Thursday, March 26, 2009

L.J. felt like "a number"

The latest player to criticize the Eagles' family for its coldhearted treatment of players is L.J. Smith, who spent six seasons with the organization.

Smith told Sporting News Radio Thursday he felt like "a number" in 2008, his last season with the Eagles. Considering the Eagles paid him the $4.5 million franchise number this past year, then took away his starting job, he probably was a number in the eyes of the org. And not a good one.

That said, Smith sounded a lot like Brian Dawkins and Tra Thomas after their respective exits - unwanted.

"I think I was just treated more like a number last year," Smith said. "There were a lot of things that I felt like should have been handled differently and you know there were a couple of times where coach should have came up to me and explained how he was looking at things and how he was handling situations and what direction he wanted to go but it didn't happen like that. As a player you never want to hear things through the media.

"You just want to be treated like a man before an athlete I think a lot of times in the NFL coaches forget that. They're so involved with the numbers and schemes and they forget how to approach a player and I just felt like a couple of times throughout the season last year there were a couple of coaches who forgot that.

Smith hasn't been promised anything by his new team, the Baltimore Ravens. But something tells me he will relate to the approach of Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, the former Eagles assistant, and take the starting tight end job from Todd Heap.


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