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Preston Smith Is Making His Presence Felt Again


Preston Smith has picked up right where he left his rookie season off, as the second-year linebacker is showing marked improvement in an effort to help lead the team's pass rush this season.

When Redskins head coach Jay Gruden says he can feel you on the field, it's needless to say you've had a great game.

This held true for second-year outside linebacker Preston Smith during Friday night's preseason game against the Buffalo Bills.

Whether he was forcing a hit on Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor or dropping in coverage, Smith seemed to be in complete control and very comfortable with his position.

"My role is building up from last year", the linebacker, who led all rookies in sacks with eight during the 2015 season, claimed. "I'm comfortable in the playbook and I'm comfortable in what I have to do and I just go out there and play the best I can."

In terms of his overall performance, Smith plans to stay consistent and continue making plays.

"I've been working on my overall game this offseason and balancing my game to have great pass rushes", he said. "[I want to] just go out there and be consistent each and every night and each and every week."

Gruden shared the same sentiment, voicing how "excellent" Smith has been playing so far throughout his second preseason with the team.

"So far, he's looked excellent", Gruden stated. "I felt him today on the sideline. I felt him on the edge. I felt him in the backfield disrupting plays…"

Check out the top 10 photos of Preston Smith from the 2015 season.

Smith made it a top priority for the offense to "feel" him on the field as well.

"I'm trying my best to make my presence felt out there when I'm on the field and make sure they know what side I'm on," Smith said.  "Whether I'm on the left side, standing up… on the right side… I want them to recognize my presence when I'm out there."

Although Smith's performance was great to see, Gruden also expressed there's always room for improvement.

He's just 23 years old and trying to build on nearly every asset of his game.

"He's physical at the point of attack," Gruden said. "He can drop in coverage which he hasn't done a whole lot in his life. He's been effective. We haven't used him in all the areas we're going to use him yet. I think there's more things he can do. He's a big, physical kid. He is more comfortable and more confident. Another one that is from Year One to Year Two. That's a big step and we expect big improvement."

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