LB Malcolm Smith (11.4.21)

On how he feels about WR Odell Beckham Jr. potentially re-joining the locker room, given S John Johnson III’s comment that he believes the majority of the locker room would welcome Beckham back:

“That would be great. It is one of those things where it gets personal and business. It is kind of between front office and people who make those kinds of decisions. Personally, you want the best for him and the best situation for him. That is how I feel, whether it is here or if he wants to be somewhere else – whatever he wants and what is best for him. Obviously, as a team, we would love to have him, but for me, I really do not spend too much time thinking about it.”


On the main challenges when facing the Bengals offense:

“They have a tough running back (Bengals RB Joe Mixon). Obviously, an awesome quarterback (Bengals QB Joe Burrow). He plays beyond his years. He is very intelligent. He knows where to go with the ball. He has great receivers who can separate. They are loaded offensively, and they have a great scheme. For us, it is going to be trying to make it as tough as possible, go in there with a little bit of attitude in their house and make it as hard as we can for them.”


On if he feels like the team is fully focused with everything that has occurred this week:

“I can only speak for personally and how I approach practice and how I communicate. For me, not to be insensitive to what is going on, but we lose players every week. Guys get hurt. Things happen. Guys get sick. You can’t spend too much time thinking about losing a guy. You want the best for them. I am sure he does not want us to spend our time focusing on what is going on with him anyway. I am sure he would rather just handle it privately and move forward. We have to do that. We have to come to the building and not worry about what is going on with somebody else. Just work as we can and practice.”


On if he felt the need to pass a message to the team this week related to the situation:

“(Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski did it from Day 1. Kind of handled it speaking to us as a team and kind of being open about what was going on. Other than that, it is about they have to learn. They learn this is a business. This is a competitive league. There is always another team next week. It is what it is.”


On defensive coordinator Joe Woods comments about the defensive gameplan and if he sees Woods incorporating the scheme into the players and the players into the scheme:

“I think that is always the goal. That is a part of the coaching staff and players just meshing together and figuring out what we are good at, just spending time [together]. It is tough. It is a challenge, but usually, you get better at it throughout the year. Hopefully, we continue to do that.”


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