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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Dwight Smith given no guarantees

    Posted on Thu, Jul. 27, 2006

    [size=18px]No guarantees given to Smith[/size]

    Signee will have to earn starting safety spot

    BY DON SEEHOLZER
    Pioneer Press


    Dwight Smith will pocket a $615,000 roster bonus for this season as part of the three-year, $6.5 million contract he signed Tuesday with the Vikings, but the sixth-year safety said he hasn't been guaranteed a starting position.

    In a phone interview from his Tampa, Fla., home, Smith said Wednesday he was promised only the opportunity to compete with Tank Williams for the right to start opposite Pro Bowl free safety Darren Sharper in the middle of the team's new Tampa 2 defense, which is one of the reasons he wanted a multi-year deal.

    "They have Tank Williams there, a guy who's started almost every game he's played in this league," Smith said. "I had to take a couple years. Who's to say? I might not beat Tank out."

    Asked how the Vikings described his role coming in, Smith said: "Basically, just another vet in the room. A guy who's won everything. Familiarity in the defense to help the guys learn the scheme and just play football, man."

    In addition to safety, Smith, 27, has the speed and coverage skills to fill the Vikings' vacancy at nickel back, but he said that wasn't discussed.

    "We're just talking about safety at this point," he said. "We haven't said anything about the corner position. Just come in and get my feet wet at safety first. If I'm needed at nickel corner, I'll go there."

    Some have speculated that the addition of Smith, a natural free safety, could prompt the Vikings to move Sharper to strong safety.

    Smith, while noting that the responsibilities of those positions are reversed in the Tampa 2, said he isn't sure how things will shake out.

    Vikings coach Brad Childress was unavailable for comment Wednesday but will address the Smith signing today, when rookies and selected veterans report to training camp in Mankato.

    Smith, who will report Sunday evening with the rest of the veterans, chose the Vikings over offers from Tampa Bay and Baltimore and said he couldn't pass up the chance to be reunited with defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin, his defensive backs coach for his first four NFL seasons with the Buccaneers.

    "He was my DB coach in Tampa and the first coach I ever had," Smith said. "I feel that's when I played my best football was under him."

    Under the circumstances, Smith said he thought he played pretty well last season in New Orleans, too, but new coach Sean Payton and his staff released Smith last week after they were unable to trade him.

    Smith had a couple of off-the-field problems in Tampa, pleading guilty in 2003 to charges of brandishing a gun at a motorist, for which he was sentenced to one year probation.

    In 2005 he was charged with pulling a pellet gun on two people while he was waiting at a McDonald's drive-through window, but those charges were later dropped.

    Smith, because of his relationship with Tomlin, said those incidents weren't an issue during his two-day visit with the Vikings.

    "Mike was here when those things were going on," Smith said. "The off-the-field stuff was really nothing. It was people targeting me, knowing who I am, and trying to get money out of me."

    Don Seeholzer can be reached at [email protected]

    No guarantees given to Smith

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    vikeswin2005's Avatar
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    Re: Dwight Smith given no guarantees

    hmmmmmmmm..... I did not realize he had 2 gun charges

  3. #3
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    Re: Dwight Smith given no guarantees

    I think that's great, if your new you shouldn't be promised anything. I like it that he has to prove himself.

  4. #4
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    Re: Dwight Smith given no guarantees

    I am not sure if I like Smith playing $(strong safety) at this point. He didn't play that position for Tampa Bay, Lynch did. And taking from the namesake's lead I would have to say that Tank would make for a much better $ at this point. With the way that the $ roles up to the line of scrimmage as it does in the Tampa 2 scheme to essentially act as another linebacker, I would like to see Tank in this position.

    BUT the reason I am excited about the Dwight Smith signing is the depth and future it gives our secondary. Not only could Smith play nickel or dime back for the team this season, but he gives a a solid fall back if or when Sharper calls it quits. Sharper is a great S(safety) and is still one of the best in the leugue, but he is getting old and may not be with the team for as long as we the fans would like. But if he were to retire/[leave(God forbid)] Smith definitely has the ability to be a good S for the Vikings, as he was in Tampa Bay. We would be going from great to good, but at least we have commendable depthand options now.

  5. #5
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    Re: Dwight Smith given no guarantees

    I didn't know about the gun charges either...

    BUT, I think he'll be a great addition to the team wether he's starting or not. He sounds like a pretty standup guy (at least I thought so). He's willing to accept what role he is assigned and I don't think he'll be biatching about it regardless. The signing does add some depth which is obviously a benefit. I'm happy and look forward to watching the competition begin! Part of me wants Tank to win only because I've been looking forward to seeing some big hits from him but we'll have to wait and see what happens.

  6. #6
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    Re: Dwight Smith given no guarantees

    Lovin it. Being ever so lucky (sarcasim on) I live in Tampa Bay. So I've had plently of opportunities to see Smith play.Hes really truly is the icing on the cake right now.His versitality is what draws me too him.So rare is that ability, and I love it.Childress wants competition at every position, so far so good!

    Theres NOTHING greater then a Florida Gator!
    "I promise everyone this. When Childress is let go in two years I can honestly say this.
    "I am not surprised"."-PurplePackerEater

  7. #7
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    Re: Dwight Smith given no guarantees

    Lovin it. Being ever so lucky (sarcasim on) I live in Tampa Bay. So I've had plently of opportunities to see Smith play.He really truly is the icing on the cake right now.His versitality is what draws me too him.So rare is that ability, and I love it.Childress wants competition at every position, so far so good!

    Theres NOTHING greater then a Florida Gator!
    "I promise everyone this. When Childress is let go in two years I can honestly say this.
    "I am not surprised"."-PurplePackerEater

  8. #8
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    Re: Dwight Smith given no guarantees

    im glad almost nobody is gauranteed anything, then they'll all play at their bests, this way both new safeties we signed will be pushed ^_^


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