Smoot Wonders About FedEx Reception Monday

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.--Fred Smoot wonders what kind of reception he'll get from the FedEx Field crowd Monday night.

The chatty cornerback was a fan favorite when he played for the Washington Redskins. But he left the Redskins last year as a free agent to sign a six-year, $34 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings. Now he returns as an opponent when the Redskins face the Vikings in the season opener for both teams, and he said here last week he's not sure what to expect.

"I really don't know," Smoot said, sitting outside the locker room at the Vikings' training facility. "I hope it's good. I hope they cheer me. I always got along great with the fans when I was there. It was nothing against them that I left. It was business. I still love them, and I hope they still like me. But you never know. I'm on the other side now."

The Redskins tried to re-sign Smoot and he said he has no hard feelings toward the organization. He had particularly kind words for Coach Joe Gibbs.

"It was a salary cap thing," Smoot said. "They couldn't fit in the kind of contract I knew I could get somewhere else. If Joe Gibbs had been there a year or two earlier, I'm sure I'd still be there. They would have gotten things worked out earlier."

Smoot had a miserable first year with the Vikings, missing games because of a collarbone injury and being among the team's four players who were charged with two misdemeanors each for their conduct during the club's infamous October party on two cruise boats on Lake Minnetonka. Smoot pleaded guilty in May to disorderly conduct and being a public nuisance on a watercraft and was fined $1,000 and sentenced to 48 hours of community service. He said last week that he regretted the incident but he remains angry about how he was portrayed in media reports.

He added some bulk to his formerly skinny frame during the offseason and said he intends to raise his level of play this season.

"I'm going to be one of the five best corners in the league," Smoot said. "I don't just want top 10. I want top five. I fell out of the rankings last year. When you don't play, you don't get ranked. You drop out. This year, I plan to be right up there."

By Mark Maske |  September 6, 2006; 10:00 AM ET  | Category:  Vikings
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Posted by: Fred | September 6, 2006 11:46 AM

I think that Smoot shouldn't receive a harsh welcome when he steps onto FedEx Field. I hope he receives applause, (as I plan to give him from my $49/game-three rows down from the top seats, but at the same time... I will be rooting for Moss, or Randal-El to blow by him, or Cooley to deliver a crushing block on Smoot to spring Portis on a huge run. I loved Smoot while he was here... but as he said... this is business. And I paid to see the Redskins beat the daylights out of his team.

Posted by: Allen | September 6, 2006 12:02 PM

It was really sad to see Smoot leave. He was my favorite player. Marcus Washington is my favorite now. Go Skins.

Posted by: Rob (DC) | September 6, 2006 12:09 PM

Top 5? He can't be serious. Especially not after what Steve Smith did to him last year. That was the worst display of coverage I've seen in my life. EVER!!!

Posted by: Jason | September 6, 2006 12:29 PM

I like Freddy Smoot and hope he doesn't get boo'd, but I hope he has a bad day! Go skins!!

Posted by: ted | September 6, 2006 12:37 PM

Top 5, guess he means to shut down the Redskin receivers. Hope they're reading.

Posted by: Willie | September 6, 2006 12:39 PM

P.S., I'm a Dallas fan so I was glad to see you leave; nevertheless, it wasn't a salary cap thing, they would rather pay other teams' players than there own. Case in point, Deion Sanders instead of Darrell Green, Sean Springs instead of Champ Bailey. They have no salary cap and they could have fit in your contract, look at their wasteful spending on receivers this year, wake up! If Joe Gibbs had been there, you'd got the same treatment, ask Betts...they brought in T.J. Duckett ask LaVar. They don't want the players to worry about money but overpay their coaches and everything is's fun watching year in, year out, Redskins type of players leaving because they want to sign someone else's to the big contract...Ask Brian Mitchell, he had to go to Philly for the same reason...

Posted by: Mike Walker | September 6, 2006 12:44 PM

I got you, "Mike from Dallas!" Your real name is Len, and you are actually from ESPN. That's the only way you could have pieced together a whole paragraph of half truths about the Redskins and generalities about the salary cap era of the NFL AND then spun it into a hateful, spiteful piece about the Redskins.

Anyone who compares the second coming of Joe Gibbs to the first four or five years of the Danny's ownership is uneducated about the Redskins, and needs to go hangout with Philly fans.

On anther note: Jason, ESPN Insider columnist Will Carroll reported this yesterday: "Who else drafted Clinton Portis early? Good, I like to see smart people get rewarded. Portis will get the bulk of carries in Week 1."


Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | September 6, 2006 12:57 PM

Sounds like the Dallas fan is a little bitter and doesn't know much about the 'Skins.
1) Darrell Green was at the end of his career, so he WAS getting paid. The Deon signing was a mistake, but not at the expense of DG.
2) Champ asked for too much money, Coach Joe knows you can't give one player that much money and be a winner (the Lavar contract was pre-Gibbs). Portis was the player they traded for, not Springs, they signed him in the offseason. I think that, if you ask any fan, they would trade Bailey anyday if they got a young Portis and were able to sign Springs to take Bailey's place.
3) It's too early to know about Duckett. They may have signed him because they feared Portis' injury was worse then advertised.
4) LaVar never lived up to expectations (nothing more to say about him)

Posted by: BT | September 6, 2006 1:01 PM

What short memories some people have. When Smoot left, he said that he thought Viking fans probably will be a little different than Redskins fans because Viking fans know how it is to win. Funny how things worked out last year (Redskins = Playoffs; Vikings = Joke (both on the field and off)). I hope Smoot gets booed and booed hard.

Posted by: Booooooooot | September 6, 2006 1:07 PM

I agree with booooooooot. Smoot did everything he could to defame the skins. Now he wants a nice cheery reception because he finds himself in the position of coming here to play on the other side of the ball. I say boo him like any other opposing player. He's earned it. I'm sure everybody knows the atmosphere that took place last year at the Dallas and New York games at FedEx field. It was intimidating. Now Smoot needs to suck it up with his new teamates and take it.

Posted by: skinnies | September 6, 2006 1:19 PM

PS -- Sorry about using the wrong name, Mark. I thought I was reading La Canfora's blog. My apologies. Still, any thoughts on Portis' week one status?

Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | September 6, 2006 1:20 PM

Maybe the dallas fan is still hurting about last year whipping by the skins .
Cheer up it's a new year and you still will finish 3rd in the division looking up at the skins once again.
Come on jump on the banwagon for it's to late.GO GO SKINS

Posted by: Tommy | September 6, 2006 1:22 PM

No, you do not have me Bucktown Skins fan, look at the tape, they are still shopping like crack heads, hire a GM...thinking that they're stealing from other teams, namely the Jets and the Broncos, while letting their own team guys go elsewhere...over- paying their coaches and the only half truths were in your paragraph...face it, they're not as smart as they think they are, but time will tell, I could be wrong, but I doubt it! What salary cap era for this team, unless you are Betts, Smoot or Champ? They shop like there is no budget but I guess that is where Tom Cruise comes in...gotta make more money, $25 parking for a scrimmage, I understand...but I'm too nice of a guy to say it! Take a wild guess though...not hateful nor spiteful, only the truth, it'll set you free.
Lastly, the QB mombo-jumbo is what leads creditability to what I'm saying; Joe Gibbs has changed...for the worst! Make a decision and quit worrying about the players feelings...they understand it's a business and yes, they're still uneducated but they know how to shop...if you're on another team, you're happy when they come in the store! Because instead of paying market value, they create their own market!
Just check out the stats of the receivers signed and tell me they're worth what they paid! And the only thing that Portis is carrying during week one is his wallet! Cause he knows that his days are numbered! He's following LaVar, the past face of the team! Maybe not to NY, but somewhere!

Posted by: Mike Walker | September 6, 2006 1:25 PM

P.S. I'm a Redskins fan and I always get a kick out of how fool-Dallas fans hate on the Skins as if their team has accomplished anything in the last decade. And you want to talk about joke personnel moves? We'll see whose laughing when Owens and Vanderjagt tear that team apart and walk away laughing with Jerry Jones' money. And I recall not too long ago a certain Emmitt Smith who ended up playing in Arizona b/c Dallas wouldn't pay him...

Posted by: pfunk | September 6, 2006 1:26 PM

You know, the good thing about illiterate windbags like Mike Walker is that, in the end, it doesn't matter what they say.

In 17 weeks we'll know the answer. Either the receivers put up the numbers, or they don't. Either the 'Skins are in the playoffs or they're not. Either Joe's a genius or a chump.

There's no "performance review," just a simple W-L record.

So far, Joe's the man and Mike Walker's got nothing.

Posted by: KK | September 6, 2006 1:40 PM

P.S. you're right, you get a kick but not for that reason...not hatin, stating the facts...and in the last decade, Dallas has won 13 of the last 16 games layed against the Skins, facts, check it out!
Both players have played the game at the top of their positions, bottomline, they need a lil coaching and they'll get it...again, check the stats of your pickups, then holla back! Can't wait until Monday night, I hope that the preseason wasn't a preview of things to come. If that was 2% of the playbook, I'm looking foreward to seeing the other 98%...
We'll see who'll be laughing, they'll be on that stage, can't hide then...Deion is the only player that I know walked away with a substantial pot of money from big pockets. And Emmitt Smith played in Arizona b/c he didn't want to play for Parcells and basically, he was at the end of his career, unlike Darrel Green who wasn't even afforded the opportunity to compete for his job, it was given to Smoot and Deion! Dallas wouldn't pay him...

Posted by: Mike Walker | September 6, 2006 1:45 PM

Mike, are you really that clueless about how the NFL works? You don't sound old enough to remember the "old days" when players could stick with the same team for years. And by saying you don't sound old enough, I mean you sound stupid. But hey, maybe getting swept last year still has you bummed out. I'm glad team-swapping players is a nice diversion for you. Let me know how that works out.

Posted by: The D Fence | September 6, 2006 1:57 PM

Smoot is an OK corner.
He didn't rate the big bucks the Vikings paid him and they are probably thinking the same thing right about now.
The Redskins made a good decision to let him go. Let's give the 'Skins some credit...

Posted by: Bob Ward-Ashburn, VA. | September 6, 2006 1:59 PM

Mike Walker, do not speak of DG like you even know the deal. Darrell even admitted in his last years that he had lost a few steps and that he enjoyed teaching guys like champ and smoot how to be better players. He was at the end of his career, and he retired! He wasnt chased out of town or refused a contract, HE RETIRED! He's still at FEDEX and at training camp all the time, and remains, if not the, one of the most popular redskins of all time because DG is a redskin for life!

Posted by: free sean taylor | September 6, 2006 2:08 PM

Dallas Mike, I appreciate the response. I do have some thoughts, and I'll try to break them down as best I can because this is a tough format in which to carry a conversation.

1) I won't argue that we overpay for coaches, but what's the problem with that? We have three head coaches on our team as HC and the top two assistants. They're getting paid like HCs, but their talent and knowledge level and resumes are all commensurate with that. There's no salary cap there, so why does it matter. The Danny is playing within the rules. Don't hate on him because he runs one of the world's top 5 most valuable sports franchise.

2) There is a salary cap for players, but what good does it do you to be under it. Hit it. Hit it exactly on the nose and make the most of what's allowed. Do the Eagles win a trophy and hold a banquet at the local Ramada Inn every year for having the most cap room during the season? No. In fact, they don't have a Superbowl Title at all to show for it... but hey, they... uh... played in that one... uh... with that guy... oh well.

3) The Skins have decided to use a method of attaining talent through free agency instead of drafting. Gibbs has done this before. He has chosen to invest more in proven commodities than draft day crap shoots (which the majority of draftees are). It seems to be working; we just made the playoffs for the first time in 5/6 years.

4) Tom Cruise and all of the Danny's other enterprises can do whatever they please as long as they are separate from the Skins. And FedEx is ridiculous, but I don't have to go there. I watch every game religiously on Direct TV. And I got my Captain Chaos jersey on every Sunday too...

5) Betts is apparently still reworking his contract. We have some nice trade bait if either one of them performs well and becomes expendable. If not, we have one of the deepest backfields in the NFL. Screw fantasy stats if it means Clinton Portis is healthy and playing in February!!

6) The QB situation is perfect. Campbell, for all intents and purposes, is a rookie QB. He is not ready to be thrown into the middle of a game after Brunell has been practicing with the first team offense all week. Todd Collins is a career backup with intimate knowledge of Saunder's playbook. He can manage a half game. Campbell is still the future of this franchise, handpicked by Gibbs. He will be ready to start, but will definitely need the benefit of a week's game planning and first team reps to be ready. The backup plan is perfect...

7) Lavar will always be a Skin to me, but it looks like the franchise made the right decision doesn't it?

Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | September 6, 2006 2:18 PM

C,mon you waste ink on Fred Smoot?? Who cares??

Posted by: Mike | September 6, 2006 2:18 PM

You're right, "so far Joe's the man and Mike Walker's got nothing!"
Just don't disappear on Sep 12th, I'll be here for sure!

Posted by: Mike Walker | September 6, 2006 2:29 PM

Stop wasting your time with Dallas Mike. You can tell from the way he types he's a 13 or 14 yr old just trying to start something. Sounds like he's just bitter from last year and a little jealous of what we have now.

Posted by: Rob | September 6, 2006 2:30 PM

When Smoot was here, I really liked him, we had a very nice tandem of Bailey and Smoot. I wished we had traded Lavar and not Bailey. Kept Smoot and Pierce. But Fans are not GMS. So in a imperfect world, we traded away Bailey for Portis, deal so far has been good for both clubs, lost Smoot and got Springs, so far skins have looked better, lost Pierce but gave Marshall the promotion, not bad, Lost LAvar and drafted Rocky McIntosh....still pending, so if i miss smoot, the answer is a loud NO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Posted by: Just A Fan | September 6, 2006 2:33 PM

free sean taylor, you're right, DG lost a step be he still tackled better than Deion...please, he got robbed of an opportunity to compete for a job! What better way to teach a rookie, Smoot, then playing! Definitely not on the bench nor playing receivers in the slot! DG's from Texas...don't forget it!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2006 2:38 PM

I am a Giants fan. There are going all the way to the Super Bowl this year. You guys need a reliable quarterback in DC.

Posted by: DJ | September 6, 2006 2:38 PM

Hey Dallas Mike,

People last year said that we overpaid for Moss as well. The year before they said that we overpaid for Griffin and Springs. How did those signings work out?

Most people who know anything about football would say that Randle El and Lloyd were great signings, but I wouldn't expect for a Dallas fan to understand the meaning of a great signing.

Posted by: BT | September 6, 2006 2:38 PM

"DG's from Texas...don't forget it!"

See, this proves that some of you Cowboys fans can better yourself too, and devote your life to the Skins. Good work Darrell! Way to be a leader.

Now if only Dallas Mike can find the "backpedal" button on his keyboard...

Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | September 6, 2006 2:43 PM

Here's "a 13 or 14 yr old;" "It was really sad to see Smoot leave. He was my favorite player. Marcus Washington is my favorite now. Go Skins." Please, wake up, no, don't! ...13 of the last 16, we owned yall!
Time to start another feeding fenzy!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2006 2:51 PM

I guess Dallas Mike's little sister, DJ, just joined the string.

Giants? Please...

Posted by: BT | September 6, 2006 2:53 PM

Dallas Mike,

Two of the last two. We've got you by your footballs.

Posted by: Stats don't lie | September 6, 2006 2:56 PM

Real Cowboys like T.O.

Let's wait a few more weeks before we see who spent too much this offseason on the WR position.

Posted by: Walker Texas Ranger | September 6, 2006 2:57 PM

Yeah Mike your right Deion was a bad signing, no ones going to argue that. The first class from "The Danny Era" were all pretty much disappointments. But to say picking up two solid receivers in order to take the heat off of Santana was a dumb move, makes me wonder about your intellect.

Unfortunately we live in the time of free agency, and every team does all that it can with the money it can to produce a winner. I'm so sorry that Washington has found a way to master the cap and continue to build a better team year after year. Hmmmm...never heard of any other loud mouth owner buying players in order to better his team...Oh wait yeah I did, Jerry Jones!

Posted by: free sean taylor | September 6, 2006 2:58 PM

I love Fred Smoot, but he wanted too much money. He's a solid 2nd QB, he's got a great personality. But Gregg & Co. have made the right moves at corner.

Rogers & Springs are the truth.

Posted by: G from the B | September 6, 2006 2:59 PM

The individual who said that LaVar never lived up to the expectations is probably a white racist male as are the ole boy network that runs the redskins. I had been a fan for longer than I care to think about but I hope they get their butts kicked this season

Posted by: Pissed off | September 6, 2006 3:18 PM

To p. o,'d

What does LaVar's disappointing performance as a Redskin have to do with racism? The guy didn't get it done. Look at the tapes. Are the tapes racist?

Posted by: Do whut? | September 6, 2006 3:21 PM

I guess I must be the Black Redneck racist who thinks Lavar did not live up to expectations.
Relax with the race card, it doesn't apply here. In fact, your ignorant use of race card gives it less credability when it is the case.
If you think Lavar lived up to expectations ($64M/ 2 overall pick) you are as ignorant and stupid as your race comment.

Posted by: Re: Pissed off | September 6, 2006 3:27 PM

Whoa. It's not too fair to call someone a racists for having an opinion about an athlete's ability.

I too miss Arrington and Smoot but this is a business and I think they're both doing all right.

Posted by: Walker Texas Ranger | September 6, 2006 3:31 PM

Sorry I'm taking so long to weigh in on the Portis question from earlier, but I'm traveling today and went to the Giants' practice and Roger Goodell's press conference at Giants Stadium. Do I think Portis will play Monday? Probably. But if I was in on the decision, I'd lean very heavily toward being cautious and making very, very sure he's not coming back a week too soon.

Posted by: Mark Maske | September 6, 2006 3:33 PM

Mark-- can you post some photos from the Giant practice so the Rdeskin fans can see how football is suppose to be played...hint--you are suppose to win.

Posted by: DJ | September 6, 2006 3:38 PM

Stats don't lie, 13 of the last 16 is better...but I understand your point; you don't have one! It's all in the past, let's see where the chips fall where they may this season...

Posted by: Mike Walker | September 6, 2006 3:42 PM

Let's see, Mike Weaker,

2 out of 2 is 100%
13 out of 16 is 81%

Where you come from, 81% is better than 100%? Did you skip a few years of school? Maybe the last 8 (out of 12)?

Posted by: Stats don't lie | September 6, 2006 3:50 PM

Bucktown Skins Fan, great points but can we agree to disagree...of the coaches on the Skins that are making top dollars, how many have SB rings? That's my point, overpaying to better than average coaches is not smart. Period! But we'll see how many tackles the coaches make this season especially since the offense has a problem scoring...oh, my bad, that's just the preseason, only the way, Portis had this injury last year and didn't get it fixed...blocking a LB! But hey, I'm just a fan of football....good football though, not the Skins! But, I'll give you credit about one thing, the offensive line has been intact...broken up, but the same guys...that sounds me something but no back-ups takes that credit right back...and the only one last year retired so you knew that it was going to be a problem yet they over spent on WRs, no GM!

Posted by: Mike Walker | September 6, 2006 3:53 PM

Stats don't lie, let's see, I bet $100 per game:
Dallas won 13 of 16; Skins only won 3 of 16.

So the bottom line is, out of $1,600, I've received $1,300 paid out $300...

The school of hard knocks! You, probably Yale! C student to boot!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2006 3:57 PM

Mike Weaker,

but 'Skins covered the point spread in all 16. Look it up. You're out $1600 and an idiot to boot.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2006 4:08 PM

Dallas Mike, Gibbs has three rings and another appearance. Saunders has one ring. In fact, as OC of St. Louis, Saunders beat the Tennessee Titans in the 2000 Superbowl. At the time, the Titans DC was Gregg Williams.

Got anymore brain busters?

Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | September 6, 2006 4:43 PM

The only Skins vs. Dallas game stats that really count are the 1972 NFC Championship Washington 26 Dallas 3 and the 1982 NFC Championship Washington 31 Dallas 17.

As for coaching, Gibbs, 3 Super Bowl titles, Parcells 2. Gibbs is only a couple wins away from having the most playoff wins of all time of any coach. Furthermore, I am in the belief that Parcells may be less of a genius than he is made out to be due to the fact that his two SB wins were with Belicheck as his defensive coordinator, and his one loss was when Belicheck was Head Coach in Cleveland if I am not mistaken.

So, was it more Parcells or Belicheck?


Seems to me that since the 1991 Super Bowl when Parcells last won a Super Bowl, Belicheck has won three?

As far as personnel moves, the salary cap questions are dumb points by Mr. Walker.

If the Skins are over the salary cap then why haven't they been fined by the NFL?

In short, the Skins are signing players with front loaded contracts with no true gaurunteed salary other than the bonus. Something all teams can do but they choose not to do.

As for players coming and going, that is life in the NFL in 2006. I never thought Champ was that great of a player in the first place and I feel the Skins got the better end of that trade overall. Besides, I don't think Champ wanted to be here anyway so I say goodbye, good riddance. LaVar was a head case who overstayed his welcome and the Skins are better off without him. Besides, Joe Gibbs won three super bowls without self inflated egos of "superstars" before what makes anyone think he needs them now?

Last thing...if Mr. Dallas thinks the prices are to high at do we. All we can say is we have a waiting list of over 60,000 people for a 92,000 seat stadium. Dallas has a smaller stadium and has no waiting list that I am aware of at this time. As a matter of fact Dallas has had blacked out games due to games not selling out in the last decade. Washington has been sold out for 40 years..even when we sucked under Norv Turner. Which I believe was some sort of Dallas curse on us for hiring Turner in the first place.

Posted by: photodude | September 6, 2006 5:33 PM

No name - makes sense to brain as well...who cares about a spread, I bet an idiot like you...and won 13 out 16 times, dummy! You were right not to put your name on you post, so I must give you some credit! Loser! hehehe Don't take it personal, but take it!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2006 5:47 PM

You guys are funny! 13 of 16 2 of 2. WHO CARES! Neither one of these will effect who make the playoffs this year. Gibbs won 3 superbowls, period. LavAr was a hard hitting and tough man who couldn't do what he was told and stay with in the dawn up schemes. Smoot and Champ were good but now they play else where. Portis is a stud, weather he plays mon or week 4 he be a stud. Just remember Fred, When you walk back in here MON night, your the enemy and the enemy derserves no mercey!

Posted by: FastMover | September 6, 2006 9:36 PM

when you look around, there is a consensus about most teams whether they are good or not. But i've seen predictions of last place or super bowl for the skins this year.

they certainly looked awful in the preseason. Not that preseason matters, but they looked terrible.

Posted by: eagles fan | September 6, 2006 10:27 PM

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