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When Smoot Speaks, It's Fun to Listen


The affable Fred Smoot has always been great for a quote over the years. He's sometimes provocative, sometimes humble, sometimes hilarious--but always interesting.

Perhaps his most famous, from 2003: "You know, 75 percent of the world is covered by water, the rest is covered by Smoot."

Here is a collection of quotes from Smoot, the so-called "Mouth From the South":

-- On his sophomore season in the NFL in 2002:

"Point blank, the coaches know I can take a number one receiver out of the game. And everyone knows that Champ [Bailey] can. This year, I'm a better player. I'm more knowledgeable of the game. Last year, I was just out there playing on talent. This year, I break things down more and do the little things." -- 2002

-- On his matchup against Arizona Cardinals wide receiver David Boston in 2002:

"David Boston is a great player. But I'm a competitor, and when two competitors get together, there's going to be a rumble. I kept on talking back to him because I thought we were going to play Arizona again this year and I wanted him to remember me. Then they told me we weren't playing the Cardinals again, and I was like, 'Oh well, there goes a good rivalry.'" - 2002

-- On if he ever had an opportunity to play on offense:

"If they throw me the ball, I will catch it. I missed a couple picks today, so don't tell Coach Spurrier I said that." -- 2002

-- On what his mother told him after a 37-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2002:

"She told me I was playing awful and I had to agree with her. I'm really going to have to step my game up another notch. I consider myself a playmaker, and I haven't been in position to make a lot of plays. Mama knows football and she's a hard critic. But I know she'll always be in my corner. That's all I need to succeed." -- 2002

-- On playing with Darrell Green and Champ Bailey:

"Things happen for a reason. I see that now. God wanted me to be around a person like Darrell Green, to play with Champ Bailey, prepping me to be the best. It worked out better than I imagined." -- 2002

-- On rookie initiations during training camp:

"I have one of the rookies carry my gear off the field every day. That's what rookies do. That's what I had to do. And that's what they're going to keep on doing. So if you want to come to the NFL, you're going to have to carry my stuff." -- 2003

-- On fans cheering "Smoooooooot" during games:

"I love it. I love it. I feed off the crowd. Once I get the crowd behind me, I can do anything." -- 2003

-- On game days:

"When I touch that field, I get a burst of energy and I'm ready to go. I love to talk, and I love to get teammates fired up. -- 2003

-- On playing despite a painful sternum injury midway through the 2003 season:

"You just zone [the pain] out. You've got to keep on going. Don't worry about the pain. There's something about football, with your adrenaline rushing, you don't really feel that serious pain until the day after a game. So you think about something else [during the game]. I think about making a play. I think about what I studied during the week or what I'm seeing. Once that whistle blows and the offense comes out and shows me a formation, my mind goes straight to their formation. Is it going to be a run? Is it going to be a pass? I just get into my football thinking and I just zone out the pain." -- 2003

-- On assuming more of a leadership role:

"I've been basically quiet when it comes to the leadership side of things. But I won't be anymore. I won't be anymore." -- 2003

-- On closing out the 2003 season with a strong finish:

"We have to play for the here and now. We're not playing for pride. We're not playing for respect. We're not playing to get better. We're playing to win. I have this Redskin on my helmet and when I go out there on the field, I'm going to represent." -- 2003

-- On the dispute between Clinton Portis and Ifeanyi Ohalete over wearing jersey No. 26 during the 2004 offseason:

"I was one of the mediators. I just wanted peace and tranquility in the locker room. It all came through. One thing led to another, Clinton got No. 26, Ifay got No. 30, and everybody's happy." -- 2004

-- On Joe Gibbs' loud-pitched laugh:

"We've heard it. But when we get out here on the practice fields, I doubt he'll ever do it. Like he said, when we're out here, it's all football and nothing else." -- 2004

-- On if Joe Gibbs' laugh ever catches him by surprise:

"The first time I heard it, it caught me by surprise. I was looking around the room thinking somebody else was laughing. It's a funny laugh. Hopefully I can keep him smiling all year." -- 2004

-- On his relationship with Redskins fans during 2004 training camp:

"If you have been out here since training camp started, you can see that the fans and I have a real true love affair. They love me and I love them. That's the way I want to keep it." -- 2004

-- On what it's like playing for Joe Gibbs:

"You can't go out there and let him down--I don't care if it is a preseason game or not. It's kind of like playing for my granddad. He doesn't have to cuss you out. He doesn't have to do anything. He can look at you and just smile, but you know he means business. That is someone you want to go out there and lay it on the line for. You say to yourself, 'I'll stay on this field until I can't walk anymore.' I can see why they won those Super Bowls." -- 2004

-- On Gulfport, Miss., being referred to as the 'Home of Brett Favre':

"Well, in Jackson (Miss.) where I'm from, they don't call it the 'Home of Fred Smoot.' So I'm wondering what's going on! " -- 2004

-- On how he is able to keep playing despite nagging injuries:

"I think mindset. Mindset is everything. I just think I have a different type of mindset to pull through. It's a tribute to Coach [Joe] Gibbs and Coach [Gregg] Williams and what they've brought to this program. I'm not saying Coach [Steve] Spurrier coached us bad, I just think we have a different mindset now when it comes to the small things like playing through pain. For players, it's an individual thing. You have to reach down inside yourself and ask yourself, 'Can I play or can I not really play?'" -- 2004

-- On if penalties have changed the way he plays on defense:

"No, I'm never going to stop playing the way I play. Point blank, I'm going to play aggressive football because the offensive players are going to play aggressive. I'm not going to let them tame me and I'm not going to stop playing Fred Smoot-type football." -- 2004

-- On playing with pressure:

"I love the pressure. Pressure brings out the best in good players. Corner is a pressure position anyway. I'm a man-to-man corner, that's what has got me here and that's what is going to keep me here." -- 2004

-- On returning to the Redskins in 2007 and what happened during his two seasons in Minnesota:

"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 stepchild. Now I am back in my mama's house and I can feel good, comfortable and ready to play football." -- 2007

-- On if Shawn Springs thinks Smoot is returning to Washington to come after his job:

"Well, you know, somebody is coming after everybody's job. I'm sure somebody's coming after yours very soon. Job security in the United States is at a premium. No, Shawn and I are going to just have some fun. We're not going to worry about who gets what job. We're going to go try and win some games."

-- On his jaw injury from a car accident in 2006:

"It healed up well. The worst part of that was, I couldn't talk. I was all wired up. My mama and I had arguments and I couldn't even fight back. But the jaw is fine. It's not a glass jaw, it's made of steel. So I'm ready to go." -- 2007

-- On what kind of player Redskins fans are going to get in 2007:

"They are getting a player who 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 of it had to do with the stuff that was happening off the field and it reflected my play on the field. I never got comfortable [in Minnesota]. 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." -- 2007

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