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Eric Smith Hangs Tough

via Jane McManus:

Eric Smith could not have felt all that secure after Rex Ryan was hired. The former Baltimore defensive coordinator started bring in his guys, including S Jim Leonhard. Then Ryan started stocking the defense backs with familiar talent like CB Lito Sheppard and CB Donald Strickland.


Smith got Ryan’s attention, and kept it when he hurt his hamstring after that last play.

"Ed Reed, that’s what it reminded me of," Ryan said "But, he’s really pushing. He really is. When you look at it on paper, you’ve got Jim Leonhard and Kerry Rhodes. That’s a heck of a safety combination. We also have Ihedigbo and Eric Smith."

Rex loves talking up his players, but this was a bit over the top. Despite the nice words, I think Smith faces an uphill battle to see the field. Actions tend to speak louder than words. The Jets signed Leonhard because they were not happy with what they had at safety. The signing of Strickland leaves a glut at corner, which is going to free up Dwight Lowery at safety. Also, if the team was so confident in Smith, why match Cleveland's offer for restricted free agent Abe Elam with the idea of making Elam the primary backup?

Elam going to the Browns in the Mark Sanchez trade will probably be enough to lock down a roster spot, but it sure does not seem like the powers that be are in love with Eric. Elam got traded because a backup safety wasn't enough to stand in the way of the team landing a potential franchise quarterback, not because of Eric Smith.