John McClain Will Fall On That Grenade For You, Rick Smith

In another case of "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours," Houston Chronicle beat writer John McClain took to his chat room yesterday to vociferously defend Texans GM Rick Smith. Smith was accused by ex-Texan Ahman Green of asking him if he was faking an injury. Lets see how that plays out on paper:

(if Smith's reputation would keep free agents from coming there) Absolutely not. That happened in 2007. Green was paid a lot of money and carried the ball 70 and 74 times. Off the record, a lot of his teammates questioned -- not that he was hurt -- but if he was ever going to play and contribute the way they thought he would.

Factual statement. Factual statement. Factual statement. Completely off-the-wall statement that has nothing to do with the question. Good defense!

(On if Smith already has had a negative reputation) Let's see, Smith was a personnel man in Denver who never dealt with agents or free agents. He came to Houston in June of 2006. He was one season on the job but not involved in the draft. Do you realize how many FAs have signed with the Texans since Smith got here? If he had a problem with agents, I don't think players like Foster, Wade Smith, Antonio Smith, Leach, Dreessen, Pollard, Cody, Brisiel, etc. Players go where the money is.

Of those players, Only the Smiths got big money offered to them by the Texans. Leach's contract was matched as a restricted free agent. Most of the rest  of these guys were scrapheap or UFA pickups--small potatoes. It seems like only those first two have any real bearing on the question, and after that perhaps players like Leigh Bodden should be brought up. Players do go where the money is, but if (notice I say IF) Smith has a negative reputation, that could very well hurt the Texans if the money is equal, could it not? 

McClain goes on to indirectly throw Green under the bus by saying teammates questioned his effort off-the-record, and defend Rick Smith by saying that all of his first round picks are starters (That's not misleading at all, Kareem Jackson totally would've started for every other NFL team last year!). Then, this happened:

Comment From sal
i don't think many people are going to buy your defense of Smith. Okoyes was a bust, nobody ran against us, they threw at Kareem Jackson, that is why our run defense was "So great". Cushing, which Smith supposedly did all this homework on to dispell steroid rumors, ended up being a steroid guy and can now not play without them. Kareem Jackson hahaha. Dwayne Brown arguably his best pick gets burnt by every speed rusher he faces, ever watch him try and stop Freeney, porter etc.?

12:02
John McClain: sal, I thought you knew more football. Okoye hasn't been a bust against the run. And I'm not defending Smith. I'm merely stating the facts. Unlike you, I don't let my emotions get the best of me.

Riiiight. Of course you aren't defending Smith. These all seem like totally logical interpretations of the situation, and in no way involved bias. 

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