"I have been the underdog my whole life. ... And now I am the underdog again," Smith said with a smile. "But that’s OK. It is kind of a role I have embraced, and I am living the dream."
"The one thing I have learned over the years, and this was taught to me in college: Don’t compete with the guys that are on the team with you. Compete with yourself, make yourself as good as you can be and enjoy you are playing football for a living," Smith said.
Even better, what he's saying isn't just canned cliches, it sounds like something he genuinely believes. Rusty has been one of the only guys to work out at Father Ryan every day. He's been praised for his work ethic since the day he stepped foot in Baptist Sports Park, even if averaged an interception every 5 pass attempts and ended his rookie season with a passer rating just north of VY's Wonderlic score.We pretty much all agree that Rusty has the arm and the size to hang around as a 3rd spot project for a few years, but what really gives him a chance to make something out of that time is his work ethic. By all accounts Rusty puts in every minute of time he can get learning the craft and working to get better. Chris Palmer and Mike Munchak are going to love that attitude, and it's a damned good example for the guys at the bottom of the roster and the practice squad.
If Rusty can't make the strides on the field and in practice, it won't save his roster spot. But if he doesn't cut it with this team, it sure won't be for a lack of effort.