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Smith: "Winning is a wonderful thing"


Q: What has been his [Interim Head Coach Tony Sparano] message to the players so far? What's been the key thing he's tried to get across to you guys?**

Smith:"His message, and his key thing he wants to do for us is to see us smile out there and win on Sunday, said that's his main job. You can't do anything but respect that, because that is a wonderful thing in this game. Winning is a wonderful thing, and to see the faces of the men you bleed and sweat with every day, with those smiles on their faces, it's something that's unbelievable. When he said that, it kind of lit a spark in my heart. I think that energy, that energy that he brings even when he's just talking, addressing the team, it just commands a presence, like a respect."

Q: Does it help that he was a head coach before?

Smith:"It's definitely going to help that he was a head coach before, because he knows more things now; he's grown. He's had trial and error, and he's had time to sit and watch and see what he can do or what we weren't doing right and what he can do to change it and different things like that. He had the best seat, perspective wise, especially from someone who was a head coach that I've seen in a long time. The first meeting that he came in, you knew, I mean it was right off the bat, you knew okay, this isn't another one of those come in just to fill and do the best I can do, so I can win a head coaching job next year. No, I'm going to demand more out of you. I'm going to give you more and I want more wins out of the team."

Q: As a defensive player you're probably pretty much sequestered with your coordinator and your position coach, had you even had much dialogue with Sparano before he was the head coach?

Smith:"Not much dialogue, some dialogue, not much. But like I said, some people you meet in this world, you never have to hear a word they say before you know what they're about, and he's just one of those type of people. You can just see it. You can feel it and you can see it. He just has that commanding presence."

Q: Do you do any kind of scouting report? Do you call guys who maybe have played for him and find out about him a little bit more?

Smith:"No, I didn't do any of that. I didn't do any of that. I don't really know many guys that played for Miami around that time, so I didn't do any scouting. I didn't need to do any scouting; I've seen him around here."

Q: The whole idea of adding fundamental periods to practice; will that be beneficial you think?

Smith:"I think anything will be beneficial if you put your mind to it that it's going to be beneficial. If you go out there with the mindset of using the tools that you have to make it better, then it's going to be beneficial. I think there were some technique errors that we were messing up on that these periods can help us with. After we conquer one mountain it might change. If not, we still need more learning, so right now I'm open."

Q: He was saying that if you look at the 0-4 record and it colors everything obviously, but he said he wanted to stress to those guys that, 'Hey, in red zone defense we're good. In certain areas we're good.' Does that kind of resonate with the players you think?

Smith: "I already think like that. I think that's a good technique. It's a powerful, Jedi mind trick Obi-Wan Kenobi used to use, and I think it's something this team actually needs to believe in itself. As of yet, I haven't seen a full belief in what we can be, who we are, and like I said, the moment he got up on the stage, he brought that commanding presence of what is going to be, what he expects, what he sees out of us, even in the bad. When he tells you the bad, he shoots it to you blood raw, there isn't any of that sugar coat. He shoots it to you blood raw and also with the good, he gives it to you just how he thinks, even how other coaches perceive it from other teams, because you know good coaches talk. They talk about how it was in the game when they played against you, what they looked for against you and different things like that. He knows what this team can do good, and I also think he knows what we've done bad. If you focus on all the bad you can do, they have this thing called the tank that you go in and you stop caring about winning or losing and you can just come to work every day. That isn't in my DNA and I don't think it's anybody on this team's DNA. He's just making sure that we don't have any of that on this team. All he wants us to think about is getting those smiles on our faces on Sunday."

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