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Old 10-29-2007, 11:58 AM   #12
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Default Re: Steelers secondary quiets Bengals wideouts

Originally Posted by rbryan View Post
Someone said they saw a tooth fly out of Chads head toward the end of the game when he buried his head in the turf. Anyone know if this is true??

I'm sure players get thier teeth knocked out all the time but I was just wondering if it was true

Here is the story

Steelers: Smith gets in
Bengals WRs' heads
By: Chris Harlan, Times Sports Staff

CINCINNATI - Anthony Smith went hunting for Bengals receiver Chad Johnson during pregame warm-ups.

Smith had a message. Actually, it was more of a warning.
"I just told him to make sure he keeps his mouthpiece in," said Smith, the Steelers hard-hitting safety with a growing reputation for talking trash and punishing receivers.

"Chad said he don't wear one."

That became obvious.

Johnson slammed face-first into the Paul Brown Stadium turf in the third quarter when Smith broke up a long pass intended for the Pro Bowl receiver and out popped the removable gold caps that covered Johnson's teeth.How embarrassing.

"Those came out when he hit the ground," Smith said with a wide smile after the 24-13 victory, during which the second-year safety laid several spectacular hits on Cincinnati receivers.

The Steelers secondary succeeded in containing Cincinnati's tandem of big-play receivers and Smith, who led the team with eight tackles, was claiming his share of the credit.

"Anthony Smith is growing and developing each time out," coach Mike Tomlin said.

Johnson had five catches for 51 yards. T.J. Houshmandzadeh had seven catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. Smith said he had them a little preoccupied.

"They were looking for me," he said "I had their heads on a swivel. That made it difficult for them. ... It's good to get some hits on the receivers because they start looking for you instead of looking for the ball."

The gold teeth are part of Johnson's attention-grabbing antics. Having Troy Polamalu hand them back after taking a big hit had to be humbling. Johnson left the Bengals locker room without talking to reporters, refusing to discuss Smith or anything else.

And still the hit on Johnson wasn't Smith's favorite.

"I probably got a better hit on T.J.," he said. "I liked that one better."

That hit came just two plays later.

Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh caught a 13-yard pass along the Cincinnati sideline and then Smith flattened him from behind with his shoulder, pushing him off the field.

"I told him to get off the field because he's done," Smith said.

The two are starting to form a rivalry; Smith drilled Houshmandzadeh in the ribs during last year's season finale.

"You can hit me if I don't see you coming," Houshmandzadeh said dismissively. "That's not hard to do. It's football. He had a free shot."

Smith was starting at free safety in place of Ryan Clark, who was sidelined while recovering from an inflamed spleen. The two have rotated throughout the season, with the exception of the Seattle game when Smith started in place of Polamalu.

"They've been looking for me already," Smith said. "They've seen on film what I did our first couple games. They already had their heads up."

And for a second-year player, he talks a good game.

"I've been talking since I was in Little League," Smith said. "I can't change that now."
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