Photo by Tony Gonzales
On how he's handled the 0-9 start:
Smith:"I just think that's a trait the Lord blessed me with. I don't know where it came from. I didn't develop it. I see no cause in burning up a ship. Anytime you come at anything with a negative attitude, that's exactly what you're doing, killing yourself from the inside out."
Q: So does bringing this [karaoke] machine in, is that just stuff you would do naturally? You're not trying to do it to get other people up?
Smith:"When I brought that in, yeah it was. They call that the Jedi mind trick. They don't know it, the youngsters don't know it, but it's just something to keep the mood light so you won't come here feeling like you're swimming in a cloud of black tar or something. I've seen that happen before, where even coming to the facility is depressing. It's something I do, but also I wanted to show off my karaoke skills to my fellow teammates and let them know I'll sing any of them under the table."
Q: You went through that black cloud you were talking about in Houston? You don't have that same feeling here even though the results are not what you want?
Smith:"In the times where I've had that happen, it wasn't last year. They fought, fought, practicing hard until the last practice of the year. When I did have another season like that, it was my first couple of years in Arizona. Just coming to work was depressing. Everybody's face was down. Nobody had hope. It was just trying to get out of a season and lick your wounds, but I don't think this has any resemblance of that. I think that every single one of us is still fighting, trying to find a way to win."
Q: Do you personally feel tested?
Smith:"Definitely. I was just talking about that the other day. I think it was like the other day I was just talking about that. Man, what's going on Lord? I've had 23 of these things. It's been almost two years, it's going to be almost two seasons without feeling the pleasure, the bliss of a win."
Q: And that was an overtime game last year, right? Do you remember walking off and how you felt?
Smith:"I remember exactly how I felt, because it was actually my first game back off of suspension, and it felt mighty good."
Q: What's the next one going to feel like?
Smith:"I'm waiting for it. I'm waiting to see what it's going to feel like. I'm hoping it's going to feel way better than that, and that's what [Interim Head Coach] Tony [Sparano] keeps telling us. That's one thing I admire about Tony, is that he preaches that every week no matter what. No matter what, he stays consistent with what he believes and what his goal is for us on Sunday. He said it the first day he took over, because he saw what was lacking in the team and he's still been chasing it, no matter what has been happening, that's to get a smile on our face after a game on Sunday. It's almost like that bittersweet thing where you get close like those couple weeks where we got close but no cigar, and it's like twisting the knife even harder at the same time, but he still never gives up, so we're not going to give up on him."
Q: How do you think you're playing?
Smith:"As a player you only think about sacking the quarterback. When you haven't sacked the quarterback, you feel like, 'man, I'm not doing anything.' When I watch film, solid play, but I have to get to the quarterback. I have to eat, and then I look at the numbers and we haven't gotten to the quarterback that much, and that's something that we've all been working on each week to get better at and better at, but I think we're getting closer and closer."