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Transcript: Fred Smoot Press Conference


On signing Fred Smoot:

"Fred and I had a long talk yesterday afternoon. What I said to him was that a lot of us make mistakes in life, at least I do. In this case it was a bad feeling that I had when we let Fred get out of here and I told Fred that. I think he is a Redskin. I took a lot of heat in town which was deserved. I told Fred that a lot of us make mistakes but it is not often in life where you have a chance to make up for it. That is what we are doing here. Fred and I had a great talk yesterday. We think Fred is a Redskin and he has a lot of people here that care about him. It is a happy day for us to be able to get a chance to get him back."

On Smoot's off-the-field incidents the last two years:

"I want to address one thing. Fred and I addressed the off the field incident, which I know is going to come up. We had a great talk yesterday. Fred and I have a good understanding. He knows what is expected of him. He is a Redskin and cares a lot about this organization. We had a good talk about that. He knows where I am coming from."

On what the team liked about Fred Smoot:

"One of the things that makes us happy is Fred being as young as he is. You are talking about someone who is 27 years old and we think that is great for us."


On signing with the Redskins:

"I want to thank Dan Snyder for giving me the chance to come back home. I feel like this is my home. I don't have to learn new coaches or a new city. It is like moving into that old room in my momma's house. It is good to be back. It is a breath of fresh air. I am really loving the situation. I have been smiling since last night and it has nothing to do with the contract. It has to do with the fact that I am comfortable and now I can play my game and be myself again."

On Coach Gibbs saying he thought it was a mistake letting him go two years ago:

"I thought it was a mistake leaving. We meet on a medium right there. Like he said, a lot of people don't get a second chance to make something right. I have a second chance to make it right."

On if he considered any other teams:

"Not really, plus coach did not let me get on my plane yesterday. I was supposed to leave at five and he said, ?No lets talk a little bit longer'. I was not trying to leave. I did not really have any other interests. Money was not what I was chasing this time. It was a chance to be happy and play a high level of football. This will be my first time playing with the same defensive coordinator in my career. A chance to do that in itself opened up a door for me."

On playing with Carlos Rogers (CB, #22) and Shawn Springs (CB, #24):

"I know Gregg Williams (assistant head coach-defense) and he will not hesitate to put the best out there on the field. I will let that play itself out. I know he will put the best two out there and most of the time it will be all three of us out there anyway. I am going to let Gregg handle that."

On when he first came into the league playing with Champ Bailey and Darrell Green and if that experience made him less concerned about whether he would start or not:

"Right now, I am concerned about winning. It doesn't matter where I fit in that puzzle, I am going to give it 100 percent. I know Coach is going to put us in a place to win. I think the off season moves that we made will make us a contender. Whatever it takes to win that is what I came here to do."

On what happened in Minnesota on the field:

"I never got comfortable for one. I am an emotional player and I love to play the game with my emotion. I never really got comfortable there. I always felt like a step child. Now I am back in my momma's house and I can feel good, comfortable and am ready to play football. I never got going there. Every time I got going something happened. My brother died, the boat situation and the car accident. A lot of stuff happened and it humbled me a lot. I am going to live every day like my last and not take anything for granted."

On what he got out of the two year experience in Minnesota that he might not have gotten had he stayed in Washington:

"There is not always greener grass on the other side. You have to make decisions in your life based on more than financial needs. You need to make it on life after football. This is the perfect place for me to be part of the community. I feel like more than just a football player here."

On what kind of player the fans are going to get:

"They are getting a player that has been through a lot. You can't get glass without it going through a lot of changes and then it comes out smooth. I am that smooth part right now. I know what I can do here. I have done that here. I think a lot had to do with the stuff that was happening off the field and it reflected my play on the field. I never got comfortable at that place. I always had something on my mind. Here I play with a clear head. I promise you this, they are going to get a Fred Smoot that has matured in a lot of ways and they will get a player that wants to win, point blank."

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