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NFL AM: Former Saints DE Will Smith Dies In Shooting

We take a closer look at the insensible act that took Will Smith’s life; Pats fans strike out; Bruce Arians needs to stop talking.

Charlie Bernstein



Smith’s Senseless Murder A Snapshot On Gun Society

The New Orleans Saints, the NFL community and most importantly a great family suffered a tremendous loss over the weekend when former Saints defensive end Will Smith was killed in a shooting.

“A senseless and tragic loss,” Saints spokesman Greg Bensel wrote in a statement early Sunday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Will Smith, his wife Racquel, and his children William, Wynter and Lisa.”

Saints coach Sean Payton weighed in via Twitter, “Pray for (Smith’s) wife’s recovery and their children.”

Smith’s publicist released a statement on behalf of the family later Sunday that expressed thanks “for the outpouring of support and prayers.”

“We ask that you continue to respect the family’s privacy as they grieve the loss of a devoted husband, father and friend,” the statement said.

Here is a section from the police statement:

“The male victim and the driver of the Hummer exchanged words at which time the driver of the Hummer produced a handgun and shot the male victim multiple times,” police said in a statement.

Smith’s wife, 33, was shot twice in the leg. Police said Smith died at the scene but his wife survived and has been hospitalized.

“It appears that it could possibly have been road rage,” Officer Juan D. Barnes Sr. told a press conference.

The New Orleans Police Department have the driver of the Hummer in custody and have recovered the gun.

This isn’t the time to hop on a soap box and preach about gun control, more like the time to echo the message that people will always be responsible for their actions and a few moments of stupidity could cost multiple people their lives.  The driver of the vehicle will most likely spend the rest of his life in prison, where if convicted he should.

Although the driver of the Hummer likely didn’t leave his house with the intention of committing murder, he put himself into the situation where that was a possibility and must live the rest of his days pondering his horrible act.  Perhaps it was a fight at home that put him in a bad mental place, or maybe he is just a person with a short fuse?  Either way, he took the life of a father and now Smith’s kids will have to grow up without him.

Most people have pondered the idea of being able to take a life in a road rage type of situation and many have the opportunity and means to purchase a weapon.  Whereas owning a weapon isn’t wrong at all, never put yourself in a situation where you might use it for anything but protection.  If you’re in a bad mental place, know not to have your loaded weapon with you.  If you plan on going to an area where you believe you’re going to need a gun for protection, go to a different area.

One bad moment could end lives, and now multiple lives are changed forever, none of which for the better.

Pats Won’t Get Their First-Round Pick Back

We go from a topic that’s extremely serious to one that’s flippant.

Although anyone with a pulse believes that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acted about as heavy-handed as he could on the “Deflate-gate” scandal, the New England Patriots will not be getting their first-round pick returned to them in this month’s NFL Draft.

A Boston Herald report states that a federal judge has nixed two motions from Patriots fans to have their first-round pick returned to them.

“After reviewing the complaint, it appears highly unlikely that plaintiffs will succeed on the merits of any of their claims,” wrote Judge F. Dennis Saylor. “

The plaintiffs claimed emotional distress from Goodell’s punishment.

“The Court is denying plaintiffs’ motion without the benefit of an evidentiary hearing or an opposition brief,” Saylor wrote. “However, the federal courts are courts of limited resources, funded by the taxpayers, and it would not be a prudent expenditure of those resources to permit the motion to progress to the hearing stage.”

Not to beat a dead horse, but nobody believes that Goodell’s “witch hunt” on Tom Brady was the right thing to do, and very few believe that the penalties levied on the franchise were just and fair.

With that said, fans claiming emotional distress over it is something beyond ridiculous.

For what I hope is the final time, Tom Brady certainly did something mischievous at the least and wrong at the most likely.

For those that don’t believe it, “WHY DID HE DESTROY HIS PHONE?”

Stupid lawsuits by “scorned” fans won’t let the worst story of last year die, and all anyone with sense wants to do is bury it.

Bruce Arians Needs To Stop Talking

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is as good as it gets.  He makes bold decisions on the field, almost always has the most prepared team on any given Sunday, Monday or Thursday, and is fantastic for the media.

With that said, he keeps digging a hole with his comments on the “war against football.”

A few weeks ago he said that parents that wouldn’t let their kids play football were “fools.”

He clarified his thoughts in a radio interview.

We feel like this is our sport,” Arians said Friday at the Arizona Cardinals High School Football Coaches Clinic, via FOX Sports 910 in Phoenix. “It’s being attacked, and we got to stop it at the grass roots. It’s the best game that’s ever been f–king invented, and we got to make sure that moms get the message; because that’s who’s afraid of our game right now. It’s not dads, it’s moms.”

Taking a shot against women is never the right way to go to make your point.  As a married man he should be acutely aware of that.

“Our job is to make sure the game is safe, at all levels, the head really has no business being in the game,” Arians said. “There’s a lot of different teachers, but when I was taught how to tackle, and block, it was on a two-man sled, and you did it with your shoulder pads. That’s still the best way to do it. There’s really isn’t any place for your face in the game. I would beg all of you to continue to learn more about what they’re now calling rugby style tackling.”

Arians once again tried to clarify his thoughts via his Twitter account.

Arians is a football lifer who has overcame cancer and age discrimination to get to where he is in his career.  Obviously football is and has been an important, if not the most important part of his adult life and it’s the reason that his bills are paid.

With that said, he needs to be a little less protective about the game he loves, at least publicly. Taking on the opposite gender is never the best way to make your point.

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.

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