From Robaire Smith's days as a Tennessee Titan and while now playing in Houston, he and Tarik Glenn are very familiar with each other. In his second season in Houston, Smith is still adapting to playing in the 3-4, but is also starting to find his niche. He shows some flair and solid moves as a pass rusher, but pass-rushing is no longer his strong suit. So he will often be replaced by rookie Tre Johnson at DE when Houston employs the nickel or dime.
Nevertheless, he is still very good at defending the run. He stacks and sheds well, especially if taking on just a single blocker. Smith also shows solid hand use, short area burst and explosion to the ball. The problem is that his explosion and burst are not consistent enough, because he is often guilty of running a hot-and-cold motor. This, however, is becoming less of a problem since Smith is not an every down player anymore.
The man Smith will have to deal with on early downs and short yardage situations is LT Tarik Glenn. For a man with such a large mass, Glenn moves extremely well. He uses his size to engulf defenders in the running game. His explosive strength, excellent use of hands, and ability to lock on and run his feet make him a very solid run blocker.
In pass protection, he shows a solid initial punch, a strong two-arm extension and he anchors well against a power rush. He also uses his long arm extension very well to handle a wide rusher, but will struggle with straight speed guys. But even with speed rushers, he won't give up a lot of sacks -- but will definitely give up some pressures.
Smith stacks so well and has enough short area explosion that Glenn will have a difficult time engulfing him. So it's important that the Colts lineman gets his hands on him. If not, Smith could pose a problem for the Colts running game. Don't be surprised on certain running sitautions to see any extra blocker helping Glenn from time to time.
Key Matchup: Tarik Glenn vs Robaire Smith
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