Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
I mentioned Rick Smith's position in this morning's "Reading the coverage," but thought the topic was worth revisiting as people contemplate the Texans' future.
While Houston owner Bob McNair has said he won't evaluate things until after the season is over, the fact that commissioner Roger Goodell has appointed Smith to the powerful competition committee tells us there is no chance that Smith is losing his job with the Texans.
That means coach Gary Kubiak will be in place, too. While there have been rumblings nationally about Smith or Kubiak potentially being in trouble, those in the know in Houston never lent such talk much volume. There is a possibility Kubiak will shuffle his defensive staff after the season is over.
Smith was named the Texans' GM on June 5, 2006, after heading the Broncos pro personnel department. Kubiak was hired nearly five months earlier, but the two had ties from working together in Denver and have a good working relationship.
Goodell appointed Smith to the spot on the competition committee that used to belong to Matt Millen, who was fired as Detroit's GM earlier this season.
Here's some of what Smith told Houston reporters Friday about his new appointment:
"It obviously is an enormous responsibility and a tremendous honor for me to be appointed to the competition committee. It's something that's very important to our league, and so, I'm blessed to be a part of it and am excited about the opportunity..."
"I've talked to a couple of the members here over the last couple of months and so I knew that it was in the works or was a possibility. I certainly didn't know where it was in the process and so I got a phone call a couple of days ago and found out that they had in fact decided to appoint me; that Roger had in fact decided to appoint me and I was excited about that ..."
"The competition committee basically is charged with making sure the game is played at as high of a level as we can play it and to maintain the integrity of the game. That's reviewing rules, whether they're personnel rules or playing rules or officiating rules. So, it's the committee that's charged with making sure our game is as good as it needs to be..."
"Well, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Roger and how he's running the league and the things that he is doing. So, for me to have an opportunity to serve and be a part of something at the league level is obviously is important. And like I said, it's just a heck of an honor."