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singersp
05-15-2006, 04:45 AM
Posted on Sun, May. 14, 2006

Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud

DAVE CAMPBELL
Associated Press

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Modesty has not been a natural part of Fred Smoot's personality, so it's quite clear his first season with Minnesota was nothing short of defeating.

What else would bring the loquacious, confident cornerback to make comments like this?

"I started every game since my 10th-grade year of high school," Smoot said. "That was the first time I had to sit and watch my team go play without me. So I think that really humbled Fred Smoot. Never stopped me from talking, but it really touched me. Now I have a newfound passion for my game. Every bit, I'm going to take it, because you never know when it's over with."

After signing a six-year contract with a $10.8 million bonus, Smoot didn't give the Vikings their money's worth. They were eager to watch him and Antoine Winfield form a tough-to-throw-on tandem, but after a decent start Smoot's season went sour.

Torched by Carolina's Steve Smith for 11 receptions and 201 yards in an Oct. 30 game, Smoot broke his collarbone the following week against Detroit and missed the next four games. When he was healthy again, Brian Williams had taken his starting spot.

Then came three misdemeanor charges for his behavior on the infamous boat party - which will put him on trial this month - and a place on the inactive list for the meaningless finale against Chicago for missing curfew the night before.

He finished with only two interceptions, after collecting 16 over his first four years with Washington, leading to speculation that Minnesota might consider swallowing his big bonus and cutting him in favor of keeping the free agent Williams.

But Williams signed a hefty contract with Jacksonville, and Smoot is back - eager to play for his fifth head coach in six seasons. He brushed off a suggestion that his status was in doubt.

"I talked to the owner all the time. There was never a problem," Smoot said.

Defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin needs cornerbacks in his Tampa Cover 2 scheme to be more physical at the line of scrimmage with opposing receivers, and that has not been Smoot's strength. Motivated mostly by the bad experience of being hurt, Smoot added about 15 pounds to his 5-foot-11 frame.

"Right now, I'm almost 200 pounds, so that should tell you what I've been doing in the offseason," Smoot said, grinning broadly.

It's muscle, he said, not fat.

"I'm still quick, baby," Smoot said.

And still self-assured.

"He thinks he's the best corner in the league, and that's a good thing when he goes out there," Winfield said. "He's definitely going to have a better year than he did last year."

Smoot, who changed his jersey number from 27 to 21, was all smiles on essentially any subject this weekend at the Vikings' second minicamp.

He likened last season to one bad play in a game - and nothing to be worried about.

"It happened. Now what are you going to do next?" he said.

Move on, obviously, with a turned-over roster, a new coaching staff and plenty of other changes.

"I think that gives the whole organization a clean slate. We're coming out with the new jerseys, so these are your new Vikings - and all we can ask is people judge us from now on."

Notes: The position currently in the biggest flux is middle linebacker, where E.J. Henderson, Napoleon Harris and Dontarrious Thomas have all been working this spring. Uncertainty is essentially irrelevant, though, until the Vikings practice in pads when training camp begins. Tomlin wasn't worried: "If I'm looking for comfort, I need to find a new line of work."

... Punter Chris Kluwe, recovering from reconstructive knee surgery after a stellar rookie season, is on schedule to kick sometime this summer. He'll be pushed by undrafted free agent John Torp, who played at Colorado. Special teams coordinator Paul Ferraro said he'd prefer the punter also serve as the holder for extra points and field goals.

Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud (http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/sports/14579534.htm)

LAVike
05-15-2006, 05:02 AM
"Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud . . ."

. . . still injured.

PurpleCrusader
05-15-2006, 05:43 AM
im excited to see what he does, it's great to see that it hasn't hurt his pride or confidence. being a corner in the NFL can be a mindjob, and though he sometimes speaks up too often, I think his attitude and confidence are going to help him rebound and become the corner we signed him to be.

Warp
05-15-2006, 07:34 AM
Smoot is gonna be awesome! Winfield,Smoot and Griffin are gonna do great this year as a team. :cool:

PurplePride80
05-15-2006, 09:46 AM
Yeah, Fred Smoot will rebound from his horrendous season last year.

It's good to hear he's put on some weight, that should also help him against those bigger WR's.

singersp
05-15-2006, 12:38 PM
I think Smoot will have a much better year this year with a new defensive coordinator running the defense, the fact that he got more physically fit & the new practices are better conditioning the team.

Still, we paid too much for his services.

jaymz7
05-15-2006, 12:51 PM
"singersp" wrote:

I think Smoot will have a much better year this year with a new defensive coordinator running the defense, the fact that he got more physically fit & the new practices are better conditioning the team.

Still, we paid too much for his services.

I agree singer. He will do better, but we did pay to much for him.

Vikes_King
05-15-2006, 10:10 PM
i really hope he's healthy this year.. smoot & winfield (both healthy).. *drool*

2beersTommy
05-15-2006, 10:19 PM
Me thinks he needs to concentrate more on staying healthy & playing better..and STFU..

Benficaviking
05-15-2006, 10:20 PM
WOW, reading that interview really showed me how HUMBLE he his now!!!!!

"I'm still quick, baby," Smoot said.

"He thinks he's the best corner in the league, and that's a good thing when he goes out there,"


I love this guy.

NodakPaul
05-15-2006, 10:27 PM
"2beersTommy" wrote:

Me thinks he needs to concentrate more on staying healthy & playing better..and STFU..

I don't want him to STFU. I love it when he talks smack... as long as he backs it up. And without a brain dead defensive coordinator killing his game, he will be able to.

Smoooooooooot!

2beersTommy
05-15-2006, 10:47 PM
"NodakPaul" wrote:

"2beersTommy" wrote:

Me thinks he needs to concentrate more on staying healthy & playing better..and STFU..

I don't want him to STFU. I love it when he talks smack... as long as he backs it up. And without a brain dead defensive coordinator killing his game, he will be able to.

Smoooooooooot!

IF.. he can back it up..unlike last year

Slade
05-15-2006, 11:00 PM
If he can regain the form he had in Washington, that spells bad news for opposing WR's

VikesfaninWis
05-15-2006, 11:07 PM
Hopefully he thinks that he really has something to prove to his owner, coaches, teammates, and us the fans.. If he honestly thinks that, then he will have one hell of a year..

triedandtruevikesfan
05-15-2006, 11:51 PM
Last year was so very dissappointing, but I don't think that he'll let it happen again. It sounds like he has been working very hard in the offseason which is a good sign.

I like that he talks a lot, I hope this year he backs that talk up though.

PurplePeopleEaters89
05-15-2006, 11:58 PM
I am not too worried about Smoot!! If he is adding muscle then he won't be so soft against receivers, as he was against Smith!!!

sleepagent
05-16-2006, 12:40 AM
It ain't cocky . . . if you can back it up.

John Randle could and did back it up.

Smoot . . . so far . . . is all mouth.

Show us the money . . . Smoot-Mouth!

singersp
05-16-2006, 01:39 AM
"triedandtruevikesfan" wrote:

Last year was so very dissappointing, but I don't think that he'll let it happen again. It sounds like he has been working very hard in the offseason which is a good sign.

I like that he talks a lot, I hope this year he backs that talk up though.

I don't know if his whole year was a disappointment, but the Carolina game sure was.

cajunvike
05-16-2006, 01:40 AM
Just as long as he doesn't lose a step with that added weight...we need a solid cover corner...we already got one who can tackle!!!

singersp
05-16-2006, 01:19 PM
Vikings: Fred Smoot welcoming a new season

Cornerback Fred Smoot, with a miserable 2005 campaign on and off the field behind him, has a fresh outlook and a new appearance as he prepares for his second season with the Vikings.

Judd Zulgad, Star Tribune
Last update: May 15, 2006 – 10:59 PM

As the injuries, off-the-field problems and clashes with the coach mounted last season, Fred Smoot couldn't help but wonder if he had made the right move. The six-year, $34 million free-agent contract the Vikings had given him to leave Washington was great, but the turmoil Smoot seemed to find at every turn was another story.

"You're like, 'I had the perfect thing going in Washington,' " Smoot said after the Vikings ended a three-day minicamp Monday. "But once you make a decision, you live with it. You tough it out. I've been in tough spots before. ... You judge a man by how you dig yourself out of that hole, and I'm going to dig myself up out of that hole and keep on going."

The veteran had plenty of digging to do after what transpired in 2005.

The first omen that Smoot was in for a trying season came on the opening day of training camp, when he was placed on the physically unable to perform list because of a strained neck. Two days after returning, he suffered a bruised right knee.

Then things really turned ugly.

His alleged involvement in the Vikings' Love Boat cruise in October was followed by Carolina receiver Steve Smith having a career day against the cornerback. A week later, Smoot suffered a partially fractured right collarbone that kept him out for four games. He never was able to win back his starting job. In the regular-season finale, Smoot was held out for disciplinary reasons.

It almost seemed like a fitting finish.

For Smoot, it was the end of what he considers "the old Vikings." That was Mike Tice's team. The many changes around Winter Park, including the hiring of Brad Childress as coach, have given Smoot a new outlook. The fast-talking cornerback, who often seemed sullen and had little to say to the media by the end of the season, has returned to his old self. At least when it comes to demeanor.

Physically, Smoot is noticeably bigger. In an attempt to get stronger and avoid injury, Smoot has spent the offseason lifting weights; he said he has added about 15 pounds to his 5-11 frame and is now around 200 pounds.

"It will help me with the stamina, it will help me to last 16 games, it will help me to bang," said Smoot, who also has switched jersey numbers from 27 to 21. "It's just going to help me [prolong] my career."

Said Childress: "You always worry when somebody puts on weight that they can run, but he still looks like he can run."

They seem an odd match for player and coach. Childress is no-nonsense; Smoot loves to trash talk. Smoot, though, has nothing but praise for his new boss.

"That's how a coach should be," said Smoot, who spent his first four seasons with Washington. "I like a straight-forward [approach]. ... From the first person on the roster to the last person, we're all treated the same around here. I think that does so much for your team morale. It wasn't like that [last year]."

Smoot's shot at Tice is a reflection of them being at odds much of last season.

"Me and Tice never got along," he said. "You never heard me speak up on his behalf because we weren't on that level, and I just really chose not to say anything about it. I didn't want to be the messy teammate. We didn't see eye-to-eye, put it like that."

While Smoot has a clean start on the field, not all of his problems from 2005 have been resolved. He and left tackle Bryant McKinnie await trial for multiple misdemeanors from the boat incident. Smoot's lawyer, David Valentini, has requested the charges be dismissed but, if that doesn't happen, his trial is scheduled to begin May 30. "I'm going to follow through with that," Smoot said. "I'm good on that. I'm not even really worried about it. I've got a great lawyer, I'm waiting for it to happen and what happens, happens."

Smoot, though, knows people have questions about him, and he wants to answer those. He said he plans to begin doing more work in the community. "I'm a good person. I'm a genuine person."

Fred Smoot welcoming a new season (http://www.startribune.com/510/story/434629.html)

Del Rio
05-16-2006, 01:54 PM
I'm not buying the Smoot hype. I never have and I never will. Not until he actually manages to produce something that resembles a solid game while wearing the purple and gold.

I wish he would just shut the hell up and let his play do the talking, but instead he just can't stop talking. He sure became a ghost after he got his ass handed to him last year.

His new added weight won't help him tackle. Unless he learns how to tackle I don't see the point. He should have gained a few inches of height instead :grin:

twiztedfait
05-16-2006, 02:10 PM
Last year we had bad coaches, he was injured all season, the boat party, not talking to the media(he is now however), and inconsistant play when he was on the field.

He can say he steped up his game, he is humbled, and working in the community all he wants. Untill I see it, he will still be the same smoot he was last year. All mouth and no play.

BBQ Platypus
05-16-2006, 02:52 PM
"jaymz7" wrote:

"singersp" wrote:

I think Smoot will have a much better year this year with a new defensive coordinator running the defense, the fact that he got more physically fit & the new practices are better conditioning the team.

Still, we paid too much for his services.

I agree singer. He will do better, but we did pay to much for him.

You pretty much have to if you expect to get a decent free agent these days, with very few exceptions (i.e. K-Rob, and that's only because his team didn't want him).

Del Rio
05-16-2006, 03:22 PM
"BBQ Platypus" wrote:

"jaymz7" wrote:

"singersp" wrote:

I think Smoot will have a much better year this year with a new defensive coordinator running the defense, the fact that he got more physically fit & the new practices are better conditioning the team.

Still, we paid too much for his services.

I agree singer. He will do better, but we did pay to much for him.

You pretty much have to if you expect to get a decent free agent these days, with very few exceptions (i.e. K-Rob, and that's only because his team didn't want him).

Ken Lucas, Andre Dyson.....same output if not better, way cheaper.

I think the statement should read You pretty much have to if you expect to get a big name in free agency.

The Vikes went for the big name, not the most talented and it cost them in the bank.

whackthepack
05-16-2006, 03:36 PM
"Del Rio" wrote:

I'm not buying the Smoot hype. I never have and I never will. Not until he actually manages to produce something that resembles a solid game while wearing the purple and gold.

I wish he would just shut the hell up and let his play do the talking, but instead he just can't stop talking. He sure became a ghost after he got his jiggly butt handed to him last year.

His new added weight won't help him tackle. Unless he learns how to tackle I don't see the point. He should have gained a few inches of height instead :grin:


Completely agree with you Del, anybody can talk the talk but I want to see him back it up on the field!

I really think that Tice had his favorites and showed preferential treatment to his buddies, but this is a new team and with new coaches. So either Smoot can do it on the field this year, or send him down the road and use that 8 million a year on a player that can.

There are a number of players that are at the make or break year with the Vikes Kenechi, Smoot, Napo, EJ, D.Thomas, Klienny, Rosenthal, Goldberg, Lewinski, Marcus Robinson, Travis Taylor and Birk (he has to play the whole year).

Vikes_King
05-17-2006, 12:27 AM
yeah, all those people really havnt been what they used to be/were hyped to be whack, agree w/ u 100% on that..

and whether you like smoot or not, seriously if he plays as well as we all hope, having a pretty good linebacker set up (once they figure it out completely), an insane line, and winfield/smoot in the back field.. cant wait

singersp
05-18-2006, 01:03 PM
Smoot will bounce back in '06

By Eric Krupka on May 18, 2006 01:49 AM
realfootball365.com

"Smmmmooooooooooooooooooot"

The chants ring loud and thunderous in the H.H.H. Metrodome every time cornerback Fred Smoot makes a tackle or intercepts a pass.

Hopefully in 2006, the chants are heard more often than in 2005.

The Minnesota Vikings signed Smoot on March 8, 2005 to a six-year, $34 million contract with $10.8 million in bonuses. With that kind of investment, the team thought they were solidifying their pass defense and adding an All-Pro to play alongside Antoine Winfield. It seemed like the two would be an elite tandem in the league.

Unfortunately, Smoot didn't have a season to remember. Smoot was marred by his inexplicable credit card purchase, which he claimed wasn't his, for the boats involved in the infamous "sex cruise." His trial date is set for May 30. Aside from the bye week troubles that will no longer occur in Minnesota, Smoot had an average season, which was also dotted with a collarbone injury, forcing him to miss a month. So after all the trouble and injury, he finished with a very average 41 tackle and two interception season.

Oh, and there was that torching given to him at the expense of Carolina Panthers All-Pro wide receiver Steve Smith. Smith embarrassed Smoot for 11 catches, 201 yards and a touchdown. In defense of Smoot, not only did Smith manhandle almost every other opposing defensive back he faced, but defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell effectively left Smoot out to dry in that game. The game plan produced by the now ex-coordinator was horrendous and disastrous from the start. He had Smoot playing man coverage, but 10 yards off the receiver at the line, and with no safety help over the top. There isn't a single cornerback in the NFL that could succeed in that situation.

If you remove that game from Smoot's resume, suddenly his season doesn't look so bad. Couple that with the fact that he will return fully healthy and won't have to play with any pending investigations against him, meaning he should be more focused.

A focused Smoot is an elite cornerback, capable of coming up with a game-changing play at any moment. Look for Smoot to bounce back and earn his paycheck in 2006. In doing so, he will help turn a good Vikings defense into the upper echelon defense the team has been lacking for many years.

Get more Fred Smoot insights at RealFootball365.com

-Eric Krupka can be reached at ekrupka@realfootball365.com

Vikes_King
05-19-2006, 01:37 AM
good article, really hope thats the situation this year, we all know what he CAN do, lets see what he WILL do =)

VKG4LFE
05-19-2006, 02:25 AM
"singersp" wrote:

Posted on Sun, May. 14, 2006

Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud

DAVE CAMPBELL
Associated Press

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Modesty has not been a natural part of Fred Smoot's personality, so it's quite clear his first season with Minnesota was nothing short of defeating.

What else would bring the loquacious, confident cornerback to make comments like this?

"I started every game since my 10th-grade year of high school," Smoot said. "That was the first time I had to sit and watch my team go play without me. So I think that really humbled Fred Smoot. Never stopped me from talking, but it really touched me. Now I have a newfound passion for my game. Every bit, I'm going to take it, because you never know when it's over with."

After signing a six-year contract with a $10.8 million bonus, Smoot didn't give the Vikings their money's worth. They were eager to watch him and Antoine Winfield form a tough-to-throw-on tandem, but after a decent start Smoot's season went sour.

Torched by Carolina's Steve Smith for 11 receptions and 201 yards in an Oct. 30 game, Smoot broke his collarbone the following week against Detroit and missed the next four games. When he was healthy again, Brian Williams had taken his starting spot.

Then came three misdemeanor charges for his behavior on the infamous boat party - which will put him on trial this month - and a place on the inactive list for the meaningless finale against Chicago for missing curfew the night before.

He finished with only two interceptions, after collecting 16 over his first four years with Washington, leading to speculation that Minnesota might consider swallowing his big bonus and cutting him in favor of keeping the free agent Williams.

But Williams signed a hefty contract with Jacksonville, and Smoot is back - eager to play for his fifth head coach in six seasons. He brushed off a suggestion that his status was in doubt.

"I talked to the owner all the time. There was never a problem," Smoot said.

Defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin needs cornerbacks in his Tampa Cover 2 scheme to be more physical at the line of scrimmage with opposing receivers, and that has not been Smoot's strength. Motivated mostly by the bad experience of being hurt, Smoot added about 15 pounds to his 5-foot-11 frame.

"Right now, I'm almost 200 pounds, so that should tell you what I've been doing in the offseason," Smoot said, grinning broadly.

It's muscle, he said, not fat.

"I'm still quick, baby," Smoot said.

And still self-assured.

"He thinks he's the best corner in the league, and that's a good thing when he goes out there," Winfield said. "He's definitely going to have a better year than he did last year."

Smoot, who changed his jersey number from 27 to 21, was all smiles on essentially any subject this weekend at the Vikings' second minicamp.

He likened last season to one bad play in a game - and nothing to be worried about.

"It happened. Now what are you going to do next?" he said.

Move on, obviously, with a turned-over roster, a new coaching staff and plenty of other changes.

"I think that gives the whole organization a clean slate. We're coming out with the new jerseys, so these are your new Vikings - and all we can ask is people judge us from now on."

Notes: The position currently in the biggest flux is middle linebacker, where E.J. Henderson, Napoleon Harris and Dontarrious Thomas have all been working this spring. Uncertainty is essentially irrelevant, though, until the Vikings practice in pads when training camp begins. Tomlin wasn't worried: "If I'm looking for comfort, I need to find a new line of work."

... Punter Chris Kluwe, recovering from reconstructive knee surgery after a stellar rookie season, is on schedule to kick sometime this summer. He'll be pushed by undrafted free agent John Torp, who played at Colorado. Special teams coordinator Paul Ferraro said he'd prefer the punter also serve as the holder for extra points and field goals.

Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud (http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/sports/14579534.htm)


It better be muscle!!