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“It’s an honor. It’s a big responsibility,” he said of his new contract. “You guys know since the day I walked in here it’s been a dream situation for me to come back home and build a winner in Houston. I’m just very thankful that Bob and Janice and their family have entrusted me with this situation and (have) done it again for a few more years.”

Smith improved Houston’s defense by drafting several key players in the past few years that have developed into starters. He nabbed inside linebacker Brian Cushing in the first round in 2009 and picked up weakside linebacker Connor Barwin in the second round that same year. He drafted cornerback Kareem Jackson in 2010 and added outside linebacker Brooks Reed and defensive end J.J. Watt last season.

He’s excited to have several more years to work on building this team.

“One of the things that’s important to us is that we’re a consistent winner, and it takes time to put processes in place to get players and coaches,” Smith said. “We’ve set the foundation for success and we had a little bit of that last year and I think we’re in position to continue that.”

McNair is impressed with the growth of Smith and Kubiak since he hired them as what he called “rookies,” since neither man had been a head coach or general manager before joining the Texans.

“It takes a little time to learn your job and work with others and determine how things mesh, and I think we have gotten better as we’ve gone along,” McNair said. “They know each other well and they work well together and they listen to each other and I think that’s extremely important.”