Rick Smith was the general manager of the Houston Texans from 2006 to 2017. After his wife was diagnosed with cancer, he stepped down in what may or may not have been a decision Bill O’Brien played a part in. With Smith as the general manager, the Texans won the AFC South four times and won three postseason games. He worked well with Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips to get them the players they needed for their scheme. The embers of his talent carried Houston football after Kubiak’s team fell apart in 2013 and O’Brien took over.
Since he stepped dow,n Smith has been relatively quiet in general manager searches. That has changed now. He’s been on podcasts discussing the decision to trade up for Deshaun Watson. He’s been named as a potential general manager candidate for multiple teams. By the looks of it, it seems like Smith wants and will get another chance to run a NFL franchise as soon as 2021.
The Atlanta Falcons may be that franchise. The Falcons are a talented football team that has been brought down by losing games in the dumbest ways possible, a defensive scheme that never matches up with its talent, and an offense that has wasted Matt Ryan’s fading prime, which is now firmly a decline. With additional investment in the defense, nailing the first round, and a return to the Gary Kubiak coaching tree, a Rick Smith hiring could be what Atlanta needs to be more than a football team that loses in hilarious ways.
With this possibility unfolding in Atlanta, I was invited on the “Forever I Love Atlanta Sports” podcast to discuss Smith’s time in Housto and how he may fit in Atlanta. You can watch the show below.