The Washington Redskins on Aug. 9, 2014, announced the signing of safety Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith, who spent his first four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Washington Redskins announced on Saturday that they signed free agent safety Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith.
Cromartie-Smith's career began collegiately at UTEP, where he appeared in 46 games with 34 starts.
As a senior, the 6-foot-2 safety earned first-team All-Conference USA honors after leading his team in tackles (108). In an October game vs. University of Alabama-Birmingham, Cromartie-Smith logged a career-high 16 tackles.
Coming to the Redskins after four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers – splitting time between the active and practice squads -- Cromartie-Smith is familiar with the 3-4 defensive scheme defensive coordinator Jim Haslett uses.
Longtime Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau also uses that base package for his front-seven.
While the familiarity will help with certain facets to start, the presence of Ryan Clark – Cromartie-Smith's teammate of four seasons in Pittsburgh – will help jumpstart his Redskins career.
"We ran stuff that's similar up in Pittsburgh," Cromartie-Smith. "I worked with Ryan Clark (with the Steelers). He was good help to me…he was helping me with the terminology. Some things up in Pittsburgh we might have called strong, and over here we call it a different word."
Throughout his four seasons with the Steelers, Cromartie-Smith split time between special teams and defense.
His last tackle came on the opening kickoff of the Steelers' Week 4 game against Minnesota last season.
When asked what he can do to duplicate and extend his performance from Pittsburgh, Cromartie-Smith said that he's first and foremost mentally and physically rested.
"I had a lot of time off to get my body right and my mind right," he told the media following his first practice Saturday. "So I was ready for the opportunity to come in and play when I was called on."
Cromartie-Smith went through a rigorous workout Saturday under the watchful eye of defensive backs coach Raheem Morris at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.
Impressing Morris and the coaching staff, Cromartie-Smith signed shortly after the conclusion of the workout.
Just minutes later, he was going through drills with his new teammates.
While admitting that it was a whirlwind experience, Cromartie-Smith said that he's wouldn't trade in the opportunity for anything.
"Everything was going fast forward today," Cromartie-Smith said. "It was just getting me adjusted to things, learning things. But I'm ready."