Dec. 14, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - In the process of hiring new head football coach Darrell Hazell earlier this month, Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke solicited the advice and council of two National Football League general managers - Ryan Grigson of the Indianapolis Colts and Rick Smith of the Houston Texans - who also happen to be Boilermaker alums.
Grigson was an offensive tackle from 1991 to 1994 and Smith a defensive back from 1987 to 1991 and subsequently a graduate assistant coach (1993) and assistant coach (1994-95). So their paths clearly crossed at Purdue.
Now, they are rivals in the AFC South, and their teams square off Sunday in Houston.
ESPN.com's Adam Schefter wrote about their relationship - and how Smith helped Grigson, who, in turn, has helped Colts' head coach Chuck Pagano and his battle with leukemia - in his 10 Spot commentary today.
"Smith and Grigson have been instrumental in building two of football's best teams," Schefter said. "Smith has stockpiled enough talent to make the Texans a certified Super Bowl contender, while Grigson has put back together a franchise that had fallen into disrepair. Now, for the first time, they will square off as general managers the way they once did at practice at Purdue."