February 21, 2009
INDIANAPOLIS - Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith continued to tumble in the eyes of NFL coaches and executives when he couldn't be located Saturday morning to participate in the workouts for linemen.
That follows the bad reviews Smith got from coaches from Alabama and the perception that he did a poor job of interviewing with the media and teams. Smith turned off several coaches when he told them he wasn't participating in the workout because he started training late.
"The kid is killing himself," a source close to Smith said. "He basically told the NFL people he's lazy. This is incredible. ... It doesn't matter if you're ready or not. You at least show up at the workouts and watch."
Some draft analysts had projected Smith, a junior, as a possible No. 1 overall pick in April. Concerns about his character started to surface in a serious way when Alabama head coach Nick Saban kicked him off the team before the Sugar Bowl.
Smith was rumored to be involved with the representative of an agent before the game, a violation of NCAA and NFL Players Association rules. When Alabama turned the issue over to a lawyer who is on retainer with the school to investigate possible violations, Smith initially turned over his bank records but then refused to turn over his phone records, according to two sources.
Saban deemed that a violation of team rules and dismissed Smith, who then turned pro after the bowl game. NFL coaches have been in contact with Alabama officials since then and have not heard good reports on Smith's character, a source said.
Despite so much time off, Smith has gotten out of shape in the view of NFL types.
As one scout put it Friday: "Just another guy who doesn't get it."
According to Smith's agent, Alvin Keels, Smith subsequently flew to Atlanta on Saturday for a workout with a private trainer and is not expected back in Indianapolis.
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