By Joshua Reese

CBS Houston – It’s been three years and one super bowl ring ago since Antonio Smith was on the Houston Texans.

“Naw it’s not weird, I always knew,” Antonio Smith said when asked if it was weird being back on the team he spent five years with.

After so much time away, he’s back, but under unfortunate circumstances. Smith is here because the team placed three-time defensive player of the year J.J. Watt on injured reserved.

“No replacement at all,” Smith said of stepping in for Watt. “I’m just here to help the team out as best as I can, that’s how I’ve always seen the game, that’s how I’ve always seen my role, my responsibility, whether it’s a bigger role or a smaller role, I just got to come in and do the best I can.”

With Watt now gone, the team will be trying to fill his production in a number of different ways, Smith will be one of the many guys that will be trying to fill the void left by number 99.

Being away from football for a few months, while Smith still looks to be in great shape, the condition level isn’t necessarily on the same level as the other guys around him currently.

“It’s not great and we are going to work at,” Bill O’Brien said of Smith’s football shape, “he’s going to work at and we are going to get him ready to play.”

The other thing that could slow Smith from being able to contribute fully to the team is learning a system that most guys have spent three years in.

“Once you get the terminology down on any defense it should be pretty smooth on picking everything up, so I just got to get the terminology down,” Smith said.

While Smith may have a fun and eccentric personality – he’s also a ninja assassin – you can’t question how hard he works and how much he loves to play football.

“I’m going to get up to speed by any means necessary,” Smith said.

It’s unlikely to see a 10 sack season from Smith but when he’s fully up to speed, he will contribute.

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