A double threatKwame Smith grew up in Miami, where you...


June 17, 1994|By Ken Murray

A double threat

Kwame Smith grew up in Miami, where you can't play football unless you can talk a good game, too.

Born New Year's Day, 1971, Smith can talk. And as the CFL

Colts have found out, he can play cornerback, too.

His running battles -- verbal and otherwise -- with rookie receiver Shannon Culver supply levity to practice. When Culver beat Smith on a deep pass yesterday, he held the ball aloft as if scoring a touchdown.

When Smith knocked another deep ball out of Culver's hands, he taunted him for missing time for a thigh bruise.

But there is no real animosity.

"We keep each other going every day," Smith, a West Virginia graduate, said. "He's very competitive. Same with Joe Washington, and all the receivers in camp. I enjoy going against guys like Skinny [Culver's nickname]."

Smith said he is his own worst critic. It comes with being 5 feet 8. Smith lists 5-4 NBA guard Muggsy Bogues of Dunbar and 5-7 cornerback Mark McMillian of the Philadelphia Eagles as little guys he admires, and considers himself the eternal underdog.

"I'm always on the edge," he said. "I can't say, 'Kwame, you've got it made.' "

Wilson joins team

The Colts signed receiver Walter Wilson of Southern yesterday after he ran a 4.51 40-yard sprint in a morning tryout, then signed veteran CFL receiver Chris Armstrong after he ran 4.46 in the afternoon. Both times were on wet grass.

Wilson was cut by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Monday. He played 14 games for the San Diego Chargers in 1990 and was cut in 1991. He also was in camp with the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and led the World League Ohio Glory with 65 catches in 1992.

Armstrong had 56 catches for 11 TDs and a 20.5 average from 1991 to 1992 with the Edmonton Eskimos and Ottawa Roughriders and was cut by the New England Patriots last year.

Safety first

Don Matthews is known around the CFL as a players' coach because he minimizes contact to keep his players healthy. "Players don't have to pass a courage check for me every day," the Colts coach said. "They'd never get this far without it."

Injuries happen, though. Seconds after Matthews spoke, halfback Enis Jackson turned his right ankle when he came down on Joe Howard-Johnson's foot going for a pass. Jackson (( suffered only a slight sprain.

Guard O'Neill Glenn strained his left Achilles' tendon when he slipped during morning sprints, but could practice by tomorrow.


Jesse Becton

Pos: OLB

Ht: 6-0

Wt: 200

College: New Mexico

Year: Rookie

Outlook: Becton is a good athlete at a position deep with good athletes, and he has great speed.

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