Steve Smith: Rams players talked during practice about wanting team to move to LA

steve smithThere has been speculation over the past year that the St. Louis Rams could eventually move back to Los Angeles. The agency that operates the Edward Jones Dome rejected a proposal for improvements that was submitted by the team. The two sides are beginning arbitration and, if improvements are not made to the stadium, the team could break its lease and move.

Rams players were well aware of the possibility that the team could be moving to Los Angeles, and wide receiver Steve Smith says he and other teammates would be excited to see that happen.

While speaking on a “Blogs with Balls” panel Friday about the possibility of the NFL returning to LA, Smith was asked if Rams players would be interested in playing in LA. He said with certainty that they would want to.

“Oh I know so,” said Smith. “We talked about it all season long. We would be out literally in practice — during practice — talking about playing in LA. Honestly.”

A candid Smith revealed the types of things teammates would say to each other.

“How nice would it be to be practicing in LA? Just go to the mall after practice in LA. It’s such a beautiful day in LA all the time.”

Early in the panel discussion, Smith spoke in reverential terms about LA when asked what would make the city so attractive to a football player.

“Los Angeles is so attractive. All the people that are out here, all the celebrities. The celebrity that you get from playing for the LA team. All the hookups that you’re going to get — you’re going to go to restaurants and clubs, get clothes. I played in New York, so I saw the big town, the media. There are so many eyes on you it’s a great opportunity.”

Yes, Steve Smith is all about the hookups. But don’t you worry — he certainly did NOT ever capitalize on any hookups while attending USC! Rams fans have to be thrilled to hear this from one of their players.

Steve Smith Pectoral Injury Opens Up Opportunity for Mario Manningham

The best phonetic quarterback-wide receiver combination in the NFL may be in full effect the next few weeks for the New York Giants: Eli Manning to Mario Manningham. Wide receiver Steve Smith hurt his pectoral muscle during practice on Thursday and will miss at least the next two games. The injury to Smith means slot receiver Mario Manningham will move into the starting lineup and likely see more targets.

Manningham has always been able to get open, but his problem as far as I’ve seen it is that he has shaky hands. The third-year wide receiver from Michigan has plenty of speed which allows him to get in position to score a touchdown nearly every single week. If you decide to pick him up (he’s available in almost 40% of leagues), beware that Manningham went two games this season without a catch. Keep in mind that was when he was a situational third receiver and not a starter, as he will be now.

The Star-Ledger says Smith has a partially torn pectoral muscle which means that missing at least two games is likely. Manningham isn’t reliable in terms of his hands, but with Smith out he should produce more consistently and give you a quality fantasy option.