Mike McCarthy loves him some Aldon Smith. When asked in his pre-practice presser what his first impression of Aldon Smith would be if he hadn’t known anything about him, McCarthy’s answer was absolutely awesome.
Mike McCarthy was asked what his first impression of Aldon Smith would be if he had never known anything about him: “Who the hell is 58? That’s what I thought the first time I saw him.”— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 20, 2020
If you dropped into a Cowboys practice and saw Aldon Smith, would you leave thinking he is someone who hasn't played football in while or that it's hard to believe he's been out of game since 2015? Mike McCarthy: "You’d say, ‘Hey, who the hell was No. 58?’" pic.twitter.com/WZ16y0eauz— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 20, 2020
For a guy who hasn’t seen a football field since 2015, Smith is doing all of the right things to get back to the player he once was with the 49ers and Raiders earlier in his career. While we’re only a few weeks into training camp practices, Smith should be at the top of everyone’s “training camp winners” lists after dominating the early stages of training camp.
McCarthy went on to say that Smith’s power and length are extraordinary. Those are exactly the kind of attributes you want in a defensive end.
Dak Prescott is among his biggest fans:
“He’s a man. He’s a monster. Damn sure doesn’t look like he hadn’t played in five years. Doesn’t play like it. Energy would never tell you that. Very fortunate to have him. Very fortunate to have him on my team and not rushing me. He’s going to make all of us better. He’s a great player.”
Smith is not only getting his football legs back and fine-tuning his football instincts, but he is learning a new defensive system. Coach McCarthy likes what he’s doing in that department, too. Smith is mastering the physical and the mental.
“He’s playing with new teammates. The communication, the language is new,” McCarthy said. “So, I think for that, I really want to give our staff and our players a ton of credit for what we’ve accomplished in the virtual meetings because it definitely carried over to our time together here in pre-training camp and training camp. Aldon is off to a very good start. He’s impressive. Still very impressive.”
Smith talked about the scheme a little bit in a recent interview.
“I like the scheme because it makes everybody a playmaker. It puts everybody in situations where they can make plays. And the way Mike has it drawn up, I’m going to be in situations where I can use my skillset and be able to make plays. I’m just looking forward to being able to put it all on film against people.”
McCarthy took a bit of a risk going after Aldon Smith, but thanks to a good recommendation from long-time friend Jay Glazer, he made the move and so far it looks like the right move. The Cowboys needed some firepower opposite DeMarcus Lawrence and Smith plus Everson Griffen could turn into an elite rotation of defensive ends. Smith seems to be gelling with teammates, coaches, and has even caught the eye of the Joneses in his first few practices. As long as he keeps his off the field issues at bay, the Cowboys might have struck gold.