Troy Smith has beaten the odds his whole life and when you bet against him you usually lose. At Ohio State he was not a real consideration to play quarterback. The position of quarterback was already boxed up and delivered to 6'4 225 lb Justin Zwick. Zwick had all the things NFL scouts covet, and Troy was too short and did not have the right skill set to play QB in college. Luckily for Ohio State they did give Troy a chance to play and let him prove himself in open competition.
Troy went on to deliver for the Buckeyes developing from a running quarterback into a quaterback that could run. The Michigan killing machine was catching national attention for his on field play.Smith had the swagger of John Wayne strolling into any local saloon in North America. Instead of two colt revolvers Troy had the Heisman trophy and the Davey O'Brien award gripped firmly in his hands. Both awards only given to the elite of the college football world.
In this western our hero does not get the bad guy, but instead gets gunned down by the black hat wearing Florida gators with their own young gun, Tim Tebow. One game is all it took for the Heisman trophy wielding gunslinger to be turned into the "one bullet" wielding Barney Fife.
Once the clock strikes midnight on the college season all the draft eligible players turn into pumpkins. Everything the scouts loved about a player now turns into a negative. The gunslinger turns into a reckless quarterback that is careless with the ball. The tall in the pocket game manager becomes a stiff with poor footwork. The kid with all the leadership skills and heart turns into the guy with the wind up delivery. In some cases these criticisms are warranted in other cases totally false. What is the case with Troy Smith?
Troy has shown flashes in his limited time in a starting role in the NFL. He has a strong and accurate arm with solid pocket awareness and elusiveness. The Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron brought in a quarterback he drafted at his brief stint in Miami to compete against Troy Smith for the number two (2) QB on the roster. Armed with a knowledge of the offense and a coach that drafted him Beck was still not able to beat out Troy for the back up role.
In a league where Jamarcus Russell, Alex Smith, and Trent Edwards are starters there should be a team willing to take a chance on Troy Smith. The Cleveland Browns brought in a Senaca Wallace, and Jake Delhomme to secure perceived stability. The Browns have all but closed the door on a Troy Smith trade at this time. Troy Smith is ready for the next step but is there a team willing to give up a 5th round pick to give him that chance?
Troy beat the odds by starting at Ohio State, and again being able to go on and win the Heisman. He then was challenged to even make the roster in Baltimore and not only made it but fought off a hand picked quarterback by the offensive coordinator. If he is given a chance I think the NFL will remember what a good athlete, leader and quarterback he can be.