Stamps to announce QB signing

It has been reported that the Stampeders are about to announce the signing of Akili Smith as their new QB prospect. Smith should be able to unseat Burris as the Stamps starter, at least on paper. However he would not be the first highly touted NFL QB to not be able to cut it in the CFL if he fails. My gut feeling though, is that Smith will adapt well to the Canadian game and should be a very good signing.

What's his history, college and the No Fun League?

1999 overall pick of the Bungals, now the Bengals.

This was one of a long line of draft day busts the Bengals had. He stinks, don't get your hopes up. He did okay in NFL Europe. Don't expect much if he makes the squad that a bonus.

Inside the Huddle... Akili Smith

March 9, 2005
By Henry Hodgson
NFL Europe

Akili Smith is hoping to resurrect his NFL career with the Frankfurt Galaxy. (waynepaulo.com)
Akili Smith’s road to the NFL has not been an even ride, but the bumps in the road could be smoothed out by a flight to Germany, and a season playing for the Frankfurt Galaxy in NFL Europe.

The third overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1999 draft that was considered the best year for quarterbacks since the 1983 bonanza that produced the likes of Dan Marino, John Elway and Jim Kelly, Smith’s career never took off in the same way that Donovan McNabb’s (taken one pick before him) or Daunte Culpepper’s (taken eight picks after him) have since. However, the former Oregon star, who shone with his strong arm and good scrambling ability for the Ducks, is looking to resurrect his NFL career with a good season playing in a league that has honed the skills of the likes of Kurt Warner, Brad Johnson and Jake Delhomme, and sent them back to the NFL as winners.

“I tried to get into NFL Europe last year,? explains Smith as he warms down following a hard day’s practice in Tampa, Florida, with the Frankfurt Galaxy. “My agent actually contacted the head coach for Cologne, but we were told that we were too late to get in for 2004.

“We decided that if I was not with an NFL team that would allocate me by the time the declaration day came around this year, then basically I would enter as a free agent.?

Smith did indeed take that route into NFL Europe when the assignment of allocated players came around in early February this year. Hours after declaring himself as a free agent for the league and being placed with the Frankfurt Galaxy as part of the quarterback allocation, however, Smith learned that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be signing him, meaning that he would be heading to NFL Europe’s training camp in the city whose team he had just joined.

“It was a surprise to be picked up by the Bucs. As soon as the NFL Europe draft had been completed, I got a call from Mark Dominik, who works for the Bucs,? says Smith. “He told me that they wanted to allocate me, so that was a blessing and some encouragement for me coming into camp. Being down here, too, I know that they are keeping an eye on me.?

It is not just the Buccaneers watching Smith. Legions of television crews, reporters and local football fans have trooped down to King High School in Tampa to watch Smith prepare with his teammates for the season, but he has not let the attention shift his focus from his ultimate goal.

“The NFL and NFL Europe are a serious business,? says Smith. “You have to be totally focused if you really plan on having success in either league – I have learned that.?

As a senior at Oregon, Smith put together one of the most breathtaking seasons in NCAA history, throwing for 32 touchdowns to just eight interceptions; in the process catapulting himself almost from nowhere to the top of most draft boards. In almost the same time that he scorched his way to the top, however, Smith tumbled out of football. He started 17 of 22 career games in Cincinnati, completing 215 of 461 passes for 2,212 yards with five touchdowns and 13 interceptions before the Bengals gave up on him after the 2002 season.

To a lesser man, the rejection a year later by Green Bay, with whom he spent the preseason in 2003, might have signaled the end of his attempts to make it in the league. Witness the career of Cade McNown – taken six picks after him in the 1999 draft, and out of football since 2000. However, the resilient Smith was not to be defeated, and when he began to explore how to get a second chance in the NFL, it was something of a no-brainer for him to head for Europe.

“The amount of players, and particularly quarterbacks, who have been in NFL Europe and then come back to the NFL and had success is astonishing,? says Smith. “Kurt Warner, Jake Delhomme and some of those other guys. I looked at that, and knowing how beautiful Europe is to visit and with the ability to go and play football and get some reps and get on film, that inspired me to come to NFL Europe.?

Smith hopes to follow in the footsteps of QBs who have graduated with honors. (waynepaulo.com)
Smith also got advice from some friends who have been over to Europe before. The man that ultimately replaced him in Cincinnati, Jon Kitna, launched his successful NFL career with a season playing for the Barcelona Dragons way back in 1997.

“I have had a lot of friends over in Europe before,? said Smith. “I just spoke with Jon Kitna about coming to NFL Europe, and he told me all about what I can expect and what a great experience it is. He also asked me not to break his records!?

One thing that Smith has been told is that the Galaxy’s coaching staff, which includes former NFL quarterback Alex Van Pelt as his position coach, will iron out any problems in his game.

“My footwork and the mental part of the game are what I need to work on most,? he admits. “Being able to see coverage, reading coverages, and going where coverages dictate are things that I have not done for some time because of being away from the sport. Coming to Europe and getting in games will mean that I can do all of those things in a live situation, which is something that you really can’t get anywhere else.?

Of course, Smith knows that getting all that down in a ten-game season also means that he can jog people’s memories about why he was a top draft pick in the first place.

“A lot of people have not seen me play in a game for over two years now, so this will be an opportunity for me to remind them what I can do.?

After being out of the game since the 2003 season, the routine of two-a-day practices in sweltering heat could be foreign to Smith. However, he has tried to keep himself in shape and ready to jump back into the hot-seat ever since he departed Green Bay in August 2003.

“I have been getting up early every day, going to the gym and working out, seeing a chiropractor and trying to stay in shape,? reveals Smith. “I have worked on my core quarterbacking drills, because in the NFL you never know when you are going to get a call. So I try to stay in shape and mentally ready to get back in there.?

Now that he is on his way back there, Smith’s has set himself some goals for the season, and his primary objective involves him helping his team to a berth in Yello Strom World Bowl XIII.

“I plan on coming to Europe, competing, and getting Frankfurt to a World Bowl. That’s why we are all here – everything else is nice, but this is a team that is used to success, and a World Bowl is definitely in my plans.?

Although football is his focus, Smith is also planning on satisfying his curiosity and exploring Germany, which he admits he knows little about, while he has the chance.

“We have eleven games to play, and that is the serious business of being in this league, but I also want to meet some people and have some fun,? he says.

“When I have some free time I definitely want to travel around, and I plan on visiting some of the historical things in Germany – that is what interests me most culturally about being in Europe. I am going to get a camcorder and film some of that stuff, and just be a tourist when I can.?

Smith hasn't lost the natural talent or strong arm that got him drafted in the NFL.(waynepaulo.com)
One thing Smith has clearly picked up on is that he is going to be heading to a city which is passionate about their team. Frankfurt has been to six of the twelve World Bowls, and their purple-clad fans are going to be expecting great things from one of the most famous players ever to head into NFL Europe.

“We are going to try and come up with something for the fans to get them real excited,? says Smith. “I have heard a lot about Frankfurt’s big fanbase and about the whistles and noise they make at games over there, so we want to make sure that they have some fun at the games. If we can get our fans behind us and having fun at home games, then I think they can be a 12th man on the field for this team.?

If Smith can satisfy those crazy Galaxy fans and take Frankfurt to the World Bowl this June, it will merely be the first step back into the NFL. However, with his inherent natural talent and the determination that has seen him take this route, you wouldn’t bet against this being the start of another rise that could eventually lift him back to elite status in the NFL again.

As a Stamps fan this is good news. I doubt he's going to take Burris' starting position for 2007 but after a year in the league 2008 is more realistic.

Barker ... needs to run Norton on his recruiting computer

Whatta joke

:)

Is McManus still under contract, or does anyone know if he's a FA come february?

LOL OMG… Before the begining of this years NFL season, I had bought an NFL analysts magasine and there was a joke about him on the inside of the cover. It said:
Tom Brady:6th round pick, #199 overall, 2000 draft
2-Time League MVP
3-Time SuperBowl Champ

Akili Smith:1st round pick, #3 overall, 1999 draft
Now watches the game from home!

I remember when he was supposed to be the next best thing since sliced bread when he hit the NFL...

If I'm not mistaken Jason Maas was his back up in college. If Akili learns how to read the defense he will do well. He has a great arm and was very athletic in college. His style of play would suit the CFL, if they let him use his athletic ability he would do well. If they tell him to sit in the pocket he won't last through the pre season.

I keep seeing, in this thread and in many others, references to some QB named Jason Mass.................who is this guy?

I know there's a Jason Maas who plays for Hamilton...........

Okay someone else in another thread got quite peeved at being picked on for his abysmal spelling, but come on gang, if we're going to use the English language, we should at least make an effort to use it properly.

Now don't get me started yet again on "corps" versus "core".

Thanks for your help in correcting my grammar, madjack. It won't happen again.

He seems like the NFL prototype with good size and a good arm but not much mobility.

Corps

2 : a group of persons associated together or acting under common direction; especially : a body of persons having a common activity or occupation

Or in my usage receiving corps, which homonym do you prefer, Madjack

akil smith or wtf he calls himself SUCKS!... i would rather have mike quinn on my team and he cost us are season......with hes your starter you guyz are seriously screwed
cflfan...It has been reported that the Stampeders are about to announce the signing of Akili Smith as their new QB prospect. Smith should be able to unseat Burris as the Stamps starter, at least on paper. However he would not be the first highly touted NFL QB to not be able to cut it in the CFL if he fails. My gut feeling though, is that Smith will adapt well to the Canadian game and should be a very good signing.

Well done cfleskfan, receiving corps is absolutely correct. Just drives me nuts when I see people saying "receiving core"................just a pet peeve of mine I guess.

Now, to the topic at hand....don't know much about Smith, just that he was a bust in the NFL. Hey it can't hurt to sign the guy and give him a look-see; if he makes it great; if he doesn't then release him. Don't see how the Stamps have anything to lose here...