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Sunday, August 3, 2008
Skins' Smith filling Cooley's notebook

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

CLEVELAND -- Got my first dose of Chris Cooley this morning, and I would say he's worth a high spot on any list of the NFL's most entertaining talkers.

I asked him about the Redskins new offensive coordinator Sherman Smith, who joined his old teammate Jim Zorn after 12 seasons as the Oilers/Titans running backs coach. While Smith is the offensive coordinator, he won't call plays. Cooley said Joe Bugel installs the run game while Zorn handles the passing game.

"I think it's more of a behind-the-scenes kind of role (for Smith)," Cooley said. "I know he has a large role in scripting the offense, choosing what plays we're going to run, evaluating players. We'll break up in an offensive meeting and Sherman will be the first guy to speak. And he has outstanding football quotes, I have a notebook here of about 100 Sherman Smith quotes. I write everything down.

"But it's an interesting role. He'll kind of sit up there and it's kind of a daily motivational deal that he does with the offense. He really doesn't install any plays with us, but you can tell the knowledge is there. You can tell he knows what he's doing. And like I said I think it's kind of a coaching office, behind-the-scenes role."

Clinton Portis also gave Smith a thumbs up, saying he liked a former running back holding that spot on the staff.

Before Cooley finished his visit with us at the Ritz Carlton, he thumbed through his notebook and offered these notes from Smith's talks: