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Paul Smith, QB, Tulsa

Discussion in 'NFL Draft' started by MtlBoltsFan, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. MtlBoltsFan

    MtlBoltsFan Jesse Ventura/Howard Stern 2016

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    Love this guy and I think he is the real deal... I have watched him on many occasions and he is one hell of a leader and a competitor. He is very intelligent - has a very high football IQ, he is confident and has a short memory (will keep gunslinging with confidence even if he gets picked off), he is mobile, can escape from pressure. Great leadership skills and he controls the huddle. He can make all the throws contrary to what anyone may say. He is great at selling the playaction. He'll take a sack or throw the ball away if nothing's there. He looks for the best option and rarely makes the wrong pass... there is just so much to love about his game. Whatever offense he comes to learn in the NFL he will know it inside out and play with supreme confidence. I would not be surprised the least bit if this guy pulls a Tom Brady/Trent Green :icon_eek:

    :yes:

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    Even though the ink is still fresh on his diploma, Paul Smith is putting his communication and marketing degrees to work.

    His first project: himself.

    He has spent the past few months trying to sell himself to NFL types. Even though the quarterback broke all sorts of records during his recently completed career at Tulsa, there are questions about him as a pro prospect.

    Can he produce against big-time competition?

    Can he compensate for being 6-foot-1 1/4?

    Can he make all the throws?

    Smith mounted a campaign to answer those questions before the NFL Draft. He jetted from one coast to the other, trying to attract attention with his skills and stimulate interest with his intangibles. Hesqueezed in every opportunity to brand himself as an intelligent leader with on-field savvy.

    His agent even advertised Smith with an eight-page color booklet.

    Whether by direct marketing or word of mouth, Smith seized every chance to sell himself.

    "I feel like I've done all I can do to help my stock out,” Smith said. "Anything past what I've done is going to become a negative.”

    He laughed.

    "I'm not gonna start calling teams up and asking them where they have me ranked, and that's about the only next step I could do.”

    Smith knows selling past the close is a no-no, and so far, he feels like his campaign has been almost flawless.

    So do those advising him.

    "I knew once he got in front of people,” Smith's agent, Mark Slough, said, "he would sell himself.”

    Slough knew that the first step to marketing Smith was identifying what need he would fill for NFL teams. He would be a developmental quarterback expected to spend a few years learning the system, standing on the sidelines and running the scout team. Franchises want those types of players to be good team guys, soaking up coaching and staying off police blotters.

    Where a team might take a draft-day chance on a superstar hothead or troublemaker, they want their late-round picks to be as worry-free as possible.

    Smith won the Wuerffel Award, which goes annually to the college football player who best combines community service with athletics and academics.

    Consider it college football's good guy award.

    And Slough made sure it was part of the pamphlet he produced about Smith.

    The first few pages highlight Smith's football accomplishments, including the NCAA records he set for 300-yard passing games. The remaining pages are heavy on information about Smith's personality and character.

    From the "What They're Saying about Paul Smith” page: "I like Paul's style of play. He's a tough kid, takes hits, runs with the ball, does everything you want a quarterback to do. I think an NFL team would be lucky to have him.”

    That's from former TU quarterback and NFL veteran Gus Frerotte.

    Slough has received positive feedback from folks around the NFL about the info about Smith, but the response when team personnel have seen him up close has been even better.

    That's why agent and player packed the schedule with as many events as possible. Smith went to the Hula Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game in back-to-back weeks. He did the NFL Combine. He did Tulsa's pro day.

    He turned down nothing.

    "He just needed as much exposure as he could get,” Slough said. "I knew the more exposure that Paul had to the NFL scouts and decision makers, the better he would show.”

    That sounds like the case.

    Team Smith has heard largely positive comments from NFL types since the combine. Part of that was due to Smith's performance on the field and in the classroom, but part of it is due to word-of-mouth praise.

    Smith, for example, built a strong relationship with Dick Vermeil at the East-West Shrine Game. The former NFL coach oversaw the quarterbacks that week, and he invited Smith to ride in the coaches' van instead of the players' bus.

    "So, of course, I jumped all over that opportunity,” Smith said.

    He talked football with Vermeil, who also asked about Smith, his wife, his family.

    A few weeks later at the combine, Smith talked to several folks who'd heard good things about him from Vermeil.

    "There's no telling who he talked to regarding me,” Smith said.

    The same goes for Bill Cunerty. The man who wrote a book on the quarterback position and opened a passing school more than two decades ago worked with Smith at the pre-draft mecca Athletes' Performance in Los Angeles. Cunerty spent more than three decades coaching in the junior college ranks in Southern California, so he knows many of the coaches and coordinators who are now in the NFL.

    Cunerty has told anyone who will listen how much he likes Smith. He likes the way Smith leads, reacts to what's going on in the pocket and moves when plays break down.

    Cunerty raves, too, about Smith's mechanics.

    "Paul's motion, I think, is gorgeous,” he said. "He comes over the top. He throws the ball a lot like Joe Montana.”

    Cunerty has bragged on Smith to his NFL buddies, including Jacksonville offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.

    "Listen, I don't care how big your playbook is,” Cunerty remembers telling Koetter. "If you give Paul Smith a month with that playbook, he'll know it better than your other two quarterbacks.”

    Cunerty believes Smith can play in the NFL.

    Ditto for Slough.

    Will any of the league's decision makers agree?

    Only time will tell. The first two rounds of the draft are Saturday, the last five Sunday, and even though this is a time ruled by uncertainty, Smith can be certain that he did everything possible in the months leading up to the draft.

    "In the 10 years I've been doing this,” Slough said, "that was certainly the most taxing and difficult schedule I've ever come across.”

    Smith said, "I know word of mouth is a big thing when it comes to the coaching realm. I knew if I could just make an impact on whoever I come in contact with, it might spread. More people might find out about me.”

    Truth is, only one team has to like him. All it will take is one franchise buying in and drafting him for the marketing blitz to be a success.

    Smith has done everything possible to sell himself.

    This weekend, he'll find out if anyone is buying.
     
  2. MtlBoltsFan

    MtlBoltsFan Jesse Ventura/Howard Stern 2016

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    "The star-studded list of dignitaries that Smith met was astounding.

    Archie Manning invited him to help with his sons Peyton and Eli Manning's passing academy. Doug Flutie and Ahmad Rashad met with him. Texas Tech coach Mike Leach was very complimentary to him. Smith also met NBA commissioner David Stern, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

    He even spent 15 minutes with Roger Staubach, who wanted to talk about his achievements and what Tulsa was doing as a football team.

    One rumor that proved true? Smith said Penn State offered him a scholarship, but rescinded it because the Nittany Lions needed a linebacker instead of a quarterback in his recruiting class.

    "I ran into Joe Paterno and talked to him a second and then met (his son and PSU assistant) Jay Paterno," Smith said. "(Jay Paterno) said he'd watch us some Saturdays and tell his dad that that's the kid they could have had while watching me play.

    "It was neat for my wife and I to hear."
     
  3. MtlBoltsFan

    MtlBoltsFan Jesse Ventura/Howard Stern 2016

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    Paul Smith owns Brian Brohm :yes:
     
  4. MtlBoltsFan

    MtlBoltsFan Jesse Ventura/Howard Stern 2016

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    JACKSONVILLE has come to terms with PAUL SMITH!!!

    Congrats Paul!!! Go kick Lester Ricard's *** for the #3 spot then work your way to kicking Cleo Lemon's *** for #2!!!!!!
     
  5. MtlBoltsFan

    MtlBoltsFan Jesse Ventura/Howard Stern 2016

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    :yes:

    Shhh!!!
     
  6. MtlBoltsFan

    MtlBoltsFan Jesse Ventura/Howard Stern 2016

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    #12 Paul Smith :icon_banana:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Undrafted QB Smith undaunted

    The confident rookie from Tulsa is gunning for a Jaguars roster spot.

    By Vito Stellino, The Times-Union

    All's quiet on the Jaguars' quarterback front this year.

    Last year, there was a lot of drama when the team named Byron Leftwich the starter in February, then cut him nine days before the season started and gave David Garrard the job.

    This year, Garrard, armed with a six-year, $60 million contract extension, will be the starter, and Cleo Lemon, who received a $3.2 million roster bonus and a $3.8 million salary-cap number, likely will be the backup. Even coach Jack Del Rio virtually conceded that Lemon is ticketed for the No. 2 job, saying earlier this week, "That's the way it is contractually."

    That leaves veteran Todd Bouman as a security blanket in case one of the veterans is injured.

    And then there's Paul Smith, a rookie free-agent signee who might be in the most intriguing position.

    The Jaguars were up front with Smith when they signed him in April, telling him they probably will only keep two quarterbacks on their roster, and he's likely to have a spot on the practice squad. But Smith wants to play well enough that the Jaguars won't be able to put him there and risk losing him to another team.

    Smith has beaten the odds all his life. Coming out of high school in Oklahoma, he was bypassed by the major powers and went to Tulsa. All Smith did there was become one of 47 major-college quarterbacks to surpass 10,000 career passing yards and one of seven to throw for 5,000 yards in a season. He also won the Wuerffel Trophy, which is awarded to the college football player who best combines exemplary community service and academic achievement.

    Despite all that, Smith wasn't drafted. And now he wants to prove that pro scouts, who in previous years missed on star quarterbacks such as Tom Brady and Tony Romo, were wrong about him.

    "I'm a big supporter of people being wrong," Smith said. "Hopefully, I can be another check in that column of missed quarterbacks."

    The Jaguars will give him the chance. They started calling Smith during the fifth round of the draft to tell him they were interested in him as a free-agent signee because they only had three picks in the last three rounds. Smith said he received 10 to 12 offers from NFL teams, but he wanted to sign with the Jaguars because his college coaches knew several members of the team's staff.

    Del Rio called Smith a "playmaker," and said the quarterback is "very, very intelligent."

    "He's a decision-making kind of guy who distributes the ball," Del Rio added. "We think he's a kid who has some ability to move the chains and make good decisions under duress."

    But Smith knows what his detractors say.

    "I'm too short, too skinny, and I don't have a strong enough arm," he said.

    Smith is 6-foot-11/2 and weighs between 205 and 210 pounds. And while he's 23, he looks as if he could pass for a teenager.

    So what does Smith have to say in reply?

    "I tell them you're right," he said. "I'm not going to argue with anyone. I enjoy proving people wrong. I've been an underdog all of my life. You can enjoy being the underdog or take offense to it. A lot of guys take offense to being the underdog. I absolutely love it."

    He also has the confidence to play quarterback.

    "That [self-confidence] kind of comes with the position," Smith said. "You have to hug that line of arrogance without going over it. You have to believe you can succeed."

    The son of a high school coach, whom he played for, Smith said he's busy picking up the Jaguars' system and that he just wants to improve each day. But Todd Graham, Tulsa's coach last season, is convinced that Smith will make it big in the NFL.

    "I told Paul he'll be an All-Pro once he gets there and starts working," Graham told the Tulsa World. "Once they put him on the field, he'll do the same thing that he did for us."

    :lama:lama:lama:lama:lama
     

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