Shaun Smith was always accessible as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, a quality difficult to find on a Scott Pioli-led team. Thus many fans were sad when Smith left to play for the Tennessee Titans in 2011. Yet after a frustrating year, Smith says he is going to ease up on his affable nature and quick quips from the locker room.
"I wasn't happy with my play last season. I was doing a lot of talking, and my play wasn't showing up like it should have been," Smith said to the Tennessean. "Also, as you mature - I have another baby on the way - I want to try and be more of a leader and let my actions speak for themselves. A lot of these guys listen to me, even though I am a clown. This is year 10 for me. You can still be a clown; you just have to know when to talk and when not to."
Smith had 25 tackles and 1 sack last season for the Titans, and he readily admits a roster spot isn't just waiting for him. Instead, he's ready to earn it. Jim Wyatt reports that Smith has already lost 22 pounds this offseason.
"Am I worried? I'd be lying if I said I'm not worried," said Smith. "I have another baby on the way, another mouth to feed in November. ... So I will be fighting for my job here in Tennessee, but I'll be fighting for my job with 31 other teams. Who knows what might happen? I might get traded, you never know. All I know is I like it here, and I want to show I'm a guy worth keeping around."