Photo by Tony Gonzales
The Oakland Raiders signed DL Antonio Smith Friday afternoon. Smith joins the Silver and Black after five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals and five seasons in Houston. The man who calls himself the "ninja assassin," has racked up 41.5 sacks and 10 forced fumbles in his career. Smith has played in and started 63 regular season games over the past four seasons.
The 2012 Pro Bowler, who lined up with DE J.J. Watt during his time with the Texans, adds to a defensive line that recently acquired veterans Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley. "There is a commitment to get better, there is a commitment to try and make this defense a great defense. Both those guys are guys that I've watched over the years, especially Tuck, I've always kept my eye on him," said Smith. "I think he does a lot of the same things I do. I'm excited to be able to rush with him and work with him."
Smith brings a variety of traits to the field to go with his many nicknames. "What do I bring to this team? The many faces of Antonio, that's what I bring to this team. There's a lot of them: cowboy, soothsayer, ninja. I'm just an all-around everything, a jack of all trades," he explained.
He made himself known in Texas and wants to do the same in Oakland. "I'm really excited. I really like what's going on here," said Smith. "I like the new add-ons and I'm ready to get after the passer."
Smith is looking forward to having Raider Nation on his side this season. "I've always been an enemy in the Black Hole, so I've never seen what it felt like," said Smith. "But I sure am excited to be a warrior in the Black Hole now, to put on that Black and Silver and go out there and gridiron it up. I think that's just at the heart of me. I'm just an old school, gridiron, get down and dirty player."
Smith's description of himself is reminiscent of the Raiders defenses of old. Tune in this season, Raider Nation, to see what Smith brings to the field.