The history between Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith and Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito is not pleasant at all, and after what happened in the Texans' 24-17 preseason victory Saturday, it could become a lot more unpleasant for Smith.
On Fox Sports One's "Fox Football Daily" show, NFL analyst Jay Glazer showed exclusive video of Smith reacting to a borderline block from Incognito by ripping off Ingocnito's helmet and taking a swing at him. In Week 1 of the 2012 season, the Texans and Dolphins faced off, and Smith was fined $21,000 for kicking Incognito. The fine was reduced to $11,000 on appeal, and Smith claimed he kicked Incognito to stop him from twisting his ankle.
"I talked to Richie about this today," Glazer said on the show. "He said, 'Luckily, I saw it coming and ducked down, and he got me in the shoulder instead of the face. But had he gotten me in the face, he could have killed me.' So, he's outraged. Antonio Smith was outraged last year when he was on the bottom of the pile and Richie was twisting his ankle around."
Mike Pereira, the FOX rules analyst and former NFL VP of Officiating, compared this to an incident that took place between then-Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and Dallas Cowboys center Andre Gurode on Oct. 1, 2006. Haynesworth ripped off Gurode's helmet at the end of a play in the third quarter and stomped on Gurode's head, causing an injury that required 30 stitches to repair. Haynesworth was ejected from the game and received a five-game suspension from the league.
"They look at it as a non-football act," Pereira said. "This pulling off of the helmet and actually taking a swing -- they'll be more aggressive with their discipline."
No penalty was called on Saturday's helmet swing. Pereira also pointed out that in 2011, Smith was fined $7,500 for pulling off Gurode's helmet in a game between the Texans and the Baltimore Ravens. The most recent Smith incident also brings to mind a play in a Thanksgiving Day game in 2011 between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. In that game, Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh pushed Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith's head into the turf and stomped on his arm. Suh was suspended two games for that move.