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Old 12-06-2006, 06:49 AM   #1
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Default Steelers safety Smith exudes quiet confidence

Steelers safety Smith exudes quiet confidence

By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, December 6, 2006


Anthony Smith has impressed veterans in the Steelers' locker room a variety of ways, including how he carries himself.

The former Syracuse standout is generally seen, not heard, before and after practices at the team's South Side facility.

"All he wants is to do his job and play," starting free safety Ryan Clark said.

Talking - and doing it loudly - will be a significant part of his job Thursday night.

Clark (groin) will miss the 8 p.m. game against the visiting Browns, and Smith will start in his place.

A major responsibility he inherits, for at least one game, is calling the signals in the defensive backfield. That means Smith will have to be loud enough to be heard over the din at Heinz Field and firm enough so he doesn't come across as some wide-eyed rookie making his first NFL start.

Smith doesn't figure to be overwhelmed Thursday night, simply because he has had almost a whole season to learn the position.

"It will be a good experience for me, get in there and show what I can do," said Smith, who has been credited with 14 tackles this season, 12 of those coming on special teams.

As Steelers coach Bill Cowher said after practice Tuesday, "He's ready."

Smith also is willing and apparently more than able.

"I think he's a great talent, unbelievably blessed," Clark said. "He's made enough plays throughout his career that when he's out there, he knows he can do positive things."

Smith made enough plays during his four years at Syracuse - he holds the career record for blocked kicks (six) and has the third-most interceptions (14) in school history -- that the Steelers took him with the first of their two third-round selections in the 2006 draft.

The offseason signing of Clark allowed the Steelers to bring Smith along slowly, and he's played primarily on special teams while also seeing some time when the team goes to its dime defense or when Clark is injured.

He made a couple of jarring tackles on special teams in last Sunday's 20-3 win over the Buccaneers, giving fans a glimpse of the kind of hits he can deliver.

Smith and Tyrone Carter will be expected to dish out some punishment tomorrow while helping position their fellow defensive backs.

Carter will start for Troy Polamalu (knee) at strong safety, and because the veteran has experience playing free safety, he will help Smith with calling the signals, Cowher said.

"There's a lot of energy with those two guys," Cowher said.

Smith should have plenty of it, though none will come from pent-up frustration over his role and how limited it has been this season.

Biding his time may have been the best thing, Smith said, because it allowed him to get comfortable at free safety as well as playing in the dime package.

The biggest difference between the two, he said, is that when he plays in the dime he usually lines up on a receiver, which effectively turns him into a cornerback.

"I really wasn't that confident with all of this stuff because I would be at dime, be at free (safety) and learning both, and it was tough," Smith said. "But I'm kind of secure with both of them right now."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_482845.html
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers safety Smith exudes quiet confidence

Time to bring the pain to the clowns!

JACK THEM UP Smithie Boy!!!!
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers safety Smith exudes quiet confidence

Hopefully Mr. Smith takes advantage of this opportunity to play.... lord knows when billy c will give him his next shot at playing after clark and troy ar eback healthy.
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers safety Smith exudes quiet confidence

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Hopefully Mr. Smith takes advantage of this opportunity to play.... lord knows when billy c will give him his next shot at playing after clark and troy ar eback healthy.
moreso than the win, i want smith and holmes to prove to the steelers its ok to start a rookie in the nfl. these 2 should be able to hold their own.
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Old 12-06-2006, 09:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers safety Smith exudes quiet confidence

amen tony...... excpet for the win part.... we gotta win or my friday morning at work is gona be awful... remember i am in brownie country
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Old 12-06-2006, 09:46 AM   #6
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amen tony...... excpet for the win part.... we gotta win or my friday morning at work is gona be awful... remember i am in brownie country
i really think the win will come and i feel it might come easilly. for some reason im not concerned with 2 new wr's and 2 new safeties in the game. im betting they are prepared. im just looking back to the final game in 05 where you had a collective group of back ups who were desperate to get out on the field and prove something. the loses that disappointed me wer lost weeks ago. now i will be disappointed if these guys flop.

with that being said suffering a loss to the browns at home would be like toothpicks shoved under the fingernails if your living in the land of brown.
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Old 12-06-2006, 09:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers safety Smith exudes quiet confidence

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i really think the win will come and i feel it might come easilly. for some reason im not concerned with 2 new wr's and 2 new safeties in the game. im betting they are prepared. im just looking back to the final game in 05 where you had a collective group of back ups who were desperate to get out on the field and prove something. the loses that disappointed me wer lost weeks ago. now i will be disappointed if these guys flop.

with that being said suffering a loss to the browns at home would be like toothpicks shoved under the fingernails if your living in the land of brown.
Losing to the Browns is that bad living anywhere. I dont think we will. I think Smith is ready. We just need to run the rock.
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