Fred Smoot is always looking to add another quarterback to his list of interception victims. This week, he squares off against one of the NFL greats in Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre.
Fred Smoot, who hails from Jackson, Miss., is especially fond of extolling the virtues of famous athletes from that state. Favre was born in Gulfport, Miss., grew up in Kiln and played his college ball at Southern Miss. He still lives in Hattiesburg, Miss., part of the year.
Gulfport is often referred to as the "Home of Brett Favre," which elicited this response from Smoot on Wednesday: "Well, in Jackson where I'm from, they don't call it the Home of Fred Smoot. So I'm wondering what's going on!"
Smoot was joking, of course. He admires Favre and all that he has accomplished.
"Favre is up there with Walter Payton and Willie Brown," Smoot said, referring to two more famous Mississippi NFL athletes, both of whom are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "Point blank, if you drive to Mississippi, you're going to hear their names."
So how do you stop Favre and the Packers' second-ranked offense?
"Hopefully Brett will let a couple throws get away from him," Smoot said. "Their offense is among the best in the NFL. Clearly top-five-and they're the best on third downs."
If Favre plays in the Week 8 game at FedExField--he is listed as probable with a right hand injury--it will mark his second appearance in Washington
In his rookie season of 1991, Favre got into the final moments of a game the Falcons lost to Joe Gibbs and the Redskins at RFK Stadium, 56-17.
This year, Smoot's leadership skills in the locker room have become apparent and he remains confident that the team can turn around its 2-4 record.
"We've got to feed off of each other," Smoot said. "We've got to make plays with each other and for each other. We've got great athletes. We've got great coaches. We'll find a way to turn this around."
The fourth-year player seems to be in the right place at the right time more than his fair share of the time.
The fourth-year player displayed his knack for timeliness in the Week 5 Redskins-Ravens game when he picked off a Kyle Boller pass, changing the flow of the game.
With 8:50 remaining in the second quarter, Boller dropped back to pass to tight end Daniel Wilcox. The ball popped out of Wilcox's chest and floated high in the air. Smoot made his first interception of the season at the Ravens' 45-yard line and returned it 17 yards.
The 5-11, 174-pounder entered 2004 with 13 career interceptions to his credit. He's led the Redskins in interceptions three years running, his victims including Doug Flutie, Steve McNair, Peyton Manning and Matt Hasselbeck.
Among the Redskins' defensive starters, only LaVar Arrington has more Redskins experience than Smoot and throughout his three-plus seasons in Washington, Smoot has always shown the ability to be a playmaker.