From the get-go in 2010, it was kind of obvious that Steve Smith wasn't a big fan of Jimmy Clausen. It's hard to blame him, because Clausen's ascension to the role of starter meant a serious step back for the passing game.
But perhaps there's another underlying issue that's part of Smith's makeup? Well, maybe -- Smith talked to Yahoo! Sports' Doug Farrar recently, and indicated that over the last decade, he's purposely avoided becoming close with rookies.
"One of the things I would like to accomplish is that for the last 10 years, I really haven't talked to a lot of rookies through training camp," Smith said. "It's really hard, because a lot of those guys get cut. I can remember that almost all of the wide receivers we drafted or were undrafted — there was a guy named Kevin Coffey from Virginia, and after he got cut, it was very difficult, because we hung out for so long.
|Smith's Saga in Charlotte|
"So, I didn't talk with a lot of the rookies and free agents until after final cuts, because I just didn't want to get emotionally attached. That's one thing I lost out on — there's probably about 10 or 12 guys over the last 10 years, but I've missed out on [developing relationships with] a lot of those rookies."
The full interview with Smith over at Shutdown Corner is absolutely worth reading. You can tell he's entering a phase of his career where he wants to move forward from past mistakes, but also finds himself looking back in an introspective fashion.
Seriously -- I'm not trying to over-blow it, but Smith opens up a ton with Farrar, and it's fascinating to see such a fiery, emotional competitor clearly at a career (and life) crossroads.
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