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Sean Smith wasn’t surprised with his benching

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks (10) pulls in a touchdown reception in front of Oakland Raiders defensive back Sean Smith (21) in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. The play was longer than any in the NFL last year, and was the longest  touchdown pass in Saints history. (AP Photo/Bill Feig) AP

The Raiders plunked down plenty of cash to sign cornerback Sean Smith during the offseason. In his first game with the team, Smith provided no return on the investment.

So he was benched. Is he upset about that?

“Not at all,” Smith said Tuesday, via the Associated Press. “I was getting killed, I’m not going to lie to you. It was getting bad out there. I was costing our team points. Coach did what he had to do. Obviously, I would have loved to stay in and fight that thing out but coach made a decision on what’s best for the team so I’m going to ride with it.”

Coach Jack Del Rio replaced Smith with former first-rounder D.J. Hayden, who likewise struggled to keep pace with his assigned Saints receivers, twice drawing interference penalties.

“Just a bad day overall, bad technique,” Smith said of his performance, which included being burned by Saints receiver Brandin Cooks for a 98-yard catch and run. “That’s pretty much what it was, bad technique. You want to go out there with a game plan and execute and that’s something that I didn’t do.”

Smith was pragmatic about the situation, accepting that “if you play long enough you’re going to have days like that” and that “[y]ou just have to move on, have a short-term memory and be ready to roll.”

“It’s over,” Smith said. “It’s just like any other job. I had a bad day at work. It’s one game. It’s not going to define myself, my career or this season. It was a bad day and I’m ready to roll into Week Two.”

Still, the pressure is on Smith to show that it was an aberration. If not, Smith will be dumped before March, when $9.25 million becomes fully guaranteed. At a minimum, he’d get $11 million for one year with the team.

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22 Responses to “Sean Smith wasn’t surprised with his benching”
  1. cavemaneh says: Sep 13, 2016 11:29 PM

    Smith has come a long way since Miami. First game, new team; nerves. Lets talk about him at the end of October.

    Just get a new stadium in Oakland, already.

  2. ronfai says: Sep 13, 2016 11:29 PM

    Why would he complain? A stop sign in middle of the Superdome could have done a better job against Cooks. He got his $$ anyway.

  3. demolition510 says: Sep 13, 2016 11:32 PM

    Glad he was man enough to admit it, accept it and move on.

  4. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 13, 2016 11:57 PM

    Classy response by him, because if he were to really air out the truth, it would involve throwing Norton under the bus.

    Why are you in Cover 1 press (in which case, if I’m Smith, I’m mugging Cooks until they throw a flag) with single high in that position? I’m not saying give up yardage, but even with the look the Saints had on that play, Smith had a less than 10% chance of having anything favorable for the Raiders occur on that play with that call on.

  5. 33bcannon says: Sep 13, 2016 11:58 PM

    Small sample size but i believe 2 Raider players have earned ‘nuevo aportos’:

    Sean “the Myth” Smith

    Only one week in…still. Sean Payton left a blueprint for a dozen more teams to follow.

    Jalen (the pocket-rocket) Richard

    (yeah, i’m borrowing from les Hab’s legend)

  6. hanspard says: Sep 14, 2016 12:02 AM

    I’m not worried about Smith. He didn’t match up well with any of those Saints receivers, but there are lots of guys we’ll need his size for. Julio Jones next week, for starters.

  7. justafan2014 says: Sep 14, 2016 12:12 AM

    Instead of putting it on big corner Sean, name me 3 Corners that haven’t been burned by Sean Peyton, and Brees that did not have an All Pro Front.


  8. slick50ks says: Sep 14, 2016 12:38 AM

    Watch him in the playoffs last year. This is who he is. The Chiefs certainly weren’t going to give him that kind of money.

  9. illumination666 says: Sep 14, 2016 12:59 AM

    Bigger corners have a tough time with the small, quick receivers. As a Seahawks fan, I’ve seen Richard Sherman have the same struggles with those types (Tavon Austin, Desean Jackson, Odell Beckham). I wouldn’t worry about it so much, if at all.

  10. uglydingo says: Sep 14, 2016 1:45 AM

    Sean Smith is an experienced big physical corner who played well for KC in their system and then he got paid.
    He was always going to struggle against really fast speedster WRs like Cooks. Dumb matchup from the getgo. The Oakland Defensive coaches should have known what they are getting when they recruited him. Sean Smith is still a decent player, but he needs to be in the right system.

  11. willowy2k says: Sep 14, 2016 2:04 AM

    Shades of another highly paid burnt up raider corner named deangelo hall. Lasted only 8 games before being cut by Oakland

  12. rdrllldubk says: Sep 14, 2016 8:16 AM

    Those 2 PI calls on DJ Hayden were awful! He did nothing more than run with the WR step for step. Even the announcers were appalled….

  13. jjackwagon says: Sep 14, 2016 8:51 AM

    And suddenly the Chiefs look a lot smarter for letting him walk.

  14. gooboy6 says: Sep 14, 2016 9:24 AM

    The Chiefs clowned the Raiders ( again) on this one.

  15. radrntn says: Sep 14, 2016 11:56 AM

    the pass interference call on Haden was bogus call, as were the majority of the other 13 calls…refs sucked in that game

  16. whodatgirl504 says: Sep 14, 2016 12:35 PM

    Refs sucked on both sides b/c that awful PI on 4th and 5 was ridiculous!!!

  17. war27 says: Sep 14, 2016 2:21 PM

    whodatgirl504 says:
    Sep 14, 2016 12:35 PM
    Refs sucked on both sides b/c that awful PI on 4th and 5 was ridiculous!!!


    You mean a LB should be able to make contact with a receiver and never turn their head? If he was going to touch him he has to be smarter and look for the ball.

    Face guarding isn’t illegal in the NFL. Face guarding with contact will be called every time though.

  18. radrntn says: Sep 14, 2016 2:31 PM

    whodatgirl504 says:
    Sep 14, 2016 12:35 PM
    Refs sucked on both sides b/c that awful PI on 4th and 5 was ridiculous!!!
    – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Refs sucked on both sides? What, on one final drive when the Raiders had the ball?

    Raiders had 7 penalties in the first half. Mack was being held on every play. 3rd and one play for the saints went nowhere yet the refs said they gained two yards, saints got 4 first down on by way of penalties on third down plays, benefited with over 141 yards from the refs, and on the drive before the one you are refering to the refs gave you 45 yards, and two first downs just on two bogus penalties. Plus Jack should have challenged the reception by Snead that he fumbled that was recovered by Thomas on the 12 yard line….he never had possesion of the ball…the ball was moving the entire time.

    The refs sucked I totally agree, but the saints have nothing to complain about. They benefited from the refs the entire game, not just one drive.

    Go Raiders….Beat the Refs yet again!

  19. araidersfan says: Sep 14, 2016 2:32 PM

    gooboy6 says:
    Sep 14, 2016 9:24 AM

    The Chiefs clowned the Raiders ( again) on this one.


    Maybe on Sean Smith, although I’ll give it some more time before coming to that conclusion.

    But can you name other cases (implied by your “again”) where the Raiders got “clowned” by the chiefs? Seems that Rodney Hudson has been doing a good job. And in the past I was pretty happy with Albert Lewis and Rich Gannon. Hell, even Harvey Williams wasn’t too bad.

  20. whodatgirl504 says: Sep 14, 2016 2:32 PM

    Doesn’t matter once player is out of bounds and ball is uncatchable, PERIOD!!!

  21. radrntn says: Sep 14, 2016 2:39 PM

    But the defensive player is not allowed to make contact with a receiver downfield when the ball is in the air. (.) Plus he never turned around. However I agree , the refs sucked.

  22. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 14, 2016 4:02 PM

    What we saw Sunday is that certain teams who were at home got blatantly favorable officiating. The whole “engage the home team’s fans” conspiracy theory won’t go away at this rate.

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