Ever wondered what a hard-hitting NFL player’s insight about football is like? With two Super Bowl rings on his fingers, Anthony Smith has the hardware to prove he’s a champion.
While growing up in Youngstown, Ohio, Anthony Smith saw the vision he would need to become one of today’s hottest football players. After a record-breaking career at Syracuse, Anthony Smith, the First-team All-Big East Defensive Back was drafted by Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006.
Anthony Smith’s aggressive style of play evidently seen on ESPN’s SportsCenter broadcast during his rookie year. Anthony was captured laying one of the most vicious hits on a punt returner that resulted in a crucial turnover. With a pro football career that spans six years, he earned his rings playing for the Steelers and Green Bay Packers respectively. In this exclusive interview with one of the NFL’s hardest hitting players, we discuss the man inside the helmet…
So tell me a little more about you?
I’m a family man. I grew up around a lot of strong figures. Under their teaching, I became one of them. Everything I do is motivated around my family to make sure they’re straight. My whole purpose of life to make sure everybody accomplish what they want to accomplish and that they are on the right path for it.
How did you start out playing football as a young kid?
I started when I was 5 years old. I was playing in a park one day with my aunt and she said I tackled her hard for me to be so little. She knew right then I was going to be somebody. I guess me watching TV and seeing football, I knew it was something I wanted to play. I had a knack for it. So my mom took me to sign up for football and it was history from there.
You caught a lot of flack with your comment towards the Patriots back in 2007. Are you still receiving negative vibes about it?
No. People ask me about it but it doesn’t affect me. I would make that same statement today. I just didn’t have the greatest game, but I’m not out there mad and pointing fingers. That’s just how the game goes.
I got my chance to play them again the following year. When I was in Jacksonville, I actually had a good game and was smashing them. Anybody who knows football knows what it is. It’s on tape…look for #20…I’m just somebody who is willing to stand up against anybody. Who don’t want a guy like that?
You are regarded as a hard hitting physical safety who laid a vicious hit on Hines Ward during practice in 2008. Did the incident contribute to you not getting an offer afterwards by the Steelers?
It probably did…but I really didn’t hit Hines…people know how I hit. It was a play that was coming across the middle. I was going for the pick and seen that we was about to collide. I actually spun off of him. We hit shoulders but it was no hard hit. It’s just part of the game…everybody know how I hit. If I would have hit Hines, it would have been worse than what it was. They would have cut me that day!
What advice do you give for aspiring football players?
I would tell them to believe what you see and know who you are. As long as you stay humble and understand that you are going to make big plays and you are going to mess up. So as long as you understand that and have an even mindset, then you can go as far as you want to go.