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.