PDA

View Full Version : Steelers' Smith showcases intensity


STEELtownHAVOX
11-01-2007, 09:28 AM
Another thread on good ol' Anthony Smith. I love the quote by Palmer, "Who is that?" He knows him now!

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_535636.html

By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, November 1, 2007


It was hours before kickoff, and Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer was still in sweatpants as he warmed up at Paul Brown Stadium.
Despite the relaxed atmosphere, Palmer was so perturbed after Anthony Smith accidentally bumped into him that Palmer stopped what he was doing just to glare at the Steelers free safety. After Smith had finished talking with Cincinnati wide receiver Chad Johnson -- he had sought out the perennial Pro Bowler to remind him to wear his mouthpiece during the game -- Palmer said to Johnson, "Who is that?"

The story is significant for two reasons: Palmer certainly knew who Smith was after the Steelers had beaten the Bengals, 24-13. And defensive backs coach Ray Horton, who saw Palmer's stare-down, never would have told Smith about it a year or even a month ago, because it might have consumed the second-year professional and cost the Steelers at some point during the game.

"He is growing up. He's maturing. He's understanding that you can't just be a hothead all the time," Horton said of Smith. "If this kid were on another team, he'd be a star."


story continues below



Smith has certainly had the look of one when he has gotten extended playing time.
Making his second start of the season on Sunday, Smith led the Steelers with eight tackles, and he laid several big licks on Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Cincinnati's other prized wideout.

With Ryan Clark still recovering from a spleen condition -- he didn't practice Wednesday, and the Steelers are leaning toward resting the sixth-year veteran for another week -- Smith is expected to start Monday night against the Ravens.

The grudge match that should take place at Heinz Field is well suited for Smith, since there is always plenty of hitting and jawing between the fierce AFC North rivals.

He can come across as quiet off the field, but put the former Syracuse standout in a helmet and pads, and the transformation is "Jekyll and Hyde," Smith said with a smile.

Indeed, his mouth runs almost as fast as his legs when he is on the field, and Smith never stops trying to satisfy the constant cravings he apparently has for collisions.

"Once I get on the field you can't tell me anything," said Smith, a third-round draft pick by the Steelers in 2006. "I'm trying to hit everything."

The intensity that makes him a devastating hitter has also gotten the better of him at times, and Horton ticked off some of the transgressions that set Smith back as he battled Clark for the starting job at free safety during training camp.

"Kicking balls, throwing balls, yelling at guys," Horton said. "In this game, you have to have focused aggression."

Horton said he flatly told Smith during training camp that he wouldn't play if he didn't learn to control his temper.

Clark won the starting job in large part because he was more disciplined than Smith on the field but Horton said the latter has made considerable strides in channeling his considerable aggression.

Smith, however, said he hasn't really changed.

"They just got used to it, really," he said of the coaches.

There is no disputing that Smith is a playmaker, as evidenced by the two interceptions he had in four starts last season and the game he had against the Bengals.

Smith, who usually shares time with Clark at free safety, does most of his hitting in the secondary, but Horton said the 5-foot-11, 192-pounder could also be a dangerous pass rusher.

The Steelers simply don't blitz much with their free safeties -- they usually stay back in coverage -- since strong safety Troy Polamalu moves around so frequently.

"If we didn't have Troy," said Horton, who played 10 seasons in the NFL, "this kid would be a dominant blitzer. I've told him to look at (Eagles All-Pro safety) Brian Dawkins, because this kid is that type of player. He's a big, strong, fast, tough kid that can catch."

83-Steelers-43
11-01-2007, 09:36 AM
The one thing that scares me about Smith, the way he hovers over guys after he knocks them into a different atmosphere. Love the intensity, love the hard hitting attitude, don't love 15 yard penalties.

Jman
11-01-2007, 09:46 AM
The one thing that scares me about Smith, the way he hovers over guys after he knocks them into a different atmosphere. Love the intensity, love the hard hitting attitude, don't love 15 yard penalties.

:sofunny:

:iagree:

klick81
11-01-2007, 11:32 AM
Yeah those 15 yarders will cancel out the purpose of the hard hits. No es bueno!

steelpride12
11-01-2007, 11:36 AM
Ha ya i agree with the 15 yard penalty thing, but this guy is crazy. He scares the death out of everyone each week and talks trash(Joey Porter), and he can back it up.

He is still young and has alot to learn when it comes to playing the pass, but boy watch out in 3 years he is going to be a full out beast!

STEELtownHAVOX
11-01-2007, 11:38 AM
My friend actually met Anthony Smith at a club in VA Beach back in March and said he was a cool guy. Didn't act ****y and was down-to Earth. I need to get his jersey. Either his, Santonios, or Woodleys.

83-Steelers-43
11-01-2007, 11:44 AM
Savern interviewed him last night on Sports Beat and he does seem like a cool guy. He just has to watch how he handles himself on the field after he makes a play.

Last season it was pretty obvious that Dick LeBeau won't put up with that stuff (grabbed him and reamed him out on the sidelines) and I strongly doubt Tomlin would be smiling after Smith makes that big hit and then decides to hover over a guy and receives a 15 yarder.

Hit him, hit him hard and then get out of there once the deed is done. If you really feel the need to trash talk on your way back, go for it. It's the hovering over a guy, dancing while in bounds after picking off a QB that hurts the team. It's all fun and games until that yellow flag is thrown.

SCSTILLER
11-01-2007, 11:56 AM
I liked how himTJ Whocareswhathisnameis were jawing with each other on one play the two collided, and then the next hit TJ didn't say crap because he got lit up! But, the 15 yard penalty was soon to come if it wasn't for Ike dragging him away. I agree with 83-Steelers-43, has to watch out for those penalties. Just lay him out, walk away, and let the game tapes speak for themselves.

Lord Stiller
11-01-2007, 12:04 PM
This coming game is the perfect game for Smith to shine in. The Ravens throw tons of 10 yard passes over the middle of the field to Mason and Heap. Smith should have plenty of opportunities to light people up

83-Steelers-43
11-01-2007, 12:09 PM
Smith should have plenty of opportunities to light people up

Last night during the interview he stated that we (fans) will not be disappointed. :wink02:

NastyLloyd95
11-01-2007, 01:46 PM
I love the fact that TJ gets his payback everytime he plays us. Maybe he will think twice before using our towel on his shoes. hope it was worth it TJ. Asshat.

Atlanta Dan
11-01-2007, 04:32 PM
The intensity that makes him a devastating hitter has also gotten the better of him at times, and Horton ticked off some of the transgressions that set Smith back as he battled Clark for the starting job at free safety during training camp.

"Kicking balls, throwing balls, yelling at guys," Horton said. "In this game, you have to have focused aggression."

Horton said he flatly told Smith during training camp that he wouldn't play if he didn't learn to control his temper.

Well that certainly answers my question as to why Smith was not a bigger threat to start during training camp.

As posted above, Smith came real close to a taunting call until Ike Taylor led him away last Sunday. He needs to pack that nonsense up for good.

The Duke
11-01-2007, 04:33 PM
Can't wait to see this kid against big name receivers and tight ends, he's gonna make them remember who he is. lol, Palmer didn't even know who he was, great game planning they got there in Cincinnati

alittlejazzbird
11-01-2007, 04:47 PM
Here's hoping Anthony Smith keeps learning how to harness that temper of his without sacrificing the aggression...because I for one am looking forward to December 9th....

Mr. Brady, meet Mr. Smith (and Mr. Harrison). Pleased to make your acquaintance, I'm sure.

Steeldude
11-01-2007, 05:24 PM
The one thing that scares me about Smith, the way he hovers over guys after he knocks them into a different atmosphere. Love the intensity, love the hard hitting attitude, don't love 15 yard penalties.

not just that but his fruitcake celebration dances have to go.

HometownGal
11-01-2007, 05:33 PM
After Smith had finished talking with Cincinnati wide receiver Chad Johnson -- he had sought out the perennial Pro Bowler to remind him to wear his mouthpiece during the game

Guess he shoulda listened to Anthony, huh? :sofunny:

I have to agree with the consensus here on Anthony learning to control his emotions on the field. It isn't going to happen overnight - it is going to be an acquired behavior for him, but that is where vets like Ike, Deshea and Troy come into play.

IDSteeler
11-01-2007, 05:44 PM
Smith reminds me of a younger John Lynch. The ability to lay a big hit on an opponent has a devastating effect on the opposing team. They will think twice before coming across the middle.

Galax Steeler
11-02-2007, 05:09 AM
If he can learn to controll his emotions then we will see some good hitting for years to come with smith and troy.

Galax Steeler
11-02-2007, 05:11 AM
Anthony Smith will get another chance to start at free safety Monday night, and that might not be encouraging news for some unsuspecting receiver for the Baltimore Ravens. Not if they saw some of Smith's big hits against the Cincinnati Bengals.

"Receivers better account for him," said inside linebacker Larry Foote. "His name is getting out there. The film being put out there in the league, receivers see it and they know they better be thinking about it when they go across the middle."

Nobody felt it more than Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

On back-to-back plays in the third quarter, Houshmandzadeh was hammered on pass attempts in the open field by Smith, who was starting for injured Ryan Clark (inflamed spleen). Houshmandzadeh caught the first pass for a 13-yard gain, but was separated from the ball on the second when Smith drilled him from behind. After the second hit, Houshmandzadeh stood up and verbally accosted Smith, a second-year safety.
Monday

* Game: Ravens (4-3) vs. Steelers (5-2), 8:30 p.m.
* Where: Heinz Field.
* TV: WTAE, ESPN.

"I loved every minute of it," said linebacker James Farrior. "I love when our defensive backs hit like that. It just makes us a better team."

Houshmandzadeh caught seven passes against the Steelers, including a 9-yard touchdown, but he paid the price nearly every time he caught a pass across the middle.

"He didn't say too much," Smith said. "I don't think he really wanted that type of trouble."

The Steelers are hoping Smith will do much the same against the Ravens, who have played the past two games without quarterback Steve McNair and most of the past three games without tight end Todd Heap. Smith will again replace Clark, who is expected to miss his second game in a row with an inflamed spleen.

Clark has not practiced since he was injured Oct. 21 in Denver.

"I think it's a big factor," said Smith, a third-round choice from Syracuse in 2006. "When you have great receivers like they have and you get them looking for safeties and not the ball, that gets them out of their game. That throws their timing off and throws their routes off."

"Anthony played really well," Coach Mike Tomlin said of Smith's performance against the Bengals, in which he had a team-high eight tackles (seven solo). "He made some plays and separated a few people from some balls, not unlike what we expected from him. We are making a conscious effort to make sure he gets reps and continues to grow as a professional."

Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau did that last season, too, trying to get Smith some playing time in the dime defense to get him acclimated to the speed of the NFL in general and the Steelers' defensive scheme in particular. He did the same thing with Troy Polamalu during his rookie season, knowing Polamalu would eventually be one of his starters the following year.

But when Clark was injured in Week 12, Smith stepped in and started the final four games, catching LeBeau's attention with two interceptions and a number of big hits in the secondary.

"Besides his tough, physical style, I think he has good range," Farrior said.

"That's probably what you want out of your free safety, a guy who can cover sideline to sideline."

Because of the way Smith ended the season, it was generally assumed he, not Clark, would be the starting free safety this season.

But Clark won the job in training camp, mainly because his style of not taking chances was a better fit with Polamalu, who plays closer to the line of scrimmage and is allowed to roam the field.

Smith admits he has to curb his aggressive, risk-taking style when he is paired with Polamalu because he is the last line of defense in the secondary.

Still, against the Ravens it is a chance for Smith to showcase his hard-hitting style and make other receivers take note of what Houshmandzadeh discovered the hard way.

"You go out there with controlled emotions and play hard," Smith said.

Asked if that is tough for him to do, he said: "Not at all. That's just what I do. That's my type of game. Now, if that's not in your character and you try to do that, emotions can take over. But that's just how I play."

Just call it controlled fury.

Atlanta Dan
11-02-2007, 07:57 AM
I am hoping they just are letting Clark heal and that he did not sustain hits to his inflamed spleen while playing in Denver that keeps him out past Baltimore and beyond.

With Clark having experienced problems on his last trip to Denver either Clark did not tell the medical staff about it or the medical staff did not exercise due diligence in trying to diagnose what happened the previous time.

So the media now gets to write the Smith stories they have been waiting for since he started popping receivers his rookie year.

tony hipchest
11-02-2007, 10:57 AM
With Clark having experienced problems on his last trip to Denver either Clark did not tell the medical staff about it or the medical staff did not exercise due diligence in trying to diagnose what happened the previous time.

. i will try to find the link, but from what i read, what happened to clark is pretty rare. through no real fault of their own, it was misdiagnosed by washingtons medical staff. from what i understood, clark woulda been fine in the altitude had he not been a football player burning so much oxygen.

clark was starting and playing ST's for the steelers. im thinking when he was with the redskins he wasnt taking as many snaps so the problem didnt seem as serious as it obviously is.

Welcome To Smashmouth
11-04-2007, 05:29 PM
S-T-A-R-T H-I-M