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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Smith or no Smith, Vikings secondary excited & Smith updates

    Posted on Wed, Sep. 13, 2006

    [size=13pt]Smith or no Smith, Vikings secondary excited[/size]

    DAVE CAMPBELL
    Associated Press


    EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - The Minnesota Vikings are planning on facing Carolina's standout receiver Steve Smith this week. At least that's what most of them are claiming publicly.

    Smith is listed as questionable on the injury report, and he didn't practice Wednesday because of a lingering problem with his hamstrings.

    Last year, Smith famously torched cornerback Fred Smoot, who played solo coverage most of the game, for 11 receptions, 201 yards and a touchdown in a 38-13 Panthers win that was the clear low point of Minnesota's tumultuous season.

    "If he plays, he plays," Smoot said, sounding put off by the question. "If he don't, he don't."

    What about evening the score for last year's embarrassment?

    "I feel like I want to win," Smoot said. "I don't feel like I want to even no score. I want to be 2-0 when the game's over."

    Safety Darren Sharper spoke for Smoot's fire.

    "Being the competitor that Fred is, I know that he wants to come back and play," Sharper said. "Not just because of who he's playing against in Carolina and things last year, but because it's the next opponent."

    Fellow cornerback Antoine Winfield's eyes brightened at the mention of Smith and Keyshawn Johnson, the other decorated receiver for the Panthers.

    Especially Smith.

    "What he did last year was unbelievable. We're definitely looking forward to challenging him and not letting him get off against us like he did last year," Winfield said. "No repeat of last year. We're definitely going to prepare like he's 100 percent. We're watching a lot of film on him. Picking up tendencies, and we'll definitely be prepared."

    Watching a tape of last season's game won't help much, because the Vikings use a different defense this year. Last year, Smoot was stuck covering Smith by himself, a coaching decision that Winfield criticized.

    "You can't do that with that guy," he said, referring to Smith's ability.


    BLUE COMES THROUGH: Rookie safety Greg Blue, the team's fifth-round draft pick out of Georgia, was a surprise starter in the season opener when Dwight Smith was inactive, undoubtedly due to his citation last month for indecent conduct in a stairwell outside a downtown nightclub.

    Coach Brad Childress was pleased by the way Blue played, making a few big hits, avoiding the big mistake and knowing his assignments. Blue found out he was going to start in the locker room before the game, when defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin approached him with a big smile.

    "Aw, man, Monday night football, national TV. Might as well, you know?" said Blue, whose cell phone voice mail was full after the game.

    Smith will return to the starting lineup for this week's game, Childress has said. Smith has declined to discuss his off-the-field incident or confirm specifics of the decision by Childress to punish him.


    QUICK HITS: Running back Ciatrick Fason (shoulder) and safety Will Hunter (hamstring) appeared on Wednesday's injury report, though they both participated in practice and are listed as probable. The list was distributed after coach and player media availability was done for the day. ... Linebacker Chad Greenway walked through the locker room with a smile on his face, sans crutches or a significant limp. The rookie, who had surgery last month to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, said he was feeling "good."

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

  2. #2
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Smith or no Smith, Vikings secondary excited


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

  3. #3
    VikesfaninWis's Avatar
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    Re: Smith or no Smith, Vikings secondary excited

    Although I like Blue, and think he did a great job filling in, I am very excited to see Dwight Smith returning to starter.. It is always best when you have a veteran with knowledge of the system starting for you..

    Also, I don't see Smith torching the Vikings like he did last season.. Even if he was playing at 100%, the new coaches are much smarter then the previous ones, and he will not beat us by himself like last year..

  4. #4
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    Re: Smith or no Smith, Vikings secondary excited

    Posted on Thu, Sep. 14, 2006

    [size=13pt]Point made, Smith says[/size]

    Childress set an example with him, and safety is OK with it

    BY SEAN JENSEN
    Pioneer Press


    Vikings starting safety Dwight Smith regards himself as a playmaker, and he revels in the spotlight.

    So Smith, the only NFL player to return two interceptions for touchdowns in a Super Bowl, agonized Monday night when he was deactivated for the Vikings' season opener because of an off-field misstep last month.

    But Smith said Wednesday that he respects the culture of accountability coach Brad Childress is creating at Winter Park, even if he was one of the first examples.

    "We sat down and talked about it," Smith said. "(Childress) felt this was the first step for him putting his team in line. He's showing that he's proactive on anything that's not right for the team, and you got to appreciate that. If you want a winning team, that's what you want."

    Smith was grateful for how diplomatically Childress handled the entire situation. Smith was cited and ticketed for indecent conduct in downtown Minneapolis early in the morning of Aug. 26, hours after the Vikings defeated the Baltimore Ravens in an exhibition game at the Metrodome.

    "You, as a man, respect another man who talks to you, not as an employee in times like that," Smith said. "Because when you're in that time of something, where everybody is trying to make you out to be the bad guy, you don't need to come to work and your boss feels the same way."

    But Smith was perturbed by two things: people jumping to conclusions about what happened that night and people persecuting defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin, who vouched for him before he signed on July 25.

    "People pass judgment before the whole story is out," said Smith, who was especially upset about rumors circulating about what happened that night. "Don't nobody know the story. If it was such a bad thing, we would have had court dates and things like that.

    "Once everything comes out, everybody will see," Smith said. "But I'm glad it's behind me."

    As for Tomlin, Smith said, "The thing that upset me the most was they (the media) tried to challenge his character for bringing me here.

    "That was the whole story about me coming here, was because of coach Tomlin," Smith said. "So they associate us together for the good, and they associate us together for the bad also. And I didn't want him to be seen in that light, because we all make our own decisions."

    When Childress told Greg Blue that he would be starting the opener against the Washington Redskins in Smith's place, the veteran immediately approached the rookie to lend his support.

    "I told him every time he came off the field to come talk to me, because I might see a few things," Smith said. "But I'm not going to say I was the reason he played as well as he did because I believe he's a (heck) of a football player, and he stepped up and took the challenge."

    On the sideline, Blue said Smith gave him tips on his role in different coverages, based on what the Redskins were doing.

    "That meant a lot to me right there," Blue said. "I still had his support, and he wanted to make sure I was all right out there."

    Although Blue was solid, recording six tackles, the Vikings are looking forward to Smith's return.

    "He's going to be a guy who makes plays for us and helps us out," Vikings safety Darren Sharper said. "It'll be good to get all our weapons back."

    After developing a rapport with the other starting defensive backs, Smith is looking forward to at least replicating the success he had in Tampa with players like John Lynch and Ronde Barber.

    "I couldn't have ended up in a better situation," Smith said. "When you got four veteran guys like we do, different guys bring different things to the table. So on game day, we all have input, and we all take it from each other."

    This week, Smith has been practicing with the starting defense, and Childress said on his weekly show on KFAN-AM that the veteran will resume his usual role. Smith is ready to move forward.

    "If we get it out of the way as soon as possible, that was the best thing for all of us," Smith said. "The first game is over. I paid my debt for it, and we've got 15 games left, and hopefully I can help us with these 15 weeks."

    Sean Jensen can be reached at [email protected]

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

  5. #5
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Smith or no Smith, Vikings secondary excited & Smith updates

    As far as Steve Smith goes......if we do not get pressure on the QB he will torch us again. Our zone has gaping holes, he will eat that up all day.

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    whackthepack is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Smith or no Smith, Vikings secondary excited & Smith updates

    The Panthers lost their starting left tackle for the season and are moving their right tackle to left and starting a young backup at right.
    I am hoping with the change of personnel that the Viking's D line can really create some havoc and put a lot of pressure up front.
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  7. #7
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Smith or no Smith, Vikings secondary excited & Smith updates

    "whackthepack" wrote:
    The Panthers lost their starting left tackle for the season and are moving their right tackle to left and starting a young backup at right.
    I am hoping with the change of personnel that the Viking's D line can really create some havoc and put a lot of pressure up front.
    That will definately play a role. They have good blocking from their FB/HB too so you may see more up the gut blitzing if the Defensive end can MAKE the hb help the recently switched tackle.

    Some guys have a hard time switching, some guys slide right into it so it will be a wait and see thing I am sure. Probably the same blocking assignments just flip flopped.

  8. #8
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    Re: Smith or no Smith, Vikings secondary excited & Smith updates

    I'm very excited to see Dwight back. When I heard he was deactivated for the Skins, I thought Blue would be burnt up all night. Blue proved me wrong, thankfully, and now I have more confidence in our secondary than before. If only Tank was healthy......
    Trying to bring rationale to an irrational site

  9. #9
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    Re: Smith or no Smith, Vikings secondary excited & Smith updates

    honestly, this just once again made me thankful to have blue on our team, not for this year; although i think he'll be an adequate back up, im talking again to the future.

    T-Jack
    T-Will (carter?)
    Griffin, and Blue

    thats a nice start for the future to replace some of our aging players down the line


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  10. #10
    marcosMN is offline Star Spokesman
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    Re: Smith or no Smith, Vikings secondary excited & Smith updates

    Jake Delhomme is an emotional player. If we can force him into making some mistakes early on, we should be able to shut their offense down.
    -Sno

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