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fordfixer
01-06-2012, 02:57 AM
Steelers veteran defensive end Smith not quite finished
By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, January 6, 2012
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 75283.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_775283.html)

A neck injury ended his season in October, but Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith isn't necessarily ready to call it a career.

"I drive down the road and fantasize about playing," Smith said Thursday before working out at the Steelers' practice facility. "Even when I'm done playing, I think I'll still fantasize about competing. I watch games now and think what I would do in that situation."

Smith, one of the best 3-4 defensive ends of his era, said he will decide after the season whether to try to return in 2012.

Smith, 35, said the Steelers likely will have to tell him or strongly hint that he is finished before he is ready to move on. One thing Smith said he won't do: Wear colors other than black and gold.

"That would just be ... ugly, wouldn't it?" Smith said. "It would ruin it."

Smith had spinal-fusion surgery in November to correct a neck injury that he didn't know he had until a mid-foot sprain sidelined the 13-year veteran. The recurring neck pain didn't subside when he stepped away from the daily grind, and Smith knew something was seriously wrong when he felt tingling in his arms one day while washing his hair.

He has lost more than 20 pounds he weighs a little more than 280 pounds but he has started lifting again. Smith said he doesn't face risks if he resumes playing. In fact, he said he is healthy enough that he could play right now had the Steelers not placed him on injured reserve.

"It's painful to stand on the sidelines and watch," Smith said. "If and when I do decide I'm done, it may be awhile before I watch football."

The news hasn't been all bad since Smith sustained his fourth season-ending injury since 2007.

His son, Elijah, diagnosed with leukemia in 2008, took his last bone-marrow test two days before Christmas. The disease is in remission, and doctors are phasing out the medical treatment Elijah has received for more than three years.

"He's doing great," Smith said.

Smith talked about a variety of topics. Among them:

>> The possibility of receiver Hines Ward playing for another team: "I would be shocked if Hines did that. He's kind of in the same scenario as me. To play here and do what he did here and then go somewhere else ... because you're not playing for the money. I mean, how much is enough?

>> The Steelers' young defensive linemen: "Ziggy (Hood), Cam Heyward, Steve McLendon, you watch those guys. They're all going to be great players here. Once all of us so-called old guys are gone, they won't miss a beat. They might even be better than we were up front."

>> Whether the Steelers will sustain their success after some cornerstone players are no longer with the team: "I'm sure of that. I don't know how they do it, but the scouting department and the player personnel guys do a great job of finding the same character-type guys guys with the same attitude and the same approach, day in and day out. You can find guys with talent. That's the easy part. But the guys with those intangibles are harder to find."

Read more: Steelers veteran defensive end Smith not quite finished - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1ieuQuBgz (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_775283.html#ixzz1ieuQuBgz)

aggiebones
01-06-2012, 09:23 AM
You can find guys with talent. That's the easy part. But the guys with those intangibles are harder to find."

how true.

A wonder how some teams don't get this.
Granted you can't have just intangibles, but you can give up a wee bit of skill for the extra intangibles.

CanadianSteel
01-06-2012, 09:35 AM
"I drive down the road and fantasize about playing," Smith said Thursday before working out at the Steelers' practice facility. "



Sums it all up.......Guys like Aaron and Heath make me proud to be a Steeler fan.




It gets to the point were someone has to step in and tell guys that are wired like that......Its over.



:( :( :(

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
01-06-2012, 10:41 AM
At his cap number he is! The Steelers may have to outright release him and then resign him if they want him to stick around. Vet min and he may end up being in the last cuts. Sounds like he is having a hard time letting go of the game given his last couple years filled with injury. At this point, I don't even think he will be asked back because he is going to be a cut & the DL is in transition of youth. I predict a DT early in the draft and there is young depth all the way down to the practice squad. I didn't see anything this year before his injury to believe he could give you 10-15 snaps a game at a higher level than the young guys on the roster. Much Luv to one of the greatest 5 Tech I have seen come down the road...You will always be a Steeler. I pray for the health of your son and good luck in your next path.

RuthlessBurgher
01-06-2012, 11:26 AM
Great news about Elijah Smith just completing his last bone-marrow test with his leukemia in remission. :Clap

SteelStallion
01-06-2012, 12:59 PM
It would be pathetic if Tomlin invites him to camp next year.

RuthlessBurgher
01-06-2012, 01:08 PM
It would be pathetic if Tomlin invites him to camp next year.

At his current cap number, year, but not at a vet minimum salary (as JPN noted earlier in this thread).

feltdizz
01-06-2012, 01:23 PM
It would be pathetic if Tomlin invites him to camp next year.

At his current cap number, year, but not at a vet minimum salary (as JPN noted earlier in this thread).

No, it would be pathetic if we brought him back at the minimum salary too...

I don't want to see Smith getting pushed around and suffer a life threatening injury just because fans love what he has done in the past.

Mister Pittsburgh
01-06-2012, 01:27 PM
As Col. Troutman would tell him...."It's over Smitty" :cry:

Slapstick
01-06-2012, 01:34 PM
Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I think Smith can still be effective...

Of course, Hood should be staring and Smith spelling him for a few plays....

CanadianSteel
01-06-2012, 01:51 PM
Maybe it's me being selfish here, but i don't want to see Smith, Ward or any of our guys out there "Trying to hold on for one more year"


It's not like Bettis, they have the rings.

Oviedo
01-06-2012, 01:58 PM
It would be pathetic if Tomlin invites him to camp next year.

At his current cap number, year, but not at a vet minimum salary (as JPN noted earlier in this thread).

Sorry, but I disagree. Smith is toast. You can have all the desire and heart in the world but we need football players on the field and Smith is no better than a 4-5 game a season player anymore. Smith on the roster just means a young player we could be developing can't be on the roster.

Smith just needs to walk away in a formal dignified manner that fits his status as a Steeler all time great.

feltdizz
01-06-2012, 03:30 PM
Maybe it's me being selfish here, but i don't want to see Smith, Ward or any of our guys out there "Trying to hold on for one more year"


It's not like Bettis, they have the rings.

Bettis also didn't have bad knees or miss 60% of the games over this last 3 years due to season ending injuries.

CanadianSteel
01-06-2012, 04:45 PM
Well that's debatable. I remember Jerome's last year, they did a special on him on espn i think. They followed him around his home and the guy had all he could do to get up a flight of stairs. His knees were shot.

feltdizz
01-06-2012, 05:13 PM
Well that's debatable. I remember Jerome's last year, they did a special on him on espn i think. They followed him around his home and the guy had all he could do to get up a flight of stairs. His knees were shot.

I meant bad knee's that keep you from completing seasons or doing your job effectively. Urlacher probably didn't think Jeromes knees were shot and he had a close up and personal look at them. :wink:

Smith looked horrible last year and was getting dominated by young guys... it's over.

RuthlessBurgher
01-06-2012, 05:15 PM
Well that's debatable. I remember Jerome's last year, they did a special on him on espn i think. They followed him around his home and the guy had all he could do to get up a flight of stairs. His knees were shot.

I meant bad knee's that keep you from completing seasons.... even with that he was playing clean up and he was great at it.

Smith looked horrible last year and it doesn't make any sense to bring him back for 10 plays a game.

Smith's never had a problem with his knees either. He was placed on I.R. for a rotator cuff tear, and torn bicep or tricep (I forget which), and a pinched nerve in his neck.

feltdizz
01-06-2012, 05:20 PM
Well that's debatable. I remember Jerome's last year, they did a special on him on espn i think. They followed him around his home and the guy had all he could do to get up a flight of stairs. His knees were shot.

I meant bad knee's that keep you from completing seasons.... even with that he was playing clean up and he was great at it.

Smith looked horrible last year and it doesn't make any sense to bring him back for 10 plays a game.

Smith's never had a problem with his knees either. He was placed on I.R. for a rotator cuff tear, and torn bicep or tricep (I forget which), and a pinched nerve in his neck.

I was responding to someone who used Jerome's last year as a recipe for Aaron.

Jerome's knees are probably the reason he called it quits. Aaron needs to do the same.