View Full Version : Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud

05-25-2006, 04:41 PM

Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud
NFL.com wire reports

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (May 16, 2006) -- 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 totaling 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.

However, 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."

05-25-2006, 04:44 PM
lol Coj, Singer posted that ~ 2 wks ago.


05-25-2006, 05:02 PM
Gezzzz, I remembered the one he posted as from the Tribune. I thought this one was similar but a bit different slant.
My bad!
This will teach an old man not to trust his memory. :lol:

05-25-2006, 05:04 PM
"COJOMAY" wrote:

Gezzzz, I remembered the one he posted as from the Tribune. I thought this one was similar but a bit different slant.
My bad!
This will teach an old man not to trust his memory. :lol:

Better yet, don't mess with Singer. If the article is more then two minutes old it is probably already posted. We need Singer to get back from his trip.

05-25-2006, 05:57 PM
haha, figured he was gone... i was wondering why there hadnt been all of these new articles on the site lately