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Sunday, August 9: Fred Smoot, Disciplinarian

Posted by Matt Terl on August 9, 2009 – 8:24 am

Seventh-round draft pick WR Marko Mitchell was one of the offensive bright spots during yesterday’s scrimmage, catching three passes for 32 yards. And he was characteristically humble about this. “I think I did a good job out there,” he said, “think I could’ve done a little bit more.”

He also was one of the bravest guys on the field, not because he took a whole lot of big hits — although he did — but because he made one of the most ambitious decisions any player on a football field can make: he started yapping with Fred Smoot.

“I decided I’d just get into a little jawin’ with him for a minute just to hype everything up,” Mitchell said afterward. “You know, I just felt like it was a little too quiet out there, so I just wanted to go head up with him for a second.”

This is risky, because Smoot is not only the most senior member of the defensive backfield, he’s also a borderline legendary talker. “When we all step on the field we all professionals, that’s how I look at it,” Mitchell explained.

It started with some chirping and jawing back and forth when Mitchell was blocking Smoot downfield. “He came up and blocked me kinda hard,” Smoot said. ” So you know, I kinda felt offense to it.”

And it ended — for the moment — with Mitchell going up for a pass in the back of the endzone and Smoot breaking it up with enough enthusiasm that Mitchell wound up laid out on the grass and Smoot’s helmet flew out the back of the endzone.

“It was just an overthrown ball,” Mitchell said, “and I tried to catch it or whatever. And then Fred just came across and just caught me in the air. I think that was his way of just getting his revenge on me.”

“That’s because we had got to arguing a couple plays before that,” Smoot said of his monster hit, “and I had to get a little off my chest.” So did that even things up, then? “Nah. It takes a lot more to even things up.”

Smoot went on, “Hey, he’s a rookie. And you know, sometimes rookies got the notion to be rude to vets, so I had to straighten him. It’s just like my gramma used to do when she’d put me on her knee and spank me a little bit. That’s all.”

Mitchell, for his part, declined further response, probably wisely. “I didn’t say nothin’ to him after that,” he said, “because if we don’t catch the ball, he won at the end. So there’s wasn’t nothin’ I could say to him.”

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