Shaun Smith was a fan favorite in Kansas City last season for his passionate play along the offensive line and his frankness with the press. He was a charismatic presence on a team often without personality, so it was hard for many to see the Chiefs let Smith go to the Tennessee Titans in free agency. Unfortunately for the Titans, the move didn't work out as planned. Even Smith realizes that much.
"I didn't feel like I played to the ability that I should have. I didn't play at a high level," said Smith to the Tennessean. "When you evaluate, you have to evaluate everything, including yourself. When I look in the mirror and evaluate myself, I didn't have the success I wanted to have."
Smith finished the season with one sack and 44 tackles, numbers that would have been fine with the Chiefs given his role to draw double teams in the middle. But the Titans wanted him to attack the passer more and the transition from the 3-4 defense of the Chiefs didn't work out.
"It was hard," Smith said of converting to the 4-3. "Not to make an excuse or nothing — it is a profession — but I was behind. With us having an offseason with no lockout this year, though, I'll get back to the old me. I'll work on my hand placement, be an attacking player. Being a professional you have to adjust to it."