, when you have that type of game, it's got to be the best game of your career. So he's coming off of his best game of his career, for sure. But he's a big, lanky, long guy; the ideal body structure that you want for an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense."

**On Barwin's path to the NFL, starting as a tight end:

**"An interesting path to the NFL; played tight end in college. Some people were drafting him as a tight end. Some people were drafting his as a defensive end when he was on different draft boards. He is a unique athlete, in those terms."

**On the injury report:

**"Kelvin Hayden, as I mentioned yesterday, is doubtful for the game this week. He did not participate in practice. Brent's not on the grounds right now. He didn't participate. Julio Jones worked on the side, so he did not participate. Stephen Nicholas worked on the side. He didn't participate. Devonta Freeman did not practice. We anticipate getting some of these guys back in practice tomorrow."

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