Last season, special teams specialist Chidi Iwuoma returned to Pittsburgh on a similar internship as Smith will serve this season. Earlier this year, the Steelers hired Iwuoma to serve as a BLESTO representative.
Smith will have the same opportunity to begin a new career which will keep him involved with his last career - football. Players are used to practicing under the watchful eyes of scouts. Once their playing careers are over, they get to find out why, if they so choose. However, just being a former player doesn't simply make one a good scout. As Iwuoma found out, it's a whole different world on the sidelines, bleachers and sky boxes.
"As a player you do film evaluation and you are familiar with players and know what they do and how quick they are. As a scout you take the objectivity out of it and look at the physical ability. There is a whole different language, things you look for, grades you give guys. Just knowing all the things the Steelers organization looks for. It’s learning the small things and helping you evaluate talent."
"Before coming here I was interested and now I really want to get into scouting. It’s a first step and a great opportunity."
For Smith's sake, hopefully he enjoys the same success some of his former teammates have found through similar internships.
For the Steelers' sake, hopefully Smith's presence on the sideline will benefit the continued development of the team's underachieving young defensive linemen Cameron Heyward and Smith's replacement, Ziggy Hood.