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devilsdancefloor
03-06-2009, 11:59 AM
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20090305/PKR01/90305179/1954/PKR03

The Green Bay Packers could be moving in on their first free-agent signing of this offseason.


The likely candidate, though, isn’t Dallas outside linebacker Kevin Burnett, who will visit the Packers this weekend if he doesn’t sign with one of three teams he’s already visited.

Rather, it’s Pittsburgh safety Anthony Smith.

The Packers appear determined to add a bargain-type safety with experience in the 3-4 defense to help the transition to that scheme and protect against personnel losses in the future.

An NFL source said the Packers had Smith in for a visit on Wednesday and have “strong interest” in signing him. NationalFootballPost.com first reported the Packers’ pursuit of the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Smith, who played in the Steelers’ 3-4 defense the past three seasons.

Smith, 25, was a third-round draft pick by the Steelers in 2006 and started 14 games his first two seasons, including 10 as an injury replacement in 2007.

However, his overly aggressive play at free safety, where the Steelers prefer a more cautious last line of defense, apparently put him in defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau’s dog house, so last year he was strictly a backup who played mostly on special teams.

The Steelers determined Smith had no future with them with LeBeau as coordinator, so they did not tender him an offer as a restricted free agent, leaving him unfettered to sign with any team.

The Packers’ interest in Smith likely stems from new safeties coach Darren Perry, who was Smith's secondary coach with the Steelers in 2006 before coaching with Oakland for the past two seasons.

Earlier this week, the Packers also brought in Cleveland safety Mike Adams for a visit. He also has drawn interest from the New England Patriots.

The Packers return starting safeties Nick Collins and Atari Bigby, but neither has played in the 3-4, and both will be unrestricted free agents next offseason if the current free-agent rules remain in place.

The Packers also remain interested in Burnett, but the strong competition to sign him could spur the kind of bidding war General Manager Ted Thompson has sat out in free agency.

Burnett, a potential starting outside linebacker in the Packers’ 3-4, has visited Oakland, San Diego and Houston. His agent, Ricky Lefft, was negotiating with the Raiders and Chargers and expected to start talks with the Texans later Thursday.

Lefft said the Packers remain interested in Burnett and have set up a tentative visit for Saturday if he hasn’t signed with another team.

“(Burnett) has just gotten to Houston and we want to see what Houston has to offer,” Lefft said Thursday afternoon. “We’re continuing in discussions with the other two teams and closing in pretty quickly in the next day or two to try to get something done. Still very interested in the possibility of something materializing with Green Bay, but it doesn’t look like that will happen, if at all, until Saturday.”

In his five years as general manager, Thompson has taken a conservative and disciplined approach to free agency in which he sets a value on a player and won’t go above it.

“We’ve got ongoing discussions with real numbers and real opportunities on the table,” Lefft said. “We’re going to (explore) the opportunity here relative to the folks at Houston.”

revefsreleets
03-06-2009, 12:10 PM
Loads of talent, a "Splash play" type of player, but lacks discipline and is a hot head.

Dino 6 Rings
03-06-2009, 12:14 PM
I find it interesting that Lebaugh just basically tossed this guy off the team.

Guess Dick L saw NOTHING in this kid he liked. I was pretty high on Smith too when we first got him on our team. Loved his hitting. Too bad, kid had some skills.

XxKnightxX
03-06-2009, 12:25 PM
Hope he signs and starts for the Packturds so that when they come to Heinz field we burn him for 40 bombs. now If someone can actually catch them......

steelreserve
03-06-2009, 12:26 PM
An NFL source said the Packers had Smith in for a visit on Wednesday and have “strong interest” in signing him. NationalFootballPost.com first reported the Packers’ pursuit of the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Smith, who played in the Steelers’ 3-4 defense the past three seasons.

What are they talking about? He didn't play in our defense last season! :chuckle:

It's too bad. The guy had flashes of brilliance, but I also remember him getting burned a few times. I guess being a gambler and hot-dogging it is a bad combination for our system. Seems like we did fine without him though.

KeiselPower99
03-06-2009, 12:38 PM
Like most of you I really thought he was gonna be a stud. But when Tomlin let LeBeau run the d the way he wanted he was to aggressive for it. I guess if Cowher was still here he would be our starter instead of Clark.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-06-2009, 12:58 PM
I think Smith is a guy with SS mentality that plays FS. He will be a good player in the league, but not gonna play sitting behind Troy in the burgh.

Good for the Packers if they get him, and we dont have to play against them every year. If he starts, I predict 4 INT's and a ton of WOOOOOO hits for Smitty next season.

SCSTILLER
03-06-2009, 01:22 PM
I think Smith is a guy with SS mentality that plays FS. He will be a good player in the league, but not gonna play sitting behind Troy in the burgh.

Good for the Packers if they get him, and we dont have to play against them every year. If he starts, I predict 4 INT's and a ton of WOOOOOO hits for Smitty next season.


Why couldn't he do that for us then? He has the physical tools to beat out Clark at FS, but not the mental tools!

HometownGal
03-06-2009, 03:01 PM
If he can get his head issues under control, this kid is going to be a damned good safety in this league. That's a big IF but maybe a "change of venue" will turn his head around so that it sits squarely on his shoulders instead of crooked.

steelerbuckeye
03-06-2009, 03:04 PM
Good. screw him.

jjpro11
03-06-2009, 04:41 PM
I find it interesting that Lebaugh just basically tossed this guy off the team.

Guess Dick L saw NOTHING in this kid he liked. I was pretty high on Smith too when we first got him on our team. Loved his hitting. Too bad, kid had some skills.

I'll take Lebeau's opinion of the guy over any other person's in the nfl.

lilyoder6
03-06-2009, 04:50 PM
i would see smith play a good ss and be a very good run support as well.. good player and tackler but we have that in troy.. we need more of a cover fs

RoethlisBURGHer
03-06-2009, 06:37 PM
If they let him roam and just obliterate people, he'll be a good fit. we already have that player in Troy Polamalu, and Smith didn't want to play within the framework if the Dick LeBeau 3-4 Zone Blitz.

He has the skills to be a force, maybe he can be with the Packers.

stillers4me
03-06-2009, 08:01 PM
Friday, March 6, 2009
Packers, Smith agree to deal
The Green Bay Packers have agreed to a contract with safety Anthony Smith, an NFL source said today.


Smith, 25, played for Pittsburgh the past three years.
posted by PackersNews.com at 5:39 PM

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/ic/blogs/insider/2009/03/packers-smith-agree-to-deal.html

Hapa
03-06-2009, 08:06 PM
Phew! I was worried it was Aaron Smith, I almsot cried.

BrandonCarr39
03-07-2009, 01:41 AM
The Packers play in the NFCN, so know knows? When you play Kyle Orton and his sorry receivers/Tavaris Jackson/Win-LESS Lions 2 X's each/yr, then ANYONE can look like a star.

Galax Steeler
03-07-2009, 07:30 AM
I think Smith has the talent as someone stated above he needs to get his head screwed on right.

Godfather
03-08-2009, 03:04 PM
I think he'll be a good player in GB as long as they pair him with a disciplined, stay at home SS.