Rick Smith to take leave of absence

This comes after recent reports of a growing rift between coach Bill O'Brien and Smith.

In the statement, Smith said that it was hard decision and that he is grateful for the support of Texans owner Bob McNair and his family, via Amy Palcic from the team's PR staff.

Smith and his wife, Tiffany, have three children.

From a contractual standpoint, O'Brien has limited leverage since one year remains on his Texans deal. This was an extremely hard decision for me to make as I love this organization and every member of this team both on and off the field.

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Smith began working for the Texans in 2006, becoming the league's youngest general manager at 36 years old. O'Brien's return keeps offensive continuity in Houston and is good news for Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, and Will Fuller.

The Giants reportedly have their first head coaching interview penciled in - Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz - and it looks like they can forget about a second. "I'll meet with him, I'm sure, at some point, and we'll decide what direction he wants to go". Should McNair decide to punt and put off the decision until O'Brien's contract expires next year, sources say the Texans could be maintaining a hard work environment.

Smith released a statement on Sunday after the Texans' 22-13 Week 17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. O'Brien is now 31-33 in his four seasons in Houston.

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