Injury update from the afternoon practice coming later … for now, here’s what Rod Smith had to say in the locker room today regarding the end of his 2007 season. He declined to talk last Thursday after Head Coach Mike Shanahan announced that the veteran wideout wouldn’t play this year, but made a statement today in front of his locker:
“It’s kind of tough for me right now, knowing last week that I wasn’t going to get to finish the regular season as far as getting a chance to play. I have to be realistic; I took something that was a 12-month injury and tried to make it into eight and a half, nine months. It was a grind, and I was basically tearing up my body trying to do it, and everybody — the staff and everyone — did everything they could to try to help me get back.
“From talking to Mike (Shanahan) yesterday, I still am a part of this football team, no matter what. I’m going to be here every day. He told me I don’t have to go to all the meetings, but as far as knowing the offense and those types of things — which I do — I’m going to be out there at practice. I’m at every practice. I’m going to every football game and trying to facilitate any way I can interpret defenses and stuff like that for our players and let them know about winning football. Somehow we’ve lost sight of how to go out there and collectively win as a group and individually I think every man has looked himself in the eye in the last week and knows what he has to do.
“Like I said, my role is limited, but my heart and my desire to try and win football games is not limited by any means, and I’m going to go out there every day and try to make us better. As far as what happens after this, I’m not worried about it. So as far as next year, I’m not worried about it. I just want to get through this football season and actually get comfortable with my body, because right now I still have discomfort in my hip, so I really want to get comfortable with my body, and, if nothing else, be able to live a normal life, whether I play football again or not.
“But it’s really not about me. That’s what took me so long to talk to you guys. It’s not about me. It’s about us. It’s about our team. It’s about being 3-5 and how we can go and take these next eight weeks and dominate the rest of this football season and find a way to get in the playoffs and do what we started out to do. So that’s my goal. That’s my focus and that’s what I’m dedicated to. So it’s really nothing to do with individual things that are going on in my life. There’s a lot. There’s always been a lot. But I can’t focus on those. I have to focus on trying to help prepare our guys and for us to go out there and be the best we can be.”
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