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Let's get to know Fish Smithson, a new Redskins safety with a superb name

Let's get to know Fish Smithson, a new Redskins safety with a superb name

The Redskins signed a player named Fish Smithson on Thursday. Sure, this blog could've started out with a fancier opening paragraph that delivered that news in a more graceful or clever way, but when dealing with a matter as important as this, it's best to be straightforward.

Fish Smithson. 

How good is that name? When looking at the list of undrafted free agents that Washington added to their roster, Smithson's (despite looking like a name that a celebrity would use at a hotel to go undetected) easily overshadowed the rest.

Yes, it's rare to see an entire post devoted to a rookie free agent and everything there is to know about him. But then again, it's also rare for a team to sign a player who goes by FISH. So let's get to know the dude.


Is his first name actually Fish?

Unfortunately, no. His first name is Anthony. But, according to his bio on Kansas Football's website, he "prefers to go by Fish," and the fact that the Redskins list him as Fish on their roster shows that it basically is his first name nowadays.

Now, whether there's a cool story about him learning how to take proper angles on the football field by first catching fish in a river and that's how the name came to be, or one day he was just like, "You know what? I don't like the name Anthony anymore. Just call me Fish," isn't known at this time. Hopefully it will be soon, though.

What's he like as a player?

Smithson played one year at Hartnell College and then three years at Kansas, and he was a very productive safety once he got to the Big 12. In his last two seasons, Smithson led the Jayhawks in tackles (while topping the entire nation in solo tackles per game in 2015, too) and earned a spot on All-Big 12 teams as a junior and senior. He also had six interceptions across the second half of his collegiate career.

"Smithson is a little smaller and a little slower than teams might like at the safety spot, but his instincts and overall football intelligence make up for some of his physical limitations,"'s Lance Zierlein said of the defender in his pre-draft profile. "Smithson has shown that he has the ball skills to pair with his instinctive nature, but his issues finishing tackles will not be taken lightly by NFL teams. Smithson has NFL backup potential."

What connections does he have to guys currently in the NFL?

There's this highlight video, which shows Smithson picking off new Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, as well as running away from Redskins wideout Josh Doctson on another interception return. USA Today, meanwhile, has photos of him trying to tackle Bengals draft pick Joe Mixon as well as Redskins fourth-rounder Samaje Perine.

Then there's this tweet from Broncos corner and former Kansas star Aqib Talib congratulating Smithson on finding a place in the league:

It's clear he played against some very good talent in the Big 12, so the jump to the NFL shouldn't be as difficult for him compared to other undrafted guys.

And, finally, there's no way any of his siblings have a name that can even come close to matching Fish, right? Because that would be shocking.

You'd think so, wouldn't you? But as it turns out, Fish's brother, a former Utah receiver, goes by Shaky. If there's ever a "Which pair of brothers has the best combination of names on Earth?" competition, good luck to whoever gets matched up with the Smithsons. 


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One crazy stat that connects Dwayne Haskins with Cam Newton, but also Mark Sanchez

One crazy stat that connects Dwayne Haskins with Cam Newton, but also Mark Sanchez

The Redskins selected Dwayne Haskins with the 15th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. While his record at Ohio State was impressive, Haskins didn't log many starts. 

Washington head coach Jay Gruden talked about Haskins back in March during the league meetings, before the Burgundy and Gold drafted the quarterback, and said that because he played just one year in college he would need significant time to learn the NFL game. 

"You would like a guy to play more than a year to see how he’s developed over the years. Haskins has a unique skillset. He’s big, strong and can really throw it," Gruden said. Then, "Is he going to be ready for the first year?"

After OTAs and minicamp, it's obvious Haskins has all the talent needed to play quarterback in the NFL. He's made touch throws and he's rifled balls into tight windows. At the same time, he seemed confused in spots about play calls and struggled with the speed of the pass rush. 

All of that is normal for a player with just 14 starts. But it's that number, the one year of starting experience in college, that makes one statistic stand out about Haskins. 

That's some serious company, both good, bad and ugly. 

As a rookie in 2011, Cam Newton went 6-10 with 35 total TDs and 17 interceptions, not to mention a Rookie of the Year trophy. His running prowess made up for average numbers in the pass game. The more important comparison for Redskins fans is that Newton eventually developed into an NFL MVP and got the Panthers to the Super Bowl. 

For Mark Sanchez, the rookie numbers and the career comparison aren't as kind. Sanchez threw 12 TDs and 20 INTs in 15 games as a rookie, though he was at the helm as the Jets got to two straight AFC title games. Still, for his career, Sanchez threw more INTs than TDs and could not keep a starting job after his rookie contract. 

Trubisky is a different deal. He's only started 26 games since being the second overall pick in the 2017 draft with a record of 15-11. He's thrown 31 touchdowns against 19 interceptions, and run for another five scores. It's hard to describe Trubisky's game. At times he's terribly inaccurate, but in other spots, he looks like a future Pro Bowler. 

Newton is the sure thing, Sanchez is the poor outcome. Trubisky is still to be determined. 

For Haskins, it's not good company or bad company. With only 14 starts at Ohio State before the Redskins drafted Haskins, it's just the company he's in.


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Packers' Davante Adams has high praise for rookie Darnell Savage

Packers' Davante Adams has high praise for rookie Darnell Savage

Darnell Savage was the third NFL draft prospect profiled in our series β€˜I Am the Prospect

Darnell Savage has been getting a lot of buzz since the Packers traded up to the 21st overall pick to select him in the 2019 NFL Draft, and his teammates are on board.

The Maryland star was one of the draft's biggest risers, and it was well warranted.

The Packers' Instagram account posted a video of Savage Wednesday, and his teammate Davante Adams chimed in.

β€œThe boy gonna be special,” Adams wrote.

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BORN READY. #MondayMotivation #GoPackGo

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β€œHe’s going to be that guy β€” I can tell," Adams said, via Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal. "We definitely got a steal." β€œI know we got him early, but I still think that he could have gone even earlier just based on what he’s doing out there. He plays like a vet, he knows how to practice, and he’s smart, man.

Savage will face the Redskins in Week 14 when the Burgundy and Gold head up to Lambeau Field on December 8 for the matchup against the Packers.