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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud

    Posted on Sun, May. 14, 2006

    [size=18px]Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud[/size]

    DAVE CAMPBELL
    Associated Press


    EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - 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 collecting 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.

    But 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."

    Notes: The position currently in the biggest flux is middle linebacker, where E.J. Henderson, Napoleon Harris and Dontarrious Thomas have all been working this spring. Uncertainty is essentially irrelevant, though, until the Vikings practice in pads when training camp begins. Tomlin wasn't worried: "If I'm looking for comfort, I need to find a new line of work."

    ... Punter Chris Kluwe, recovering from reconstructive knee surgery after a stellar rookie season, is on schedule to kick sometime this summer. He'll be pushed by undrafted free agent John Torp, who played at Colorado. Special teams coordinator Paul Ferraro said he'd prefer the punter also serve as the holder for extra points and field goals.

    Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud

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

  2. #2
    LAVike is offline Pro-Bowler
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    Re: Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud

    "Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud . . ."

    . . . still injured.
    "Veni, Vidi, Vikings!"--Julius Caesar

  3. #3
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    Re: Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud

    im excited to see what he does, it's great to see that it hasn't hurt his pride or confidence. being a corner in the NFL can be a mindjob, and though he sometimes speaks up too often, I think his attitude and confidence are going to help him rebound and become the corner we signed him to be.

  4. #4
    Warp's Avatar
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    Re: Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud

    Smoot is gonna be awesome! Winfield,Smoot and Griffin are gonna do great this year as a team.

  5. #5
    PurplePride80's Avatar
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    Re: Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud

    Yeah, Fred Smoot will rebound from his horrendous season last year.

    It's good to hear he's put on some weight, that should also help him against those bigger WR's.
    In the P.J.'s, my blend tape plays, bullets are strays
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  6. #6
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud

    I think Smoot will have a much better year this year with a new defensive coordinator running the defense, the fact that he got more physically fit & the new practices are better conditioning the team.

    Still, we paid too much for his services.

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

  7. #7
    jaymz7's Avatar
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    Re: Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud

    "singersp" wrote:
    I think Smoot will have a much better year this year with a new defensive coordinator running the defense, the fact that he got more physically fit & the new practices are better conditioning the team.

    Still, we paid too much for his services.
    I agree singer. He will do better, but we did pay to much for him.

  8. #8
    Vikes_King's Avatar
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    Re: Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud

    i really hope he's healthy this year.. smoot & winfield (both healthy).. *drool*


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  9. #9
    2beersTommy's Avatar
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    Re: Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud

    Me thinks he needs to concentrate more on staying healthy & playing better..and STFU..

  10. #10
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    Re: Heavier, humbled Smoot still loud, still proud

    WOW, reading that interview really showed me how HUMBLE he his now!!!!!

    "I'm still quick, baby," Smoot said.

    "He thinks he's the best corner in the league, and that's a good thing when he goes out there,"


    I love this guy.
    Vikings from all over the world. Lets unite!

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