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BigRob
03-01-2012, 05:20 PM
Not a surprise, but seems like they are starting the real cuts now.

http://twitter.com/#!/jasonlacanfora


Ravens are releasing CB Chris Carr and Steelers are releasing DL Aaron Smith #insideslant

phillyesq
03-01-2012, 05:52 PM
Not surprising, but like Ward, still sad. Aaron, like Hines, was a great Steeler.

I really hope that Aaron decides to retire and perhaps returns in a coaching role.

grotonsteel
03-01-2012, 05:54 PM
http://twitter.com/intent/user?screen_n ... Brown_Trib (http://twitter.com/intent/user?screen_name=ScottBrown_Trib)

Steelers to release Aaron Smith. His agent, Peter Schaffer, says Smith has no hard feelings and that he "bleeds black and gold."



One of the greatest 3-4 DE ever. A right desicion but feeling sad about it.

Best of Luck #91. Maybe he comes back as a Steelers DL coach?

focosteeler
03-01-2012, 06:49 PM
http://twitter.com/intent/user?screen_name=ScottBrown_Trib

Steelers to release Aaron Smith. His agent, Peter Schaffer, says Smith has no hard feelings and that he "bleeds black and gold."



One of the greatest 3-4 DE ever. A right desicion but feeling sad about it.

Best of Luck #91. Maybe he comes back as a Steelers DL coach?

I hope he comes back as a coach, he can work under Mitchell for a couple season and take over. I remember seeing a vid about Smith and Coach Mitchell said he wouldnt retire until Smith did.

RuthlessBurgher
03-01-2012, 07:01 PM
Thanks for the memories, big fella. A truly underrated stud. I hope he is now able to take more father-son time with Elijah now, since his son's leukemia is now in remission.

Steelgal
03-01-2012, 07:23 PM
Thanks for the memories, big fella. A truly underrated stud. I hope he is now able to take more father-son time with Elijah now, since his son's leukemia is now in remission.

Agreed, while I think he'd make a good coach I'm guessing after all that his family has been through, he'll want to take some time off.

flippy
03-01-2012, 07:29 PM
Best 3-4 DE of all time. I'm sure he's retiring. He has to right?

hawaiiansteel
03-01-2012, 07:35 PM
Best 3-4 DE of all time. I'm sure he's retiring. He has to right?



I would be shocked if Smitty decided to play another season elsewhere.

Mister Pittsburgh
03-01-2012, 08:08 PM
Aaron Smith - One of the best. You will be missed on Sunday at one!

fordfixer
03-01-2012, 08:55 PM
Thanks for the memories, big fella. A truly underrated stud. I hope he is now able to take more father-son time with Elijah now, since his son's leukemia is now in remission.

Agreed, while I think he'd make a good coach I'm guessing after all that his family has been through, he'll want to take some time off.
:Agree

Eddie Spaghetti
03-01-2012, 08:57 PM
even when you know these cuts are coming, losing guys like hines and smitty really makes you appreciate the last 10 years.

I'm really pulling for these guys in whatever they choose to do.

kindlecatsb'ng
03-01-2012, 09:15 PM
Gosh, this is a crappy week.

Very nice article by Eddie B:
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12061/1213812-100-0.stm

Nothing but a great retirement for A. Smith! Wish him the best and it would be great if he came back as a coach (Hines, too).

Kindle
:tt1

Chadman
03-01-2012, 10:38 PM
Got to give Colbert & Tomlin some wraps here.

This would be a hard week. These guys they are cutting are Steeler legends. These are the guys that the fans love. These guys have done it all for this team.

Tomlin & Colbert seem to be treating these guys with respect while still maintaining the "Steeler Way" of knowing when enough is enough.

There's no squabbles, no malcontent, no in-fighting...just respect, best wishes, press conferences to give glowing epitaphes to Steeler careers.

Maybe that's why the Steelers are just such a successful organisation?

Pretty sure when Farrior gets released, it'll be the same thing.

Aaron Smith...will be missed. Sometimes it's guys like this that make us so complacent about the job they have done. Same will likely be said about Casey Hampton when his time comes.

Chucktownsteeler
03-01-2012, 10:55 PM
Thanks for all the memories and great play, Aaron!

Now, Ben got us under the cap with his restructure and the cuts continue. Are they to afford Wallace or something else planned?

C-town

hawaiiansteel
03-02-2012, 12:18 AM
Aaron Smith is the next Steelers veteran to get cut

Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on March 1, 2012

http://nbcprofootballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/a-smithtackle.jpg?w=250

Another day, another longtime Steelers veteran thrown off board.

Jason La Canfora of NFL Network and Adam Schefter of ESPN report that the Steelers will cut Aaron Smith. This move is even less surprising than the news about Hines Ward coming out on Wednesday.

Smith has only played 15 games in the last three seasons. He may be one of the most underrated players of his generation, but there was simply no way the Steelers could keep him at his current salary at 35 years old.

Unlike Ward, we wouldn’t be shocked if Smith returns to the team at a cheaper price if he still wants to play football and can prove he’s healthy in the summer.

If Smith doesn’t play again, he’ll go down as one of the best 3-4 defensive ends of the last decade.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... o-get-cut/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/03/01/aaron-smith-is-the-next-steelers-veteran-to-get-cut/)

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
03-02-2012, 10:34 AM
Aaron Smith is the next Steelers veteran to get cut

Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on March 1, 2012

http://nbcprofootballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/a-smithtackle.jpg?w=250

Another day, another longtime Steelers veteran thrown off board.

Jason La Canfora of NFL Network and Adam Schefter of ESPN report that the Steelers will cut Aaron Smith. This move is even less surprising than the news about Hines Ward coming out on Wednesday.

Smith has only played 15 games in the last three seasons. He may be one of the most underrated players of his generation, but there was simply no way the Steelers could keep him at his current salary at 35 years old.

Unlike Ward, we wouldn’t be shocked if Smith returns to the team at a cheaper price if he still wants to play football and can prove he’s healthy in the summer.

If Smith doesn’t play again, he’ll go down as one of the best 3-4 defensive ends of the last decade.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... o-get-cut/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/03/01/aaron-smith-is-the-next-steelers-veteran-to-get-cut/)

PFT never ceases to amaze me with their awful mock journalism.


Another day, another longtime Steelers veteran thrown off board.

Seriously? A team releases a long time vet and the comment is that he was thrown off board? A PC in which both sides will speak glowingly of the long-term relationship that they shared and we call that "thrown off board"? Do they use the same line every year when veterans are released by teams around the league?

Also, no talk about the fact that the skills and contributions were on the decline, makes it seems like it was simply a cost cutting move on a high priced vet.

Typical douchebag journalism by an organization that ripped the Steelers for removing Hines Ward from a game but only using the term "concussion-like symptoms" but not saying a thing about the Cleveland Browns for putting McCoy back in with a concussion. :roll:

Chucktownsteeler
03-02-2012, 10:40 AM
It's pretty obvious that Smith's body just can't do it anymore. I hate to see him go but it is time.

Sad, but the is the way it is.

C-town

Oviedo
03-02-2012, 11:51 AM
Aaron Smith is the next Steelers veteran to get cut

Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on March 1, 2012

http://nbcprofootballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/a-smithtackle.jpg?w=250

Another day, another longtime Steelers veteran thrown off board.

Jason La Canfora of NFL Network and Adam Schefter of ESPN report that the Steelers will cut Aaron Smith. This move is even less surprising than the news about Hines Ward coming out on Wednesday.

Smith has only played 15 games in the last three seasons. He may be one of the most underrated players of his generation, but there was simply no way the Steelers could keep him at his current salary at 35 years old.

Unlike Ward, we wouldn’t be shocked if Smith returns to the team at a cheaper price if he still wants to play football and can prove he’s healthy in the summer.

If Smith doesn’t play again, he’ll go down as one of the best 3-4 defensive ends of the last decade.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... o-get-cut/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/03/01/aaron-smith-is-the-next-steelers-veteran-to-get-cut/)

PFT never ceases to amaze me with their awful mock journalism.


Another day, another longtime Steelers veteran thrown off board.

Seriously? A team releases a long time vet and the comment is that he was thrown off board? A PC in which both sides will speak glowingly of the long-term relationship that they shared and we call that "thrown off board"? Do they use the same line every year when veterans are released by teams around the league?

Also, no talk about the fact that the skills and contributions were on the decline, makes it seems like it was simply a cost cutting move on a high priced vet.

Typical douchebag journalism by an organization that ripped the Steelers for removing Hines Ward from a game but only using the term "concussion-like symptoms" but not saying a thing about the Cleveland Browns for putting McCoy back in with a concussion. :roll:


These long time veterans should show some class and appreciation for the organization that made them multi-millionaires and retire versus forcing the team to make these decisions.

All these players know they aren't the players they use to be so instead of trying to hang on and diminishing their legacies they should have retired so it never got to this. They stuck around because they knew they will get money because the team releases them versus retiring. No fault or issue with the team clearing house.

feltdizz
03-02-2012, 01:24 PM
I kind of agree with you Ovi... I know it's tough to call it quits but Smith has been done for a while now. Of all the releases this is the only one that truly makes me happy because I think Smith would have suffered a life threatening injury the nest time around. His body was done.. but his heart wouldn't admit it.

:Cheers for the DE!!! Please stay on as a coach....

wait.. releasing Kemo makes me very happy... I was talking about good players not Kemo.

RuthlessBurgher
03-02-2012, 04:27 PM
Thanks for all the memories and great play, Aaron!

Now, Ben got us under the cap with his restructure and the cuts continue. Are they to afford Wallace or something else planned?

C-town

Long term deal for Wallace should be in the works. We are also negotiating to bring Cotchery back. We still have several other RFA's to tender, and of course, we still have to be able to sign our draft picks eventually.

hawaiiansteel
03-03-2012, 01:59 AM
'Pro's Pro' Aaron Smith Next to be Released in Steelers' Offseason of Reckoning

by Neal Coolong on Mar 2, 2012


"Wait, you're going to pay me to go watch the football game and write about what happened?" I asked Cameron Haaland, editor in chief of The Spectrum, North Dakota State's semi-annual student-run newspaper.

Haaland looked at me like I had antlers growing out of my head.

"Yeah," he said. "Go cover the game."

Just like that, a skinny freshman had a way to earn money for beer.

I covered Division II NDSU's first two home games that season, a 23-21 loss to Emporia State (Kan.) and a 16-6 win over Texas A&M Kingsville before the Bison went on the road for their first two North Central Conference games, a 49-28 loss at Nebraska-Omaha and a 44-12 win at Augustana (S.D.).

A rocky start for the Division II powerhouse, and it didn't get any easier with national championship contender Northern Colorado scheduled to visit the Fargodome for the season's fifth game.

Perhaps my youth benefited me as a young buck on the football beat. It afforded me the opportunity to do annoying things to the sports information director like request interviews with assistant coaches from the opposing schools.

Eventually, the SID got me in touch with an assistant coach at UNC, and you couldn't put a gun to my head and demand I remember his name. AlI wanted to know was how good their quarterback, Corte McGuffey, was.

McGuffey would eventually have his number retired, a Harlon Hill Trophy (Division II's Heisman) winner in 1999. A tall task, indeed, for the Bison defense.

After a few youthfully obnoxious questions about his arm strength and his footwork, the coach, very polite and professional, muttered something most likely to get it on record for the sake of re-telling this story later to his colleagues.

"I figured you'd want to talk about Smith."

"Who's that?" I blurted out, while feverishly paging through press releases.

"Aaron Smith's our defensive tackle stud," he said, almost proudly. "Scouts have been watching him."

My jaw nearly hit the table. Scouts? Nevermind this McGuffey guy. I just wanted to hear about Aaron Smith.

Armed with a notebook, a press pass dangling from a Steelers lanyard and every stat sheet the sports information department had put together for the 1998 season, I rushed out Saturday evening to do me some sports writing. I took it seriously. That beer didn't pay for itself.

No one on earth has ever been better prepared to cover a regular season Division II football game, I tell you what.

The seat reserved for the student newspaper reporter was the third to last seat in a 65-seat press box at Fargodome. The two chairs to my left were empty, as were about 35 seats to my right. I felt odd being cut off from the rest of the ink-stained wretches, but I had my soda, my thing of nachos and 200 pages of stats, bios and history from both schools in front of me, so I was doing just fine.

About midway through the first quarter, a short, very athletic younger guy came in and sat in the last seat at the end of the row. He went through the media buffet, probably the only one there who bypassed the nachos and got fruit and a salad. Odd, for this business.

He had on a light yellow polo shirt with a small logo above the left breast. I strained my eyes to see it, widening them as I realized it was the logo of the Washington Redskins.

The scout probably regrets responding to my first question, because I asked him approximately two thousand more over the next 2.5 hours. The topic was Aaron Smith, whom the scout confirmed he was there to see.

I remember him telling me of Smith's potential, and how he'd likely be a base defensive end, not a tackle or a rush end. He used a phrase to describe Smith's possession of certain abilities as "it's there," like, "his footwork is there, his quickness is there."

I was eating this up and asking for seconds.

I asked him what he looked for in a defensive lineman. He said bluntly, "hands." I asked him how Smith's hands were.

"They're there, but not as much as they should be." I dumbly asked him if that meant his hands weren't big enough, and he gave out something of an annoyed laugh, much like older people would do when being bothered by a child.

"How a defensive linemen uses his hands is important in what they do. He needs to be able to shed a block and the best way to do that is to control the blocker. That's done with his hands."

Watching Smith the rest of the game, I paid attention to his hands. They were "there," keep in mind. Having no clue what that meant, I immediately surmised he had the best hand placement of anyone in the game. Pretty sure I even noted that in my article, somewhere in the 1,400 words I used for that story (enough for a case of Keystone Light).

Whatever it was for Smith, it worked that game. He had three tackles - two sacks and a tackle-for-loss - in UNC's 29-16 win over NDSU. Around the midway point in the fourth quarter, the SID brought sheets around for the media to write down the names of people for both teams they wanted to interview.

Everyone wanted to interview the standard home team players, i.e. the quarterback, wide receiver and running back. I put in a request to talk to Aaron Smith. I had covered two games, but no one ever informed me I was allowed to interview players.

Bypassing the team I was being paid to cover, after the game, I headed to the other side of Fargodome to interview Smith, for absolutely no reason than to talk with a guy who may get drafted in the upcoming spring.

Smith came out of the locker room with a surprised but friendly look on his face. Lankier than bulky, but as muscular as the day is long, Smith power-walked over to me, as if he had enough energy to play another game.

It dawned on me at that moment I had never interviewed anyone before, and I had no clue what I was doing.

I reached out my hand, almost as a peace offering, because the speed in which he was moving made me feel like he was about to break down and lay my skinny butt out.

"Hi Aaron, I'm Neal Coolong with The Spectrum at NDSU."

"Hi, nice to meet you."

He didn't shake my hand, he enveloped half of my arm. His hands were "there," all right, enormous and extremely strong. The kinds of hands you could see ripping a phone book in half.

I asked a few of the basics about the game, but then I dropped the bomb on him.

"I sat with a Redskins scout, he said you have a good chance of getting drafted."

Smith stared at me for a quick second, almost as if I said some kind of trigger word which transformed him into the Manchurian Football Player.

"I'm not worried about the draft right now, I'm just playing this season, helping our team win," and blah blah blah. It quickly got awkward, so I switched back to questions about the game, waiting for a chance to re-direct the conversation.

He did it for me, though.

"Steelers fan?" he asked, pointing at my lanyard.

"Absolutely!" I responded. And waited.

He didn't say anything specific after that and I eventually let him go back to the locker room. I thought to myself, "wouldn't it be cool if the guy I just interviewed was drafted by the Steelers?"

Six months later, he was.

I heard "With the 14th pick of the fourth round, the Steelers select, Aaron Smith, defensive end, Northern Colorado."

There may have been trumpets sounding in the background, I'm not sure.

You would have thought Smith and I were best friends, the way I was speaking about him. I mentioned how his hands were "there," and how strong they were. I also mentioned how nice he was, and how the interview he gave me was among the greatest things one human has ever done for another.

Smith was starting for the Steelers in his second year. He started for the Steelers for the next 12 years. In the prime of his career, we saw No. 91 dominate in the quietest way possible. His helmet and shoulder pads humorously looked like toys on his massive frame. At his best, he was unblockable.

Aaron Smith epitomized Steelers football. If Hines Ward and Jerome Bettis were the faces of the team in the early-to-mid 2000s, Smith was the heart. A staple along a defensive line that demonstrated not only the Steelers' defensive dominance during that time, but the emergence of one of the best front offices in all of football. First-round pick Casey Hampton was flanked at nose tackle by seventh-round pick Brett Keisel and Smith. All of whom went to Pro Bowls in their careers.

Smith was the pro's pro. His coaches often lauded his work ethic, labeling as the hardest worker on the team. A quiet, consummate trencherman who constantly drew praises of "underrated" from national media.

We never underrated Aaron Smith. We cried upon learning of his son, Elijah, battling leukemia. We celebrated hearing Elijah's recovery. We cheered Smith's 2004 Pro Bowl season probably much more loudly than he did. We watched him for 13 years represent our team at just as high a level as any player in the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Smith's career with the Steelers will end this year, and he may not play again. Battling multiple injuries over the past three seasons, we look at our battered hero, thinking, "say it ain't so."

The business end of the game, along with simple human mortality, has hit Steelers fans harder this offseason than perhaps it ever has in the history of the franchise. It's sobering, painful even, but regardless of what happens in 2012 and beyond, Smith's release, and that of Hines Ward earlier this week, formally marks the end of the Steelers' Second Dynasty.

That dynasty isn't about winning, although they won plenty. It was about the core group of guys defining championship character and ability.

Aaron Smith defines those guys better than anyone. He defines this era of Steelers greatness. Even if we knew this day was coming for some time now, it still hurts.

My sports writing career rightly ended far before Smith's playing career did, but my interview with a future Steelers legend will always be one of my favorite memories.

If all I got was a "I knew him when" story, that's ok with me. Guys like Smith come few and far in between, but I can't think of a better name-drop story than the first interview I ever did.

Thanks for the time, Aaron, both in Pittsburgh and in Fargo.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/20 ... #storyjump (http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/3/2/2838802/steelers-aaron-smith-released#storyjump)