I sat down in my blogging fortress, eager like Christmas morning to hear about Danny Smith’s thoughts on the failed fake field goal against the New York Jets. If you missed it, we gave our evaluation, but it’s always better to hear it directly from the source.
But Smith was having none of it, declining to talk about what went wrong in his sitdown with Bob Labriola on Steelers’ Nation Radio.
“It didn’t work. We’re onto the next week.”
When Labriola pressed Smith a little further, the coach again rebuffed the question.
“I analyze every play of the game. But we’re past that. We’re onto next week.”
Labriola did say, and I hadn’t heard this anywhere else, that Jordan Berry said post-game the reason for the failure was the Jets’ sudden lack of aggressiveness, in-line with what we said in our post.
But yeah, Smith? Totally sidestepping the question. As much as I’ve professed my love for him, I’d like to see some explanation and owning of the question. Especially when the answer isn’t seemingly giving away much – their guy just didn’t rush the way we expected.
What he was willing to talk about was Antonio Brown’s performance and the yards he gained…and left on the field.
“We actually should’ve gotten more. And that’s what we’re all about. I thought we left a couple plays on the field. I thought it should’ve been longer. And that’s what we strive for.”
It’s unclear if Brown will hold onto the punt returner role assuming Eli Rogers returns this week. Brown is clearly the superior option, providing splash plays no one else can, but Rogers had gotten most of the work before suffering his toe injury.
Stopping the Dolphins’ return game is an even more crucial discussion point, led by their pint-sized rookie Jakeem Grant. Smith mentioned him at the end of their discussion.
“He’s excellent, he really is. I respect a lot of him…I evaluated him coming out last year. He was high on our list. He has great speed. He has no fair catches at this point in the season which tells a lot about a guy who wants the ball. He’s very dynamic. We’re going to have to be right in order to shut a guy like that down. But I believe our guys are up for the challenge.”