Transcript: Aaron Smith

<b>PITTSBURGH -- </b> On the last day of mini-camp, players are typically excited about getting away for the next six weeks. <br><br> Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith, however, was unusually excited, and it had to do with what he expects from the defense under new coordinator Dick LeBeau.


What kind of feel do you have about the defense?
I like him a lot. You talking about LeBeau? I really like the changes that he's brought, the attitude he's brought. The man's been in the league forty-some years and still has that enthusiasm and youthfulness and attitude. Every day we go out there the man's hootin and hollerin during warm-up stretches. He still enjoys the game. It's not a job. He loves the game. I think you can't help but get infected with that. When you see him with that enthusiasm it's hard not to get infected with it.

What about the new schematics?
He's definitely brought some changes, some more pressures, to us. Any time you get pressure, defensive guys love that. I like all the changes. So far I'm happy. We've only been together four or five weeks now but I'm impressed.

What kind of feeling do you and the team have as a 6-10 team?
You know, I feel we might be the best 6-10 team that's played in a long time. We had some bad luck with injuries. We had some games we should've won that we lost by making mistakes we weren't used to making. I really don't think our record is indicative of what kind of team we have, at least talent-wise. I mean, we've got tons of talent. Talent-wise, we ain't a 6-10 team. It's just a matter of getting everybody headed in the same direction.

That shouldn't be hard, should it?
I don't think so. Not with this staff or with the guys we have here. Like I said, we were a good 6-10 team. It's not like we have to rebuild or re-do a lot of things.

Doesn't it seem like you have to be a 6-10 team to be considered a contender the next year?
That's the way it seems nowadays, don't it? Well, the thing with the league is it's hard. There's not really that much difference between a 6-10 team and a 12-4 team.

So the attitude is that it can be done with this group?
Oh, I have no doubt. That's how I feel and I get the same feeling from the guys around here. It's not a rebuilding year. I don't think the players, staff or organization feels that way.

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