Emory Smith comfortable with comparisons to brother
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) _ Emmitt Smith surpasses his younger brother on the football field and _ most of the time _ in dominoes, too. Emory Smith says that’s fine with him.
The 22-year-old Clemson fullback is proud of his record-setting Dallas Cowboys brother. As a free agent just signed by the Green Bay Packers, Smith now hopes to establish his own reputation.
``The advantage is it gets a lot of people to look at you,″ Smith said of his brother’s fame. ``They want to see what you have, and that’s the opportunity for me to show them what I have.″
But how eager are Packers fans to have a Cowboy’s sibling in their midst?
Green Bay has lost seven straight at Texas Stadium, pushing the Cowboys as high as the Chicago Bears on the rivalry roster.
And by coincidence, Emory and Emmitt Smith sport the same number, 22.
``If he’s anything like his brother, even half of what his brother is, it will be a benefit,″ said Ted Kotlowski of Stacy, Minn., among fans watching the close of a three-day minicamp Sunday.
Hard-core Dallas critics William and Cathy Henderson of Green Bay feel the same.
``It could be kind of an inspiration to the team too, just having him here _ you know, `We’ve got a Smith on this team too,′ ″ William Henderson said.
Emory Smith understands how fans feel about the Cowboys after watching the Packers lose to Dallas time and again.
``Of course it means a lot to me, because every time me and my brother sit down and we play dominoes, it’s very competitive. I want to beat him, he wants to beat me, so that’s how it’s going to be,″ Smith said. ``He usually wins. I win sometimes, but you know, that’s how it goes.″
Besides, Smith added, the Super Bowl champion Packers will be every team’s major rival next season.
As a free agent, Smith will get as much of a chance to prove himself as the eight rookies drafted, offensive coordinator Sherman Lewis said.
Smith made few mistakes during minicamp, despite having 72 plays to learn in two days, Lewis said.
He can also catch the ball well coming out of the backfield, important in the Packers offense.
At Clemson, Smith averaged 4.4 yards rushing and ran for 25 touchdowns.
Because Clemson is predominantly a running team, Smith will have to work on pass routes and pass protection, Lewis said.
As far as looking to Smith for a few secrets to help the Packers stop his 27-year-old star brother, forget it, he said.
``We know what it takes to stop them. We’ve just got to do it,″ Lewis said, laughing.
CAMP NOTES: Word of Reggie White’s upcoming professional wrestling debut drew a grimace from Packers coach Mike Holmgren. The defensive end will wrestle former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Steve McMichael in a pay-per-view special May 18. ``He phoned me just before the announcement was going to come out in the paper, because he knew what my reaction was going to be. He never really likes me to be mad at him, but my goodness,″ Holmgren said wryly. ``I hope he wins. And we all know it’s for real.″ ... Doug Pederson is emerging as a strong contender for the No. 2 quarterback spot, Holmgren said. Brett Favre’s absence due to the illness of his wife made Pederson the top quarterback at the weekend minicamp. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Steve Bono, a free agent, is another possible replacement for retired backup Jim McMahon. ``We’ll see what happens at training camp,″ Holmgren said. ... Holmgren expects a big season from second-year wideout Derrick Mayes after the Packers lost kick returner Desmond Howard to Oakland and released wide receiver Andre Rison. ``I will put extra pressure on him, because he has got to come through for us,″ Holmgren said. Mayes must stay healthy, perform consistently in practice and ``learn to take my moods,″ Holmgren said.