Even Belichick can goof on talent evaluation

Watching the tears fall down Emmitt Smith‘s face, Gil Brandt was reminded of a conversation he had with good friend Bill Belichick, a frequent visitor to the annual Walter Camp All-America banquet in New Haven, Conn., where Smith was receiving an award one summer.

“I used to invite Bill down to New Haven every summer,” Brandt said. “He comes up to me and says about Smith, ‘This guy’s not a very good athlete, but the guy’s got a big heart.’ ”

Smith went on to become the NFL’s all-time leading rusher in a 15-year NFL career. Now Smith is entering the Hall of Fame along with Jerry Rice, the league’s all-time leading receiver.

“To have two players who broke those records and keep those records is something,” Brandt said. “Because a lot of these records are broken now because we play 16 games and all that. It’s amazing to have two guys with that success here together.”

Is anyone today going to play enough years to put up as many yards as Smith and Rice?

“I think there is a chance at wide receiver because of the fact that we’re throwing the ball so much more than ever before,” Brandt said.

— Aron Angel

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