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Anthony Smith retires at age 28

Anthony Smith Pic AP

Steelers 2006 third-round pick Anthony Smith looked to be emerging as Pittsburgh’s free safety of the future when he made 14 starts his first two seasons, collecting 97 tackles and intercepting four passes during that span. But Smith’s career took a nosedive after he unsuccessfully guaranteed a December 2007 win over the 12-0 New England Patriots.

The Patriots torched the Steelers’ secondary in a 34-13 win, as quarterback Tom Brady passed for four touchdowns and 399 yards. And Smith’s career never recovered.

Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Saturday that Anthony Smith is now retiring from football, after bouncing between five teams the past four years. Smith’s career ends after six seasons and 76 games played, with 19 starts. He is 28 years old.

Smith was once a promising NFL safety who appeared destined to become Troy Polamalu’s long-term running mate in the back end of Pittsburgh’s vaunted defense. Unfortunately, the majority of those who remember Smith’s career will think of his failed guarantee and subsequent torching by Brady.

And it’s fair to wonder whether, had Smith bit his tongue, things might have worked out for him much differently.

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19 Responses to “Anthony Smith retires at age 28”
  1. jpak12 says: Jul 21, 2012 1:19 PM

    I remember that game it was pretty great, the Pats seemed to go out of their way to target him I think every TD they scored was against him.

  2. killerron says: Jul 21, 2012 2:00 PM

    And Brandon Weedon is just getting started…

  3. phuriousjorge says: Jul 21, 2012 2:05 PM

    Unless he has a really smart (money making) plan, I bet he comes back next year.

  4. handsofsweed says: Jul 21, 2012 2:08 PM

    …to be repeatedly outdueled by Roethlisberger, killerron.

  5. turdfurgerson68 says: Jul 21, 2012 2:29 PM

    The moderator here is obviously a Pittsburgh fan…write one non-positive idem about the Steelers and your post gets yanked.

    Ever hear of the the 1st amend…you tool.

  6. bradygazelle says: Jul 21, 2012 2:30 PM

    That was an awesome game!

  7. buccaneerz78 says: Jul 21, 2012 2:39 PM

    There has only been one “prime time”…. Everyone else should shut their trap and play the game.. Good luck in the real world buddy…

  8. jason49er says: Jul 21, 2012 2:41 PM

    That last sentence mades no sense, like if he’d have not did the guarentee he’d be an All-Pro or something. He’d still have gotten torched and he’d still be a bust, except less people would remember who he is.

  9. greglloydrules says: Jul 21, 2012 3:22 PM

    I remember that guarantee very well. When I heard him say that I was like “what are you thinking, people have done that before versus Brady and got their butts whooped.” We deserved to get our butts kicked that day. Thank Smith. Ryan Clark is not great, but I appreciate him much more now.

  10. pftstory says: Jul 21, 2012 3:30 PM

    Is he going to sign a one day cotract with anyone?

  11. theandy59 says: Jul 21, 2012 3:35 PM

    Yet another example of why you should just keep your mouth shut and play. Especially against New England.

  12. jimboonie says: Jul 21, 2012 3:49 PM

    “Smith was once a promising NFL safety who appeared destined to become Troy Polamalu’s long-term running mate in the back end of Pittsburgh’s vaunted defense.”

    Really? I remember leading up to that game the talk was that he was a backup, and wasn’t that good, and had no business running his mouth.

  13. ncsteeler says: Jul 21, 2012 3:52 PM

    Actually what he said was fairly harmless; something like “if our O, D and special teams play as well as they can, I guarantee a win.” I’d say that’s how most players (at least those on top teams) feel going into a big game. The idea that Tom Brady, Randy Moss et al. weren’t smart enough to pick on a young safety is laughable. A few years earlier, in AFC championship game, Brady had no trouble picking on Troy Polumalu and nobody ever accused him of mouthing off. Smith’s lack of disipline on the field did him in more than anything.

  14. vincentbojackson says: Jul 21, 2012 5:13 PM

    Worked out pretty well for the Steelers, they ended up cutting Smith, adding Ryan Clark, and then won two Super Bowls.

  15. realitypolice says: Jul 21, 2012 5:38 PM

    I have a hard time believing his entire career hinged on that game. Just another “can’t miss” prospect that missed.

  16. p3r51an says: Jul 21, 2012 5:47 PM

    I don’t know why people took that so seriously I mean you want him to guarantee a loss? It wouldn’t have made sense. He wanted to fire up his team and there is nothing wrong with that.

  17. SparkyGump says: Jul 21, 2012 5:58 PM

    Tempting the Fates has never been a good idea.

  18. jschwanny says: Jul 21, 2012 6:14 PM

    @vincentbo doesn’t know didley. The Steelers added Ryan Clark in 2006. Smith was Clark’s backup in 2007 and Smith only started against NE because Clark was hurt. Clark has won 1 Super Bowl with the Steelers.

  19. 1historian says: Jul 21, 2012 8:49 PM

    I remember that game. The Pats seemed to target him and they just destroyed him. Even BRADY got in his face.

    He asked for it. He got it.

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