From renegotiating his contract to losing weight and trying out a new role, Will Smith has made it clear to the New Orleans Saints that he's willing to be flexible in order to spend his 10th NFL season with his only pro club.
Still, Smith has to prove this preseason that he can be effective in his switch from a traditional defensive end to an outside linebacker in the Saints' new 3-4 defensive alignment under new coordinator Rob Ryan.
''It really hasn't been that hard of a transition,'' Smith said, adding that one of the biggest adjustments was simply a switch in position coaches from Bill Johnson, who handles linemen, to assistant head coach Joe Vitt, who oversees linebackers. ''Overall, I would look at the position as just an extension from defensive end. ... Most of the time, I'm doing the same thing I've always done.''
Indeed, his primary role is expected to entail pressuring the quarterback, something he's done well throughout his career.
Yet there are some new responsibili...