Tag Archives: Aaron
Aaron Smith, a fixture in the Steelers 3-4 defense since 1999, was recently cut by the team. He thanks the city of Pittsburgh and all Steelers fans via a full-page ad in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Here’s the text of the letter. “As of today, I am no longer a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I…
This says it all, and it's clearly from the heart.
Dear Steelers Fans,
As of today, I am no longer a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I leave the field and Steelers with no regrets, and am grateful to have played for such a tremendous organization. I feel truly blessed to have spent my entire professional career in the best town, playing for the most loyal fans who have loved and supported myself and my family.
The last 13 years of our lives have been special because of the people who cheered me on, and I am truly fortunate to have been a part of the Steelers, the City of Pittsburgh and the Steelers Nation. You have opened your arms and your hearts to us as a family and we will never forget that. Your support, enthusiasm, love and dedication are gifts I will carry with me my entire life.
I may no longer be on the Steelers active roster, but I will always be a Steeler and will never forget the people who made it all worthwhile -- the fans, the Rooneys, the front office, the equipment guys and trainers, my teammates and family. Thank you for supporting me over the last 13 years, and I hope you will support me in whatever future path life will take me on.
We plan on making Pittsburgh our home and I will endeavor for the rest of my days to find a way to thank each and every one of you personally for all that you have done and meant for me and my family. You cheered for me for 13 years and now I cheer for you for the rest of my life. You will always be in my heart, thoughts and prayers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to have the job of a lifetime. You will always be in my heart.
Your friend always,
Aaron Smith and Family, No. 91
Thank YOU, Aaron. May God continue to bless you and your family. Godspeed.
Source: Behind the Steel Curtain
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.…
According to Pittsburgh Post Gazette beat writer Ed Bouchette, the releases of veteran wide receiver Hines Ward, defensive end Aaron Smith, linebacker James Farrior and guard Chris Kemoeatu were made official last Friday at 4 p.m. There had been some uncertainty of when it would be official, but now we know it is. That of course means that all four were free at that time to start negotiating with other teams, and as Bouchette reports, it appears that Kemoeatu and his agent Ken Vierra are already talking to a few teams.
Bouchette also said that Smith is expected to retire and that is not surprising Read more [...]
Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers
Bob and Mike dissect the issue of the Steelers cutting Hines Ward, Aaron Smith, and James Farrior
Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : Videos
The blood letting of the Steelers roster continues, as Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the team has released d-lineman Aaron Smith.
More moves coming in Pittsburgh: Steelers releasing Aaron Smith.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 1, 2012
Smith played just four games last season, and over the last three seasons has played in just 15 games total.
The move comes one day after the team announced they are going to release all-time leading WR Hines Ward.
Source: Steelers Gab
It was a thoroughly depressing week for Steeler Nation. Our love and admiration for the men we have watched over the years just slammed headfirst into the inexorable helmet of Father Time. Where’s Roger Goodell when you need him? I’ve got a heart injury.
Many of you have been cheering the Steelers on for decades, and you have seen many players, even ones as well-loved as Hines Ward, given their pink slip. You have watched other players take their place. Many of these new faces have come and gone, a mere blip on the radar screen. Others have had a more lasting impact. Although no one could replace someone like Franco Harris or Jack Lambert, many new players have carved out their own niche in the hearts of Steeler fans.
But some of us don’t have this perspective yet. For those of us who are fairly new to Steeler Nation, this is our first experience of this type of loss. I joined Steeler Nation during the 2009 season, in the middle of the disastrous five-game losing streak. Although I didn’t understand much of what I was seeing other than the scoreboard, and although what I saw on the scoreboard wasn’t good, nonetheless I was hooked. Names I had heard frequently on the broadcasts—Troy Polamalu, Ben Roethlisberger, James Harrison—started to become real people to me, although I still wasn’t sure whether Troy played for the offense or the defense.
As I learned more about the game, I also began to learn about the men who played it. There are some whose names I never knew before they left the team. Other names I knew, but only as objects for derision, or so I gathered from the disgusted comments on BTSC. But there were names I heard frequently and almost always with approval in those earlier days. Hines Ward. Aaron Smith. James Farrior. I came to understand these men as the embodiment of what it was to be a Steeler. It wasn’t just about football.
I discovered Hines Ward had a rule named after him because of his fearlessness and his selfless play. He had changed the expectations for how wide receivers played, not just in Pittsburgh but across the league. But I also learned about Hines’ biracial heritage and his efforts to increase tolerance of biracial children in his native Korea. I saw him honored by the President of the United States. And then during the 2010 offseason, we all - Hines included - discovered that he could dance. During this process of discovery a nation fell in love with Hines and saw the tough, hard-working, and yet tender-hearted person Steeler Nation knew him to be. We saw his determination in mastering a new discipline, his tears for his injured partner, and his joy at winning the grand prize. He made me proud to be a Steeler fan.
I discovered Aaron Smith was considered to be one of the most underrated players in the NFL. As I learned more about the roles of the various players in the defense, I discovered the front three are the unheralded workhorses of the Dick LeBeau 3-4 defense, sacrificing impressive statistics of their own to support the linebackers. And Aaron Smith was the consummate 3-4 DE. But I also learned about the man his teammates knew and loved. I read about the battle his son went through with leukemia, how he inspired his teammates during this difficult time, and his quiet faith. I saw how his teammates joined him to raise money for childhood leukemia research. He made me proud to be a Steeler fan.
James Farrior was different than Hines Ward or Aaron Smith. He was drafted as the 8th pick of the 1997 draft by the New York Jets. Ward was drafted in the third round in 1998, Smith in the fourth round in 1999, both by the Steelers. Farrior’s career with the Jets was not impressive, although it is perhaps not too surprising since he didn’t see much time on the field. He was considered somewhat of a bust and allowed to leave in free agency after the 2001 season.
The Steelers picked him up, and in his first season he amassed 82 tackles in 14 games. Two years later Farrior was runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year, right behind Ed Reed, having recorded 94 tackles, three sacks, and four interceptions. During the 2010 season, at age 35, as part of an unbelievably good run defense, Farrior had 109 tackles and six sacks. Perhaps his early struggles said more about who drafted him than his play, or maybe he was a late bloomer; but either way, Farrior thrived in the Steeler organization.
As I continued to learn about how the defense worked, I discovered that Farrior was the brains of a very complicated system. His teammates elected him captain of the defense every single year beginning in 2004. I saw and appreciated his soft-spoken style of leadership on the field. I also learned about his compassionate heart off the field. With his brother, Matt, he formed a foundation in his hometown of Richmond, VA to address the needs of "under-served and at-risk children." The foundation helps to meet their physical needs with a Coats for Christmas program, but more importantly, it is concerned for their health, education, and character development. Farrior is directly involved with some of the activities of the organization and is making a difference with not only his money but his example. He makes me proud to be a Steeler fan.
On an intellectual level, I understand these roster moves are necessary and proper. As hard as it is to believe, I know other players will step up to fill the leadership void these men leave. But in my heart, I cannot see how we will ever see their like again. I join my voice to the great chorus of Steeler Nation and thank them for what they have meant to both the Steelers and to the sport itself. Whether they have hung up their cleats for the last time or play for another team, they will always belong to the Black and Gold.
And I bid them Godspeed.
Source: Behind the Steel Curtain
The Pittsburgh Steelers will release veteran linebacker James Farrior and defensive end Aaron Smith, the latest in a series of roster moves meant to address the team's salary cap issues and aging defense.
Team president Art Rooney II announced Friday the team will cut Farrior and Smith before the league's new calendar year begins March 13. The Steelers announced earlier this week they also will release wide receiver Hines Ward.
Farrior and Smith served as the backbone of a defense that led the team to two Super Bowl victories and three AFC titles over the last decade. The 37-year-old Farrior, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, had 78 tackles in 14 games last season.
Smith, who turns 36 next month, had 44 sacks during his 13-year career but struggled to stay healthy over the last few seasons.
Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers
“Coach Tomlin has talked to both Aaron Smith and James Farrior to let them know we are going to release them prior to the start of the NFL calendar year (March 13),” Steelers President Art Rooney I...
Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : News
Released by the Steelers after 13 seasons, defensive end Aaron Smith sounds more likely to retire than find another team that will pay him. “We’re celebrating  years of having the privilege of playing for the Steelers, and Aaron is celebrating having more time with his five kids and wife. There are no hard feelings,”…