Texans move forward in 2018 without GM Rick Smith

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HOUSTON — It was closing time Monday for the Houston Texans as players cleaned out their lockers after a disappointing season finishing at the bottom of the AFC South at 4 -12.

One Texan who won’t be with the team in 2018 is General Manager Rick Smith, who announced he’s taking an extended one-year leave of absence to be with his wife who’s battling breast cancer.

“We made this decision because family’s the most important thing,” Smith announced during a press conference at NRG Stadium.

“You know, I have a family, so I understand that more than anything,” Texans Cornerback Johnathan Joseph said. “It’s a tough situation for him.”

Smith says he doesn’t mind if the Texans hire another GM in his absence, but he plans to return to the team down the road.

“This league’s about execution,” Smith insisted. “You can have all the plans and all the good people, but if you don’t execute– which is part of the problem that we had this year– you have to execute.”

“It’s gonna be fun to see what we can do when everybody is healthy,” Texans Defensive Nose Tackle D.J. Reader predicted.

“I’m very excited about the future,” the Texans JJ Watt suggested. “Obviously, been injured the last two years– disappointed by it, but not going to let it define who I am and what I’m about.”

And just maybe 2018 will finally be the Texans’ year!