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lamberts-lost-tooth
08-26-2008, 04:07 AM
Steelers' Smith returning to form
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, August 25, 2008

All by himself, Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith caved in the right side of the Minnesota Vikings' offensive line and sacked quarterback Gus Frerotte on his first pass attempt during Saturday night's 12-10 preseason win.

Smith's teammates fed off Smith's emotion the rest of the game -- and not a moment too soon.

As Smith goes, so goes the Steelers' defensive line.

Until Saturday night, the defensive line was moving in the wrong direction. But not anymore.

"He's the guy that gets us all fired up," nose tackle Chris Hoke said when asked about Smith's five-tackle, one-sack performance in the first half. "He's the leader of our defensive line."

The Steelers have been waiting for Smith to once again play like the guy who requires two offensive linemen to block him. The Steelers were willing to wait a little longer, if that's what it took, while Smith recovered from biceps surgery.

It's official: The wait is over.

When Smith is at his disruptive best, as he was against Minnesota -- shoving blockers back on their heels and making a beeline for the passer -- it opens things up for his teammates.

"Mentally, I just tried to focus on coming out of the game earlier and getting into it," Smith said.

The main benefactor Saturday night was left outside Linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who lines up on Smith's side. Woodley also had five tackles and a sack in the first half.

Coincidence? Not a chance.

"He dominated their front," Hoke said when asked about Smith's impact. "It was just one of those things that fuels the fire. He was all excited, and everybody kind of rallies around that."

You wouldn't know it to watch him on the field, but Smith is one of the Steelers' most excitable players.

He wants to win as much as anyone on the team. But he doesn't always show how he feels.

"It's fun when we play hard and get after it and run around hitting people," Smith said. "That's the kind of football we're used to playing."

Smith, though, wasn't used to what he was experiencing.

The biceps injury knocked him off his game and left him feeling helpless. Last season was the first time he missed a game because of injury since entering the NFL in 1999.

Against Minnesota, Smith felt more like his old self.

"Every week seems to be getting better and better," Smith said. "I'm starting to feel more comfortable."

Likewise, the Steelers defense is feeling better with Smith back where he belongs.
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_584691.html

Galax Steeler
08-26-2008, 04:50 AM
I just hope he can stay healthy the whole season when we lost him last year it just seemed like our line went with him I won't to see the line of old this year.

Elvis
08-26-2008, 05:18 AM
I love Smith, and I know I under estimated what he meant to our defense last year and that wont happen again to me I promise.. Just glad to hear that he and big snack will be back for regular season
:tt02:

stlrtruck
08-26-2008, 10:35 AM
I don't know why the rest of the D-Line is "waiting" on him for emotion. As a player you should be ready to go every freakin' Game Day..PERIOD!!!
If I waited on my co-workers to get me to do my assigned job, I wouldn't get squat done!!!

SteelMember
08-26-2008, 10:51 AM
I don't know why the rest of the D-Line is "waiting" on him for emotion. As a player you should be ready to go every freakin' Game Day..PERIOD!!!
If I waited on my co-workers to get me to do my assigned job, I wouldn't get squat done!!!

I'd get the squat done right after my coffee and bagel, but work....No.:chuckle:

Havik
08-29-2008, 12:42 AM
Aaron Smith has to be the most underrated player in the game today, and his presence is a big reason the Steelers are so good at stopping the run. He made so many plays against the Vikings and has looked great this preseason. I just hope he stays healthy and continues to be productive.