Antonio Smith: Claims not serious

Updated: December 2, 2013, 10:45 PM ET
By Tania Ganguli | ESPN.com

HOUSTON -- Antonio Smith said Monday that his comments about being suspicious of the New England Patriots' knowledge of the Texans' defense were taken more seriously than he intended.

"Though it may be something I was curious about that kind of didn't seem right, like, 'How all of a sudden the change here?', it wasn't a serious matter to where I was thinking, 'Aw, man, they're spying on us, they're cheating,' things like that to the point where it gets to a big story about me accusing them of cheating," Smith said. "It's me being me."

Asked about Smith's comments during his news conference Monday, Texans coach Gary Kubiak began shaking his head while the reporter finished his question.

"I have the utmost respect for their organization, their players, their coaches, their head coach and the standard that they've been setting for a long, long time in this league," Kubiak said. "So, you know, they did a great job yesterday and have been doing it a long time."

On Sunday after the Texans' 34-31 loss to the Patriots, Smith said he found it "very suspicious" that the Patriots' offense seemed to know about new defensive wrinkles the Texans had added last week. He said his suspicion stemmed from the fact that the Patriots seemed to know those changes were coming before seeing them on the field despite the fact that the Texans had never used them in a previous game.

"Either they were spying on us or scouting us," Smith said.

The attention his comments received surprised Smith. He said his teammates teased him about it. He said he didn't think about his comments after saying them until Monday morning when "everybody wanted to kill me on Instagram."

Told spying is a sensitive word when used about the Patriots, Smith said he realizes that now.

"I'm sorry I said the word spying because of a prior engagement of them being caught spying before," Smith said. " ... It don't matter to me. Those are the battles, those types of battles are between coaches. Schemes and different things like [that, it's] between coaches. My battle is trying to figure out how to beat the guy in front of me."

The NFL fined Patriots coach Bill Belichick $500,000 and the team $250,000 and took away a 2008 first-round pick for videotaping the New York Jets' signals during a game on Sept. 9, 2007. Belichick called it a mistake and attributed his mistake to a misinterpretation of the rules.

"It tickles me how much the country loves the Patriots so much that they take everything so seriously," Smith said. "I don't know what to say about it. I guess no media is bad media; thank you for getting me on ESPN for taking Tonestradamus' word and his soothsayer abilities to new heights. I don't know what else to say about it."

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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