I was on DCFanatic's radio show tonight and he had lined up new Cowboy DeAngelo Smith to come on the show for an interview. DC and I got to interview the young corner/safety towards the end of the show, after the first 45 minutes or so.
DeAngelo, who shall now be known as D-Lo, he told us that was his nickname at Cincinnati, was a good interview. The guy comes straight with his answers, sounds ready to get on the field anyway possible and has a little Cowboys bloodline. Smith's uncle is Roger Harper who briefly played safety for the Cowboys in the 90's. He also has another uncle, Pepper Johnson. Yeah, that Pepper Johnson. Even with Pepper in the family, he sided with Uncle Roger and grew up cheering for the Cowboys. He's already off to a good start in my book.
I won't cover the whole interview in detail; I should be sending some traffic to DCFanatic and his radio show. But a couple of things stood out. He wants to return punts and said the Cowboys special teams coach has already talked to him about that. Smith preached the idea of getting vertical immediately on a punt return. He said his college coach expected you to get upfield once you caught the ball or he would get someone else who would.
While Smith is more than willing to play safety to get on the field - and he's all about getting on the field - he feels he's truly a cornerback. He disputed the idea that he doesn't have the speed necessary as has been reported in some draft reports and you can tell that he loves playing the position. I asked him about the Bearcats coverages, he said they played them all - man, zone, combos - but that he was usually the off-guy to the field side until they got in the redzone when he got to press. He likes to press and get his hands on the receiver and get physical with him.
For fun, I asked him who would be the better pro, he or his running-mate Mike Mickens - he said they would both be good and hopefully be the dynamic duo like they were at Cincinnati. Great answer.
I enjoyed talking to him, he didn't shy away from questions at all and gave good, detailed answers. I'm not sure how good he's going to be, I've never really watched him play that much, but I can tell already I'm going to be rooting for the kid.