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Old 08-25-2011, 06:21 PM   #1
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Default It's a fight to the finish for Aaron Smith

On The Steelers: It's a fight to the finish for Aaron Smith
Thursday, August 25, 2011
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana/Post-GazettePittsburgh Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith takes a break between workouts during training camp at St Vincent College, Latrobe, PA.Most athletes will say they will know when it's their time to quit, that no one will have to tell them. Then, someone has to tell them.

Few retire voluntarily. Lynn Swann did. Joe Greene did. Jack Ham did. Not many others did. Center Mike Webster retired from the Steelers, joined the Kansas City coaching staff, then unretired and played for the Chiefs the next two seasons. Running back Willie Parker hasn't played a regular-season NFL game since 2009, but he is trying to return and is playing for the Virginia Destroyers of the UFL. Running back Tiki Barber tried to end four years of retirement this summer at age 36, but no one wanted him.

Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith adds a new dimension, saying he will not know when it is time to quit.

"No, I don't think I'll know. They'll have to tell me. My personality is I feel I can do anything. I've always felt anything is possible; you can always turn things around. I'm kind of an optimist. Maybe, it's denial to a point. It would be hard for me to admit it to myself.

"Someone would have to say, 'Hey, Aaron, you're not doing this, you're not doing that. You need to hang it up or something.' "

No one has told Smith that yet, but, if he is true to his word, someone will have to tell him. It could come this year because, at age 35, he's closing in on that day. He had two serious arm injuries that have ruined his past two seasons. He played five games in 2009 before he had to have surgery to correct a torn rotator cuff. He played six last season before he had to have surgery to repair a torn triceps.

Smith returned to practice this week after missing about 10 days and one preseason game because of swelling in his knee. He has practiced the past two days and said he feels good, but he knows he is not immune.

Continued on next page


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11237...#ixzz1W58HhHy3
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: It's a fight to the finish for Aaron Smith

so many steelerfans are ready to push him out the door already, whereas all his teammates, coaching staff, and FO would like to slap those fans in the face and tell them to wake the hell up.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: It's a fight to the finish for Aaron Smith

Smith has been great for the Steel city, and I for one will miss him when he is gone...
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: It's a fight to the finish for Aaron Smith

when healthy, he's the best 3-4 DE in the NFL. there's just a lot of doubt whether he can stay healthy for the entire season, since he hasn't been able to lately.

combine that with the fact that ziggy has proven he's ready to start, and do a fine job at it. and not to mention salary cap issues. he's making a ton of money and forcing a very capable starter in ziggy hood to spend time on the bench
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: It's a fight to the finish for Aaron Smith

And then the only backup DEs we have are inexperienced rookies.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: It's a fight to the finish for Aaron Smith

I expect the FO to tell him and Farrior maybe even Ward to retire to save face instead of cutting them and disgracing them.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: It's a fight to the finish for Aaron Smith

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when healthy, he's the best 3-4 DE in the NFL. there's just a lot of doubt whether he can stay healthy for the entire season, since he hasn't been able to lately.

combine that with the fact that ziggy has proven he's ready to start, and do a fine job at it. and not to mention salary cap issues. he's making a ton of money and forcing a very capable starter in ziggy hood to spend time on the bench
any money we spend on smith now, will be recouped when it comes time to give ziggy hood his 2nd contract w/o the inflated stats or starts.

this is the steelers way. i dont understand how many die hard steelerfans refuse to see this very simple and time tried concept.

ziggy hood still hasnt proven to be better than a healthier aaron smith. if he had, smith would be gone, or on the bench with a paycut.

a bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush. its not rocket science.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: It's a fight to the finish for Aaron Smith

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Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
any money we spend on smith now, will be recouped when it comes time to give ziggy hood his 2nd contract w/o the inflated stats or starts.

this is the steelers way. i dont understand how many die hard steelerfans refuse to see this very simple and time tried concept.

ziggy hood still hasnt proven to be better than a healthier aaron smith. if he had, smith would be gone, or on the bench with a paycut.

a bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush. its not rocket science.
I'll come back and eat crow if he plays out the season without getting put on IR again. just from his track record of not being able to finish a season out in the last few years, I'm not confident that he can do it anymore. for as much money as he's making, it's not worth only having his services for 8 games.

as for ziggy he has the potential to be better than aaron smith, but won't get any better rotting on the bench. sure he's not aaron smith yet, but he's already pretty damn good.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: It's a fight to the finish for Aaron Smith

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for as much money as he's making, it's not worth only having his services for 8 games.

.
i beg to differ... it most certainly is, especially if hood were named the starter and went down with a season ending injury in week nine.

most average joe fans tend to forget how important smith is to dick lebeau running his defensive scheme, but the players and coaches never fail to mention it.

maybe ALL the players and coaches are just idiots and the cap savy scout fans are all geniuses.

the brilliant fanboys need to remember that the rooneys are one of the last franchises to run theior operation as a family business. smith and ward are 2 of the longest tenured players, and their mutual loyalty pays of way more than measured stats on the field.

theres a reason players will take less money to stay and play, and a reason the steelers are so successful in retaining their own.

theres a reason the steelers (led by rooneys) have more lombardis than any other team.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: It's a fight to the finish for Aaron Smith

I never said the players / coaches were idiots, don't put words in my mouth bro. I'm just saying I'm not confident that Smith will say healthy for the entire year. If he does, then I'll gladly say I was wrong. Hood might go down with a freak injury but come on man, the chances of a younger player like hood getting a season ending injury is much less.
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