Antonio Smith says he's 'a lot smarter' post suspension


The Houston Texans will receive a much-needed boost on the defensive line when Antonio Smith returns to action on Sunday after serving a suspension for swinging a helmet at Miami Dolphins offensive guard Richie Incognito.

The mistake kept Smith out of the Texans' final two preseason games and the season opener, but the man who often refers to himself as the "Ninja Assassin" said he's learned from the experience.

"I used to be a caged animal," Smith told the Houston Chronicle. "Now I'm a precision assassin."

Houston's defensive line could have used Smith in the Texansopening week win over the San Diego Chargers. Perhaps it will be worth the wait, though.

"I'm a lot smarter now (after the suspension)," Smith said Friday.

Having Smith back against a run-heavy Tennessee Titans offense on Sunday will be a huge boon for coach Wade Phillips' defense. Smith plays a key role opposite J.J. Watt in putting pressure on the opposing quarterback and fortifying the line rotation.

If Smith indeed is a smarter "assassin" this season, the Texans' defensive front will once again be a group not to be trifled with.

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