WILL GRUBB, SportsRadio 610By Will Grubb

Houston (CBS Houston) – Veteran defensive end Antonio Smith had been very open about his desire to return to the Texans next season. But Smith, 32, has been aware that a 2-14 team may not have interest in resigning a lineman on the wrong side of 30. Add a new coach to the mix, and it seemed unlikely the Ninja would be back.

But on Monday Smith struck a surprisingly optimistic tone.

“I had a good conversation with coach O’Brien. Me and him just got a good feel for each other,” Smith said on Nate and Creight. “From what my agent tells me, the team and coach O’Brien really like me.”

Smith went on to say that his agent has had a few preliminary conversations with the Texans.

“They’re looking forward to trying to find a way to work something out.” Smith said.

After seeing the Miami locker room suffer a complete leadership breakdown, having a strong presence like Antonio Smith in the locker room would be an asset for a first year coach like O’Brien.

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