Shaun Smith practices
ALLEN PARK Defensive tackle Shaun Smith, who signed with the Lions on Monday after being released by Cleveland on Saturday, participated in his first practice this morning.
He had made a visit to St. Louis. Tampa Bay and Buffalo were also interested. But once he met with the Lions he was convinced this was the place for him.
(The Lions coaches) I met with said I was going to have the opportunity to play. Plus its close to Cleveland, my son is in high school, my wife and kids are back there. I want to go back on Fridays and see my son play high school ball, Smith said.
The 37-year-old Smith played in 11 games for the Browns last season, starting in nine.
Smith allegedly had an altercation with Cleveland quarterback Brady Quinn in December and reportedly punched him in the face.
Theres nothing to address about it, what was said was said. People have their opinions, theres always two sides to a story, Smith said. You know you guys, the media, that takes something and runs with it sometimes. Thats the nature of it, until you know the facts, its the past. Im happy for a new fresh start and I want to help the Lions win some games and get to the playoffs.
Coach Jim Schwartz said they did their due diligence and talked with Smith. The coach said he likes to have players with character and also a few characters.