Antowain Smith

Antowain Smith

Antowain Smith lead the New England Patriots in rushing in both Super Bowl 36 and 38 wins. He is heading home to his hometown team, the Houston Texans, after spending the last two seasons with the Tennessee Titans and New Orleans Saints. He is looking to bring some leadership to the team and contribute with Domanick Davis.

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Chris Yandek: First off how are you?

Antowain Smith: “I am doing wonderful.”

CY: The Houston Texans drafted Mario Williams as the number one pick and passed on running back Reggie Bush. How excited are you that you ended up being the running back that they choose to add to the team in the city where you played college football and is your hometown?

AS: “I am excited about the opportunity to play at home in front of the home fans. My family and everyone is just ecstatic that they thought enough of me to give me an opportunity to come in and felt like I could help this football team.”

CY: What are your expectations for this season for someone who has two Super Bowl rings from your time with the New England Patriots?

AS: “We want to win. Get together as a team and get a winning attitude around here. Go out there, play hard, and compete on Sundays. If you do that everything else will take care of itself.”

CY: What do you think you will be able to add the team as a veteran on offense with your one-year contract?

AS: “I have played on some Super Bowl teams. I have played on some not so good teams. I have had the highs and lows. In the locker room as far as being a leader, I can let the guys know what it takes to win. Losing is a habit. Once you get into a little downslide you have to force your way to come out of it. You have to have guys that want to step up and make the play to make a difference. Those are the things I want to bring to this team. I just want to go out there and do the best job I can do. I still feel like that I am capable of producing out there on the football field. Maybe not as I once was, but I still have something to offer a team.”

CY: This is your fifth team in ten years. Is it hard to go from team to team and learn a new playbook?

AS: “I think once you get the concepts down it’s easy. You have to get use to the different terminology. Every team basically runs the same plays. They may call it something different. You have to get use to the terminology, but once you are out there it’s X’s and O’s.”

CY: What do you think your role will be at the running back position with Domanick Davis?

AS: “I am hoping we can go out there and provide a solid one two punch. Domanick is the running back here. He’s a great running back. We are two different styles of runners. He goes out there and does his thing. Everyone knows my style is downhill and banging inside. I’d like to be in some short yardage and goal line situations and some four minute situations at the end of the game trying to get first downs.”

CY: What are your thoughts on playing for Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak and what you have seen of him thus far?

AS: “When he was in Denver, I don’t care what running back they put back there, they were getting a thousand yards. You have to be excited about that as far as being a running back. A guy that has been on winning teams and won Super Bowls. A guy who also played in the league for about 13 years. You can’t do nothing but respect and admire. The things he’s trying to do right now is to instill that philosophy in us that we are going to go out there and compete, play hard every Sunday, and we are going to be competitive. Once we learn that offense he is trying to instill and go out there and execute the plays without making mistakes, I think we will have an opportunity to do that.”

CY: What did it feel like to lead the New England Patriots in rushing yards in both Super Bowl 36 and 38 wins?

AS: “That was great. We got to win on top of that. It is the most gratifying feeling you can have. You feel like you actually went out there and played, performed, contributed to the team, and you made a difference in the team winning and losing.”

CY: You were a college standout at the University of Houston. Why did you end up in the NFL at 25 years old with all your talent?

AS: “When I first graduated from high school, I didn’t go to college school right away. I sat out three years taking care of my grandparents. That’s why I was late. I went to college when I was 21. I was already a grown man. I don’t have no regrets because my grandparents took care. When they were sick I took it upon myself to take care of them at that time and need.”

CY: When you were in New England you didn’t do so well on the conditioning tests they had. Will you be in shape for the start of the season and why do you think so many fans are critical about you maybe gaining some weight in the off-season?

AS: “It’s not like I am a little back. I tell everybody that. As far as the conditioning tests go, I felt like I was in shape. Some guys are sprinters and some guys are not. My thing is that it’s a thing of past. When I had a chance to take it again I always passed it. Some people tend to make a big deal out of it, especially because I was the starting running back. You never heard of the other people that also failed the test. A lot just came on me. That’s expected when you are the starter.”

CY: What was the atmosphere like in Louisiana for you as a member of the New Orleans Saints after Hurricane Katrina and how crazy that season must have been?

AS: “That was truly a season I will never forget. When I finally had got situated in New Orleans my wife had just come down like that Monday and on that Wednesday I was getting out of there because the hurricane was coming. The hurricane hit and we wasn’t able to go back to New Orleans. We went straight to San Antonio. A lot of players didn’t have closures and were living out of hotels for a month. We had a high school facility. No cold tub or hot tub. The weight room was outside in the parking lot. It was just horrible all around.”

CY: Finally, how many years do you think you have left in the NFL and what else is there to accomplish?

AS: “I think I have accomplished everything I want to accomplish. I have been in two Super Bowls. Won both of them. Started in both of them. You have guys who have played in this league their whole career and some of them have never made the playoffs let alone make it to the Super Bowl. I think I have been blessed in that aspect. My career is complete. I feel I can still offer something to a team. Until I feel like I have nothing else to offer, I will go out there and try my best.”

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