FOXBORO -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; Continuing with their 2011 draft trend of selected guys whoare willing to do whatever it takes in order to contribute to an NFL team,the Patriots took tight end Lee Smith in the fifth round (159th overall) onSaturday.
Smith played four years at Marshall as a tight end, but saidhis nastiness on the field sometimes makes him an extra offensive lineman onthe football field.
He got that nastiness from his father, who used to tell himthat there are no friends inside the white lines.
I think its good to have a little nastiness in you, to bean extra offensive lineman on the field, at the tight end position, said Smithin Saturdays conference call.
Smith said he would be open to playing offensive line, if itmeant being part of Sundays game plan.
Whatever I need to do to compete, and contribute in theNFL, Ill do, said Smith. My goal is to contribute on Sundays. I dont wantto be a guy that doesnt contribute.
Im not saying that I have to be a starter, or I have to bethis, or I have to be that. I just want to make sure I contribute in the NFL,and I get to play ball. And if thats at tackle, tight end, special teams,whatever it is, thats what my dream has been my whole life.
His dream coming out of high school was to play football atthe University of Tennessee, where he initially had enrolled. But Smith quicklytransferred to Marshall -- where he played four seasons after being chargedwith a DUI at Tennessee.
There was a bump in the road, and it ended up being thebest thing that ever happened to me, said Smith, who was named team captainhis last two years at Marshall.
Now, hell join an impressive group of tight ends in NewEngland.
It fires me up, to see two, and three, and four tight endsets on the field, said Smith. I think thats something thats very specialwhen a team can do that. It definitely makes mismatches. You get a Hernandez,Gronkowski, and Crumpler, theyre all very different players. But at the sametime, when all three of them are on the field, its a nightmare for a defensivecoordinator, for any team in the NFL.
Im humbled to be put in a group with those three guys, andIm excited to kind of pick their brains, and hopefully get a little knowledgefrom each on of them.
Danny Picard is onTwitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on hisstreaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.