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Onterrio Smith will get a chance.

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Postby EatMyShorts092 » Sat Sep 13, 2003 10:51 am

Just bench O-Smith start Moe Williams (Moe will get 90% of the touches unless O-smith breaks some long ones),


moe williams better be a good start... my other rbs suck though so hes my best bet outve pittman,canidate and buckhalter but i hope he gets 90 percent of the carrries... being the goaline back too im expecting nice numbers.
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Postby BuffaloBevo » Sat Sep 13, 2003 12:53 pm

O Smith ... can't play him this week ... pass me the beer nuts.

Smith can control his own destiny if he plays with renewed intensity. Tice has commented that Smith looked very determined in practice this week. As for Smith's view, the good news is that he seems to have gotten religion about what he has to do. I wouldn't start him this week, but there's hope that he'll get more touches later if he gives the right effort this wek. I actually think the yards Smith gains are far less important than how he handles his blocking and receiving assignments, and his overall on-field intensity. Here's the view from Smith:


Posted on Fri, Sep. 12, 2003

Onterrio Smith vows to prepare better
BY SEAN JENSEN
Pioneer Press

Vikings running back Onterrio Smith expected to make his NFL debut Sunday in the season opener against the Green Bay Packers. He knew he wouldn't start, but he figured he would play. So he waited... and waited...

And waited.

When he returned to the locker room afterward, Smith didn't have to throw his clean uniform into the dirty clothes hamper. Smith and backup center Cory Withrow were the only active players who didn't get on the field.

Smith knew why.

"I was just excited, because we came to Lambeau Field and really put a whupping on them," said Smith, the self-proclaimed "Steal of the Draft" because he was selected in the fourth round. "At the same time, I was kind of down a little bit, but I looked back and said to myself, 'I didn't have a great week of practice. I didn't give them the confidence they need to believe in me to go out there and make plays. So it's on myself to come in this week and get better.' "

The biggest concern about Smith is his ability to pass block, but he said he didn't miss any of those assignments Sunday. The problems were things he knew how to do well.

"I wasn't being a pro, not finishing out plays," he said.

He didn't turn up field with purpose after catching a pass, and he didn't block for receivers.

"I see why they went about it the way they did," he said.

Smith had better get a handle on things quickly. His opportunity to shine is now. The top two primary running backs, Michael Bennett and Doug Chapman, are injured, walking around in boots. But Chapman is healing fast, and Bennett received encouraging news this week about playing this season.

Chapman could be contending for the starting job now if not for a high ankle sprain. He played in the season opener but had a setback this week, and he's concerned about how he's going to handle his injury.

"It's a Catch-22," Chapman said. "I don't want to just sit here. But at the same time, I know I'm not letting it heal properly. It's real frustrating."

Smith got the bulk of Chapman's workload this week, and he has been told by coach Mike Tice and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan that he will play. How much he plays will be determined by his effectiveness.

"A lot of times, you find out you got a guy who is better than you really anticipated because you really haven't given him a chance yet. That's what I hope with him," Linehan said. "I know Onterrio is chomping at the bit to get in there, but he also realizes that he has to have a great week of practice to earn that right."

Veteran Moe Williams will again start the game, and John Avery will play in situations. That means the Chicago Bears will have to deal with contrasting styles.

"A defense can figure out what a running back is doing during the course of a game," Williams said. "But when you have a running back by committee, it's hard for them. That throws a wrinkle into the offense."

Smith welcomes the competition.

"I only started one year, as the man, out of my whole collegiate career, so it's something I'm used to," he said. "I don't mind it."

Tice has an open policy on ball distribution.

"I see us keeping the competition on, and keep feeding the hot hand," he said. "But my comfort level is with Moe."

But Smith not playing in the opener didn't exactly send shock waves through the locker room. Pro Bowl center Matt Birk didn't know Smith didn't play until someone told him after the game.

"We know whoever is back there is going to run hard," Birk said, "and we just try to block for them."
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Postby mscowboys » Sat Sep 13, 2003 5:56 pm

I have Smith too and I am ready for him to shine.

He is too good to sit on the bench with all that speed and talent.

I need him to come through to solver RB position.

C'MON SMITH!
There something special about that blue star on that helmet.
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Postby PushHoppy » Sun Sep 14, 2003 11:11 pm

For those of you who own Smith. The good news is that he made a solid effort in his first outing, and he looked pretty sharp.

The bad news: Minnesota's line does such a good job of run blocking that Moe Williams or any other half-decent RB could probably avg the same 5 ypc, so it'll be hard for Smith to really distinguish himself. So barring injury to Moe, the only way I see Smith getting more minutes is if (a) Tice decides he wants to keep Moe fresh for goal-line carries and special teams, or (b) Minnesota faces a tougher run defense and Smith gains yards when Moe and others can't.

A tough spot for fantasy owners. Smith has great speed and is capable of breaking a long one every now and then. But this may be a RBBC situation for awhile longer. If you have Smith in a keeper league: Keep him.
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Postby mack-avelli » Mon Sep 15, 2003 1:26 am

Keep him in a keeper league? Why? Bennett's there.. Doug's there.... Moe..... I don't think you should keep him in a keeper league at all. Tice said he liked what he saw in Smith today and that smith will get more and more carries as the season progresses. "Even though he mayed a few mistakes" he said.

I say just check him out still. Unless you could get a stud out of free agency or if you wanna pickup someone like Moe. Just basically bench him and see how things go.
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Postby dgroundhog_ffc » Mon Sep 15, 2003 2:06 am

Hopefully Smith will see in the game film what it takes to be an NFL RB. Moe isn't a star, but he put on an exhibition of what a RB needs to do, and he absolutely DESTROYED the Bears blitz on back to back plays.
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Postby PushHoppy » Mon Sep 15, 2003 8:13 am

"Keep him in a keeper league? Why? Bennett's there.. Doug's there.... Moe..... I don't think you should keep him in a keeper league at all. Tice said he liked what he saw in Smith today and that smith will get more and more carries as the season progresses. "Even though he mayed a few mistakes" he said."

Exactly the response I was hoping for. Why? Because he's got the talent to be a top back once his game gets refined after a year or two.

Note that you could substitute in your query the words "Davis" for "Bennett" ... "Gary's" for "Doug's" ... "Anderson" for "Moe." I'm not saying that Smith will be as dominant as Portis, but a lot of people, prior to last year, doubted that Portis would be as dominant as Portis.

Actually, much depends on your strategy on the keeper and how your league is set up. Ours allows one keeper taken after the 8th round. That leaves me with a choice between Boldin, Smith, and K. Faulk. Of those, I'd keep Smith because I think he has the most upside. (I'm not sold on Boldin yet.)

Yes, I do have Portis as my keeper for this year.
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Postby PushHoppy » Mon Sep 15, 2003 8:17 am

dgroundhog, right your are. Moe Williams was awesome picking up his blocking assignments. Smith got beaten by a blitzing Urlacher for Urlacher's only sack. He got in front of him, but Urlacher outmaneuvered him. Smith needs to learn how to fend off guys like that. I think he will in time.
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Postby EatMyShorts092 » Mon Sep 15, 2003 5:47 pm

i really dont see moe williams getting to many less carries after yesterdays performance. he was 21 for 108 rushing, 3 for 50 recieving and a td, plus he was awesome blocking... smith was 9 for 47 and a catch for 9 yds which isnt bad but look at the diff.. tice went with the veteran and they won the game, as long as the vikings r winning id expect williams to get most the carries while i do expect smith to get 10 carries a game.
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Postby voraciousviker » Tue Sep 16, 2003 7:32 am

but didn't tice himself say that he doesn't want to overplay moe at RB because he's so valuable in goal line situations and on special teams? i don't think it's a question of moe's ability to perform. i think it's an issue of making sure he's fresh when he's most needed, especially when another guy with young legs can take some of the pounding with similar results. (note the similar ypc for both backs.)
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