Last summer during his first training camp with the Steelers, rookie Anthony Smith sent a wake-up call to the veterans when he snared two interceptions during preseason action against the Arizona Cardinals.
"It was a big confidence builder for me, to know that I could do out there what I did in college -- be a playmaker and give our team a better chance to win a game," Smith said during a recent Scout Radio interview.
Now entering his second season in Pittsburgh, the 5-foot-11, 192-pound free safety will be involved this summer in one of the team's most interesting training camp battles against Ryan Clark, who is also entering his second season with the Steelers, but his sixth NFL season after stints with the Giants and the Redskins.
"I go over to his house after the games, play with his kids like they're mine," the former Syracuse University defensive back said. "We don't let it affect us at all, we know it's out of our control. He's a good safety, he knows I'm a good safety."
Smith wrapped up his rookie campaign appearing in all 16 games, starting in the final four weeks of the season. During that stretch as a starter, he grabbed a pair of interceptions, returning each one for 20 yards against the Browns and the Panthers. Over the course of the year, he was credited with 28 tackles and 8 passes defensed in addition to his two interceptions.
Scout.com subscribers can listen to this 5-minute audio clip from Anthony's Scout Radio interview where he talks about his playing style, the special role of the free safety in Pittsburgh's defense, his upcoming training camp battle and what he thinks new head coach Mike Tomlin's greatest contribution has been to the team so far. Just click this link: Listen to Audio
|A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.|