General manager Rick Smith held a press conference Monday to discuss his position with the Texans as he takes a leave of absence.
Smith’s wife, Tiffany, was diagnosed with breast cancer, which prompted Smith to step away from his GM duties.
However, Smith said he would retain the title of executive vice president, even though he plans on taking a year off.
“This isn’t a referendum on my tenure, because my tenure is not over,” he said.
Smith did say he would understand if owner Bob McNair hired a new general manager while he was taking his leave.
“If we hire a GM and have a guy to run the personnel, then we’ll do that,” Smith said. “So, again, it’s a fluid process, but I am absolutely intend on coming back, I will maintain that at least the executive vice president title and if Mr. McNair feels like he wants to hire a general manager, then he will hire a general manager and that will be just fine.”
Smith said his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in September during her yearly mammogram exam.
“It’s been inspirational. She’s strong. She’s faithful. She’s disciplined… I’m proud of her,” Smith said of his wife. “So, any women, I would encourage you if you haven’t gotten an annual mammogram, go get it.”
As for the 4-12 Texans, Smith said he has full faith in coach Bill O’Brien and said he feels good leaving the organization in good hands.
“Bill and I have worked together for four years with a common goal of bringing a championship to Houston,” Smith said. “He’s grown over the four years he’s been a head coach in this league and I think he’ll continue to grow.”