Smith still 'searching for answers'
ASHBURN, Va. -- Steve Spurrier and Bruce Smith talked, but it didn't seem to clear the air.
The Washington Redskins' coach and 40-year-old defensive end met during the players' day off Tuesday to discuss Smith's displeasure at not starting Sunday's 21-14 loss to Dallas. It was the first time since 1986 that Smith played in a game he didn't start.
"I said, 'We're OK.' He thought we were trying to single him out because we hadn't had much pass rush," Spurrier said. "I told him that after talking to the defensive coaches, he was back starting again based on performance."
Smith was less upbeat about the meeting. Asked Wednesday if everything was OK between Spurrier and him, Smith answered: "Everyone's searching for answers. I'm searching for answers myself. This is certainly not what I expected, that we would be 3-5."
Asked if he's been assured by the coach he will start this week against Seattle, Smith said: "If that's what he said."
Spurrier later backtracked on Smith's status, saying only that there is a good chance Smith would start against the Seahawks, and the defensive coaches will make the final call.
Defensive coordinator George Edwards said the decision will be made later in the week.
"We'll see how it goes," Edwards said.
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press