It's another Will Smith...
You know, this one:
All joking aside, his StarCaps suspension is finally over. This case and possible suspension has been hanging over Will Smith's head since July of 2008. For 3 years we've known he was going to miss 4 games due to suspension and we were never really sure when that would happen. Appeal after appeal continued to delay the inevitable. Well it happened at the beginning of this season and it was reduced to 2 games. Now Smith can move on.
If you're not familiar with the case, the short of it is Smith (along with Deuce McAllister and Charles Grant at the time) tested positive for "water pills" which are banned in the NFL. Apparently there was some substance that was in these pills that counted as a performance enhancer. The case was heavily disputed because the label on the bottle these pills came in did not list the banned substance as an ingredient.
The case had more national media coverage in Minnesota as the case there went to court and ultimately dictated how Smith would be punished. 2 Vikings players were dealing with the exact same problem. Here is the timeline of the StarCaps controversy if you care to read and catch up.
Anyway, we're finally moving on from this. No more suspensions are looming and Will Smith can get back to rushing the passer, stopping the run, and being a football player. The timing of this is huge. The Saints d-line was atrociously bad in game 1, and shockingly impressive in game 2... so we're not entirely sure what to expect every week from this group but there is no doubt that Smith will help it. Not only does his track record speak for itself but he's healthy. We saw what a healthy Will Smith looked like in 2009 when he posted 13 sacks and we saw what a healthy Will Smith looked like in the preseason when he seemed as quick and fit as ever. Remember that first game against the 49ers in preseason? I do. Smith abused every guy that tried to block him.
Will Smith is a complete defensive end. He's not a pass rushing specialist only (Junior Galette). He's not a rookie learning as he goes (Cameron Jordan). He's not a role player that gives you good effort (Jeff Charleson). And he's not an unproven starter coming into his own (Turk McBride). All those guys I listed have value and they help the Saints. They've also not proven they can be every down linemen yet (with the possible exception of McBride).
Will Smith is absolutely an every down lineman. He's a star in the league, period. He's excellent rushing the passer and he's excellent against the run. Make no mistake, getting him back is huge. The defense needs him badly against a highly potent Houston Texans squad. Now that he doesn't have to worry about this case anymore, I'm expecting big things from Will Smith, starting Sunday.
Yes. I was thinking Tom Johnson the DT. Frankly, I'm shocked he's still survived and been on the roster to this point. If he's healthy, Mitch King could be another.
I have heard rumors of Joique Bell. It looks like the rumors may be true. Right now Johnson would be my guess, but sources say Bell so that seems more likely at this point. I think the Saints will definitely add him to the PS if they can and this makes sense because of the news about Chris Ivory looking "great" in practice and 100% healthy.