HOUSTON - -Texans general manager Rick Smith acknowledged the inconsistency that's plagued his team on Monday, but just as his head coach Bill O'Brien, Smith appreciates the mental toughness he sees in the Houston Texans.
"We can’t make some of the mistakes that we’ve made and dig some of the holes that we’ve dug ourselves and expect to win," Smith said. "I think our guys understand that, but they’re committed. I like the work ethic. I like what I see so far from the coaching staff and the team, and I look for us to continue to get better."
As for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's performance in particular:
"I think it’s been inconsistent," Smith said. "I think he’s played well in spurts and it’s much like the balance of the rest of the football team. We’re all searching, you always search for that game where you play the perfect game. None of us have done that so far, so we’ve got to continue to work at that."
Smith spoke to media after an event for Head Up Football, during which he spoke to youth football players and then presented a series of checks to their teams.
His fall has otherwise been divided between college games in preparation for the 2015 draft and monitoring the Texans' roster.
"I’ve been on the road quite a bit," he said. "I’ve got a few games, I like live exposure. It shows you a little bit more than just the tape exposure, so as many of these prospects as I can see live, I try to do that."
It is, of course, not a perfect science. Smith was asked about the 2013 draft class, more than half of which is no longer on the Texans' roster. The three that remain on the active roster are receiver DeAndre Hopkins, safety D.J. Swearinger and tight end Ryan Griffin. Asked if he can call it a disappointment, Smith pointed instead to the learning opportunity.
"Each individual case with those players was individualized, so you have to look at that," Smith said. "We’re always constantly assessing our process to make sure that we have a good process in place that give sus a chance to make good decisions. Sometimes it’s going to be a good outcome, sometimes it won’t be. But as long as you are identifying what the issues are, with each individual case, and make sure your process is something that is solid, I think you give yourself a chance to have success."