Pittsburgh Steelers safety DaMon Cromartie-Smith has been on the practice squad the last three seasons and thus no longer eligible for it in 2013. That means he must make the 53 man roster out of training camp this year if he is to continue his career in Pittsburgh.
“I know the situation I\’m in,” Cromartie-Smith told Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “My back\’s against the wall and I\’m definitely going to come out swinging.”
Heading into training camp, one would think that the Steelers will be looking to carry five safeties at the very most on their 53 man roster and being as they drafted Shamarko Thomas in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, he along with Robert Golden are almost certain to make the roster as backups to Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark. In order for the Steelers to keep Cromartie-Smith as a fifth, he not only has to play well during the preseason, but also be a force on special teams as well and the Texas-El Paso product is well aware of that fact.
“I\’m looking to make some big strides on special teams,” he said. “I\’m ready to get after it. I have a point to prove. I know I\’m an underdog coming in. It\’s a mental thing. I\’ve been in this position before. I know what the coaches want from me.”
In the six games that Cromartie-Smith has played in with the Steelers, he has recorded three tackles on special teams with all three of them coming on kickoffs late in 2011 season. This year, he will more than likely have to show he can contribute on the punt team as well, and perhaps he will get a shot at being the personal protector; a spot held last year by Ryan Mundy.
This is going to be a numbers game for Cromartie-Smith, as it will be a huge surprise if the Steelers keep more than 10 defensive backs on the 53 man roster. With eight of those 10 spots already spoken for, and it least one more going to a cornerback. you can clearly see how he is on the outside looking in as he heads into training camp.