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[Cardinals] Smith wants to keep playing

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  • [Cardinals] Smith wants to keep playing

    Kent Somers
    The Arizona Republic
    Dec. 17, 2004 12:00 AM

    Running back Emmitt Smith appears to be leaning toward playing next year, provided there is an opportunity, but the chances of Smith playing for Arizona appear unlikely.

    Smith's contract with the Cardinals expires after this season but he doesn't sound like a guy who is ready to retire.

    "I don't have no problem playing next year," Smith, 35, said Thursday in his weekly interview session with reporters. "I've enjoyed my stay here with Denny (Green). He's given me an opportunity to get back on the football field and showcase my talent, whereas earlier this year there was a chance I was going to be a backup." advertisement

    Coach Dennis Green declined to address the issue of Smith's future on Thursday.

    "I haven't thought about anything but the Rams right now," he said, referring to Sunday's game. "We have three games to go and I'm focused on the first game."

    Smith has gained 732 yards on 202 carries this season, a 3.6-yard average, and has rushed for nine touchdowns.

    He came to Arizona in 2003, signing a two-year, $7.5 million deal, with the goal of helping the team make the playoffs, but that hasn't happened. The Cardinals went 4-12 last year and are 4-9 now.

    "I'm not totally happy with the way I performed, in terms of the success of the team and all," Smith said. "That's really what's important, outside my individual performance.

    "If the opportunity comes and presents itself to come back, I would seriously look at that and take it into consideration. But if the opportunity does not come, then I feel like I have failed my mission."

    Smith also said comments he made last Sunday about coaching were misinterpreted.

    After the 31-28 loss to San Francisco, Smith said that players sometimes have to overcome coaching. What he meant, he said, is that players occasionally have to make last-second adjustments on the field.

    That might mean doing something you're not necessarily coached to do, he said, but that's not an indictment of Green and his staff.

    "I feel like the comment was definitely taken towards a negative," Smith said. "I didn't mean it toward Denny or any of the coaching staff that we have. But you guys (reporters) in such a rare form right now, so busy wanting to jump on somebody's head, you're willing to take it and put it in your article and write it in the way that you mean it."

    Green said the remark didn't bother him, but on Monday he reminded players to be careful about what they say to reporters.

    "A lot of times you say a lot and only a certain amount gets written," Green said. "I didn't pay that much attention to it, to be honest with you."

Related Topics


  • DJRamFan
    [Cardinals] Smith links bad execution, coaching
    by DJRamFan
    Kent Somers
    The Arizona Republic
    Dec. 13, 2004 12:00 AM

    Cardinals running back Emmitt Smith has gained considerable knowledge in his 15 NFL seasons, but there are questions for which he has no answers. Such as, how could the Cardinals play so poorly in the first half and so well in the second Sunday against the *****?

    "If I knew the answers to those things I would know how to find Osama bin Laden," he said.

    The offense went nowhere in the first half, gaining 135 yards and scoring three points. advertisement

    But in the second half, it rallied for 235 yards and 25 points, helping to send the game to overtime. Smith had little room to run in the first half, gaining 13 yards on 10 carries, but he was effective in the fourth quarter, gaining 36 yards on five carries, including an 8-yard touchdown run.

    It wasn't enough. The Cardinals lost 31-28 in overtime.

    In the first half, Smith was getting hit in the backfield. In the second, he was finding creases in the defense.

    "When you have guys taking shots in the backfield, untouched, that's an execution problem," he said. "I don't think guys actually got physically beat that bad, that's a mistake somewhere along the line."

    Some of the mistakes the Cardinals are making are "elementary," he said.

    Players need to evaluate their effort, study habits and communication with each other, Smith said. And he seemed to suggest that coaching plays a part, too.

    "I think we have enough experience and played in enough games to know how to overcome certain things," he said. "Sometimes you have to overcome coaching. Sometimes you just have to do that."

    That Smith was even playing was amazing to Cardinals coach Dennis Green. Smith missed last week's game against Detroit with a sprained left toe, and it bothered him throughout this week.

    Smith was "pretty amazed," he said. But there are questions about how much he has left. He's in the last year of his contract, but sounded Sunday as if he wants to continue playing.

    "I still think I can be a 1,000-yard back for the Cardinals or for anybody," he said. "You've seen me perform this year."

    But he came to Arizona with the desire to help the Cardinals make the playoffs. That hasn't happened.

    "The only thing I could say is that my mission has failed," he said. "I feel like I've failed my position and feel like I have not done enough."
    -12-13-2004, 10:08 AM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Smith OK After Hospital Visit
    by r8rh8rmike
    Smith OK After Hospital Visit
    Monday, November 30, 2009

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    Of all the injuries and ailments plaguing the Rams on Sunday against Seattle, it was one case of nausea on the sideline that perhaps caused the most concern.

    Rams tackle Jason Smith, inactive for the contest against the Seahawks because of lingering effects from a concussion suffered a week earlier against Arizona, was on the sideline watching the Rams and Seahawks on Sunday afternoon when he suddenly began to feel ill.

    Smith complained of a nauseous feeling that led to vomiting and light headedness. He was promptly whisked away to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis for tests and observation just before the start of the fourth quarter.

    “I was experiencing some things that weren’t real normal,” Smith said Monday afternoon. “I asked the doctors what’s going on with me. He said to take the proper precautions to what you feel and get you out of here to get you checked out. That’s what we did. I was sick and vomiting and wasn’t feeling good.”

    Because Smith is still recovering from the concussion he suffered last week, the doctors wanted to take a closer look and run a battery of tests that would determine if or how the nausea related to his concussion symptoms.

    The good news, revealed by coach Steve Spagnuolo and athletic trainer Jim Anderson on Monday afternoon, is that Smith passed all of those tests with nothing out of the ordinary showing up on them.

    Smith said Monday there was no hard evidence from his CAT scan that the symptoms he suffered from on Sunday were a direct result of his concussion. In fact, Smith says he was never told that the two were related though that remained a possibility.

    “They tested me on a couple of different things,” Smith said. “They never said it was because of the concussion. It was like something was wrong with your stomach or whatever.”

    At the conclusion of those tests, Smith was released from the hospital and allowed to return home Sunday evening.

    “It sounds like he’s OK which is a good thing,” Spagnuolo said.

    Before Sunday, Smith said he had awoken feeling different every day but had not yet felt illness like he did on Sunday.
    As with most concussions, there are variety of symptoms that go along with the injury. In some cases, those symptoms can be triggered by various factors.

    For instance, basketball star Blake Griffin suffered a concussion while playing for Oklahoma last year and complained that it was made worse by attending a home game he wasn’t playing in by the myriad lights and loud noises in the arena that night.

    “There are all kinds of symptoms that happen with a concussion,” Smith said. “They say noise and they say lights but obviously you having one, you feel all those things. It...
    -12-01-2009, 11:52 PM
  • RamWraith
    Smith gets a chance to start with Rams
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Sunday, Aug. 06 2006

    Paul Smith came into the NFL as an unheralded fifth-round pick out of Texas-El

    In six NFL seasons with San Francisco and Detroit, he has only one touchdown on
    his resume.

    A fullback-halfback 'tweener, his very modest career totals are 210 yards
    rushing and 182 yards receiving. To put that in perspective, Marshall Faulk has
    topped those rushing and receiving totals in a single game.

    Fittingly, Smith joined the Rams with no fanfare May 6, signing a one-year deal
    paying him $585,000 in base salary.

    And at Saturday's scrimmage, when the Rams' offensive unit broke the huddle for
    its first play - there was Smith, again minus the fanfare, with the starters.

    "I guess they like what I've done at practice," Smith, 28, said. "I'm happy for
    the opportunity to do that. Hopefully, I'll run with it and do well."

    Smith learned Friday that he would work with the starting unit - ahead of last
    year's Rams starter, Madison Hedgecock.

    Kind of made your day, right?

    "Oh yeah," Smith said. "It made my whole year."

    Whether Smith holds on to the job remains to be seen. But he has clearly made
    an impression with coach Scott Linehan and his staff.

    "A fullback's role is a thankless job," Linehan said. "Paul comes out every
    day, and he tries to put it right on the numbers and put a guy on his back. And
    that's what you're looking for. Plus, he has the ability to catch the ball."

    Previously, Smith had carved out a niche for himself in the NFL as a hard-nosed
    special teams player.

    "I've always been the wedge-buster, things like that," Smith said. "Setting the
    tempo for games. Sticking my nose in there on lead blocks and things like that."

    Over the years, Smith has gotten a few chances at halfback and fullback, for
    three seasons with Steve Mariucci in San Francisco, and then following Mariucci
    to Detroit in 2003.

    Smith has been slowed by injuries at times. He missed five weeks in 2002 in San
    Francisco with a hamstring injury. He missed the entire 2004 season in Detroit
    with a shoulder injury.

    On the field, whether it was at halfback or fullback, Smith rarely touched the
    football. In 55 NFL games, he has only 46 carries and 18 receptions. His career
    high in receptions - five - came in '03, when Smith's Lions upset the Rams
    30-20 in a regular-season finale that cost St. Louis home-field advantage in
    the playoffs.

    But playing fullback, Smith says, "is not about stats. What your running back
    -08-07-2006, 05:00 AM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Smith Progressing Well
    by r8rh8rmike
    Smith Progressing Well
    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    After almost every practice since the Rams made him the No. 2 pick in this year’s NFL Draft, Jason Smith can be found out on the practice field doing two things.

    First and foremost, Smith has made a habit of staying after practice to work with offensive line coaches Art Valero and Steve Loney on something he feels needed improvement from the just-completed workout.

    When that is done, about 20 minutes later, Smith can be found hauling around the pads of his veteran teammates.

    “It’s what I am but I am not doing it just to be doing it,” Smith said. “It’s something that I need to work on that day technically or physically. There’s always something to work on.”

    Such is the life of a rookie in the NFL. And while those parts of it are normal, Smith’s approach to the game is anything but.

    The Rams completed their final two a day practice of this year’s training camp on Tuesday afternoon. With that, the team is almost halfway through the preseason and Smith’s development process is in full swing.

    From the moment he arrived in St. Louis, plenty of people have placed some weighty expectations on Smith but the coaching staff has ignored that and asked Smith to earn his position.

    Until Tuesday, Smith had extremely limited repetitions with the first team offense as he has worked almost exclusively as the second-team right tackle behind Adam Goldberg.

    Nothing has been handed to him and Smith has asked for nothing in return. Instead, Smith is lapping up every opportunity to learn the game from his veteran teammates.

    Nary a player has been more helpful in that regard than Goldberg. Although Goldberg and Smith are technically competing for the job at right tackle, neither seems too concerned with beating out the other.

    Quite the opposite, in fact.

    “I take that as part of my role but I tell you what, he doesn’t need too many tips,” Goldberg said. “He’s going to be a really good football player and he’s a great person too, the kind of guy that you like to help out because he works hard, doesn’t take anything for granted, takes good notes, asks good questions. So he’s the type of young player that you want to help and want to see succeed.”

    The modest Goldberg won’t take much credit for helping Smith learn the nuances of the NFL but Smith is quick to credit Goldberg for stepping into the mentor role.

    “I feel that if Goldberg wasn’t here I would have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off,” Smith said. “What is the competition? The competition is Rams vs. whoever we play. It’s not amongst each other. Obviously we are going to make each other better by communicating things we see but if he wasn’t here, how far along would I...
    -08-18-2009, 08:23 PM
  • RamsFan16
    Smith in Familiar Spot
    by RamsFan16
    Smith in Familiar Spot
    Friday, February 24, 2006

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    INDIANAPOLIS – In more ways than one, Brad Smith has been in this position before. In fact, it’s almost old hat.

    The Missouri quarterback arrived at the NFL combine here this week with hopes of playing quarterback at the game’s highest level. The only problem with that is that Smith is another in a recent string of athletic quarterbacks who are better athletes than quarterbacks.

    Although Smith brought the Missouri program from the dregs of the Big 12 Conference back to respectability with a bowl win in his senior season and became the only player in the history of the NCAA to throw for 8,000 yards and run for 4,000, he just doesn’t have what it takes to play quarterback in the NFL in the minds of many NFL scouts and coaches. Those same coaches and scouts would have no problems with Smith working out as a receiver or even a safety.

    Still, Smith insisted on working out as a quarterback and he will do so Sunday morning with the hopes that he will show an arm that is strong and accurate enough to complement his tremendous speed.

    “I feel like I'm a quarterback and can be a great quarterback down the line in the league with the opportunity to develop and learn a system,” Smith said. “I want to play quarterback, that's where my heart is.”
    In the weeks since he led the Tigers to an Independence Bowl victory against South Carolina, Smith has worked out every day, throwing as many passes as possible. He has been running and says he has been clocking in the low 4.4s in the 40-yard dash.

    But running has never been Smith’s problem. He is Missouri’s all-time leading rusher with 4,289 yards and holds almost every other record in school history.

    It’s Smith’s ability (or inability) to be consistent in the passing game that has him in a precarious position as he prepares for the draft. Smith has been tinkered and toyed with for all of his time at Missouri, alternately working in a run heavy offense and leading a pass happy unit.

    But the numbers point only to a player who is great when the ball is in his hands and average at best when he lets it fly. Smith’s best passing season came as a junior when he completed 60.3 percent of his passes, but he never went above that number and completed a meager 51.8 percent as a junior.

    That junior season was also the team’s worst year and the year in which the Missouri coaching staff attempted to tweak the offense the most. Even when Smith was completing passes, they generally were quick hits or dump offs as he averaged less than 6 yards per completion in each of his final three seasons.

    For those many reasons, there is one person with some advice for Smith when it comes to changing positions. Corby Jones, the former Missouri quarterback who held most of Smith’s records...
    -02-25-2006, 05:51 PM